The Humboldt Tragedy Shows Us Why You Want to Work for a Good Carrier
Many new people coming into the industry are often looking for a fast way to make money quickly. That is understandable as many have been out of work, paying for training, or have other commitments and will often take the first job that is offered to them. In other industries such as manufacturing or office work choosing a job that is not a fit for you won’t impact your safety or the safety of others. In the trucking industry signing on with the wrong carrier may be a life or death decision and that is why professionals in the industry are always urging students to their homework.
The largest example of this is the Humboldt tragedy that has impacted so many lives from the families that lost loved ones to the driver that made many mistakes and now has to live with the factors of that tragic day his whole life. The case is currently scheduled for sentencing but jail time will happen in some form. This driver had only been on the road for three weeks working for a carrier that only had two trucks and a shaky business history. Items from poor inspection procedures, to not following the law, to lack of training were all contributing factors in this crash. Had this driver had more training and done his homework to find a more compliant carrier to work for then this incident may never have occurred. This is why it is important to investigate the carriers you plan to work for and ensure you are going to work for a company that believes in being safe and compliant on the road.
What does a safe compliant carrier look like?
Carriers like clothes come in all different types and sizes. If you went into a store and asked the clerk for a jacket they would guide you to shelves and shelves of jackets and ask you to choose one. How would you know which one is good without knowing your preferred brand, style, or trying the jacket on. It’s the same process for looking for a carrier. If you just go to a job fair and say I am looking for a carrier you will see a whole room of them, now what? Only by understanding the location, the cargo type, and other criteria can you begin to focus your efforts on certain carriers.
The second part of your carrier search after the basic criteria of where they operate, home time, and other basic factors is the safety aspect. You want to look at things like ongoing training, vehicle maintenance, and compliance in the industry. If a company won’t talk about those issues then you should run as fast as you can because it may be unsafe for you to work there.
The driver of the Humboldt tragedy is in his thirties. He worked for the company for three weeks before the crash. The company was found to have a number of compliance issues and has been fined and taken out of business. The driver is facing at least ten years in jail and will live with with his forever possibly never driving again. Don’t shortcut your training or the process of looking for the right carrier to work for, your life and the lives of others depend on it!
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 for Truck Drivers. 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