TTSAO Recap of 2021

Here we are at the end of 2021 and a lot has happened and is happening in the World. Covid is still impacting our lifestyles and how we do things. The supply chain is causing huge delays around the World and trucking is still struggling to fill the seats. Are we getting any better?

New drivers are being criticized like never before as we struggle to get them into the seats. The Government has supplied many dollars for training in a variety of areas such as trucking and heavy equipment but we still struggle to show potential candidates the pride of being behind the wheel. Many veteran drivers are tired and don’t show enthusiasm for the job that we need to show new people. As different cultures enter the industry it changes what we value as important as a driver and the profession has become more about a job than a lifestyle.

When we look back at the training industry since Covid began it has gone through many changes. Covid brought out the importance of the truck driver to our lives and that caused us to be heroes, however that was short lived as things changed during the pandemic and essential services like washrooms were closed to those same heroes. The #thankatrucker campaign became popular and is still in effect however it is so over used it doesn’t carry the same weight that it once did in the beginning.

Although the Humboldt incident happened a couple years ago it was brought back to light by a story by CTV outlining the driver who has been sitting in jail for years and risks being deported. The story brought out the fact that the company didn’t do the proper training for this driver and hasn’t supported him in his time of trouble. Kim Richardson and Mike Millian were both involved in the episode outlining the importance of training standards across the Country. Mandatory Entry Level Training (M.E.L.T) has now been implemented across many Provinces in Canada due to that incident.

Humboldt Episode with TTSAO

Humboldt has caused us to look at the safety of our industry but another issue that has been plaguing us for years is what we call “Driver Inc” which is a business model where carriers employ drivers but have them incorporate and operate as independent owner operators. It is a way of avoiding taxes and can cause problems for both the driver and carrier. Many drivers are now finding out that they not only get paid less in that model but cause them not to get paid for some work at all due to deductions. Canadian authorities have begun clamping down and investigating carriers and drivers operating under that model. More to come in 2022 about this issue which has the potential to change owner operator contracts across the industry.

From a TTSAO standpoint there have been a few changes this year. The TTSAO has been dormant for a while in 2020 with social media and has begun again 2021 by bringing Bruce Outridge back onto the program. Kim Richardson retired aa President of the TTSAO at the end of October and the position is currently in transition.

The annual conference for 2021 was cancelled due to Covid restrictions where many were holding virtual conferences the TTSAO committee decided to wait for in-person events to return. We are happy to announce that the 6th Annual Conference will be held February 23rd-24th, 2022 at Lionshead Golf and Country Club in Brampton Ontario. We look forward to seeing you there, you can learn more about the conference on our conference page.

See you in 2022

All in all the trucking industry is in a state of flux across North America and Covid keeps changing things on a daily basis. Be assured that the TTSAO is committed to the highest standards of training for the industry and is a great place to start a career in the industry. You can learn more about the TTSAO at

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


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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