Road Today - - Guest Column -

Ihear it ev­ery day from car­ri­ers that the peo­ple com­ing into the in­dus­try are lack­ing com­mit­ment and don’t seem to have the skills nec­es­sary for the job. I see it in my classes that many stu­dents are try­ing to cookie cut their ca­reer and find the per­fect job from day one. We see it as a whole in the in­dus­try that things are in a state of flux and or­ga­ni­za­tions are try­ing to come up with an­swers that ad­dress the needs of the in­dus­try. No easy fix for sure! There is one con­stant com­po­nent in the whole equa­tion and that is you, the driver, the stu­dent, you’re the glue.

Why are you the glue, that im­por­tant piece of a very com­plex puzzle? You are the piece that con­trols ev­ery­thing. As a driver you are in de­mand in the in­dus­try. There is a ma­jor re­cruit­ing short­age that is get­ting worse and driv­ers are needed badly. As a stu­dent you want the best job you can get, but get­ting that job may be harder than you ex­pected be­cause it is not just about driv­ing a truck. As an in­dus­try we have been try­ing to find the right mix of reg­u­la­tions for both driv­ers and com­pa­nies work­ing in the in­dus­try and that has made the in­dus­try more com­plex over the years. So how does this af­fect us go­ing for­ward?

There are many that be­lieve we don’t have a re­cruit­ing short­age but lack the nec­es­sary driver qual­i­fi­ca­tions in to­day’s driv­ers. The in­dus­try has changed so much that once it was a dump­ing ground for peo­ple with­out ed­u­ca­tion, it has now be­come one of the most reg­u­lated and ed­u­ca­tion rich in­dus­tries around. So how do you suc­ceed in an in­dus­try that is chang­ing at the speed of sound? The se­cret is to ed­u­cate your­self, net­work, and take your po­si­tion se­ri­ously.

For the most part peo­ple look­ing into the trans­porta­tion in­dus­try have no love of be­ing in classes or in­creas­ing their ed­u­ca­tion. Many be­lieve if they can drive then they have all that is needed to be suc­cess­ful. In fact the most pop­u­lar rea­son that peo­ple get into this in­dus­try is be­cause they went on a long trip, en­joyed the drive, and thought truck driv­ing might be for them. What changes is when they ac­tu­ally get into the train­ing as­pect they re­al­ize driv­ing is only one part of the po­si­tion. There are many dif­fer­ent com­po­nents to the job and driv­ing is only 50 per­cent at best. Keep­ing your­self ed­u­cated is the im­por­tant as­pect of be­ing suc­cess­ful in to­day’s trans­porta­tion in­dus­try. The other 50 per­cent of the job du­ties needed to be suc­cess­ful en­com­passes ev­ery­thing else that a driver does on a daily ba­sis. Ed­u­cate your­self reg­u­larly through videos, pub­li­ca­tions, pod­casts, and other sources that you come across ev­ery day. Find the ones that are best for you and keep up with the in­dus­try. What if we took that ed­u­ca­tion com­po­nent one step fur­ther?

Learn­ing from pub­li­ca­tions, pod­casts, and other for­mats are good for on­go­ing learn­ing but at­tend­ing events is one way to re­ally im­prove your game. At­tend­ing an ed­u­ca­tional event of­fers you more ben­e­fits than just learn­ing by your­self on an on­line for­mat. You gain knowl­edge, but you also in­crease your net­work, you get a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the con­tent through ques­tions, and you get pro­mo­tional items that can help you in your daily ac­tiv­i­ties. One such event is the Smart Trucker Sem­i­nar Series that has been mov­ing through­out On­tario in 2016. The series started in Mis­sis­sauga in March, went on to Grimsby, London, Kingston, and is now end­ing the year out in Oshawa, On­tario on Novem­ber 10th.

So take your ca­reer to the next level and se­cure your po­si­tion in the chang­ing area of trans­porta­tion. There is no rea­son why any per­son with a valid com­mer­cial li­cence should not be work­ing for de­cent car­ri­ers un­less they choose not to drive. Re­al­ize that driv­ing is only a por­tion of your re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and the in­dus­try is chang­ing. Don’t be one of the sta­tis­tics of this in­dus­try, be part of the so­lu­tion. Join us for the next Smart Trucker Sem­i­nar in Oshawa On­tario. You can learn more by go­ing to road­to­day.com/ smart­trucker or bruce­outridge. com/smart­trucker.

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