Tag Archives: TTSAO Carrier Group

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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.

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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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Should you work for a small carrier or a large carrier?

What is the best experienced company when looking for a carrier?

That was the question a young driver was asking that has just started his career. I came across this question on a social media site and thought it was interesting so I kept reading some of the answers. Some were silly, some humorous, and some had good information. The intrigue wasn’t so much with the answers, but the intent of the question itself. The driver who left the question explained that he was working for a large carrier in the United States for now but once he got his six months to a year of experience he wanted to find a small carrier to call home. His exact comment was, “Obviously we don’t want to drive for the megas forever, so what are good smaller companies?” This driver is looking at his driving career in the wrong way in my opinion and will always have trouble finding a good fit because the size of a carrier doesn’t mean anything.

There are carriers that are very large and great carriers that are very small and everything in between. The real questions you have to ask and only you can answer it is what do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What type of work do you want to do? How far do you want to travel? I have worked for various carriers over my career and found all of them had good and bad qualities.

Small carriers are great. You will often find a family feel and great equipment. When there’s a problem you can go right to the top and voice your concerns. Many times your dedication and hard work will be noticed by the top faster and that can lead to better runs and good money. The downside of a small carrier is that there can be little opportunity for growth outside of the driving position. If it is a family owned company there may be little opportunities available outside of the seat and it can lead to feeling stuck and unhappy down the road.

Man-with-blue-truck

Large Carriers are great as well. At large carriers there can be a wide array of support services for drivers from maintenance to administration that can help make your life a whole lot easier for day to day operations. Get stuck at the border and there is someone to call, need help with a maintenance issue and they can swap out equipment or have the resources to help you. The biggest positive I have found with large carriers is that there is room to grow in your career. If you want to expand out of the seat you can apply for positions inside of the office and create career longevity without changing carriers. The downside of many large carriers is the politics. This can happen in small carriers as well, but is often found in large carriers just due to the size of the operation.

Small and large sized carriers both have positive and negative points to their operations. I have seen drivers that have loved working with a large carrier in the fact that there is more flexibility for work options and time off. Some people don’t mind working long hours but want that family feel of an operation. There is no wrong or right answer what you are looking for will dictate the type of operation you apply to and only you know what that is.

TTSAO-Carrier-Group-banner

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 announces date for 2019 Conference

The TTSAO has announced the date fror the TTSAO 2019 conference and will be opening up registrations in the near future. keep an eye out for more information on the 4th annual conference.

ttsao conference 2019 ad-Save the Date

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Trucking on the 4th of July

Happy Independence Day to our American friends in the United States as you enjoy this 4th of July holiday. The United States has been celebrating independence since 1776 and this is a major holiday of the summer. For those of you that are new to the trucking industry you may not think that a holiday like the 4th of July can affect a Canadian driver delivering loads down in the United States but it can be one of the best times to travel south of the border.

Like everything in life there is good and bad in everything and trucking on 4th of July is no different. Let’s look at the good part first. When it comes to passionate patriotism you won’t find it any stronger than in the United States. Known as one of the strongest and largest countries in the World makes it a goal to live in for many people. People born in the United States are very proud to be American and display it proudly. This makes it a great place to drive because you will feel that patriotism as you drive down the road.

Truck-with-american-flag

I have always enjoyed driving on the back roads as much as possible when time allows. It gives you a different perspective into the way people live and I find it much more relaxing than always being on the big highway network. That is where you will see the pride of the country on those little back roads and small towns. Roll through Small Town, U.S.A. and you will see homes and businesses with flags out front waving proudly, you will find parades going on celebrating the day, and if lucky you will stumble onto one of those great State Fairs that are held throughout the nation. The 4th of July is a big deal and celebrated proudly with lots of celebrations and entertainment. Even for those of us not from the United States you can feel the pride of the country. When you’re parked at night don’t forget to look up as there will be many firework displays going on in most areas.

I found over my years on the road when you are in the United States the area you are in may dictate how much patriotism is shown. Everyone is patriotic but certain states seem to enhance it even more. I found states like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, and New Hampshire always seem to really show their Pride as well as many of the southern states such Kentucky, Texas, and the Carolina s. Maybe it was just the areas I ran the most so I noticed it more. No matter where you travel it can be a very joyous time of year.

So what do you have to look out for when operating in the States over the fourth of July. The first thing is to check your delivery times. Many companies will be closed for the day and possibly longer due to the holiday so make sure you know when receivers will be open. Driving through an area as much as it can be fun can be a challenge. Parades will be happening in almost every town and road closures can make your trip a lengthy one. If you are trying to make miles on the 4th of July stay to the Interstate. The last safety tip is to beware of fireworks. While they are certainly beautiful to look at while in the sky they can be very dangerous when handled incorrectly. Fireworks are readily available to many and some may use them dangerously without thinking about their surroundings. The last thing you need is a truck fire because of firework debris from someone that doesn’t know what they are doing.
Be careful out there.

Driving through the Country during holidays and special times can be a great way to get a feel for a place and enjoy festivities that you may not get to see otherwise. Enjoy the benefits of being a professional driver and being able to travel and see places most people can’t, so enjoy it. Happy 4th of July!

Looking for a carrier that can offer you a career seeing the Country? Click the banner below to see a list of carriers that offer driving opportunities.

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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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Canadian Carriers Driving for New Hires

Want a pay raise? Sign on with one of the many Canadian Carriers that are increasing pay packages and benefits for drivers. If you are new to the industry you may not have known about the perfect storm that is brewing for drivers that can help you get the perfect job with a carrier. If ever you were looking at a job in the industry now is the time. Drivers that take advantage of that in a professional manner can map out there career success with the right strategy.

We have had a perfect storm brewing for many years in the industry. It started a few years ago with the amount of drivers coming into the industry or not coming into the industry causing a driver shortage. With fewer drivers entering the industry trucks were being left empty causing carriers to turn away business. A truck left empty is a major cost to a carrier even for a short period of time. This driver shortage was the first element of the storm.

Challenger truck

The second element of the storm was the implementation of electronic logging devices into the industry last year. With the implementation of electronic logs (ELDS) it caused some drivers and carriers to get out of the industry because of the regulations and it leveled the playing field on how goods are moved across the country. The playing field is equal because it now shows where delays are for drivers and companies are adjusting contracts to fit driver schedules.

The third element which is now coming into affect is the trading environment within North America with tariffs being talked about and the North American Free Trade issue in the middle of negotiations. We shall see how this plays out in the future but it will certainly affect the trucking industry in one way or another.

When you have a perfect storm like this in an industry it is either good or bad and this one is both. It is a rough time for carriers as they are trying to bring people into the seats and good for drivers because there are so many options for drivers with carriers. Carriers at this point are willing to get very creative to get people into the seats and it is now causing the industry to raise wages and benefits for drivers. The improvements however aren’t just monetary but improvements in carrier culture are also at the forefront. Carriers are now implementing focus groups and team meetings to find out what drivers want and many are improving communications and other benefits to make drivers more comfortable and happy. At the end of the day it is about making sure you as a driver are happy and have good place to go to work.

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What does this mean for you as a driver? It has been many years since driver rates went up the way they have over the last year and they continue to rise. You now have more power over your career options and can in many cases decide on the type of work you would like to do. Carriers are making adjustments in their fleet to keep drivers happy and keep them for the long term. For new drivers more carriers are implementing training programs to help drivers be safer and trained better and many are now looking at working with training schools which offers new drivers options right from the start. If you are thinking of getting into the trucking industry you could not find a better time. If you are not in the industry talking with a carrier or training school is the first place to start.

Find a TTSAO Certified School in your area

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 Holds June BOD Meeting at PMTC Conference

The TTSAO Board of Directors held their June meeting at the PMTC Conference in Niagara Falls. Here are some pictures from the event.

Photos by Niko Charlambous

About the PMTC

The PMTC is recognized as the voice of private trucking in Canada. We regularly field calls from trade press seeking PMTC opinions on subjects of interest to the trucking industry. PMTC President Mike Millian also has a monthly column in a leading industry magazine to promote the views of private carriers. www.pmtc.ca

 

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Should you work for a carrier based on here-say?

Should you work for a carrier
based on here-say?

I was reading some posts the other day from beginning drivers in the United States talking about the type of carrier they wanted to work for and I found it interesting to view the conversation from someone within the industry. The chat was really about large carriers in the States which will remain nameless, but you would instantly know from social media. The conversation started with who should you work for and quickly went into why you wouldn’t want to work for different companies based on what people thought was important to them.

speeding-truck

The first part of the conversation was by a young person that didn’t want to be employed by a certain carrier because they have been seen on social media having many incidents and are the laughing stock of the industry.

The second part of the conversation started on another large carrier that a person saw many of their trucks drive through their small town so they figured they would get home regularly. When they called the Recruiting department they were told that their lanes didn’t go through that town very often and they would not get home. They were advised to move to another area and the person asked if the carrier would pick up the tab for the move? The carrier responded, “Once you move give us a call.” Needless to say the person wasn’t impressed with the answer.

The third part of the conversation moved to another carrier also large and well known but with a different twist. This carrier I have known for much of my driving career and was always impressed with their trucks. The conversation went to fact that this carrier did inspections on the inside cabs of their trucks and if they found it dirty they would charge the drivers a fine. One person commented that half his fleet would be on death row if they did inspections at his fleet, I thought that was funny. The complaint was that the person that started the company was a retired Colonel from the military and was very strict with their equipment. I believe you can be as strict as you want when you fit the bill for $100,000 piece of equipment, just saying. Like I said before they have a very good looking fleet so that says something.

There was one common denominator in all of these comments and stories, no one that was commenting had ever worked for these carriers. Everything was based on one person’s idea of the company or what they heard or saw on social media. Even the person that talked to the recruiter and wasn’t happy with the answers didn’t talk to another driver from that company. They either took information from social media, thought advertisements offered all the facts, and took advice from others that aren’t in the industry. There was even a comment about someone that drives and stays out for six months at a time and then goes home for a week. If you think that is the norm in trucking you’re wrong! That may be that person’s personal choice which is fine, but you can’t then go and say that all truck drivers stay out for six months on the road.

If you are looking into a job in the trucking industry do your homework but do it from trusted sources. Listen to shows on the trucking industry, read respectable publications from the industry, and ask questions from people with actual experience. As they say in the movies, “Get the facts, just the facts!” If you are looking for quality carriers that hire new drivers check out the TTSAO Carrier Group.

TTSAO-Carrier-Group-banner

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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