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Insurance-The Reason for Working with a Reputable Carrier

Drivers don’t normally think about carrier insurance as an item they should be concerned with, but this article may make you rethink that issue. After all, I have never had a driver ask me about our company insurance when I was in a supervisory position. I have never thought to ask a company in an interview about their insurance situation. We assume that the carrier is insured for their needs and work on getting hired. Read on and find out why you may want to add the insurance question to the list of items you should be asking a carrier.

I was talking with a former student who was in my class in a training school not to long ago and she was telling me a horror story that happened to her sister whom was also a new driver. Her sister had taken a job with a carrier that offered her a job as a new student. She made the classic mistake of not looking far enough into the carrier to see if they were operating above board. Things went well for a while until an incident happened and she was informed by enforcement officers that she didn’t have the correct insurance. When the company was questioned about it they had not paid the premiums and left this poor driver saddled with the financial debt of the incident.

In another incident owner operators working for a carrier assumed they were covered properly with insurance for their trucks and any incidents until one had a major accident. It was found that the carrier had not kept up with premiums for the fleet and the driver that had the incident is now left trying to work with legal teams to battle the million dollar hospital bill left behind.

As a driver or owner operator signing on with a company it may be a Truck on highwaygood idea to add the insurance question to the list of questions you plan to ask a carrier in the interview stage. The first step to making sure you are insured properly is to look for reputable carriers. The top carriers are not running around without the proper insurance for their fleet, they have too much at stake for that. The main areas of insurance you will need is accident, cargo, and medical insurance.

So ask theses three questions about insurance in the interview stage.

  1. What happens if cargo on my trailer is damaged, who pays for that?
  2. What happens if I am in an accident, how am I covered?
  3. The third question is what happens if I am in an incident and hospitalized outside of Ontario? How am I covered and what is the company prepared to do for me or my family? If you don’t get appropriate answers to your questions then run. Make sure once you sign on with a carrier you have the insurance items in writing.

As a new driver you may feel that any carrier that is willing to hire you is doing you a favour, but that isn’t true. Protecting yourself and your career are very important especially in the beginning stages of your career. I see many new drivers saddled with problems early on because they are not taking the right amount of time to check into important areas of the job like insurance. Work with reputable carriers and you will take away a lot of the problems in your career.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation 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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TTSAO Responds to MTO Mandatory Entry-­‐Level Training Standards  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 18, 2016 -­‐ Hamilton, ON  -­‐  The  Truck  Training  Schools  Association  of  Ontario  (TTSAO)  have  responded  to  the   MTO’s  proposed  Mandatory  Entry-­‐Level  Training  (MELT)  standards.  The  TTSAO,  along  with  industry  subject   matter  experts  from  various  carriers,  training  institutions  and  insurance  fields,  were  among  a  task  force
designed  to  provide  input  and  feedback  on  the  proposed  new  standards  for  Class  A  drivers  in  Ontario.

The  TTSAO  is  thankful  for  the  opportunity  to  be  included  in  this  task  force  and  would  like  to  thank  the  MTO  and   all  of  the  industry  stakeholders  that  participated  in  these  meetings.  TTSAO  membered  schools  collectively   produce  more  entry-­‐level  commercial  drivers  annually  than  any  other  association  or  education  entity  in  the   Province.  TTSAO  members  were  provided  the  opportunity  to  review  the  draft  standards  and  provide  feedback  to   their  Board  of  Directors.

The  TTSAO  believes  that  great  strides  have  been  achieved  towards  what  the  MELT  standards  should  look  like   however,  before  it  can  be  fully  endorsed,  the  following  suggestions  were  made  recommending  that  further   discussion  is  needed:

• Instructor  qualifications  must  be  addressed
• Minimum  requirements  for  training  on  a  standard  transmission  should  be  included
• A  clear  definition  of  on-­‐line  education  is  required
• Procedures  for  booking  of  road  tests  should  be  included
• Vehicle  configurations  for  training  and  testing  need  to  be  clearly  defined
• Observation  time  in  the  training  yard  should  be  included  in  the  defined  hours
• Night  time  training  should  not  be  a  requirement  of  the  standard
• Maximum  training  of  6  hours  per  day  in  cab  in  unacceptable
• Clearly  defined  documentation  to  verify  training  hours  are  met  is  required

Kim  Richardson,  TTSAO  Chairman  of  the  Board,  says  “The  TTSAO  believes  that  great  progress  has  been  made  in   the  new  proposed  MELT  standard  but  additional  edits  and  input  are  still  needed.  We  understand  that  the   government  is  on  very  strict  timelines  to  complete  the  standard  but  it  is  imperative  that  as  an  industry  we  get  it   right  the  first  time.  The  TTSAO  is  happy  to  continue  our  participation  in  the  task  force  to  ensure  that    we  help  to   raise  the  level  of  entry  level  candidates  entering  the  industry”.
 For  more  information  about  this  Press  Release:  

Kim  Richardson  –  Chairman,  TTSAO  –  KRTS  office  –  1-­‐800-­‐771-­‐8171  x  201  or  cell  –  905-­‐512-­‐0254  or  by  email  at
krichardson@krway.com

Charlie  Charalambous  –  Director  of  Public  Relations,  TTSAO  –  Northbridge  Office  -­‐  1-­‐800-­‐265-­‐7173  or  cell  (416)
473-­‐3986  or  by  email  at  charlie.charalambous@nbfc.com

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PMTC AND TTSAO VIP DAY AT FPI/PIT TEST TRACK IN BLAINVILLE, QC

Come out and enjoy the PMTC and TTSAO VIP day at the FPI/PIT test track in Blainville, QC. See the attached flyer for more details.

We are arranging a coach bus to take us all to the track. The bus will depart Caledonia, Ontario at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 6th. Stops wil be made at the carpool lots at 401 and Trafalgar Road (Exit 328), 401 and Brock Road (Exit 391), and 401 and Percy Street (Exit 497). Stops further east can be added if needed.

pmtc logo

The bus will take us to the Days Inn near the track, and we hope to arrive before 6 p.m. on the 6th. A block book of rooms is avaliable by calling 1-800-561-8719, and referencing code “PMTC”. Our rate is $119.00. The block is only being held until May 15th, after that date it is first come first serve. Once numbers are confirmed we will make a reservation for supper at the hotel restaurant.

The bus will depart for the track the next morning at 8:30 a.m. The bus will depart for home at 4 p.m. at the conclusion of the days events.

Cost per person round trip is $250.00 per person including HST.

In order to confirm costs and times, we ask that you reserve your spot by May 20th.

If you are coming from regions outside of the 401 corridor, you may still reserve a room through the block booking, and utilize the bus from the hotel to attend the events at the track for a cost of $20.00 for just the bus. You will need to find your own way to the hotel, and notify Vanessa if you will be taking the bus from the hotel to the track.

Contact Vanessa at info@pmtc.ca to reserve your spot, or for more information.

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Don’t Put Me at Risk, Because You’re in a Hurry!

Defensive driving is about watching out for the other guy! Our highways are getting busier all the time and Toronto is now known as one of the busiest cities in North America. In fact Brampton Ontario is on the map as a city having the highest insurance rates in Canada and beyond, even in the United States. Much of this is due to the fact that our lives are so busy and the model of going to work from nine to five has now been diluted to various times through the day. In years past it was possible to leave after traffic or before rush hour to get to your destination. There were specific times when traffic flow stopped and started. Now anytime of day can be rush hour in big cities and planning for that becomes even more important. If you don’t plan for traffic you may be putting yourself at risk!

I am laughed at in the industry for being extremely early for appointments. If I have an appointment at 9:00am in the city you can usually find me at a coffee shop in the area at 6:00am. Even my wife thinks I’m nuts for leaving so early for appointments. Being early has been a rule for me to live by and I feel very relaxed when I do it. I may lose a little sleep but I am less stressed for the day. The other day I had an appointment and decided to follow others advice and leave later than normal, believe me I won’t do that again!

I had an appointment in Mississauga for 10:00am. Mississauga from Truck on highwaymy place is about thirty minutes in good traffic and an hour when it’s busy. I had a couple of options for routes including the 407 ETR a toll road in the area. Traffic was moving and all was well that way, but its how they were moving that was causing me problems. Doing the speed limit in the area is a real challenge and I notice as I get older I have been going slower on the roadways. Not super slow but to the point where I am at the speed limit or just above. Traffic is usually travelling around twenty kilometres above the limit as a rule in this area so driving the speed limit you are driving twenty kilometres slower than the rest of traffic on the road. This is where the problems came in.

As I was driving in the right lane at the speed limit here is what happened. I had a driver in a rental truck almost hit me from behind because he was looking at something on his dash. I had to move to another lane to avoid him hitting me. I had three other cars tailgating me because they were in a hurry to get to their destination. Finally the best one was the driver that was in so much of a hurry she almost tried to pass on the shoulder of the road and when she did get around me gave me the finger because I was doing the speed limit. To say I was stressed would be an understatement.

I got to my meeting early but the stress getting there was not worth it for me. I felt in danger, not because of my driving but due to the other people and their erratic driving. Everyone was in a hurry and many forgot the basic rules of lane management, speed limits and so on. Road rage is a fact of life on our roadways, but even if you are doing things correctly you can’t control the other people around you. Taking yourself out of that situation is the best way avoid problems. As that old reporter use to say on the local news as he did traffic, “Watch out for the other guy!” I myself will be going back to leaving very early and avoiding the rat race on our highways. As a professional driver you may not be able to avoid the idiots on the road, so that makes trip planning extremely important. Do whatever you can to be safe and avoid the crazy drivers. As for me, I will see you at the coffee shop!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation 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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Get Your Street Smarts-Age Doesn’t Equal Innocence!

Every time I teach a class of new students about the transportation industry I tell them to get street smart right away. If you have read any of the carrier ads in magazines you will see that many focus on people and are starting to get away from just talking trucks. The business of transportation may be about moving freight, but really the industry is people based. As a professional driver you are dealing with people at every turn. You have dispatchers that give you the loads, shippers that load the truck, the fuel bar person, the waitress, the receiver, the scale house, and so forth. You are always dealing with people and these are the good ones.

There are a lot of bad people out there as well. Just watch the news and you will see that there are bad people everywhere and it is important as a driver that you have your wits about you. You are a big easy target to the criminal types that prey on the non-aware. You have a large slow vehicle that is easy to catch. You have freight that has value no matter what it is. You are from out of town and may be unfamiliar with the area. The final piece is that you may be only one person and not able to protect yourself. Every large city and some small towns have a criminal element and if you have some street smarts you can usually get out untouched. Sometimes however we get fooled because the people or surroundings are out of character for what we expect from the criminal type of person. This happened to one driver at a construction site.

This was an actual story on television last year where the driver of a cement truck reported that his truck had been stolen in the middle of the day. A police chase ensued as the truck was reported driving carelessly around town. The police chase went on for over an hour as the truck barrelled down streets creating havoc in town. When the authorities removed the bandit from the truck they were amazed at who they found behind the wheel. The bandit, the freewheeling truck thief, was an eleven year old boy. Apparently he always wanted to drive a cement truck!

This eleven year old boy certainly didn’t fit the profile of a criminal. He wasn’t lurking about late at night. He didn’t hang with a group of unruly characters. He wasn’t hanging out on the streets of a bad area. He was just a kid! If you watch the news you will see that many of the criminals are getting younger and younger these days.

As a driver it is your job to keep your truck secure and even though ttsao truck at sunset largeyou have no control of other people you need to do the best you can to keep your self safe and prevent theft. Criminals are a sneaky group after all that’s why they’re criminals. As a professional driver doing the basics for theft prevention will help keep you safe for the most part.

Here are some basic steps you can take.Proper trip planning is key! Know the area that you are going to and get directions from trusted sources such as other drivers, the customer, or your company. Always lock your vehicle and shut it down when you are not using it. Watch who is around the area and stay away from times when criminals lurk and are looking for easy targets. Don’t tell people on the radio or at truck stops where you are going and the type of freight you have on. This article isn’t meant to scare, but to educate that as a driver you always need to be on your game.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation 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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Could Social Media Be Putting an End to Your Career?

Are you putting your career in jeopardy with social media? Social media is part of our lives now whether you believe in it or not. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how technologically savvy you are, or how much you go kicking and screaming that you will never be online, its here! Whether you choose to participate or not is up to you? The real question is will it be a show stopper for your career?

Here’s the thing! If you are on social media and use it to air your Twitter-birddirty laundry then it may work against you when looking for employment. If you don’t use it then you may have trouble applying for positions because everything is online. Let me explain.

I recently had a friend go through some hard times with his job. Nothing serious but his boss and him weren’t seeing eye to eye on a few issues. He was starting to get pretty down about his job and started airing his feelings on social media. There are two things that are troubling about this. One is that his boss may be watching him or may be connected to someone who is following my friend therefore seeing many of the things being said about him. This may be terminating his job faster than he realizes.

The second issue is even if his current employer is not watching him those comments will be there for future employers to see possibly costing him a good position in the future. You may remember on the news a few years ago about a British Columbia politician that had an excellent record of helping people and was a person regarded as “salt of the earth”. He was running for a top seat in the political area in the Province. Due to a social media post about a party he had attended at the age of twenty five years old he ended up having to withdraw from the race. All because of a video he was in when he was young.

If you aren’t on social media at all then people have nothing to look up or reference. Remember the old days when you just gave a personal reference or the employer called to verify your employment. Employers don’t like to give references any more and friends aren’t a trusted source for information so employers are now looking people up online. If they find nothing there they may feel you have little to offer.

Now I am not suggesting that you can only get a job if you are online. This is however becoming more of the normal process these days and what you put out there has a lasting effect on your future. The last time I went for a job interview years ago I walked into the company office and they brought out a file on me larger than the one I had on myself. They had found articles I had written and information that I forgot that I even had produced. That’s why I have to live clean now. The point is that if you have ever filled out something online whether a survey or the like then you are online. If you have a social media profile then you are even more online.

Here are two rules to keep you out of trouble online. First never post anything about your employer or past employers on social media. Remember the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all!” Two, never put anything on social media that you wouldn’t let your Mother see. If you follow those two basic rules they should keep you out of trouble for the most part. I wish you luck!
About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation 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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Are You Focusing On The Right Things For The Future?

The trucking industry is changing and changing fast. What are you doing to keep up with it? I was getting ready for a presentation the other day doing some research into what drivers will have to do in the future. As I was watching videos and reading material I began to think to myself that the position of being a truck driver will change dramatically in the near future. How will that affect those learning about those positions today?

In the past the industry used trucking as a dumping ground. If you couldn’t do anything else and hated school then trucking was normally where you ended up. The independence and manual labour of the position was a good fit for those that didn’t get excited over the education route.

When CSA (Comprehensive Safety Analysis) came into affect it changed the type of driver companies were looking for. No longer did they need to someone to just get the job done, but needed them to do it without violations. The driver focus has now changed to where carriers are now looking for safe, legal drivers that are willing to learn and be customer service oriented.

That brings us to the future. When I look at the new technology ttsao truck at sunsetcoming into the industry to help combat the driver shortage I see the role of the driver changing again. Will we even be driving? Just take a visit to your favourite video channel and you will see a number of videos on driverless trucks. In fact I believe every manufacturer is working on the same technology. Whether it was Freightliner, Peterbilt, Volvo, or Mercedes they all had similar videos for their trucks. All videos featured the truck driver doing other things other than truck driving. I also noticed that many of the trucks will become even more aerodynamic than they are now making the job of inspections even harder or very different from the inspections done today. In the future we may have some type of x-ray system a truck drives through showing all areas that need attention.

Whatever it is in the future the role of the truck driver is changing dramatically and driving ability may not be at the forefront. I see the driver’s role in the future focused on customer service, computers, and security. That human instinct and radical thinking is what keeps the human race one step ahead of computers. Being able to think outside of the box for different situations is what will be needed in the future. Look at any movie set in the future and you will notice many of the transportation vehicles don’t even have wheels. That’s where we are going and those that keep up with technology and have an eye for the future will be employable for the future. So in repeating the question I asked at the beginning of this article, what are you doing to keep up for the future?

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation 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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MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATION NOW FOR THE PMTC CONFERENCE-June 16, 2016

CONFERENCE HOTEL RESERVATIONS – LIMITED AVAILABILITY-RESERVE TODAY

There are a limited number of rooms available at Kingbridge for conference delegates, so reserve your room as soon as possible.

Reservations can be made by calling Kingbridge directly at 1-800-827-7221 and mentioning that you are with the Private Motor Truck Council Conference on June 16 & 17.

PMTC has a room rate of $180.00 per night plus applicable taxes.

The agenda is packed with professional speakers, timely topics, an exhibitors’ showcase, and lots of time to network with industry colleagues.

2016 AGENDA

REGISTER NOW

Sponsorships are also available.

PMTC 2016 Conference Brochure_Page_1

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Do you have what it takes to even get into trucking?

Seventy-five percent of the workforce will be Millennials by 2025 according to a recent article in FleetOwner Magazine. The question is will that solve the driver shortage for the transportation industry? The same article stated that even if we market effectively to those people we still may not be able to solve the shortage and that may be skilled based problem.

We are starting to see the problem rise in the industry now. How Truck on highwaymany people do we have that have commercial drivers licenses yet don’t have jobs? The mentality of get them trained and get them rolling isn’t working as well as it should be. The reason is that some young people don’t possess the basic skills required to reach success in their chosen career. The social skills, passion for a career, and determination to achieve success are keeping back many of the people needed in the industry. A training school can only teach a person so much, the rest is up to the individual.

The article in FleetOwner magazine went on to say that many young people will remain in low paying positions or even unemployed based on their social skills and education. Many have not gone on to post high school education giving them the skills needed for careers in the future. You can read the article here by clicking on the link.

What I took away from the article was the passion for learning piece of this article. In essence we have the people we need but they either don’t want the job or don’t have the basic skills to begin training for the position. At the end of the day that doesn’t solve our driver shortage. In the industry we are starting to see longer programs helping people build up their life skills as well as training them for their desired career. Trucking requires so many life skills for a driver to be successful that training to drive only covers a fraction of what is required to be a professional driver.

When potential drivers are looking at positions with companies in the industry we often focus on whether the carrier will be a good fit for the new driver. Do they want to be gone for a long time or run local? Do they want to haul this type of freight or that type of freight? Those are very important questions, but do we need to look deeper into the person? Should we be asking questions such as what experiences have they had and how did they deal with them? As we know in trucking a driver will experience so many things that require decisions to be made on the spot that focusing on a persons decision making capabilities might be the best place to start when looking for drivers. Remember trucking isn’t just about the trucks, but the person behind the wheel.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation 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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