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

An Interactive Approach to Training Drivers to reduce idling and emissions using PERSENTECH’s Ottoview Technology

Persen Technologies Inc. (PERSENTECH), a leading innovator of data logging systems and solutions, is providing Ottoview Vehicle Data Loggers to the Trucking Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) to support their new SmartDriver for Highway Trucking (SDHT) course that tracks and collects information relating to fuel use and CO2 emissions. The driver and instructor also receive real-time visual and audible feedback on speed, acceleration, fuel economy and emissions that help identify pre-and post-training improvements in fuel-saving practices that will also reduce CO2 emissions.

SDHT is a training program developed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency to promote the fuel-efficient operation of heavy duty transport trucks. It provides drivers with the information and practical knowledge they need to achieve first-rate fuel-efficiency ufnder a wide range of driving conditions. PERSENTECH’s highly innovative VDL50 technology was adopted for this project given its ease of installation, portability, on-screen real-time feedback, and the summary reporting available by collecting various truck performance parameters. Crossroads Training Academy, located in Kingston Ontario, is one of the first truck training schools to use the Ottoview devices in the course.

PERSENTECH’s products and services are used in various transportation studies and vehicle-use surveys including Transport Canada’s Canadian Vehicle Use Study deployed nation-wide. The innovations include ease-of-installation, portability to move the device from vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-tracking and reporting solutions, smart phone applications, and street level map data for Location Based Services (LBS). The VDL50 multi-protocol logger in particular, can be used with both light and heavy-duty vehicles and provides visual and audible trip information including fuel-use and CO2 emissions.

Through the SmartDriver program, TTSAO envisions cooperation and joint efforts of all truck training schools and the trucking industry itself to set specific standards regarding trucking emissions and driver behavior. One of its main concerns is ensuring that all drivers entering the trucking field maintain a minimum level of knowledge and ability consistent not only with the needs of their employers, but also for the safety of the general public and environment.

For more information about TTSAO and to participate in its SDHT course, visit http://www.ttsao.com and http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/transportation/commercial-vehicles/fleetsmart/training/smartdriver/16955
Professionals in the areas of Transportation Training and Transportation Research Studies interested in learning more about PERSENTECH are encouraged to visit our websites persentech.com – or – contact Frank Franczyk, President frank@persentech.com, 1.888.647.4564.

Thanks,
Frank.

Persen Technologies Inc. (PERSENTECH)
Corporate General Office Number: +1.204.237.5944
Toll Free: 1.888.647.4564
www.persentech.com, www.ottotravelstudy.com

TTSAO gets a new website, but why?

Recently the Truck Training Schools Associations of Ontario (TTSAO) got a website upgrade. Website upgrades are a fact of life in today’s world and any business that thinks their old website will last forever is sadly mistaken. Websites have a lifespan of two to three years before they should be updated and the TTSAO found it was time to make a rework of their website. Looking at the website you may not see a large difference and that brings some to wonder why bother to change at all. For that reason I thought an article highlighting some of those changes might be appropriate.

Lets take a look at the design itself. The look of the website was designed to look similar to the older version but with better functionality. Websites are still built in rectangular blocks and their is no getting away from that. So looking at it may look similar, but as I mentioned functionality is the real key. This design allows for important information such as conferences and events to be changed and displayed on the side of each page through the use of widgets. The new look is also mobile friendly which is a major search change introduced by Google late last year. You will see that the menus, images, and information changes based on the device the user is using. As more people are using smart phones as their main search devices this was an important change.

In the background which may not be noticeable to many is the basic functionality of the website for the future. The page information can be easily updated by the webmaster and allows for better tagging and organization for search engines. This will give the Association better search results allowing for better exposure over time.

Additional benefits for the basic layout and look of the website includes a better use of video and images allowing the organization to showcase events and other information keeping the website active and alive.

So for many the website may seem like the old website with some new bells and whistles but it is much more. The new website should really be called opportunity. You can check out the new website at the same old address of www.ttsao.com . You can also follow the organization on social media through Facebook and Twitter.
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

Challenger Motor Freight holds career fair November 28, 2015

Challenger Motor Freight of Cambridge Ontario will be hosting a career fair on November 28, 2015 at their terminal in Cambridge. Don’t miss this event if you have any interest in driving for one of the top carriers in Ontario.

2015 career fair posterMore information can be found at www.challenger.com

Striving for Success in Training

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