Training-It could be the most important part of the equation to a successful career. It provides the foundation for a skill set that can last a lifetime. It provides knowledge that with the right attitude can be spread to others like wildfire. We can all agree that training is an important part of any career especially that of driving a truck, but are we keeping up with the times? Are we using tools that people today are using in our courses and ensuring they understand the foundation for their use?
As an instructor myself I can tell you it can be hard to keep up with the latest technology in class. The alternative is when I start them on map reading the eyes begin to roll. Many are amazed at what a map can tell them, but often I hear I’ll just use my GPS (Global Positioning System). One student wouldn’t even open the map book, he must have had two phones, one for backup. Maps are still important should the truck break down or the phone dies.
Teaching the old ways are important to offer a base of information for students but as you can see through the example above students start tuning out the information if they don’t see the relevancy. So how are you keeping up with the times? Have you introduced technology into your programming that students would use on the road? Have you looked into tools and technology that will enhance the information and make the training more interesting to students.
Many of the courses are registered with the Private Career Colleges which means they have been approved and registered for use. This sometimes stops people from improving them because of the process of having to re-register a course. Is this holding you up from making changes.
For instance there is technology out such as virtual reality, how many schools are using this as a way of creating a hands on experience in the classroom for students? Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are now common in most trucks and becoming mandatory in 2022. Do you have Electronic Logging Devices in your equipment so that students will get the experience of using that technology? There is inspection software available for mobile devices that can be used by students to give them the schedule 1 right on their phone and practice doing a pre-trip inspection from their classroom desk.
Now I know that much of that comes with a cost and having staff with the technology knowledge to work it is another issue. The point is that our industry will be advancing fast in the future. The training schools need to keep up with the technology carriers are using in their fleets and technology that students are using in their daily lives.
The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) has a process of auditing their member schools to ensure they are meeting the training standards for the industry. How many schools have done an audit on their own school to see where they can update or introduce newer ways of improving their courses? Don’t just show students what technology is in the industry, but give them actual hands on experience with the technology. Making the training interesting and up to date with the industry is one way to keep the students engaged and your school a success.
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 www.theleadpedalpodcast.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only