Training is there for a reason to ensure that the people driving beside us on the highway have the skills to handle their vehicle in a safe manner. When training is cut to push someone through faster it can damage the future for that person but go even further and make the roadway unsafe for others. Recently their have been complaints from veteran drivers of the road after many close calls have happened to them while sharing the road with new drivers. Drivers state people are driving with their feet on the dash, passing at dangerous places on the roadway, and showing little courtesy for others on the road. We’ve seen it on social media where drivers lack many of the basic skills to be on the road. When we look at some of the major incidents over the last decade involving commercial vehicles many of those incidents came down to a lack of training such as the Humboldt incident that killed 16 people.
Recently Truck News reported that 11 people have been arrested in Ontario and Quebec training schools for falsifying documents and not providing the training required. The M.E.L.T. System (Mandatory Entry Level Training) was developed to ensure that everyone on the road had the proper training. This was a good step for the industry and the program has been adopted by many Provinces outside of Ontario. Unfortunately that has opened up areas for abuse by those thinking they can make a quick buck by putting students through the program. Kim Richardson – President of the TTSAO was interviewed by The Rear View Mirror about the issue and says there have been 200 schools start up since the beginning of M.E.L.T and there has been little enforcement in verifying their programming. You can read the full interview here. The Truck Training School Association of Ontario has it’s own audit process for their member schools to ensure they are in good standing. You can learn about the audit process here.
We need to make our industry better and that includes training providers to ensure they are offering proper training to students and following the regulations for our industry. There is a large demand for drivers but drivers who are unsafe, improperly trained, or careless don’t help any of us. They leave the carrier at risk, shorten their career aspirations, and possibly injure or kill someone on the road. You may make a quick buck but your reputation for putting out sub par training will eventually catch up with you.
As a student for the same reasons mentioned above taking the shortest route to the goal of a license is not the way to look at training and many do. When looking for training look at quality of training and proper training facilities or you won’t be able to get a job anyway. Professional carriers either work with certain training facilities or look for a certain standard in training facilities when hiring new candidates as insurance regulations can affect the carrier’s bottom line.
If you are looking for a training facility in your area then the Accredited Schools page with TTSAO is a good place to start. If you are new to the industry and never driven a truck you will want the certified 200 hour course. If you have driven before or are already employed by a carrier that will offer continuation of training afterwards then the M.E.L.T. training may be an option. You can view the directory of TTSAO schools here.
Don’t shortcut your training, you are only hurting yourself!
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 specialist in the industry producing a number of programs for the trucking industry such as his trucking podcast The Lead Pedal Podcast for Truck Drivers at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com or his radio station Lead Pedal Radio at www.leadpedalradio.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only