Treating People with Respect the Secret to Retaining Drivers

The TTSAO (Truck Training School Association of Ontario) Carrier Group recently held a virtual meeting on May 13th for members and non-members of the TTSAO talking about recruiting and retention tips for carriers and the importance of treating employees well to have a productive fleet.

The event lineup consisted Caroline Blias, the Manager of Recruiting with Kriska Transportation Group who talked about the importance of building relationships with a group like the TTSAO so carriers know where to find properly trained drivers beginning their careers with Entry Level Training as she has been a veteran member of the association being one of the first members involved. In a recent article we talked about why being part of the Carrier Group can be an advantage for carriers that hire new drivers with little experience, you can read that article here. Blias also talked about the Driver Inc model and how new drivers are asking for that model thinking they are earning more money. Education within the industry and investigations from the Canada Revenue Service are critical to turning this practice around and levelling the playing field for carriers in the industry.

Mike Zelek of Wellington Motor Freight a new member to the TTSAO also commented on why they decided to join the group and the value they have seen through the association. Having a place where they know the standard of training helps them understand the type of drivers they are hiring because of the relationships with the schools.

The main presentation of the session was with Glenn Caldwell of NAL Insurance who talked about retention tactics that brought us back to basics. Caldwell referred to the basics of treating people with respect and dignity to keep them happy in the workplace. Dale Carnegie’s name came up showing that the values of the past still work in present day workplaces and that carriers that are true to what they say during the recruiting phase of hiring will have employees that stay for the long term. When drivers hire on and find a team environment that is not what they were promised they tend to leave within six months of being hired on with the company.

Glenn Caldwell Image
Quote from Glenn Caldwell of NAL Insurance

Liz Williamson of Truckers Against Trafficking gave a presentation on how carriers and schools can help in the fight against trafficking by training their staff and knowing the signs of someone in a trafficking situation. Human Trafficking comes in various forms from sex trafficking to labour trafficking. Recently their was an incident of drivers being forced to work long hours for little pay when promised jobs from overseas in the United States. Williamson was a former trafficking victim herself and now spends her time telling others how they can help fight against this problem. You can learn more about Truckers Against Trafficking at and we encourage you to get your employees trained to watch for the signs.


Presentations from Lisa Arseneau of the TTSAO Insurance Group and Gerald Carroll of the TTSAO Carrier Group rounded out the session for the hour that flew by quickly. All in all the session had a central theme, “Treat people with respect!” Deliver in what you promise in the recruiting phase when hiring employees and build relationships with training facilities so that you are getting quality candidates. Treat them with respect once they have signed on with you so that they will be quality employees for the long term. One thing I found interesting was that with all the technology, with all the fancy new systems, with all the new ways of training, retaining good employees comes back to the basic values of the past such as respect and appreciation. Make sure those values are at the forefront of your company.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media entrepreneur in the industry producing a number of programs within the trucking industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work and his trucking podcast at

Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only. Please contact any groups mentioned individually for specific information.


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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