Tag Archives: TTSAO Carrier Group

Are You in Business or Not?

Driver Inc as it’s called is all over the news as the Canada Revenue Service (CRA) promises to crackdown on those businesses using the self employed status to avoid paying taxes when working for someone such as another owner operator or company. The practice has been around a long time and has gone through many names such as “Driver Service” “Driver Inc” and the like. Apparently the issue came up at a recent trucking conference that had members of the CRA involved and the issue began to spread like wildfire. I have been talking about this for years in my business classes so it is important to understand the issue.

What is Driver Inc?

The name is not relevant because many companies use terms like ‘Driver Service” or a company could name themselves “Driver Inc” and be legitimate. The real issue is in the relationship between the driver and the company. The practice goes like this, a driver is hired by another operator or company and told they will be an independent contractor. The driver sets themselves up as a company on paper by incorporating and goes to work for the carrier. They avoid paying taxes by writing off expenses such as their vehicle to and from work, meals, and many other items entitled for write-offs by business owners. The issue is that they are only working for one person or carrier. You are operating as a business without really being in business. This is a common practice for carriers that are avoiding paying income tax and payroll taxes for employees.

This is a very grey area because many business owners have been doing it for a long time especially owner operators that have more than one truck under their personal fleet. I have seen in the past where an owner had up to fifteen trucks and all the drivers were operating in that manner. When questioned about it he mentioned he had been audited with no problems by the CRA. His books may have been in order but if those drivers had been audited they would have been found to be in violation if they had not operating in the proper manner.

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Is it legal to set up your own driver service?

Going into business can be a very rewarding experience and something that many people will try during their lifetime, but it has to be done properly. There are no shortcuts in business and the penalties can be very steep for those that choose to work outside of the law. There are many issues to keep in mind when setting up a business, too many to talk about in one article but there are a couple easy ways to know if you are in business properly in the eyes of the CRA. I used to tell my students to worry about three things. Can you prove you have more than one customer that you work with? I always suggest at least three clients. Do you provide the tools for the job or are they supplied for you? Do you decide when you go to work and have the right to refuse work if you choose? Are your business expenses legitimate to do the work or To gain future work? If you would like to check out the actual requirements for the CRA click the link to view the pdf document outlining the requirements. https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4110/rc4110-18e.pdf

It is legal to set yourself up in business if done properly with legitimate clients and work, but it is much more than just incorporating a name. Drivers are an easy target for these types of situations because it is enticing to be in business and it affords more money in your pocket. In the long run however the driver takes on all the liability and is paying taxes that an employer should be paying. If starting a business do your homework on the requirements and do it properly, you’ll be glad you did!

Work for a trusted carrier on the TTSAO Carrier Group

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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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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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The Benefits of Hiring a Driver with Military Background

Talk to any recruiter about the importance of finding the right candidate for their team and you will get a whole list of reasons why this is important. Company culture, technical aspects of the job, and independent decision making are all aspects that many team members need to be successful at their jobs. Finding the candidate with all of those qualities requires recruiting personnel to either have a crystal ball or be able to read minds. I know a lot of good recruiters but none with crystal balls or that read minds. There is however ways to help you choose the right team members using past history or experience.

Usually when recruiting personnel are looking into past experience or history of an applicant they are looking for the basics such as training for the job, negatives in performance, and any risky behaviour. How many are looking deeper? How many are looking for that past experience that may be beneficial for the job?

Being a professional truck driver requires a person that can take on knowledge in many different areas, have quick decision making capabilities, and has an eye for safety. Add the mechanical aspect of the job and the day to day issues that all drivers face and you need to find not only a capable person but a superhero. People who have been in the military may just offer that type of experience.

Military-Trucks

In the past I have had those types of people in my classes. I had a driver that was just beginning his career in trucking. He had been in the military but hadn’t driven vehicles as large as a tractor trailer. He went through the training with flying colours because he was used to following instructions. When he was introduced to the dangerous goods part of the course he was a master. It turns out he had been a dangerous goods instructor in the army. In fact his first carrier hired him to help existing employees with their dangerous goods training.

This is a benefit that may not have been discussed prior depending on the recruiting styles and process of the carrier. There are other reasons to look for someone with military experience for your team. Military personnel much like truck drivers are trained in many aspects outside of their normal role in areas such as time management, note taking, dangerous goods, communications, and other items that make driving a successful career. With the security issues we now have on a daily basis who else could be more beneficial to a team than someone experienced in looking for bad people. Many have experience with mechanical items as in basic training you are expected to take a rifle apart and put it back together. Military personnel are used to conducting inspections on equipment and looking for delays or problem-solving.

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If you are looking for new members for your team then you may want to find someone with military training. It may be the closest thing you have to crystal ball. Speaking of veterans I would like to take a moment to thank those serving in the Military past or present with warm felt thank you for your bravery and courage.

Remember all of our Veterans this November 11th.

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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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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Searching for a Job Halloween Style

Trick or Treat-Halloween Carriers

“Trick or Treat” is a saying many people know since childhood. You walk house to house every October 31st holding out your bag almost singing the words wondering what type of candy you will get in your bag, will it be a trick or a treat? You keep collecting candy until your bag is full and then you take it home and review all the contents usually by dumping the whole bag on the floor. The sorting Halloween costumesbegins with what you consider a trick for bad candy to the treats which are your favourites. Then the review officer takes over, usually Mom and goes through the bag to make sure nothing dangerous has been included and gives you the candy you are allowed to eat. This is a process that every kid in North America goes through on Halloween each year.

If something like Halloween can be repeated so that almost every household has the same procedure with candy and is able to weed out the bad and good candy based on taste wouldn’t it be beneficial to take that same procedure and adapt it to your job search. After all it is basically the same thing, you are applying to jobs that you really don’t know if they will be a trick or a treat of a job until you start working there. Your job search would look like this.

Step 1-Your Neighbourhood

Basic criteria for the job search such as location, career goals, interests, equipment, and pay package. This is the same as mapping out the route for your neighbourhood.

Step 2-Trick or Treating

Gather 10 job opportunities that fit the criteria you set out above and put them into a bag or folder if working electronically. Don’t look at any job opportunity details until you have collected all 10 opportunities so that you don’t get caught up in the details of just one. This is the same as trick or treating.

Step 3-Sorting

With a notepad create a summary list and start going through the opportunities collected. Toss any that don’t meet your criteria and put the ones that do on your notepad. You may want to create columns as the goal of the sort is to get a bird’s eye view of the opportunities. Once you have your list sorted and complete you are ready for the next step. This is the same as dumping all of your candy on the floor.

candy

Step 4-Review Officer

Contact and apply to the top 3 best job opportunities on the list. Once those three are exhausted if you still haven’t been hired go to the next three opportunities and so on until you get the best job on your list. This is the same as Mom reviewing the candy to make sure there are no suspicious elements.

If you think about it you have been doing the same system since you were a child. You are just applying it to different types of candy. In this electronic age of course you don’t have to physically go knocking on doors but the idea is the same as going out for Halloween. Get your best business costume on and get out there!

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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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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 General Meeting December 11th, 2018

This open meeting will cover a variety of topics and will include participation from TTSAO Schools, Carriers, Insurance, Industry Suppliers and more.

What:            General Meeting

Where:          IHSA Conference Centre, 5110 Creekbank Road – TTSAO-logo-2018Mississauga, ON

When:           Tuesday December 11, 2018

Time:            10:00am – Noon

AGENDA

  • The Provincial Government Cap update
  • TTSAO/Paybright Instructor of the Year announcement
  • Conference Overview (Topics/Panels)

Networking Session

  • Insuring MELT drivers – The Insurance Perspective
    • Industry experts will share their thoughts on MELT & it’s effect on the Industry since inception.
    • Session will consist of a Panel of Insurance Experts, Moderated by Guy Broderick, Chairperson of TTSAO Carrier Group
  • Carriers Hiring MELT drivers – The Carriers Perspective
    • Pro’s and Con’s of MELT
    • Session will consist of a Panel of Carrier Group Members, Moderated by Lisa Arseneau, Chairperson of TTSAO Insurance Group
  • MELT Update – Ministry of Transportation
  • Closing Remarks

Please RSVP to ttsao@ttsao.com to reserve your spot.

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Without Trucks there wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving

As we approach Thanksgiving here in Canada it is always a good time to reflect on what we have and how it got there. With a table full of food, a large turkey waiting to be carved we often take for granted many of the items we have in our daily lives without much thought as to how they reached our table. Nearly 70 percent of all goods are transported by truck with transportation being one of the largest industries in North America. Yet we still seem to get a bad rap from the public.

Much of that bad rap is because the trucking industry operates in the background. We are seen to the public as a problem not a solution. The public sees closed trailers, deadly accidents, and slow moving vehicles. They don’t see the driver unloading in the middle of the night at a dock with 40,000 pounds of a certain product. They don’t see the driver driving all night to get their Amazon delivery to their door the next day. When we do get a chance to talk to the public we are often trying to tell them why we need more drivers or less regulations. We forget to show them the importance for what we do. We need to educate the public on how their goods get to the table, the stores, and into their homes. Do they know that the car they’re driving came from parts that were on more than a dozen trucks at one time and put together at the plant? Do they know that once that car was assembled at the plant that the car was put on another truck to be delivered to the dealership where they were able to sit inside it and take it for a test drive?

Truck on highway

I would love to see a campaign where that was shown all the time. Almost like a message on the back of each truck that says on this truck is the steering wheel for the car that you are holding in your hands. On this truck are the tires that are helping you drive down the road. On this truck are the pillows that you lay your head on each night. On this truck are the potatoes that you will be having for dinner on Thanksgiving. If information like that was everywhere maybe people would start to listen and realize the importance of the truck driver.

We should also be showing the importance of freight on our roadways. Buses have priority on our streets when pulling out into traffic as all other vehicles must yield to the bus. Why are we not showing the importance of freight by dedicating lanes to the trucks allowing them to move faster during rush hour traffic. We need to show the public the importance of what we do and how their products got on the shelves. This will take a mass effort from the whole industry, but may be part of the solution to getting our industry to be professional in the eyes of the public. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving this weekend and take a moment to reflect how the food got on your table.TTSAO-carrierl-banner-2018

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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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 Instructor of the Year Award

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 18th, 2018 – Hamilton, ON: The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is pleased to announce a new award to be presented annually to honor commercial driver instructors.

The first ever TTSAO/Paybright Commercial Driving Instructor of TTSAO-logo-2018the Year award will be presented to a successful recipient at the 4th Annual TTSAO Conference scheduled for February 27th and 28th 2019. The TTSAO has appointed a committee to review all applications submitted by TTSAO schools and carriers. The successful candidate will need to meet or exceed the following criteria:

  • Minimum 10 years verifiable experience
  • Clean abstract
  • Must be employed at a TTSAO School or TTSAO Carrier Member
  • Must be a full-time employee of the school or carrier

The committee will also review the following to support the candidates application:

  • Any volunteerism, community and industry involvement
  • Support letters provided by their employer, customers or industry associates
  • Any certifications achieved

Charlie Charalambous, Director of Communications & Public Relations for the TTSAO Commented “This award will go a long way to recognize the commercial driving instructors that provide excellent training, coaching and mentoring for our industry”.

“As a partner for the TTSAO PayBright offers students financial assistance to get certified training with TTSAO accredited schools and we’re proud to sponsor this award” said Ryan Kellock, Director of Business Development at PayBright. “We’re honored to co-sponsor this award and am sure it is going to a well deserving school and partner”

For more information on the award criteria and how to submit an application please email ttsao@ttsao.com or visit ttsao.com.

For more information visit www.ttsao.com or contact:

Charlie Charalambous – Director of Communications and Public Relations, TTSAO – ccharalambous@isbc.ca or (905) 699 – 8837

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

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The Trucking Community is Continually Giving Back

Giving back to a cause or group can be a very rewarding thing that a person or company can do. I’m a firm believer in, “what goes around comes around” type of thinking and believe that our lives are intertwined to help each other in some sort of strange way. Many causes are asking for donations or raising funds for research and you would think that donating a certain amount of money to a cause would solve the issue. The problem with just writing a cheque is that you miss the passion and the real gift of giving back. Experiencing the joy you put back into the hearts of others can be more rewarding than any cheque you could write.

What always amazes me is how much the transportation industry steps up to the challenge when it comes to helping others. We all know that truck drivers are very busy, under time regulations, and only get paid when the wheels are turning, yet truck drivers and the transportation industry come out in droves every time to give back to great causes. When I interviewed many of the drivers and people at the events they all said one thing, the smiles on their faces kept bringing them back again and again. It wasn’t the money, it wasn’t the time, but the smiles. Touching other people’s hearts can be a wonderful thing.

Think about this, truck drivers work around 70 hours per week, get limited time off with their families, yet managed to take time to help three convoys on the weekend raise almost $200,000 for important causes and that’s just in Ontario. 50 trucks showed up to the Truck Convoy for Special Olympics GTA convoy and raised over $50,000 dollars along with sponsorships and donations. The Truck Convoy for Special Olympics in Paris Ontario with 70 trucks, sponsorships, and donations raised over $75,000. And Trucking for a Cure had their Eastern convoy had 50 trucks and raised almost $70,000. All those convoys were on the same day in different parts of the Province for different causes, but it was the trucking community making a difference.

Kim Richardson of the TTSAO

Many associations like the Truck Training School Association of Ontario and the Fleet Safety Council support these causes in various ways through their members or associations as a whole and often send funds for a certain level, but it is always nice to see members attend and participate in the event showing their support. Even more impressive in other ways is when the owners of companies get involved with these causes and take their time to show support for their members involved and the cause such as Challenger President Dan Einwetcher who participated as a driver in the Paris convoy.

If you have never been involved in a cause as a participant or spectator then I would urge you to get involved. Many reputable carriers urge their employees to get involved as a way of showing support and giving back to the industry. Get involved!

Check out some of those great carriers here!

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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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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 a fuel-efficient driving champion?

Fuel efficiency is important to any size fleet. Train your drivers to be fuel champions.

SmartDriver for Highway Trucking now offers:

• Free online training
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to confirm that you are a
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About SmartDriver

To learn more, visit the Natural Resources Canada FleetSmart website at: www.FleetSmart.NRCan.gc.ca

SDHT 07-Poster_2018-01-10

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Do you know if you are appreciated as a truck driver?

This week it is Driver Appreciation Week in Canada. This happens every year in the first week of September. In the United States Driver Appreciation Week begins in the second week of September and many companies will celebrate it for the whole month of September. The celebration has grown over the years to include all people in the transportation industry and there will be many discussions and events showing drivers how important they are to the industry and economy. There will be barbecues offering free food and swag during the month but does that really show drivers we care? How do you know as a driver if you are appreciated?

Hamburgers

What can you expect to see in the month of September for Driver Appreciation Week? You will definitely have your fair share of hotdogs or hamburgers. Almost every company I know has a barbecue going on offering free food. Some will offer awards and others will give out hats and shirts. Does that work for the long term though? Can we not get more creative than a barbecue? In my mind driver appreciation should go on all year and can be as little as being recognized at the company to more pay or new trucks. Many of the good carriers have gone as far as to reward drivers with nicer equipment, displaying their names on the truck and more. It really doesn’t matter what you do to acknowledge the driver as long as you do it. The other point is that it should be done all year long.

When I was on the road we were rewarded with better runs, better equipment, and steady loads. Almost every company I worked for used a better truck as the way to make me feel appreciated the most. Steady work and a team atmosphere were what kept me at most companies for years. When I did leave a company it was rarely due to being treated unfairly, but for an opportunity that wasn’t available with that carrier. Many of those carriers never had barbecues or even mentioned Driver Appreciation Week, I am not sure it was even in existence in 80’s and 90’s. When I think about the carriers the feeling for me was like being at home with friends. We got together outside of work and learned about each others lives. We celebrated new additions and mourned when we lost someone. We were like family and we knew we were appreciated for working hard. It’s the little things that made the difference, not the big things.

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Driver appreciation doesn’t have to be a big deal, but it does have to be consistent. I think Driver Appreciation should be all year long and the good carriers are working towards that. Show your drivers you care every day, not just in the month of September. Happy Driver Appreciation Week to all the drivers and everyone involved in the transportation industry. Without you our World would stop. Thank you for all you do.

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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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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Do Your Homework When Searching for a Carrier

I have been in this industry for a long time and I am always amazed at some of the issues I hear going on within the industry like the issue many drivers face called “Bus and Dump.” I was looking through some articles on the industry when I came across this article from Fleet Owner Publication on “Bus and Dump” which is a practice some carriers use in the United States to recruit drivers to their team. I have never heard of the practice in Canada, but apparently this is a practice that has been going on for some time in the U.S. So what is “Bus and Dump?”

 

“Bus and Dump” is the practice of hiring drivers through an online application form on a website with a promise to hire, offering them travel arrangements to attend orientation, and then once they arrive making an excuse to turn them away.

You’re the driver and you want to get a new job in the transportation industry. You fill out an online application and get a message or phone call from the recruiter telling you that you have been accepted for the position. The carrier sends you a bus ticket to arrive in orientation at an arranged date and time and you accept. You head out to the location that is often across the Country and are excited to start with a new company. When you arrive the carrier tells you for some reason that you are no longer required and sets you on your way. You now have to find your own way home with no money or accommodations. You can read the actual article by clicking this website link. https://www.fleetowner.com/driver-management/bus-and-dump-drivers-expose-industrys-dirty-practice

depressed-person

How do you protect yourself against the “Bus and Dump” practice?

The first step is to do your homework on the carrier and make sure they are legitimate. There are plenty of jobs available in the industry for the right candidates so there is no reason to go to carriers that are participating in unethical practices. Know who you are applying to and make sure they are a reputable company. You can do this by following the same format of investigation the carrier uses to hire you.

Investigating a Carrier

  • Only apply to carriers through reputable job websites or carrier specific websites
  • Make sure you understand if you are going for a first time interview or have actually been hired.
  • Research the carrier profile and safety record by adding their name to searches on websites like www.fmcsa.dot.gov or Google and review the information about them.
  • Talk to three references about them from drivers or other people in the industry
  • Have a discussion via phone or video with the person hiring you and find out any pertinent information required, such as dress for the job, equipment required, etc.
  • If traveling far from home have a letter of intent to hire from the carrier in writing. This may come in handy should you have to take legal action at a later date.
  • Be honest about any convictions or other information that may cause issues in the hiring process.
  • Have a your own original copies of all documents such as abstracts, licence, and so on should they be altered by someone else in the process
  • Take enough money for accommodations and travel back home if required.
  • Keep in contact with family or friends about your whereabouts and progress.

You can’t stop a carrier from unscrupulous methods of hiring drivers but you don’t have to participate in the practice. This is why many industry professionals caution new students on accepting the first job that comes along. Do your homework, I can’t say that enough! Reputable carriers don’t participate in such practices as “Bus and Dump” and you shouldn’t either.

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-2018

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, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. 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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