Don’t Be Afraid to Jump into Long Haul Trucking as a New Driver

It’s not uncommon for new students to feel intimidated by the world of trucking. Many times new students are thrust from unemployment to a thriving industry with regulations, a variety of processes, and a different lifestyle than what many are used to living. These options leave many students scared and intimidated to the point that they want to take the easiest route out hoping just to succeed on getting a job. The comments I hear, “I just want to run local” or I’ll work for company XYZ until I gain some experience are common but sometimes can be excuses for fear. I totally understand this type of thinking but I would urge you to think differently.

If you have ever attended a training course in trucking you quickly learn that there is a lot to learn. Whether it is how to do a pre-trip inspection, drive through the mountains, or back into the toughest docks in the country, or cross the border, I can assure you those aren’t going to happen in the yard of a school or in a course. They may not even happen in your local area and that’s why I would urge you to jump into your trucking career and experience everything as fast as possible. Experience crossing the border while the information is crisp in your mind will help you learn faster than not using that information at all.

I find a lot of students are worried about being let loose on their own and not knowing what to do. The truth is that no decent company is going to let a driver go down the road without a support team and being comfortable on what they have to do if a problem arises. Good carriers have a finishing program and multi-week training programs to ensure new drivers are trained properly on paperwork, company processes, and deliveries. Finishing programs can range from two weeks to six weeks or more depending on the carrier. You won’t be left alone.

Another reason I hear in class is that they didn’t realize what was out there for them when they started the course. Very often students will say, ‘I was going for heavy equipment, but the highway sounds interesting.’ This is often due to an instructor sharing stories from the road and personal experiences that have changed their mind or shall we say at least opened it. I love hearing that because it meant that my enthusiasm for the industry has gotten through to them. There is a lot to see of our great country but you won’t see it until you get out there and why not get paid for it.

Trucks in mountains
Get out and experience the world around you.

Instructors do their best to get students to open their eyes and realize their own potential. Sometimes the student has to get out of their own way. Flip your thinking upside down if possible. Sure I know there are family issues and other things to think about when taking on a job and I am not judging anyone for their decisions, but if I can say one thing, get out there! Get hired on with a carrier that has a good finishing program or additional training. Take every load they have no matter where it goes and stay with that company for two years at least. After that if you want to stay local or move to another type of job you will know why and can say at least I experienced the road. Who knows you might like it. If you want a list of trusted carriers the TTSAO ( Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario) has a carrier group that hires new drivers. Click here

About the Author

The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is an association of certified truck driver training schools, insurance providers, and carriers located within Ontario Canada. Learn more about them at

Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years of experience 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, 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


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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