Improving the Image of Trucking at the TTSAO Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2017 – Hamilton, ON – The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) continues to release details about their upcoming 2nd annual conference, “Striving for Excellence in Training”, scheduled for February 15th and 16th, 2016 at the Centre for Health and Safety Innovation in Mississauga Ontario.
As part of their full agenda for the conference the TTSAO has announced that David Geene, the Executive Director, Georgia Trades Training Inc. will moderate the “Improving the Image of Trucking Panel”.
Included in this panel will be Annie Kidder of People for Education, Chris Harris from Safety Dawg Inc., Alyson Truax an Employment Ontario Councilor, Jacquie Latham from the Ontario School Counselors Association and more. They will be discussing how young people and unemployed Ontarians view the trucking profession in this province and how we can improve this as an industry.
David says, “According to many sources, the trucking profession in Ontario is facing significant shortages in the near and more distant future. As students come through school and enter the work world, there are many competing interests as those young people make decisions about what they want to do. These influences include parents, friends and family members, teachers, school guidance counselors, the media, and employment counselors. This exciting panel will focus on how can the TTSAO and carriers reach out to young people and their families? How can those who influence career decisions be more aware of the benefits of a career in trucking? How can we improve the image of the trucking profession in Ontario?”
The conference is once again laid out in a two-day format; day one will include a TTSAO Carrier Group Meeting, a TTSAO Board of Directors’ Meeting (Directors only) followed followed by 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 John G. Smith, Editor of Today’s Trucking, has agreed to serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
Don’t miss out on this great event – TTSAO Members and Associate Members for only $199.00 plus HST per registrant and $249.00 plus HST for non-TTSAO Members.
If you are a non-TTSAO member who would like to join the TTSAO and attend the conference please contact Kim Richardson, TTSAO Chairman of the Board, to discuss a special discounted rate.
The conference registration form, agenda, sponsorship details and more information are available at TTSAO.com.

For more information, please contact:
Kim Richardson – Chairman, TTSAO – KRTS office – 1-800-771-8171 x 201 or cell – 905-512-0254 or by email at krichardson@krway.com
Charlie Charalambous – Director of Public Relations, TTSAO – Northbridge Office – 1-800-265-7173 or cell (416) 473-3986 or by email at charlie.charalambous@nbfc.com

David Geene, Executive Director, Georgia Trades Training Inc. (GTTI) – (905) 722-6300, ext 201 – dgeene@gtti.ca

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Are you ready for the opportunity?

Being ready for opportunities before they present themselves can be difficult for many reasons, but the biggest one is that you don’t see them coming. So why should you be ready for something you don’t see coming and even more important how should you be ready? Before I tell you how to be ready for opportunities down the road let me show you why you should be ready.

A friend of mine named John had tried to avoid driving a truck his whole life. He had truck drivers in the family and found they were gone too much and didn’t want to work that hard. So he went along trying different odd jobs never really finding anything he was really passionate about. He knew one thing, he needed to make money but didn’t know what he wanted to do. One day John was offered a job doing odd jobs at a company that owned a few trucks. He was offered a position working around the shop and one day when an employee phoned in sick was asked to help on some deliveries.

He went out on the truck and realized he enjoyed himself. This happened a couple more times and he was offered a job on deliveries as a helper. Over coffee one day the Boss asked John if he ever thought about driving as he had a talent for the deliveries. John had a learned enough and heard enough from family members about the industry without even knowing he had done so. The Boss said if you get your licence there are opportunities here for drivers and even owning your own truck or even the company one day. John thought about this and liked what he heard, but he still wasn’t sold on the idea. John promised to think about it and left for home.

John ended up turning down the opportunity and found another job in a factory that promised to pay more money right away. What John didn’t see was the opportunity that could have taken him to where he wanted to go. He didn’t have the vision for the future. He saw the hard work of learning to drive, driving for many years, working his way up in the system with no set reward. What he didn’t see was the opportunity of possibly being his own boss in the future and building a career he could be proud of.

Getting to the end goal can come in different forms. It is similar to trying to get to a destination of choice on the road. You can take the bus, call a cab, or drive your own car. All will get you there, but some will get you there faster. The secret to being ready for these opportunities is realizing what your end destination is and be willing to do what it takes to get there. It may be the same as catching the bus to your end destination but at least you’re on the road.

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, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. 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

Starting in the mail room is the equivalent of getting your licence!

Have you ever heard that saying, “I started in the mail room at this company and moved up the ladder from there” from a person who has had a successful career? That line has been used in movies and conversations since the beginning of time. That’s because many large companies used to have a mail room and the new person depending on skills would normally start there, delivering mail throughout the office to the different departments in a timely manner. If someone started in the mail room and worked their way up the ladder they usually would have experienced every job along the way making them a stronger manager down the road.

Mail rooms are becoming a thing of the past with the technological age, but I am sure there are still a few of them around. Getting a truck licence is the same as starting in the mail room, it is just the beginning. If a student can keep that mental picture in their mind they will see that as a foundation to build on as opposed to the end goal. When training new students they often see the end goal as getting their licence. As a short term goal for completing the course that is a great goal, but as a career goal that is only the first step. Think of that goal of getting the licence the same as getting a job in the mail room. Basically it says you are now employable and understand what a truck is.

From a driver standpoint that licence is the basic starting point. Now you have to guide your career in the direction of interest to you. If you want to haul dangerous goods then how you handle details and the type of work the company does will dictate how that plays out in your career in the future. If you want to haul specialized equipment learning different applications will help you be ready for those types of jobs.

From a non-driving career position that licence also works as a basis of knowledge and offers you the experience to deal with drivers in different management positions. It certainly isn’t required to be a driver if you want to be a safety person at a company, but many will tell you that it helps. It gives you a certain amount of trust with the drivers and allows you to see the challenges faced by drivers everyday.

If you are starting your career in transportation visualize you are starting in the mailroom. As you deliver mail throughout the company you get to meet and learn about all the different roles and departments in the company. As you learn about the departments and what they do you can now decide on your career path for the future. Starting at the bottom can be one of the best ways to build a solid foundation for your career.

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, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. 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

The Four Step Plan to Working in the Transportation Industry

Welcome to 2017 and Happy New Year. Many seem to think that 2016 was a rough year for us with many struggles in the way of politics, violence, and industry. We lost many well known celebrities and people are feeling tension in the air. So many are glad we have moved into a new year, a fresh slate if you will.
When it comes to the transportation industry many changes are happening as well and that will continue as carriers struggle to keep a balance between freight demands and qualified drivers. As we change the way things are done in the industry you will see new job opportunities, some jobs dissolved, job openings due to an older workforce, and needs for new services. This will continue on as technology becomes more engrained in our lives. The important thing to note is will you be ready when the changes happen?

Below are a few steps for you to think about as we move into the new year. If you are looking for a job then these will help you set yourself up for the right opportunity. If you already have a job and are looking for a change then hopefully these steps will offer you an insight into what you may need to work on to upgrade skills. The steps below are broad so you should look at them as a categories that can have other sections within them based on the needs of the position.

Your Four Step Plan

Investigation
The first step of any plan is investigation. You need to learn more about the industry, the people, and the work involved. So how do you investigate something as complex as the transportation industry? First take your chosen field such as a driver for instance. Read magazines, books, listen to podcasts, and attend events on your topic of choice. What you are looking for are the changes and trends that are expected to happen in the next two years. You want to be ready for those changes as they will present opportunities.

Goal Setting
Once you have investigated what will be happening over the next couple of years in your field it is time to make some goals. Will you be changing jobs and looking for a new career, do you want to upgrade the position you have? Use these four categories and any that may fall into these to set goals for the future. Remember to put a timeline on all goals to give them urgency.

Training
Once your goals are in place getting the proper training or upgrading yourself is the next step. What training do you need to achieve your goals? If training to be a new driver then what training is required and how will you get the money to pay for it. If you are switching careers what will you need to be ready for that opportunity you outlined in your goals? The training portion is usually the longest part of the process so investigate that thoroughly.

Application
Finally we get to application. Application means the point when you apply for positions, make the switch to a new career, or feel ready you have reached the goal you set out for yourself. This may also be the hardest step in the process so be ready for it. It won’t be that it is necessarily the most work, but it requires the biggest leap of faith. Quitting a job, starting a career, or asking for new responsibilities are all hard to do and can be very scary. If you have prepared yourself properly then you should feel confident that you are ready for success.

There you have it! A quick four step process for advancement for the future. All you have to do is be ready and prepared. Training schools and associations such as TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) are a good place to start when looking for training opportunities in your area. You can find them 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, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. 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

Success in the construction industry takes the right person

The construction industry is a very attractable industry for many people coming into transportation industry. High wages, plenty of work, and ease of work are all reasons why many feel the construction industry may be for them. It is often seen as an industry that you can build a career on so it is very attractive to those who may have been unemployed for a certain amount of time. Additional benefits include steady hours and driving within a local area allowing more home time. If it was all about benefits everyone would be doing it. There are some downfalls that you should look into before making that leap into the world of construction.

I am not trying to discourage you from getting into the construction industry if you have your heart set on that route, but as with any career path you should investigate the pitfalls and benefits before spending years on training that at the end may still leave you unemployed.

Are you getting the right licence?

Whenever I am teaching classes of new drivers I come across many drivers getting their licence for a straight truck only. I always caution them that may sound like the best course of action now because a straight truck licence is less money than a tractor trailer licence to get. The problem is that you may be able to drive a dump truck with the smaller licence but if the company wants you to pull float trailer for them they would have to find someone else. This may limit your career in the long run depending on the company you work for and the type of construction they handle.

Can you handle the shifts?

Part of the draw of construction is remaining local and working steady shifts on the job. What you really have to look at is when those shifts may be required. For instance many women find construction attractive because of that very issue, however construction shifts come in varying forms. Some are at night, some during the day, and some over extended periods. If you are thinking you can get daycare for a day shift, what happens when you have to work at night? What happens if you are asked to work overnight? The problem with construction is that it can take years to build project and life may seem very stable at that time. The next project may be totally opposite and require different arrangements. Are you ready to handle that?

Another issue in construction is weather. Some projects don’t work in rain or snow and many are laid off in the Winter. If that new job puts you out of work six months later how will you handle that?

Are you the right person for the construction industry?

The largest problem with any position is the people. Do you have the toughness to take kidding on the job. Many women get into trucking and then find that the they get a hard time from other industry members and quit. Are you ready for the work involved? If you are hired to drive the truck, but when it’s slow asked to dig a ditch or do another job that isn’t driving the truck are you willing to do that type of work? If not you may want to look elsewhere.

Construction can be a very lucrative career for many. I have friends that haul gravel, work the cement industry, and have successful businesses in the industry. Many drivers have worked for years successfully and enjoy what they do, but it is not for everyone. Make sure you take the time to investigate your chosen career path to ensure success in the future. A good place to start your investigation is by talking to a certified school in the industry that can offer you a glimpse at the type of companies you may be working with. The industry can be lucrative for the right person. Good luck!

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, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. 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

“Marijuana Unwrapped – Don’t Just Roll With It” seminar on Wednesday January 25, 2017

Driver Check for their “Marijuana Unwrapped – Don’t Just Roll With It” seminar on Wednesday January 25, 2017. It will be an open-platform discussion that will feature industry experts presenting about the challenges of cannabis in the workplace. Presentation topics will include workplace drug policies, the effects of marijuana on one’s duty to perform safety sensitive roles and the legal dos and don’ts for when implementing testing programs.

Please see the attached flyer for all the details!

Marijuana Unwrapped – Don’t Just Roll With It – TTSAO print out

TTSAO formalizes conference agenda

The TTSAO conference agenda has been confirmed and registrations are open for the event coming up fast in February.

Check out the full line up by clicking the PDF link below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TTSAO Conference Agenda

Register for the conference today and reserve your seat, seating is limited. Click the link below to register.

2017 Conference Registration Form

 

Want to know about the conference? Check out the TTSAO  Conference page by clicking here

 

See you there!

Driving Santa is a Big Job!

Go to any local town across the country over the months of November and December and you will see one of the most important jobs any truck driver can have is driving the float for Santa. That jolly guy in a bright red suit is the reason that spectators line the streets. He is the reason kids all across the country go to bed early every 24th of December around the world. He is the reason there is even a Santa Claus Parade. When the parade organizers assign you to pull the big guy’s float it is not to be taken lightly!

Could you imagine if they gave that job to just anyone? Some reckless driver who doesn’t care about Santa, drives like a maniac during the parade causing havoc with other participants, smoking out the audience by revving up his engine too much or worse jerking the truck during takeoffs causing Santa to struggle to hold on to his seat. At the end of the parade Santa would look like he had just been through the ride from hell and may vow to possibly never deliver another present as long as he lived. It just wouldn’t be good for business or Santa’s image.

So how do you get chosen to pull a float in a parade if your company does that type of thing. First you have to realize how companies choose their drivers. Although the example stated above is a little extreme there is some truth to it. A truck in a parade is a big insurance liability should something go wrong. I have pulled floats in hundreds of parades over my career and thankfully have never had anything go wrong. That being said I have heard countless reports about people being run over or people falling off of floats. I had a friend of mine that was pulling a float with people dancing on either side and almost ran one of them over. He vowed never to pull a float again. There are many things going on at the same time and having a professional driver in the seat is the first part of having a successful parade.

The second issue that many companies use parades for is marketing Santa Clausand image. It’s a great way for a company to give back to their community and be noticed in their local market. A driver that keeps their equipment in good shape and clean with a professional attitude will be the first choice when parade times comes around. You are representing the company and yourself in a parade so being at the top of your game will be important for being part of the selection process.

What are the payoffs for the driver? You have heard me talk about it before that being in the top 20% of your fleet is where opportunities like this come into play. If you are not in that area of the fleet you probably won’t be asked to be a part of the parade. You may be asking yourself why you should be part of the process? The answer is to get noticed, to build your brand, to advance your career! As a driver you may not get paid to be in the parade but often it makes you more visual to the company. Family can come along and it is a great way of combining your work and family time together and build your career. As someone that takes pride in their equipment and does extra such as a parade the company may give you the nicer truck knowing you will be a regular parade attendee.

If you are selected to be part of the next parade in your town then rejoice that you are noticed by your carrier. Don’t take the job lightly however, you don’t want to be known as the driver that had Santa fall off his sleigh. I would like to wish and your family a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season. May it be a safe and happy one.

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, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. 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

Registrations are open for the 2017 TTSAO Conference-register today!

Registrations have opened for the 2017 TTSAO  conference. Last year was close to selling out and 2017 is already closing fast. Seating is limited so register early.

2017 Conference Registration Form

Learn more about the conference and sponsorship opportunities by clicking here

About the TTSAO

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

Striving for Success in Training

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