Tag Archives: TTSAO Carrier Group

Should you switch carriers for the money?

The fight for drivers is becoming intense as wages go up to attract talent. With salaries over $80,000 being promised by some carriers drivers are starting to perk up and look for work else where even though they may have been happy at their existing carrier.

I was reading a question the other day in an article where a spouse was looking for suggestions from other drivers as to whether her husband should move from one carrier to another as he was the sole income earner for the family. He was working for a good carrier, home every night, had seniority, Union support, benefits, etc. I won’t say the name but it is a well respected carrier in the industry.

As a single family income he of course is looking to make as much money as possible and feels he has reached his income potential with his current carrier. He is seeing the big offers by other carriers, applied for the job, and received an offer. His dilemma now, does he take the job? The new carrier is offering an over the road job and requires him to be away 5-6 days per week. The family is okay with that but will he really make more money?

speeding-truck

This is an important question that people don’t always think through because the salary potential gets in the way. We see the dollar signs and that can cloud our judgement causing us to make the wrong decision. Let’s break it down a bit more.

First the salary you see in an advertisement is often an average or above average salary of what is possible for a driver. If all the stars align you could make “X” number of dollars. It is against the law to put out false advertising so you could make that income if everything is right. The world of transportation doesn’t work that way however and each driver has their own work pace. Some drivers are slower, some have more experience, some have better travel lanes, some have certain equipment, so there are many variables when it comes to how much income a person can make even in the same fleet.

Delays are the next variable that can really hurt the income stated by a carrier. If you get delayed for long periods of time that can affect your earnings. Expenses on the road can take a large chunk of income from a driver. Like the driver above he was home every night, slept in his own bed, showered at home, and possibly took his lunch to work each day. If he takes the job over the road he may now have to pay for showers, buy meals on the road, and buy personal items and equipment for his truck. These are all expenses that many times comes out of the drivers own pocket and income.

If you leave one carrier to drive for another carrier that may give you a raise of $10,000 but if you have to put out more money for expenses you really aren’t ahead of the game. You’re just taking that money and giving it to the truck stop or other vendor. Do your homework if looking at new opportunities as they may not always be what they seem. It’s what you want for a career that’s important, not just the money!

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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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Truck Training is a Relationship

The TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) had their 4th annual conference at the end of February with a lot of good information shared with attendees. There were new awards, many great discussions around truck training and how schools or carriers can work closely together. Check out the conference recap here.

A panel discussion led by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight and consisting on Leanne Quail of Paul Quail Transport, Matt Richardson of Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists Inc, Garth Pitzel of Bison Transport, and Philip Fletcher of Commercial Heavy Equipment Training talked about carrier and school relationships and how it affects students coming into the industry. One of the areas that I thought was interesting about the panel discussion was the fact that relationships between carrier, school, and student were extremely important in the success of a student becoming a professional driver.

Geoff-Topping

Schools are working closely with carriers and developing strong relationships because they understand that carriers are playing a major part in truck training even if they don’t provide it. I have always said to new drivers that their first point of contact should be with a carrier of choice to find out what type of training they require and if they work with certain schools. This allows a student to get training knowing they are able to be hired once they graduate from the school.

TTSAO-School-banner-2018

Good certified schools also understand that truck training is more than just passing a test and that training is a foundation for your whole career. Having that relationship with a carrier allows a school to prepare that student for the carrier style of operation so the student is successful at the end of the training.

Best-practices-panel

Carriers are investing in a student when they sign on and much of their orientation is focused on competency and skills training when a new driver starts with the fleet. The carrier’s job is to groom that driver once they have the basic skills and working with certain schools is offering that comfort that a new driver has been trained to certain standards. Although many carriers have formal mentor programs they know that mentorship and training happens best when it is a natural fit between the new driver and trainer. Many of us can remember our mentor or trainer when we got started hopefully as good memories. Carriers realize this and are focusing on soft skills and the customer service side of the improving a driver. Trust is a main factor in a relationship between a school, student, and carrier. Careers, safety, and the future depend on it.

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As a new student or driver it is important for you to spend time building that relationship with a school and a carrier. Go to events and meet the recruiters. Call carriers and find out which school they work with in your area and why. Talk to the schools about their training programs and which carriers they work with to evaluate what job types are available. Start that relationship before you even choose a training provider and it will help streamline the process of becoming a truck driver. Not only will that save you time, resources, and money, but will also fast track you into a quality carrier right from the start. If you need help getting started then www.ttsao.com is a good place to start.

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 for Truck Drivers. 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 Kicks off 4th Annual Conference

The TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) is kicking off their 4th annual conference today in Mississauga Ontario with a full agenda for two days taking truck training to new heights and informing the industry of developments in training. Last year even the general meeting had a full audience as people arrived and attended meetings by the various groups within TTSAO.

TTSAO-2019

The conference will begin today with a Board of Directors meeting at 10:30 am to welcome in the new board members and discuss issues with the change over. After lunch meetings with the insurance group and carrier groups will have open meetings discussing their goals and achievements for the year and which projects are in motion. Last year the Insurance Group had a panel discussion with questions from the audience on particular issues to do with insurance and the industry.

TTSAO December 11th Meeting

Once the two specialized groups complete their meetings there will be a general meeting for everyone to update members and those in attendance about the focus for the TTSAO for the upcoming year. The day will finish with a visit to the trade show area and a cocktail hour to close out the day.

Day two of the conference is where the real meat of the program lies with a full day of programming starting off with breakfast and opening remarks from the TTSAO President and Chairperson.

After welcome messages and updates the program moves into full swing starting off with a presentation from Kimberly Biback of Sharp Transportation on social media, a panel discussion on training issues, and a panel on how other associations work with TTSAO round out the morning with trade show breaks in between.

After lunch is when the newest development begins with the 1st ever Instructor of the Year Award being presented by PayBright and the TTSAO. This is the first time the award has been presented and will be awarded to an instructor that has shown professionalism in training and meets the criteria set out for the award. The instructor must be employed by a TTSAO school or associated carrier. You can learn more about the award here.

PayBright-logo

After the award ceremony there will be a health break with Healthy Trucker and Michael Thompson of ISB will offer a presentation on technology that helps determine where a student fits best in the industry. Closing remarks from the conference committee and president will round out the day and close the conference.

The conference has been sold out in past years and the membership grows each year. The conference has been well run in the past and is sure to be a hit again this year. If you were unable to make it this year watch for post coverage of the event at www.ttsao.com

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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What Type of Experience Do You Need as a New Driver?

A friend of mine graduated from a school with a new commercial drivers licence. He has completed training, did well on his test, and is now looking for a position with a company. He has been told by many carriers that he needs at least one year of experience before they will send him over the road to drive across the country. He has a couple of opportunities that would take a chance on hiring him, but he is not sure he is ready to go out on the highway. He says he prefers to stay close to home and has the opportunity to work at a local job picking up garbage for a local waste company. His dilemma is if he accepts the job at the waste company will that experience go towards having one year of driving experience? My answer is yes and no!

There is no right or wrong answer to the question of experience because much of it depends on the equipment, company, and type of work you are involved in. Let’s break it down so you can see how the experience will help or not help my friend.

Getting the job at the waste company will offer him some experience in the industry. He will be around equipment and will be conducting items like pre-trip inspections, city driving experience, and possibly offer advancement in the industry. What he will lack at the waste company depending on the equipment is the experience of driving a tractor trailer as much of the equipment in those types of operations is class “D” Straight truck equipment. He may not be gaining experience that will help him later transition to being an over the road highway driver. Once he moves to another job after a year he may be even more rusty because he hasn’t used those driving skills for a long time. After a year in a straight truck companies will still look at his experience as a new driver so he may not be so far ahead. He would need additional training.

Man driving tractor

If my friend was to go directly to work for someone that operates the type of equipment he was trained on such as a tractor trailer he would be gaining the experience for the equipment he was trained on. He could find a local company if that’s what he chooses and that would be a great way to gather experience for the open road. He would have more options after that year because he would have verifiable experience on over the road equipment.

It is important to gain experience directly after your training for that training to be engraved in your mind and become something that is routine. There are many licenced drivers that have never turned a wheel because they have decided to go in another career direction after training. They may be licenced but they aren’t experienced and are effectively at the starting point again. I am a firm believer in a step type of program for new drivers but it is important that program includes the type of equipment they were trained on. Look for experience in your trained type of equipment and it will work towards that experience marker.

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 for truck drivers. 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 Conference Best Practices for Training Panel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, February 6th, 2019 – Hamilton, ON:

The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is pleased to announce the selected panelists for the Best Practices for Training Panel session taking place at the upcoming 4th Annual conference taking place at the Centre for Health and Safety Innovation in Mississauga on February 27th and 28th, 2019.

Geoff Topping, Vice President of Human Resources at Challenger Motor Freight has agreed to moderate the panel consisting of two TTSAO Carrier Members and two TTSAO Full Membered schools. Included on this panel are:

  • Garth Pitzel, Director, Safety and Driver Development at Bison Transport 
  • Leanne Quail, Operations Manager for Paul Quail Transport 
  • Matt Richardson, Sales and Operations Managers at Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists
  • Philip Fletcher, Operations Manager, Commercial Heavy Equipment Training 

Gerald Carroll, TTSAO Conference Committee Chair, says “What a great opportunity to have all of these industry experts together to share their thoughts on what they believe to be the best practices for training. With Geoff Topping as the moderator, this is sure to be a must-see panel at our annual conference” 

The conference is once again laid out in a two-day format; day one will include a TTSAO Board of Directors’ Meeting (Directors only) followed an open TTSAO Insurance Group Meeting, an open TTSAO Carrier Group Meeting and then the Association’s Annual General Meeting which is open to all members and those who are thinking of joining. 

After the General Meeting, there will be a cocktail party and registrants will be able to visit companies and sponsors who are participating in the trade show. 

A full day of exciting presentations and panels will take place on Day 2. 

Once again Guy Broderick, TTSAO Carrier Group Chairperson and Driver Training Supervisor for Apps Transport, has agreed to serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

The conference registration form, agenda, sponsorship details and more information are available at

TTSAO.com.

For more information regarding this press release 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 kim@ttsao.com

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Have Good Customer Service Skills-Try Driving Coach

We have a bad habit of focusing much of our efforts on getting drivers into driving trucks especially over the road in our industry. I won’t lie to you that is where the bulk of the jobs are in the transportation industry, but those certainly aren’t the only jobs. A carrier can be anyone from a company that transports freight over the road to someone that transports people. Those options are also available for traveling long distances or just around town. So how do you choose one option over another and do you have the desired skills that may set you ahead of the pack when it comes to the job application process?

Good customer service skills are an asset to any driver hauling freight or people but especially people. If in the past you have developed those skills through working at a retail establishment or had additional training in that area then that may help you transition into a certain line of work as a driver. If you are looking for short haul options or a steady schedule then this type of work may also be appealing to you. What type of work am I talking about?

Coach-Buses jobs

Coach work of course! We often don’t think about it but all those tourists have to get to the casino and back somehow. That hockey team needs a bus driver to take them on the road so they can win those playoff games. Coach driving can be a good career for someone that has good customer service skills and wants a somewhat steady schedule although many truck carriers can offer those same type of schedule options. We often think of the buses that operate around town or school bus drivers with many kids on board, but those aren’t the only options available. Think about all the buses required for casino operations, hockey teams, specialized charters, and other operations such as regular travel routes and transport of the population. There are many options available and a coach licence also offers driving options below that licence as well.

Find a carrier that has your type of work here!

TTSAO-carrierl-banner-2018Coach driving is also a very viable option for female drivers that may not want to work with freight such as flatbed or other physically demanding types of cargo. For the most part coach driving is a clean atmosphere where safe driving and managing people will set you ahead in the field. If you’ve never thought of operating a bus over the road or in your home town then it may be worth investigating especially if you are good with people and have a neat appearance. Not sure where you options are in the industry? I would suggest you start by talking with a TTSAO Certified school in your area or contacting one of the bus carriers in your area to find out what training you need to drive a bus. It may set you off to a new career path that you didn’t even know existed.

TTSAO-School-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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Reading between the lines of an interview

Interviews can be tough! You work hard to get prepared for the interview, work on your answers with friends and family, and pray before the interview that everything is in order. You get through the interview sweating the whole way with no direction or indicators as to whether you did well or not. Did you get the job? If you didn’t get the job what did you do wrong so you know to improve in that area for next time? If you did do well why did they not ask you to move to the next step? All these factors can play on your mind as a potential applicant for a job and many times the only indication of success is being asked for another interview. So how do you handle the interview process without driving yourself crazy?

This is a typical scenario for many new applicants and I recently came across this question on a social media platform where the person asked if they did poorly in the interview process because they hadn’t been asked for another interview before the current interview ended. Just because you haven’t been asked back for an interview doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful as there are many steps and pieces to hiring someone.

man talking on telephone

When I was in charge of a fleet our interview process was quite involved and included many departments. As a Fleet Supervisor I was the first step in the process. I would accept the applications and check to see that the applicant met the basic criteria for the job. Did they have the required experience and training, did they have a good driving record and so on. Once their resume met our criteria and I felt the candidate would be a good fit for a position available they would be called in for an initial interview and road test with me. If the interview was successful they would be scheduled for a panel interview with other members of the management team. The management team would then have an additional meeting to discuss the applicant to make sure they were a proper fit for the company.

Depending on the size of the company and the operation this process can take anywhere from days to months. Our operation was very involved and it was much more than hoping someone could drive well. They had to have customer service skills, knowledge of hauling hazardous materials, be physically fit, and much more. So if you are going through the interview process don’t be discouraged because the interviewer didn’t book you for another interview right away. It doesn’t mean you weren’t successful there just may be other factors required in the process before they could book that meeting or interview. Just ask when an appropriate time will be to hear back from them or for you to follow up and have confidence in your abilities. Understanding the interview process is the first step to being hired on as a professional driver.

Check out these carriers that are hiring new drivers.

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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Linamar holds Job Fair-January 26th, 2019

Linamar Transportation is holding a job fair on January 26th, 2019 for those looking into opportunities with a top carrier. Learn more through the poster below.

job fair jan 26 school posterLearn more at www.linamar.com

 

 

 

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Welcome new members Altanic Transportation and Keypoint Carriers

Welcome new members in the Carrier Group Altanic Transportation and Keypoint Carriers. Welcome to the TTSAO family.

Keypoint Carriers LtdKeypoint carriers Logo
Contact: Dave Lord
Email: dlord@keypointcarriers.com
Website: www.keypointcariers.com

Altanic Transportation Inc.Altanic Logo
Contact: Roger Douthwaite
Email: roger@altanic.ca
Website: www.altanic.ca

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TTSAO Training Already Ahead of National Training Standards

TTSAO certified training is already ahead of the standards called for across the Country and you may be asking yourself why you should care? Training is training isn’t it? The fact is that higher training may be setting you up to be a leader in the industry in the near future.

The trucking industry made the news again this week, this time out West in Saskatchewan. Training standards were the main topic of conversation in the light of another truck crash. Ontario and a couple other Provinces are the only areas requiring Mandatory Entry Level Training ( M.E.L.T.) for truck drivers and the call is for a national standard across the Country. Ontario implemented the program in 2017 calling for a minimum of 103.5 hours of training to be completed before proceeding to the licence test. Provinces are calling for all Provinces to adopt mandatory training so that there is a standard in the industry. Even those same drivers that have normally fought against increased regulations are now calling for it due to recent incidents.

Here is the source story from CTV News that came out this week on the issue. https://saskatoon.ctvnews.ca/professor-interviews-truckers-across-canada-calls-for-standard-truck-driving-training-nation-wide-1.4214217

In a recent meeting with training schools, the Ministry of Ontario, and insurance providers for the industry everyone agrees on one thing, there is a problem in the industry. We have a driver shortage of qualified candidates, insurance providers are struggling with increased incident rates, and the courtesy and driver professionalism of the past is slipping away with each generation. Big issues to deal with and little options available. To date the answer has been to add more regulations onto the industry using technology but in my opinion that seems to be hampering progress instead of helping it.

TTSAO December 11th MeetingThe Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) have always provided training with programs over 200 hours in length and featuring all aspects of the job from Hours of Service to driving techniques. The course minimum has been in place for years before M.E.L.T. came along. You may be asking why this should matter to you?

The industry as a whole are now starting to look at driver finishing programs and extended training curriculums to help produce a better driver. Once some data has been received from the pilot M.E.L.T. programs in place I am sure that a national program will be implemented nationwide. One thing for sure is that the Government has to protect everyone’s rights across the Country and with that you can be sure that minimum standards will be implemented over maximum standards. That being said if you want to improve your chances to be at the forefront of a career in transportation and want to be hired by the top carriers in the Country then proper training and operating as a professional driver will be required. Once a national program is introduced then those with more than the minimum will be at the forefront and TTSAO schools offer that maximum advantage. You can find a TTSAO school in your area at www.ttsao.com

TTSAO-School-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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