Are You Following Your Training?

Are You Following Your Training?

“It Could Save Your Life!”

Training has been at the forefront of many discussions over the years especially since the implementation of M.E.L.T. (Mandatory Entry Level Training) as to what is the appropriate amount of training for new drivers. Many certified schools within the TTSAO (Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) offer more training than required by the Government as their standard programs. If a good school is offering more than the requirements and have good instructors with a passion for making sure a student is successful then it is up to the student to follow their training once the course is completed. You may be thinking that’s why they were trained.

How a student uses their training after they leave a training facility is up to them. The students that want to be successful and have good careers will use their training as a solid base of fundamentals to build on. There are students however that go through programs with a focus of just getting a licence or a certain job and then forget their training. I have always said that a trucking career is built in stages with the foundation being good training which takes up to a year to complete. The next two to three years a student should be working on gaining experience. The next five years should be spent improving efficiency so that they make better money at the job, and after ten years a student has to work on not being complacent. Of course those are just guidelines based on what I have seen in a twenty five year career on the road and it will be different for everyone.

Are you following your training?

Many students see the value in their training and often we see that drivers with many years of experience are the ones that have the most trouble with remembering the basics. Maybe they have become complacent or have just fallen into bad habits. When training is done at carriers for some of the basics such as pre-trip inspections many times it is the older more experienced group that has trouble. They have been doing it their own way for so long that they miss some of the smaller items of the inspection. They stopped following the training.

I began writing this article after watching a serious crash on a video of a truck driver that got stuck at a railway crossing. If you think of the basics of railway crossings in training facilities there are only a few things to watch for, make sure the train isn’t coming, make sure you have proper clearance to get across the track, and stay in one gear until you have crossed the track. I am not sure what happened in this particular situation as to why the truck got stuck between the barriers of this particular railway track, but it seems as though the driver did not look at the signage that says “no trucks” and got stuck on the track. Thankfully the driver and the train crew were okay, but it is certainly shocking to see the train drag the truck down the track at full speed.

As drivers gain more experience on the road and possibly get through a few situations with a lucky outcome they may begin to take more chances. It’s possible that’s what happened to this driver, he took one chance too many and it didn’t work out the way he hoped it would. It may seem dry and boring sitting in class when you want to get out on that open road, but following your training may be one step to keeping you alive.

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About the Author

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


Membership in the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario can be of great benefit to you, whether you provide commercial driver training, employ drivers, or are in some other segment of the transportation industry. Join our association today to become part of this team of professionals whose goal is to improve and unify truck driver training standards, resulting in highly skilled, better prepared, entry-level and re-certified commercial drivers.

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