Get Your Street Smarts-Age Doesn’t Equal Innocence!

Every time I teach a class of new students about the transportation industry I tell them to get street smart right away. If you have read any of the carrier ads in magazines you will see that many focus on people and are starting to get away from just talking trucks. The business of transportation may be about moving freight, but really the industry is people based. As a professional driver you are dealing with people at every turn. You have dispatchers that give you the loads, shippers that load the truck, the fuel bar person, the waitress, the receiver, the scale house, and so forth. You are always dealing with people and these are the good ones.

There are a lot of bad people out there as well. Just watch the news and you will see that there are bad people everywhere and it is important as a driver that you have your wits about you. You are a big easy target to the criminal types that prey on the non-aware. You have a large slow vehicle that is easy to catch. You have freight that has value no matter what it is. You are from out of town and may be unfamiliar with the area. The final piece is that you may be only one person and not able to protect yourself. Every large city and some small towns have a criminal element and if you have some street smarts you can usually get out untouched. Sometimes however we get fooled because the people or surroundings are out of character for what we expect from the criminal type of person. This happened to one driver at a construction site.

This was an actual story on television last year where the driver of a cement truck reported that his truck had been stolen in the middle of the day. A police chase ensued as the truck was reported driving carelessly around town. The police chase went on for over an hour as the truck barrelled down streets creating havoc in town. When the authorities removed the bandit from the truck they were amazed at who they found behind the wheel. The bandit, the freewheeling truck thief, was an eleven year old boy. Apparently he always wanted to drive a cement truck!

This eleven year old boy certainly didn’t fit the profile of a criminal. He wasn’t lurking about late at night. He didn’t hang with a group of unruly characters. He wasn’t hanging out on the streets of a bad area. He was just a kid! If you watch the news you will see that many of the criminals are getting younger and younger these days.

As a driver it is your job to keep your truck secure and even though ttsao truck at sunset largeyou have no control of other people you need to do the best you can to keep your self safe and prevent theft. Criminals are a sneaky group after all that’s why they’re criminals. As a professional driver doing the basics for theft prevention will help keep you safe for the most part.

Here are some basic steps you can take.Proper trip planning is key! Know the area that you are going to and get directions from trusted sources such as other drivers, the customer, or your company. Always lock your vehicle and shut it down when you are not using it. Watch who is around the area and stay away from times when criminals lurk and are looking for easy targets. Don’t tell people on the radio or at truck stops where you are going and the type of freight you have on. This article isn’t meant to scare, but to educate that as a driver you always need to be on your game.

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

Could Social Media Be Putting an End to Your Career?

Are you putting your career in jeopardy with social media? Social media is part of our lives now whether you believe in it or not. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how technologically savvy you are, or how much you go kicking and screaming that you will never be online, its here! Whether you choose to participate or not is up to you? The real question is will it be a show stopper for your career?

Here’s the thing! If you are on social media and use it to air your Twitter-birddirty laundry then it may work against you when looking for employment. If you don’t use it then you may have trouble applying for positions because everything is online. Let me explain.

I recently had a friend go through some hard times with his job. Nothing serious but his boss and him weren’t seeing eye to eye on a few issues. He was starting to get pretty down about his job and started airing his feelings on social media. There are two things that are troubling about this. One is that his boss may be watching him or may be connected to someone who is following my friend therefore seeing many of the things being said about him. This may be terminating his job faster than he realizes.

The second issue is even if his current employer is not watching him those comments will be there for future employers to see possibly costing him a good position in the future. You may remember on the news a few years ago about a British Columbia politician that had an excellent record of helping people and was a person regarded as “salt of the earth”. He was running for a top seat in the political area in the Province. Due to a social media post about a party he had attended at the age of twenty five years old he ended up having to withdraw from the race. All because of a video he was in when he was young.

If you aren’t on social media at all then people have nothing to look up or reference. Remember the old days when you just gave a personal reference or the employer called to verify your employment. Employers don’t like to give references any more and friends aren’t a trusted source for information so employers are now looking people up online. If they find nothing there they may feel you have little to offer.

Now I am not suggesting that you can only get a job if you are online. This is however becoming more of the normal process these days and what you put out there has a lasting effect on your future. The last time I went for a job interview years ago I walked into the company office and they brought out a file on me larger than the one I had on myself. They had found articles I had written and information that I forgot that I even had produced. That’s why I have to live clean now. The point is that if you have ever filled out something online whether a survey or the like then you are online. If you have a social media profile then you are even more online.

Here are two rules to keep you out of trouble online. First never post anything about your employer or past employers on social media. Remember the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all!” Two, never put anything on social media that you wouldn’t let your Mother see. If you follow those two basic rules they should keep you out of trouble for the most part. I wish you 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

Are You Focusing On The Right Things For The Future?

The trucking industry is changing and changing fast. What are you doing to keep up with it? I was getting ready for a presentation the other day doing some research into what drivers will have to do in the future. As I was watching videos and reading material I began to think to myself that the position of being a truck driver will change dramatically in the near future. How will that affect those learning about those positions today?

In the past the industry used trucking as a dumping ground. If you couldn’t do anything else and hated school then trucking was normally where you ended up. The independence and manual labour of the position was a good fit for those that didn’t get excited over the education route.

When CSA (Comprehensive Safety Analysis) came into affect it changed the type of driver companies were looking for. No longer did they need to someone to just get the job done, but needed them to do it without violations. The driver focus has now changed to where carriers are now looking for safe, legal drivers that are willing to learn and be customer service oriented.

That brings us to the future. When I look at the new technology ttsao truck at sunsetcoming into the industry to help combat the driver shortage I see the role of the driver changing again. Will we even be driving? Just take a visit to your favourite video channel and you will see a number of videos on driverless trucks. In fact I believe every manufacturer is working on the same technology. Whether it was Freightliner, Peterbilt, Volvo, or Mercedes they all had similar videos for their trucks. All videos featured the truck driver doing other things other than truck driving. I also noticed that many of the trucks will become even more aerodynamic than they are now making the job of inspections even harder or very different from the inspections done today. In the future we may have some type of x-ray system a truck drives through showing all areas that need attention.

Whatever it is in the future the role of the truck driver is changing dramatically and driving ability may not be at the forefront. I see the driver’s role in the future focused on customer service, computers, and security. That human instinct and radical thinking is what keeps the human race one step ahead of computers. Being able to think outside of the box for different situations is what will be needed in the future. Look at any movie set in the future and you will notice many of the transportation vehicles don’t even have wheels. That’s where we are going and those that keep up with technology and have an eye for the future will be employable for the future. So in repeating the question I asked at the beginning of this article, what are you doing to keep up 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, 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

MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATION NOW FOR THE PMTC CONFERENCE-June 16, 2016

CONFERENCE HOTEL RESERVATIONS – LIMITED AVAILABILITY-RESERVE TODAY

There are a limited number of rooms available at Kingbridge for conference delegates, so reserve your room as soon as possible.

Reservations can be made by calling Kingbridge directly at 1-800-827-7221 and mentioning that you are with the Private Motor Truck Council Conference on June 16 & 17.

PMTC has a room rate of $180.00 per night plus applicable taxes.

The agenda is packed with professional speakers, timely topics, an exhibitors’ showcase, and lots of time to network with industry colleagues.

2016 AGENDA

REGISTER NOW

Sponsorships are also available.

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Do you have what it takes to even get into trucking?

Seventy-five percent of the workforce will be Millennials by 2025 according to a recent article in FleetOwner Magazine. The question is will that solve the driver shortage for the transportation industry? The same article stated that even if we market effectively to those people we still may not be able to solve the shortage and that may be skilled based problem.

We are starting to see the problem rise in the industry now. How Truck on highwaymany people do we have that have commercial drivers licenses yet don’t have jobs? The mentality of get them trained and get them rolling isn’t working as well as it should be. The reason is that some young people don’t possess the basic skills required to reach success in their chosen career. The social skills, passion for a career, and determination to achieve success are keeping back many of the people needed in the industry. A training school can only teach a person so much, the rest is up to the individual.

The article in FleetOwner magazine went on to say that many young people will remain in low paying positions or even unemployed based on their social skills and education. Many have not gone on to post high school education giving them the skills needed for careers in the future. You can read the article here by clicking on the link.

What I took away from the article was the passion for learning piece of this article. In essence we have the people we need but they either don’t want the job or don’t have the basic skills to begin training for the position. At the end of the day that doesn’t solve our driver shortage. In the industry we are starting to see longer programs helping people build up their life skills as well as training them for their desired career. Trucking requires so many life skills for a driver to be successful that training to drive only covers a fraction of what is required to be a professional driver.

When potential drivers are looking at positions with companies in the industry we often focus on whether the carrier will be a good fit for the new driver. Do they want to be gone for a long time or run local? Do they want to haul this type of freight or that type of freight? Those are very important questions, but do we need to look deeper into the person? Should we be asking questions such as what experiences have they had and how did they deal with them? As we know in trucking a driver will experience so many things that require decisions to be made on the spot that focusing on a persons decision making capabilities might be the best place to start when looking for drivers. Remember trucking isn’t just about the trucks, but the person behind the wheel.

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

What’s Your Focus for the Show?

Tomorrow is one of the largest indoor truck shows in Ontario. Thousands of people will go through the door and most of the transportation industry will be attending the event either as attendees or as vendors. Since the show only comes to town every other year it is always an event that draws a buzz in the region. With such a large show and so many vendors having a plan for the show is a good idea. Defining what that plan will be may be the hard part and so I hope I can help you here.

The show is broken up into different modules or sections so show truckbreaking it down could be a good system for seeing everything. Walking around aimlessly may help you see everything, but you may not remember what you saw. Creating a plan is the answer to getting the information at the show you need. I have included a sample plan below:

If you are in a training school then you are possibly looking for a carrier to call home. The show will have carriers scattered throughout the show and they also have a recruiting pavilion that will have many carriers in one area. Just showing up with your family may not be the best course of action. You want to do some homework beforehand so that you know who you want to see.

Here is a plan you may want to try:

  • Go to the Show website (www.truckworld.ca) and see what carriers are attending the show.
  • Research the carrier websites and determine which carriers are a fit for your career goals.
  • Create a list of ten carriers that you must see and talk to at the show.
  • Create a list of questions to ask the recruiter and make sure you get the answers you want.
  • Have copies of your resume ready to leave with recruiters or to review at the show.
  • Create an online version of your resume on your phone or tablet that you can email to a recruiter on the spot.
  • Print off a generic business card with your contact information that you can leave with people you meet of interest.
  • Dress neatly, remember first impressions count!
  • Try to attend on a Thursday or Friday which are quieter and will allow you talk with the recruiter.

Even if you are already in the industry such as an owner operator looking for new technology for your truck, making a plan is a good idea. You could focus on the technology vendors at the show knowing who you want to see. Maybe you are a trucking company owner and are interested in purchasing new equipment then you may create a similar plan with manufacturers at the show.

Just remember the focus for going to the show. Are you looking for information on new technology, learning about new equipment systems, or trying to find a new job? Have a purpose and you will get much more out of the show than just aimlessly walking around. I hope to see you at the show and wish you luck in your search. Enjoy!

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

There is No Load Worth Your Personal Brand!

We often think of a brand as a company, famous person, or team. In business the subject of branding is very common and is usually thought of in marketing terms to get a business’s name out to the world. The brand I am talking about in this article however is personal brand. What is a personal brand? A personal brand is you, what people think of you, how you act, your work ethic, and at the end of the day what makes you uniquely you. Your personal brand is you and no matter whether you think about your personal brand on a regular basis or don’t even know what one is, you have one! For the most part a personal brand won’t be a problem for most of you as we all make mistakes, have fun in life, and are expected to act a certain way. As long as you keep away from the “really bad or criminal stuff” your personal brand will stand the test of time. So why should you care about your personal brand? You should think of it because it’s hidden for the most part and that’s the danger of it. You never know when it will appear.

In case you have been living in a cave in the transportation industry you should now have heard of the now famous truck driver with the last name of Gill. This person is a prime example of how you can ruin your personal brand through your actions. Gill is a Canadian citizen with a Class A commercial drivers license. If you haven’t heard the story this driver was pulled over in the United States for safety inspections and was placed out of service for log book violations multiple times. He disregarded the Out-of-Service orders and continued down the road. He was reported by other road users to be swerving all over the road and endangering other motorists. He was pulled over again, cited for violations and put out of service. This was repeated four times within a 24 hour period. In fact his truck had been towed to storage facilities on two occasions and he was caught on video removing his truck from the facility without authorization. He is now in Vermont waiting on a Superior Court date in regards to the charges.

Over my 25 year career I have hauled a variety of loads from high Truck on highwaypriced million dollar freight to hot loads that should have been there yesterday and everything in-between. Not one of the loads have I ever had the urge to violate an order by enforcement people for my company or personal gain. Now I admit I am a trustworthy soul and pretty creative in nature, but I guess I don’t possess that criminal element in my mind. I cannot even imagine why a driver would want to push themselves to that level for a load of freight. The only two instances that come to my mind and it hasn’t been reported yet to my knowledge, is that this person was either running drugs with the truck or someone had his family at gunpoint until he delivered that load. Again drugs come to mind! Those are the only two reasons that I can vaguely understand a person going to that level of criminal dedication over a load of freight. Since all the violations reported were logbook related the driver had a time issue connected to the load in my personal opinion.

What did this do to Gill’s personal brand as a driver? He’s done! Whether he beats the charges or not he has been banned from the United States and Canada is deciding at this moment if he is a danger on the road here. Even if they don’t pull his license he won’t get a job with any reputable carrier. We all know if he does drive again he will probably do worse damage or kill someone if he continues on the same course of action. His actions will haunt him for a very long time not only in this industry but where he goes in the future. For what?

Your name is your personal brand and for the most part acting respectably will keep it in tact through the course of your career. What you have to realize is that doing something like Gill did can bring your brand to the forefront and follow you for a long time. Every action needs to be weighed based on importance. At the end of the day it is your decision to make. Don’t ruin your personal brand for a quick buck, a late load, or to get home. It will take a long time to build your brand back after that. If you would like to read the full article on Gill click this link.

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 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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