Tag Archives: Youth

Making our Industry Attractive to Millennials

How do we make our industry attractive to young people? Recruiting events are in high gear this Spring with multiple events happening each month starting in February and continuing into early Summer. Having attended many of these events across the Province I can tell you from first hand experience that the events are well attended with many people looking at the trucking industry. The question, is it enough to attract people to your team?

The argument is still out on whether there is an actual driver shortage or a qualified driver shortage in the industry? The real question is how do we make this job attractive to the next generation? With older generations cool trucks had a lot to do with it, following in your Father’s footsteps, or a love of working with machinery would be a big draw to starting a career in transportation. Those avenues have dried up as of late with fewer people coming in from those areas and more immigrant workers looking for a future in Canada.

There was a recent article in Truck News talking about the image of trucking and what we need to do to attract the younger generation. It talked about demographics and the future of the industry if we don’t do something to make the industry more attractive and soon. You can read the article here – https://www.trucknews.com/human-resources/you-really-have-some-work-to-do/1003090712/

Having Millennials myself there is a difference into what they want and what trucking can offer. Many younger people are looking for that lifestyle balance which is tough in trucking. Older generations have put working in front of many other areas of their lives and the younger generation doesn’t want to do that. By focusing more on lifestyle it is taking them longer to grow up for some and even harder to get into a career. This is why the gaming industry is so attractive, it’s what they do. Add on the pressure of social media where young people can see another person their age make millions by creating a YouTube channel and they find that even more attractive. Who can blame them?

Millennials- how to attract them to your team?

When we turn back to the transportation industry we see exactly the opposite of all of those things. We see long hours at work, we see a lifestyle that doesn’t offer the compensation or the fun of what young people are doing now. it’s also not where their friends are heading. Even though the career steps are there young people don’t see how the hard work is going to better their lives even though we as a different generation have lived it and try to tell them about it. The real question is what are we doing to address those issues and make trucking look sexy? How are we going to offer a work / lifestyle balance, earn a decent income, and offer an opportunity to be a star or do work that is cool? If you can implement those items into your recruiting I believe you will attract young people, I know it is easier said than done!

My suggestions are as follows:

  • We need to get create an industry where the hours are shorter such as a 40 hour work week.
  • Change the compensation and career towards a skilled trade so there is career progression.
  • Show the technology side of the business and the types of jobs needed in the future.
  • Show how cool the work is through it’s independence and travel.
  • Improve the trucking image as a whole to be more attractive to the younger generation.

Do you have those elements in your recruiting campaign? If there is a way of creating them then you will be a front runner for success.

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 does it take to be a good truck driving instructor?

Time have changed since the old days of trucking where your friend or neighbour that owned or had access to a truck could jump in and teach you to drive on the back roads. The days are gone where you could travel the roadways watching your Dad shift gears and interact with other people in the industry and have it be part of your DNA when you got older knowing that you were going to drive those big rigs. That was the way many truck drivers used to learn to drive and many of them are at the top of the industry today. Things have changed from the 70s and 80s and it is a different industry and different world today.

Class photo

Today to become a driver in the industry you have to complete a course of a certain amount of hours, pay thousands of dollars for training, and keep yourself trained with various regulations throughout your career. This is due to the increased incidents on our highways, changes to the type of driver coming into the industry, and changes in the industry due to technology and safety. Those changes happened many years ago but it created another problem as to how qualified the instructor was teaching the new person entering the industry.

In the past we have had instructors of different types and styles. Some more qualified than others and some much more caring. There have been stories of instructors with two years of experience or less becoming instructors. There have been stories of instructors talking on the phone doing business for their school not paying attention to the student on the road. There have been reports of instructors teaching someone a certain route so that they pass the test but not showing them true driving techniques. So what makes a good instructor?

When I learned to drive back in the 80s I was part of the first group. I learned off friends that were drivers in a sort of informal school that trained on just what I needed at the time. There were less regulations back then so all of my training was specifically on driving techniques and not log books and other issues. I learned on equipment with real loads on the roads of the day. I was on a graduated system of learning starting with smaller trucks before driving larger vehicles and working the city before operating on the highways. Many of my colleagues believe this was the best way to learn to drive a truck and developing a person into a professional driver.

Nominate Your Instructor for the
PayBright /TTSAO -Instructor of the Year Award

Instructor Nomination Form (Rev.02)

In my opinion a good instructor is someone that is passionate about making our industry better. They have the experience and qualifications to teach someone properly and have the people skills to ensure they have learned the proper techniques to give them a good start on a new career in the transportation industry. Most of the good instructors I know in the industry also have had good careers as professional drivers in the industry themselves. Being a good instructor starts with caring and being a leader in the industry as a driver. If looking a school for your next career ask some questions about the instructors teaching the courses. It will make a difference in your career, it did for me.

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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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.

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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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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.

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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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Give the Gift of a Career for Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of you in the transportation industry and Happy Boxing Day to those that celebrate as well. We’ve come to Christmas-Wreaththe end of 2018 and we all can take some time to relax and reflect as we get ready for 2019. As we were exchanging gifts over the Holiday Season it struck me that for some the perfect gift may have been the start on a new career.

I know many of you feel the way I do about the trucking industry in the fact that it has given us so much in the way of experience, opportunities, and friendships. So if the industry has given us so much over a lifetime what a great gift to give to somebody. Now I haven’t fleshed everything out as to how this would work but it may be the answer to a variety of issues. It may make a great gift, it may give people an insight into the industry, and it may help with the recruiting shortage. You’re probably thinking at this point how you would give someone a career?

Here is how I see it working. The trucking industry is intriguing to many people. I talk with people all the time and they say, “ I have always thought about driving those big trucks.” What if we were able to show them? Maybe the schools or carriers can put together gift cards for people that you can buy a person a gift card for a ride in a truck? This way people can go for a ride and get a feel for the trucks and see if that is something they would like to do. Maybe there can be a way of buying someone a course for their licence upgrade or even a full course. Now I know that you can just pay for someone’s course but people won’t do that without a serious commitment. If we can give people a window to peek into our world maybe they may see some of the things that many of us already have seen and experienced.

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If you could give someone the gift of a course and they were to take it seriously think of the gift you have given them. You have given them a lifetime of income, a world of opportunities for the future, and friendships that will last forever, tell me what better gift is that? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and may 2019 be a successful year for everyone.

TTSAO 2019

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 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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TTSAO Meeting Focuses on Instructor Qualifications

Driving instructors seemed to be the focus of the meeting at yesterdays Truck Training School Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Meeting on December 11th which held a number of panels from insurance professionals to large carriers and had a full house of attendees. As I watched the moderators ask questions of the panel one common thread was instructor qualifications. Even the Ministry of Transportation is looking into instructors in the light of their M.E.L.T program implemented in 2017.

TTSAO December 11th Meeting

Board Member Gerald Carroll started things off with information on the TTSAO Conference coming up on February 27th and 28th 2019. An outline of the agenda and sponsorship opportunities were explained and Charlie Charalambous talked about the new instructor award being presented and sponsored by PayBright. You can register for the conference and learn more about the Instructor Award on the TTSAO website at www.ttsao.comTTSAO 2019Maybe this kicked it off in my mind that the focus was on instructor qualifications but each panel seemed to have that common thread. The first update by the Ministry of Transportation offered a look at the Mandatory Entry Level Program ( M.E.L.T.) for drivers and are expanding the program for “D” licensed drivers. It was mentioned that the next step for the M.E.L.T program would be instructor certification and qualifications. Currently the Ministry is collecting data over a 3-5 year period as to how well the program is working.TTSAO December 11th MeetingLisa Arseneau moderated the discussion for the Carrier Panel which included carriers Challenger, Kriska, and Rosedale offering tips on where drivers need help when applying for jobs with many carriers. Backing up and more complete training was commented as an issue for new applicants. All the carriers mentioned they were happy to have a M.E.L.T. as a base for looking at new applicants, and the carriers mentioned that positive promotion of the industry is required to bring in new people to the industry. Instructor certification and recognized teaching strategies were all good steps to improvement in training from a carrier standpoint.TTSAO December 11th MeetingA discussion with the Insurance Group was moderated by Guy Broderick and the key point of this panel was instructor qualifications again. The insurance industry is trying to change some of the ways they insure carriers to help bring in more people to the industry. What they are seeing through their data is that many of the severe crashes are from inexperienced drivers and they feel instructor certification would be a big step to helping insure new people in the industry.

The meeting was closed off with an update from the MTCU ( Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities) on the training amounts allotted for schools to train new students. Chairperson Kim Richardson closed the meeting with remarks to the full house.TTSAO December 11th MeetingOverall the training industry is working very hard to bring the status of the driver in the transportation industry to professional levels. TTSAO is at the forefront of many of the talks with Ministry officials and is moving the mark forward, but as mentioned by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight, “We all need to do our part to promote the professionalism of the industry.”

Improving the outlook of the industry will go along way to helping all of us for the long term and hopefully will solve the recruiting issues in the industry. If you are currently an instructor in the industry look for certification training in the near future. It’s being talked about by all groups in the industry. Register for the TTSAO Conference in February by clicking here.TTSAO 2019About 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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PMTC’s Young Leaders to hold General meeting December 18th and raise money for food bank

The Young Leaders Group (YLG) of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) is hosting their annual Christmas breakfast and general meeting.

pmtc-young-leaders-logo

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 in Cambridge, ON at Sharp Transportation Systems’ offices located at 1225 Balmoral Rd. Registration will be from 8:00am until 8:30am. The meeting will begin at 8:30am with the general meeting followed by a career story with guest speaker Shari Lagala, Health and Safety Training Manager at Patene Building Supplies. The meeting will wrap up at 10:30.

Both PMTC members and non-members are welcome. If you are 40 and under, not currently a member of the PMTC and are interested in the PMTC Young Leaders Group, please feel free to register to attend and learn about this great group! The cost to register is a donation to the food bank. The YLG will be accepting monetary and/or food donations which will go to the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank.

Matt Richardson, PMTC YLG Chairperson, had this to say about the upcoming event: “The PMTC YLG is happy to be completing our 3rd annual Christmas meeting and educational session. The turn out the past couple of years has been great and we are hoping the same for this year. As in previous years, the event will feature a charity component with donations (food and monetary) being accepted for the Cambridge Self Help Food Bank. This is an excellent opportunity for PMTC and PMTC YLG members to support the Cambridge Food Bank heading in to the holiday season, along with getting together for a networking and learning opportunity”.

To register, e-mail info@pmtc.ca, or call 905-827-0587.  Space is limited so don’t delay!

This seminar is being offered as part of the YLG’s mission to bring value to the next generation through education, discussions and networking. We’d love to see you there. Get out! Get involved! Get inspired!

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Trucking Offers Flexible Options for a Career

It’s been a sad week of news so far this week with many manufacturing plants announcing closings and changes to their workforce. It is always sad to see people losing their jobs and having to look to either retraining, moving, or searching for new work. General Motors announced the closing of several plants across North America this week and Maple Leaf Foods announced the moving their plant from Toronto to London Ontario. Good for some people bad for others. Those good jobs in manufacturing have been on the decline for decades since our economy began to buy on global scale and that’s what makes trucking such a lucrative and viable option.

Careers these days are not about working at a plant because your family before you worked there. Those were the old ways of thinking where you got a good job and then worked at a company for thirty years. In today’s world working at a company for five years is a major career and the secret to longevity is to keep retraining yourself and improving your knowledge of technology. Those not willing to learn and upgrade will find themselves left behind in a drastically changing world. There was a company that announced up to 800 new positions in the region at the same time of the other closings, all the jobs announced were in technology. Start upgrading!

Technology

We may be surprised today but this has been happening for years. I personally went back to school many years ago to learn some new skills when I wanted to move up in the company I was working with. At that time four drivers in our fleet were in a race for promotion to become supervisor of the fleet, myself included. All had years of experience, good work record, and respect from the team. This was a time however when everything was becoming more computerized and items like expense reports and dispatch services were transferring from paper to computers. As I had returned to school and was upgrading my computer skills where the other candidates had not and that got me the position. This is one of the reasons I am big on self education to this day as it will offer you so many opportunities for the future.

Let’s get back to trucking and the benefits of flexibility. I think the transportation industry may be one of the only industries that can offer you that life-long career due to the many options available. If we take the news of plants closing and jobs going to Mexico that is a terrible thing for workers here, no doubt. For trucking however that will offer many news lanes and an increase in jobs for individuals. If you pursue a job in trucking there are many opportunities in the seat but there will also be other positions required in safety, dispatch, administration, and other services specific to transportation.

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Making high wages in the manufacturing sector won’t be sustainable for the future even if we want it to be. Labour costs are generally the highest expenses a company can have and will always be looking at that expense when trying to survive in a global economy. Transportation offers flexibility with change and even if products are made outside the Country they will need to be transported into locations 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, 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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Career Training Over Job Training

Am I suggesting that you don’t get job training? Of course not everyone needs some type of training on the job and that is normal and expected. What I am suggesting is if you are new to the industry or career that you are looking for that you consider career training as opposed to one specific type of job training. Let me share an example with you.

Bob is looking for a new job as he recently lost his job from a previous employer. He is 45 years old with a wife and two kids and needs something more stable. The industry he was in before has become unstable and he wants something that will offer him steady work. Bob is currently looking at two opportunities both in the transportation industry because he has heard there is steady work. One opportunity is with a company handling administration work in load planning and the other is over the road as a professional truck driver. Bob is eligible for funding assistance for the new career if he takes the driver training, but he is not sure he wants to go out on the road. The real question is which opportunity should he take?

As someone who has been in the industry for many years I often come across people trying to decide on job opportunities similar to this. They have an immediate opportunity for one position but are able to get subsidized training for another option that may take longer to complete but offer more options for the future.

Every decision here will be a personal decision for the person deciding. Personal issues, income availability, and work ambitions all come into play in the decision. If we were to use Bob’s scenario above and assuming Bob had the income to keep him a float for approximately eight weeks. Then the driving position would be the direction I would suggest he go, here is why.

Driver-in-truck

If he takes the first option of the load planning position he would learn about that particular job and it may move him up the career ladder through that carrier or another company with similar positions. Here is the problems I see with this position. You will only be understanding the job from your job focus for the most part. Your career future may be limited due to positions available in the future if something happens to your job. Depending on where your future takes you it may not have the respect of the team below you if you haven’t got a true understanding of the road. Now I am certainly not saying that someone who hasn’t driven before can’t have a solid career in trucking, it just takes more homework.

If Bob takes the option of going through a truck training course he will have more options available for the future. He may not want to drive forever but driving positions are the most positions available now and in the future if someone is looking for steady work. Having a commercial driver’s licence allows for a variety a variety of opportunities from local work to highway operations allowing for more variety on the job depending on the carrier. There are more options for finding the type of work of preference and the income potential is high right from the start. In the training course Bob will learn all aspects of the transportation industry and that will offer a good base of understanding and respect from others in the industry should Bob move off the road at a later date.

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Looking at your career options farther than your current opportunities can be tough at first but if you think about the big picture you will see that many times the longer the opportunity for access the more opportunities it will produce down the road. Of course that’s just my opinion.

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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