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Fire without a flame- the importance of backing up your files

Recently one of our member training schools went through a catastrophic fire burning the building to the ground. Even with an efficient team and tried processes a fire or loss of data can wake a company up to improve the way they are handling information. The thing about a physical fire is that you can see the devastation and it gives you a good mental picture for the future. But what if there is no flame and the fire is in the background.

Recently I went through a similar situation with our computer data. I am certainly not saying it is the same scale as a building fire, but there are many similarities. Even though you may have been doing everything correctly in your routine a fire will show you where you can improve in a hurry because information and objects may now be gone. You can see the loss.

This happened with my computer system. I was doing what most people and businesses do with their systems. I was backing up my computer system to avoid losing data. I had gone through this back in 2008 during an audit when a previous program I was using crashed and the data encrypted in a way that I was unable to find a program to open it. At that point I decided to switch computer systems and begin a new back up regimen.

Here we are seven years later. We have updated computers every three years, we have external hard drives, the Cloud, Time Machine, and a host of other services designed to keep my information safe. Most of us worry about our main computer breaking down and the information being lost that way and that is what I had been concerned with. So I was moving unnecessary files and backing up files to a specific external hard drive thinking I was being proactive, until last week anyway.

That same hard drive shut down a couple of weeks ago and when my computer friend came to look at it he thought it finally died. Now I didn’t realize that the hard drives had a certain life expectancy and so all that backing up of information now may be lost again. Hello 2008! Even when you might be doing it right you may not be doing it right!

As a computer friend of mine says, “Most people begin a back up program the day after they lose their data.” Apparently the general rule is that you have two copies of all the information you want to keep. So if you have a copy on the computer you should also have a copy on an external hard drive not connected to the computer. If you have a saved copy of a file then you should have another copy somewhere else. Always two copies.

I am still trying to get the information back through some programs recommended from my computer friend. I am now implementing a new backup program and praying I haven’t lost years of files. I suggest you take a good look at your filing system whether computer or otherwise and make the necessary improvements. You may have a fire starting, but just can’t see the flame.
About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile and is also the host of the Lead Pedal Podcast for professional drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com

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Building a career in transportation is similar to making your favourite hamburger

North Americans love their hamburgers. I am not asking you to believe me, just look at the thousands of burgers sold by food chains like McDonalds and Wendy’s. Every barbecue includes a good hamburger on the menu and the variety of toppings that go on a hamburger to create the best hamburger are as varied as the people creating them. But what does that have to do with transportation?

Like any good hamburger it all starts with two main ingredients which is the foundation. The first piece is the patty itself and I will let you create your favourite here as I am not about to get into the debate over vegetarian or meat. The next important piece is the bun which again can be your favourite. Without those two items no matter what you put on it is not considered a hamburger. The same can be said for a career in trucking. You need to have a foundation and the training from a certified school is the same as having the burger itself. You can get an A license or D license and that is the same as deciding whether you like meat or vegetarian. Getting the actual license is the bun and without that you don’t have the hamburger or career. The ingredients that go on after that are up to you on your hamburger and your career is the same.

The toppings on any hamburger are where you get the taste you desire and the joy that comes with it. That’s why so many restaurants have so many different choices for their customers as everyone has different tastes. In the transportation industry once you have your license, good training, and some experience your career options open up for the new driver. It is the same as having all the ingredients you like on the buffet for your choosing. Do you want to be a driver working with a specialized carrier in a private fleet? Do you want to move into non driving position such a dispatch or safety. Do you want to be an owner operator and have your own trucking business? The options are up to you just like the toppings you will put on your hamburger.

Truck driving of course isn’t as simple as making your favourite hamburger but is similar in theory. The point is that you have to have that foundation for a good career. Without the foundation, a.k.a. The burger and bun you have nothing but sloppy ingredients. If you don’t have a decent foundation for your career in certified training and the proper license then you too will have a sloppy career. How you like your hamburger is up to you, just like your career!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile and is also the host of the Lead Pedal Podcast for professional drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com

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