Have you started your educational plan for 2016?

Now that we have gone through the Christmas Season and are approaching the start of another year it is good time to build that educational plan for next year. What is an educational plan? There are many conferences and seminars throughout the year and all have good value and content for making us better. That being said it is very difficult and costly to attend every conference that comes along so having some sort of plan set up with what you would like to learn for the next twelve months is a smart way to go. So how do you set up this educational plan?

First decide on what information you feel you need help with to improve your career or life over the next twelve months. Maybe you want to learn how to manage your team better? Maybe you want to learn techniques to help you recruit new employees to your team? Maybe you are attending for the networking aspects of a conference? Whatever it is that you want to learn add that to your list.

The next item for developing your plan is to determine your budget for the year. How much money can you allocate to seminars and conferences for the year? Don’t forget to include any travel requirements such as hotel and air fare.

The last piece of the puzzle is the time commitment. How much time can you allocate to attending seminars and conferences? This time commitment may be dictated to you by your boss, clients, or workload. You can break the time piece in different ways. Do you want to attend a seminar or conference every month, every quarter, semi annually or annually? Don’t forget to include who should be attending with you if it is relevant to others employees on your team. Once you have all this information together you are ready to start choosing seminars and conferences that meet your educational plan.

Knowing why you are attending a conference will not only help you in retaining the information you are looking for, but will set you up for educational success and help you determine which events are right for you. Below is information that will be important to your educational plan.

The TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) is holding their first annual conference focusing on recruiting and retention. The conference will offer an interview session with Dan Einwetcher, Chairman and CEO of Challenger Motor Freight Inc. as he is interviewed by radio host Stan Campbell of Trucker Radio. Panel sessions include a recruiting discussion with members of the Private Motor Truck Council, recruiting strategies from trade publication experts, and retention strategies from panel members of top fleets in the country. Click here to check out the official line up on the TTSAO website. This conference will be important to those that have duties involved in recruiting and retention. John G. Smith, Publisher and Editor of Private Truck Council Magazine will be the Master of Ceremonies. You won’t want to miss this conference and it should be the first on the list of your educational plan. Seats are filling up fast so click here to register today!
About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry 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

Truck News comments on the TTSAO’s First Annual Conference.

Truck News Magazine recently did an article on our upcoming conference on February 23-24, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. Check out what had to say.  Click this link below to view the article from the publication.

The conference is filling up fast and if you would like to register then now is the time to do it. Just click here and it will take you to the registration page so you can book your seat.

Would you like to reach your target market? The TTSAO in partnership with PMTC has a special conference publication that will allow advertisers to reach new markets. If you would like to learn more about opportunities to advertise in this special conference edition then click here.

Reflection – Happy Holidays from the TTSAO

As we approach Christmas and the Holiday Season for another year it gives us time to spend with family and friends, reflect on the past year, and start the next year with a renewed energy. The Holidays have a way of making you look at the bigger picture surrounding your life and what you will want to change for next year. Before you can look to next year it is always best to reflect on how the current year went.

If you are new to the world of transportation what accomplishments have you made? If you were enrolled in a course did you complete it? Did you get the job with the carrier you were looking for? Is the industry what you thought it would be? These are all questions that a new person to the industry may have to reflect on?

As an association we too are reflecting on the past and where we are going. There have been great strides over the last year or so that have not only impacted our association but the industry in general. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has been on the forefront of many of these issues.

The largest gains have been bringing key people to the table on the subject of Mandatory Entry Level Training for new drivers. These key groups include politicians, transportation specialists, and career or college enforcement. TTSAO has been a leading force in this area and is instrumental in helping with changes for the future.

The association has also increased their presence on the internet through revised websites and social media platforms. This professional upgrade has allowed them to increase their exposure to the public helping them be noticed at the table for important topics. In addition to the web exposure the association has partnered with many industry associations to help build their brand and also create new areas of income such as the conference directory and advertising campaign.

The association has also begun to increase exposure on the forefront of education with their first annual conference to be held in February 2016. This conference will focus on recruiting and retention with some big names being part of the program.

So when most reflect on the TTSAO and where they were back then to where they are now we can see substantial growth in the association itself and also the value it brings to the industry. We can be proud of the strides we have made and the plans for the future. We have had a very successful 2015 and look forward to an even better 2016.

So while you reflect on your past year and the gains you have made be thankful for the accomplishments you have made. Enjoy the time with your family and friends and look forward to an exciting future. From our family of schools and associate members to you and your family may you have a wonderful Holiday Season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from your friends at the TTSAO.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com

Common sense is the first step to career success!

Unbelievable! As I scroll through my Facebook news feed I am amazed at the stupid things that people do. Some posts are funny, some posts are ridiculous, and some are down right stupid. Now I understand that many of these posts are a moment in time and possibly taken out of context, but some posts you really have to think about what a person was thinking to put themselves in that situation.

One instance is the driver that decided to turn around in the driveway of a truck stop instead of going into the giant parking lot behind him to turn around. What were you thinking? Another was the bus driver that took passengers down a cliff road, or the dump truck that decided he was allowed to drive down the highway in the left lane even though the signs say otherwise. Of course I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the point. The fact is that much of the transportation industry is common sense if you take the time to learn the regulations and think about what you are doing. It’s not rocket science! You do have to have a head on your shoulders however to make a good driver. That starts from day one, before you even get your licence.

Common sense thinking come into play when choosing a school to train with. If you are at a career counseling program and asked to choose three schools for tuition charges is it in your best interest to choose a school that is not certified and then two that are certified? Of course not because you wouldn’t be judging apples to apples. If you have to turn around in a specific location are you going to just go and make the turn or are you going to look for the safest way and place to make the turn effectively? If you choose to do something illegal such as drive in a lane you are not allowed, should you do it because you can? Of course not because you don’t know who might be seeing you perform that manoeuvre. The way you decide on the next steps in all these situations will determine your common sense judgement at the time.

So no matter how much you think you know, how much experience you have, or how much talent you possess, only one thing matters. The only thing that matters is how much common sense you use when making decisions. Your experience, talent, and training will only come in to play after that. So if you want to hold the secret to a successful career, it’s common sense thinking. Start there and everything else should fall into place.

 About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com

You have to read this story, I was asked if I could sell someone my licence?

I have the absolute pleasure of meeting people from all walks of life through my ventures and businesses. My other business is event based so I am often talking with people in a very relaxed state and just having fun with them in general. I love that part the most as I get to meet awesome people, but even this guy threw me off. Here is what happened the other night at an event.

I met this couple at a party and as we were talking we got on to the topic of transportation. As I mentioned that I was offer training at local career colleges the man blurted out, “Can I buy your licence?” This totally threw me off I normally get questions about how you go about getting your licence or the industry in general, but this was the first time I had ever been asked to sell my licence. When asking about the background for the question he told me that he had family members that were truck drivers on the East Coast and he himself used to drive a small dump truck back home in P.E.I. He also stated that he often thought about getting into the industry but the financial investment and training time made him follow different paths. So basically he wanted to buy a licence to try out being a truck driver. I would do all the training and sell my licence to the highest bidder and it would show they have my experience level. Of course he was joking and the comments that followed were hilarious and had us almost rolling on the floor as we discussed how that might work. For instance, he would have to drive me home if I sold him my licence and we laughed about how we would explain this should we be stopped in a Police Ride Check.

It also got me thinking that although this situation was all in fun it really is no different than someone attending an uncertified school , paying $500, getting their licence and then still being out of work. That is really what you are doing when you try to bypass the proper training and take shortcuts to your end goal. We have seen it many times over the years where people attain their licence through an uncertified school and then can’t get hired by companies that require certified training. Uncertified training doesn’t give you the skills required to have a long successful career in transportation. There is so much to learn past the point of driving the truck that having a licence is just a starting point.

It would be similar to two runners ready to start a race. One has the best shoes money can buy, sponsors, training coaches, and all the advantages. He is all set up and if he has the ability will win all the races. Then we have runner number two that has old shoes with bad soles, no coaches, and has never run a race. Who do you think will win? Oh we may back the underdog but assuming talent is equal the runner with the coaching and better footwear should win. Certified training against uncertified training is the same thing. One driver has all the advantages while another driver has none.

So if you are looking into truck training for your future remember this story. You can basically buy your licence by giving money for inadequate training, or you can have the advantage of many years of industry experience and coaching. The choice is yours!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com

Training only works if it is applied!

Training is a very important part of safety whether on the road driving a large tractor trailer, in the air as a pilot of a jetliner, or driving a forklift in a busy warehouse. Training facilities put together comprehensive programs to make sure students understand the training in order to keep the public safe. As a trainer myself I can assure you that any good trainer is passionate about making sure their students understand the information given and want participants to be successful in that training environment. With testing practices in place and a benchmark set for completion many students are successful when they complete their training, but that is where the hard part begins.

Recently there was a story about a plane crash and it was reported in addition to mechanical issues the pilots didn’t follow proper training techniques. Many of the accidents on the road can be attributed to driver behaviour on any given day. The best example happened the other day while I was sitting in a local coffee shop.

I was waiting to go into a meeting so I was sitting in my car answering email and other general administration items. A pick up truck backed into the spot beside me and while doing so I noticed a problem. The pickup truck was an older model with the tailgate removed and replaced by a net style allowing me to see the contents in the back. I noticed that there were five pails of product that had flammable labels on the outside of the pails. Three of the pails had bounced to the back and were almost at the back of the truck bed and none of the product had been tied off in any way. As the guys got out of the truck I approached them and suggested that they tie off the pails before they have larger problems to deal with. Explaining that I train in dangerous goods I explained that whether it is dangerous goods or not the product should be secured. With flammable labels easily seen it is an attraction for law enforcement to charge them even if the larger issue of an incident doesn’t occur. The driver admitted that he had taken the training but didn’t bother to follow what he had learned as he associated it with larger transportation modes. I’m betting he wasn’t carrying his dangerous goods card. Dangerous Goods training applies to anyone involved in transporting cargo whether in a tractor trailer or in a pickup truck. The rules apply to everyone.

At the end of the day training only works if it followed and applied. I find many people in my classes feel that training is just a requirement for completion and that the information will automatically enter the brain staying there ready to be used. The truth is that you have to use your training everyday so that it becomes engrained and habitual. When that training becomes habit and safety is part of your normal daily routine then you have successfully completed your training. One step is to learn the information that will keep you safe while out on the road, the next step is to apply it.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile and is also the host of the Lead Pedal Podcast for professional drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com

Trying to get onto the trucking industry? Start with the people that know!

I am often contacted by industry agencies as to ideas for those that are looking to become truck drivers but aren’t sure where to go next. If you think of the route that many get into this industry is that they go through an employment program of some kind and are told there is a high demand for truck drivers due to the shortage. If they believe the job will be a fit for them they start going through the process of applying for training and finding a job. That is the basic process down to bare bones, but something is missing.

Often the employment person will show them some of the funding options and if it fits with the person, great! If not the employment agencies are usually stuck and that is where I usually come in. All I can do for the person is to recommend options, although I have more knowledge and relationships with the carriers or schools,again I can only recommend. So where should a person be going?

When searching for information you can only start from where you know someone will know what you need. Too often people follow only one path and miss great opportunities elsewhere.  When I direct people I direct them to the Truck Training School Association of Ontario. Why there you ask?

In that one association you have all the people that can really help you. You have schools with funding options, you have carriers that recognize certified training, and you have associates that can help you understand what you really need to succeed in the transportation industry. Now as a potential driver you won’t join the association but you could visit their website. All members of the association have the same access to information and have relationships with other industry professionals for information. By starting your career search with TTSAO you are now accessing people that can really help you with funding, training, and career placement.

Lately in the industry there has been some talk on getting carriers to sponsor potential clients directly. If you look at the way the system works you will see that is the wrong direction, as carriers want to see proof of training and a recommendation. The proper way to get the funding would be to contact the schools in your area, and see if they can offer placement and training through their system. They might be willing to back the right candidate or offer options that may not be available through an agency or carrier alone. If the school is not able to help the candidate then at least they will know they got the proper information. A word to the wise here, many potential candidates feel they can bypass the system and go to a fly by night school offering cheaper training. What they will find out is that they have paid for partial training and still can’t get a job afterwards. Don’t put yourself in that situation. If you are looking for a way into the industry then the best place to start is with the people that know the proper direction for training and funding, that is the TTSAO. You can find more information on their website at www.ttsao.com

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile and is also the host of the Lead Pedal Podcast for professional drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com

If you haven’t started packing for winter, start now!

It is November also known as one of the most unstable weather months each year. It is possible to leave home on a beautiful sunny day and be in a snow storm less than an hour later. In fact on the news it was reported that this same time last year Buffalo New York had a record snowfall that left many stuck on the Interstate for days and countless accidents. That week we had no snow an hour a way in Burlington. This year we are having an awesome week with double digit numbers and beautiful sunny skies.

It is good practice for any motorist to be prepared for bad weather, but in truth many of us don’t do it. Oh sure, we keep a set of cables in the car, or an extra jug of windshield washer but that is usually about it. We should be carrying much more but we know that we are only a cab ride away from home or within the reach for help of family and friends.

Truck drivers however are quite different and should prepare more diligently than a driver working a few miles from home. A professional driver can travel thousands of miles in a week and cross the country in a matter of days. You might leave home on a Monday morning and be in California on Thursday. You may leave on a beautiful day from home and be in a snow storm a short time down the road. This has happened many times and their are countless news articles on people stuck in storms across the country. It doesn’t have be just weather related areas holding you up on the road. Many times I have slept in my truck during my career on the highway while an accident is being cleaned up for hours on end. These type of situations are normal for most professional drivers and you will encounter delays like this at some point in your career.

So how do you prepare for such delays and emergencies on the road? First is to make sure you are prepared no matter what time of year it is. Just like all boats must have a life jacket, all trucks should have emergency supplies. I am not talking about your fire extinguisher or medical kit, I am talking about extra food, blankets, and other supplies. I suggest creating a safety pack that you don’t use except in emergency situations and you keep it under the bunk, but accessible.

In your safety pack you want some food that won’t go bad or have to be cooked. Keep extra water in the truck at all times. Even though you may drink this over the week buy extra so you have some should a emergency arise. Crackers, cereals, and other dry foods are usually good food items for storage. You can also swap your food out every six months or so as required. For warmth extra blankets are good and a winter coat or even better snow suit should be packed in the kit. Items like candles, matches, spare batteries, flashlights, and other safety items should be included. Think dark of night, your truck shuts down, and there are no cars coming down the road. What would you need? Putting these items in a separate bag with a list, note paper, pencils, etc are a good idea for storage. Don’t assume the weather will stay the same from area to area. Be safe and you will enjoy your time as a professional driver.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years and is the author of the books Driven to Drive, Running By The Mile for professional drivers. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training industry ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your areas visit www.ttsao.com

Striving for Success in Training

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