Tag Archives: Youth

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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CBC’s Marketplace Test Truck Safety and Training in the Industry

CBC Marketplace did a test on truck training to see how easy it was for someone to get a commercial licence and how much training was involved. We are including the story here to show you the importance of seeking out certified training sources when beginning a new career.

Read and view the story
on CBC Marketplace here.

 

Find a TTSAO Certified School in your area

 

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Marijuana’s Legal But Should You Do It?

There are many celebrating this morning as Cannabis becomes legal across Canada. Legalization has been a source of discussion at many events over the last couple of years leading up to this golden day and the idea of legalized drugs in the marketplace has revived many of the funny situations from the sixties and seventies. But should you do it?

Whether you smoke Marijuana or not is totally a personal choice and I’m not here to judge you. I smoked it back in the seventies and am still here to tell you about it and many people I know have smoked it at one time or another. In fact I know many people who use it medically and recreationally and found it has helped them both feel better and relax better because of it. Just because Marijuana is now legal it still may be a problem especially in the World of transportation. Safety is the centre of the controversy around the legalization of Marijuana in the workplace!

Man-smokingI have been to countless seminars and conferences around drugs in the workplace being with safety associations and other transportation boards and safety in the workplace is now the main focus. With alcohol things were a little more black and white when it came to impairment but Marijuana stays in the body longer and affects people differently and this is where the problem comes in. At what point is someone impaired? Of course workplaces have to protect themselves and since impairment can be dangerous before it is even reached at a legal level workplace policies are the way to try and police that.

You may have noticed an increase in restrictions in policies or notifications in your workplace and this may affect those of you looking for work in the transportation industry. Truck drivers crossing the border are required to be drug free, but drivers that stay in Canada have been in a grey area. Safety in the workplace will also affect those in other positions such as forklift operators, mechanics, and other operations. Many workplaces are putting blanket style policies in place to protect themselves from a safety and legal standpoint. So what does this mean to you?

As a truck driver you will always be under the eye of the safety program so it is suggested that if you work in any safety sensitive position Marijuana shouldn’t be on your menu. Make sure you know what the policy is at your workplace and the guidelines around use and testing. Many policies have been updated to allow for random testing in the workplace so understand your policy. If you do use Cannabis know what you take and the frequency of use to ensure you sure not impaired accidentally. If you are not employed and looking at the industry for future employment realize it may hurt your chances of employment for certain companies or positions. I will leave use to you and it may seem like the time to get on the bandwagon but it may be hurting you in the long run so beware.

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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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Limousines are commercial vehicles too

Certainly by now you have heard of the horrific limousine accident that happened last week in New York State killing 20 people including all 18 people in the limousine and two pedestrians that were on location at the time of the incident. This incident happened at a dangerous intersection that recently was ruled off limits for trucks due to the dangerous nature of the roadways that came to a “T” stop off a steep hill. The people inside were all celebrating a birthday event and had hired the limo so they didn’t have to drive and would be safe. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims. You can read the actual story here if you missed it earlier. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/20-people-killed-vehicle-crash-new-york-state-police-say-n917541. The crash is currently being investigated and details will come out as they are updated.

Often former truck and bus drivers will turn to limousine driving as they wind down their career from driving over the road. This is a great way to earn extra money and can be very lucrative with the right company. The limousine business offers a variety of ways to make money from a single vehicle owner to a large multi-vehicle operator and I often see driveways with five or six limousines parked of different sizes. If this looks lucrative to you then starting a limousine company may be the way to go to create a unique business. What you have to look out for is the fact that you are now starting your own carrier and will now be a commercial vehicle operator.

Depending on the size of the vehicle you may be starting your own bus company that will require commercial vehicle operator’s licence, commercial driver’s licence, insurance, and so on. Operating under those situations will require vehicle inspections, driver training, commercial operating procedures. A class “F” licence is required for ambulances and small limousines and depending on the size of the vehicle other licences like “C” for coach or even “B” licence may be required or suggested.

Coach Limousine

Just because a carrier is small in nature or looked at as outside of trucking it still requires the attention and detail of a larger operation. Vehicle inspections and driver training are extremely important as we investigate the horrific incident in New York State. We have yet to hear about the details as to whether the driver knew the road or the vehicle had an equipment failure. Either way the family of the people in that limousine will be grieving for a long time. Commercial driving needs to be taken seriously from the carrier and the driver, lives are at stake and it doesn’t matter how small or large the operation.

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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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Is it time for an immigration shift in trucking?

If we want to improve our industry we need to do more than just fill the seats. Foreign workers are making up a majority of the transportation industry and much of it is due to a low barrier of entry compared to other occupations according to a recent report by Newcom Media. The report suggests that almost 50% of the drivers in Canada are now immigrants of South Asian background and the Government is looking at increasing immigration support to fill even more seats much needed in the industry. The question is do we want an industry that has people behind the wheel that are just using it as a stepping stone for a new land or do we really want people with a passion for the industry? The report by Newcom suggests that it may be ease of entry over passion, you can read the full report here and decide for yourself. https://www.todaystrucking.com/the-changing-face-of-trucking-a-demographic-shift/ man talking on telephoneMy parents immigrated to Canada back in 1962 so I understand the importance of bringing people to Canada. We need to fill jobs as drivers in our industry and I understand the needs there as well, but are we getting the right people for the job. The report suggested that ease of entry is the reason many are choosing truck driving. If that’s the case then people are coming into the industry not because of an interest or passion for trucking but an easy way to come into the Country. Are we losing that passion in the industry that was once there from those that loved to work around machines or that person that loved to drive. People are getting into the industry due to lack of other opportunities, but could that be the problem?

I believe our immigration laws need to change to where we are bringing people into the Country that not only want to be here, but have a passion for the industry they are trying to get into. Every industry has shortfall of people in general so should we be doing a better job of matching the people coming into the Country to the industries available? If doctors from another Country are coming here to be truck drivers just because they can’t get any other work that doesn’t make sense. There is a real doctor shortage here as well and I have seen how our immigration laws work against us first hand.

There were two drivers I met a couple years ago from the island of Barbados. They both had trucking backgrounds in Barbados even though it is a smaller country. One owned a construction company there and the other had been driving a truck around the island. Both paid from there own pockets to take training through a certified school here in Canada. Both graduated top of class from the training school. Both had job offers from companies and were very competent individuals. So where was the problem? Both got tired of waiting on the red tape of the immigration department. One of those individuals has taken his family to Ireland to drive trucks and start a new life and the other has gone into a different industry else where to find work. Yet here we are talking about increasing the amount of people we bring into Canada to fill the seats. Those two people had a passion for the industry, and put skin in the game and still couldn’t get in. If you would like to hear the interview I did with one of the candidates just click here. http://theleadpedalpodcast.com/lp146-battling-the-immigration-struggle-to-canada-interview-with-philip-gooding-of-barbados

Maybe we need to change the way we immigrate people into Canada. Maybe we need to make it easier for companies to sponsor the right people into the industry. If we want to improve the industry as a whole and we want to fill the jobs with people that want to be there and have a passion for the industry then we need to curve the way we immigrate people to Canada, that doesn’t mean just ease of entry but matching talent to opportunities and that goes for all industries not just trucking.

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 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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Use your training time to get job ready as a new driver

As I was surfing some industry blogs the other day and I came across an article that got me thinking about new drivers and preparing themselves for a new career as a professional driver. The article was a comment style article where a person new to the industry was asking which carrier they should sign on with to get their training.

The new driver had the option of getting his licence on his own or signing on with a carrier and have them train the person through their own training program. His dilemma was which carrier to choose. He posted the comment on the website asking for feedback on different carriers and got a whole lot of information. He was looking at some of the big carriers in the United States trying to evaluate the best ones to work for. In one of his last comments he had talked to a carrier and liked what they had to offer. One of his main reasons for choosing that carrier is that he would be close to home for his training allowing him to be home to sleep in his own bed and eat meals at home.

Driver-in-truck

This is a common way that many people new to the industry decide on choosing a school. They look for a school close to their home so they don’t have to drive too far for their training. I have seen this first hand in training programs as an instructor where students want to leave early from class or are in a hurry to get home to finish chores around the house, but could that be hurting their success?

One of the issues we find in the industry is that people are not prepared for the life style change that comes with a job in the transportation as a driver. The training schools tell the students about it, the recruiters remind them about it at the time of hiring, but then the student gets a job and finds it very hard to adjust to being away from home. Part of the problem may be in the mindset of the student. Trucking is not a nine to five position even in the city as a local driver. Students need to prepare their minds for the change of lifestyle that will occur once they start driving for a company. This means adjusting to the job at the beginning by practicing what you will have to do in reality. Of course you want to keep expenses down until you have money coming in but adjusting your schedule so that it begins to feel like it will when you get hired can go along way to success in the industry.

How do you mimic a lifestyle that you don’t know how will work for the future? The biggest adjustment for most students is the time away from home. Let me tell you from experience as much as it is a big adjustment for you, it is an even bigger adjustment for your family. Depending on how you have set up your training schedule changing it up can be the best thing you can do. Try not to set it up to be nine to five everyday. Spend additional hours practicing what you’ve learned. If you can pick a school that is not in your area so that you can get used to staying out over a few days at a time even better. Adjust your time to waking up early or staying up late, practice taking lunches and snacks like you would on the road. Basically you are getting used to your new life. Once you work for a carrier you won’t be going home at noon after a four hour yard shift or have multiple days off in between runs, so get used to the new lifestyle. The faster you and your family adjust to the new industry, the faster and more successful you will be once you start your new career.

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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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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.

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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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