Road Today - - Guest Column -

If the per­fect carrier knocked on your door to­mor­row, would you be ready for the op­por­tu­nity? You may won­der why I ask such a ques­tion, but it does make a dif­fer­ence. Here is the is­sue, I talk to driv­ers all the time and many of them are in search of the per­fect carrier. They want great pay, they want great equip­ment, and they want to be re­spected. We all want those things from a carrier but it just doesn’t hap­pen be­cause you have your li­cence. It takes hard work, ded­i­ca­tion to pro­fes­sion­al­ism, and build­ing a brand that will cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for you.

I re­cently at­tended a con­fer­ence for the Truck Train­ing School As­so­ci­a­tion of On­tario where much of the top­ics fo­cused on the im­age of the driver. One of the mes­sages com­ing from those in the room is that car­ri­ers are look­ing to at­tract the right peo­ple and not just any­one that comes along with a li­cence. With the changes in the test­ing and train­ing re­quire­ments from the On­tario Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion com­ing into ef­fect on July 1, 2017 with the Manda­tory En­try Level Train­ing Pro­gram ( M. E. L. T.) driv­ers will need to have a ba­sic amount of train­ing to get their feet in the door of a carrier. The new train­ing stan­dards have forced the MTO to change their test­ing stan­dards which will make the driv­ing test harder for new ap­pli­cants. All of this is in place to make the roads safer and en­sure driv­ers have ba­sic train­ing when re­ceiv­ing their li­cence.

How does that help you get the per­fect job?

Car­ri­ers are look­ing for pro­fes­sion­al­ism. The new stan­dards will en­sure a driver has the ba­sic train­ing re­quired to pass the road test. It’s a good first step but it won’t get you to the fi­nal des­ti­na­tion. Car­ri­ers want pro­fes­sion­als! The way to be­come a pro­fes­sional is to keep step­ping up above what is called for and learn to be the best you can be. Many new driv­ers try to get by with the min­i­mum amount of train­ing and test­ing be­cause of­ten they don’t like the school part of the train­ing pro­gram. Those classes teach you the ex­tra in­for­ma­tion that makes you at­trac­tive to a carrier. The bet­ter you learn the items taught in those classes the bet­ter a driver you will be. Sadly many driv­ers don’t take that in­for­ma­tion se­ri­ously and lose the op­por­tu­ni­ties that will be pre­sented to them. Where are you? If you are some­one look­ing at the in­dus­try then you need de­cent train­ing. Even with the new M. E. L. T. stan­dards many feel it may not be enough. In­surance have rat­ings for new driv­ers that start with a 200 hour course which are al­ready out on the mar­ket with cer­ti­fied schools such as those at the TTSAO. If in­surance com­pa­nies al­ready have their poli­cies set at 200 hours the new stan­dards may still not be enough. So go to a cer­ti­fied school and get proper train­ing or you re­ally will be wast­ing your money and your time. You can start by vis­it­ing www. ttsao. com. If you al­ready have your li­cence but have found car­ri­ers won’t talk to you be­cause you weren’t cer­ti­fied by a rec­og­nized train­ing fa­cil­ity then here is an idea to try. Call a cer­ti­fied school and ask about up­grad­ing your train­ing with cer­tifi­cates. You shouldn’t have to take the driv­ing test again but many have what they call re­fresher cour­ses that can up­grade you and get you cer­ti­fied. They will as­sess you and up­grade you where re­quired. Once you have your cer­ti­fi­ca­tions you will be able to start ap­ply­ing at those car­ri­ers that wouldn’t look at your re­sume pre­vi­ously. The fi­nal piece is to keep learn­ing and up­grad­ing your­self even when the for­mal train­ing stops. Al­ways try to im­prove your ef­fi­ciency, get bet­ter with trip plan­ning, and keep up with tech­nol­ogy. To be suc­cess­ful in truck­ing it means con­tin­u­ally learn­ing and im­prov­ing. If you can do that you will have a suc­cess­ful ca­reer, I did!

Bruce Outridge is trans­porta­tion con­sul­tant with over 30 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try. He is the host of The Lead Pedal Pod­cast for driv­ers (www.the­leadpedalpod­, au­thor of the books Run­ning By The Mile, and Driven to Drive, and is a trainer and con­sul­tant for the in­dus­try. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at www. bruce­

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