Today's Trucking

Alberta to mandate driver training

July 11, 2018 by John Smith

CALGARY, Alta. – Alberta has been discussing the idea of mandatory entry-level driver training since 2016, but it was ultimately the fatal crash of a truck and team bus that accelerated plans to require such training by January 2019.


Pulse Survey: Your thoughts on driver training

June 29, 2018 by John Smith

TORONTO, Ont. – Recent events are shining a light on driver training standards, with concerns that more needs to be done to ensure Class 1/A licence holders can operate safely. In this month’s reader survey, Today’s Trucking asked for opinions […]


Skilled Trade? — Until trucking gets that moniker, we’re in trouble

June 18, 2018 by John Smith

The thing about proper training is that it makes the driving job legitimate, makes it seem like something worth doing. Our ability to attract new recruits will only increase if a strong training regime is in place. That’s how I wrapped up last month’s column — “Training? What Training?” — which garnered a lot of response. And a lot of agreement, especially on that point about legitimacy. If the job required serious training, graduates would think better of themselves, as would the public and the suits who govern how we do what we do.


It’s Our Fault

May 10, 2018 by John Smith

Like many of you, I was devastated when my two passions—hockey and trucking—collided tragically on April 7 outside of Tisdale, Sask. I was also embarrassed and angry. Embarrassed because the trucking industry I’ve defended at every dinner party for 35 years was somehow responsible for the senseless loss of 16 lives.


Drivers ‘deserve to be trained’, says BC widow calling for nation-wide standards

May 7, 2018 by elizabeth

FALKLAND, B.C. – Pattie Babij is on a mission to make new driver training mandatory nation-wide.

It’s been a difficult year for Babij. A little more than 12 months ago her husband Steve was driving his truck near Revelstoke, B.C. when another semi crossed the median and hit him head on – neither he nor the couple’s dog Zak survived the crash.

To add to the grief, she’s being forced to sell her dairy farm because she’s unable to run it without her husband’s help.


Mandatory training won’t fix everything, but it will help

May 2, 2018 by John Smith

The chorus calling for improved and mandatory training for truck drivers is growing louder as the days pass following the Humboldt, Sask. truck/bus crash. We still don’t know the official cause of that crash, or what role driver training — or the lack thereof — played in the incident. I’m not inclined to believe it was a primary factor. I think what is playing in most peoples’ minds is the driver’s reported lack of experience.


Updated: Saskatchewan backtracks on training stance

April 30, 2018 by John Smith

REGINA, Sask. – Days after announcing plans for mandatory entry-level driver training, SGI’s auto fund division has issued a second memo that backtracks from the stance. “We would like to clarify that no decision has been made regarding Class 1 training,” writes Kwei Quaye, vice-president, traffic safety, driver and support services.


Lucas moves from the ring to the road

April 27, 2018 by John Smith

MONTREAL, Que. — Eric Lucas first raised the WBC world middleweight championship belt over his head in July 2001, and managed to hold on to the boxing title for two years. But when his time as a professional fighter came to an end in 2010, it was time to look for a new career. At first, he ran a dairy. Then a café in Estrie. The idea of entering the trucking industry came after that.


U.S. moves closer to tougher driver training standards

March 27, 2018 by John Smith

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Entry-level truck drivers in the U.S. will face newly mandated training requirements as of Feb. 7, 2020.

But the new training standards set out by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will not define the minimum number of in-class or in-cab training hours, as previously advocated for…


Mind the Paper Trail: Track driver files or face the consequences

February 9, 2018 by John Smith

Kevin James Hickson has built a career on delivering metal. It began with local deliveries and a pickup truck before a co-worker told him about the job opening for someone with a Class AZ licence. All it took was training […]


Ontario training schools call for tuition hike

December 11, 2017 by John Smith

HAMILTON, ON – The Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) is calling on the province to raise the $40 hourly cap on tuition governed by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development – and it has already found industry support in the call.
Select carriers, insurance providers, and the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada are all supporting the bid.
The cap has not been adjusted since 2009, but since then training school insurance costs have risen an average of 200%, equipment leases are up 45%, instructor wages are up 15%, and maintenance fees are up 20%, TTSAO argues. Costs also increased with the province’s recent introduction of Mandatory Entry Level Training.
“When you factor in the cost of fuel, insurance and wages for your staff and other capital expenses the $40.00 cap seems unreasonable for any kind of operation,” says Guy Broderick, a driver training supervisor at APPS Transport Group and chairman of the association’s carrier group.


Ontario driver training schools warned

August 9, 2017 by John Smith

TORONTO, ON – Ontario’s private career colleges have received a stern warning from the ministry that oversees them, after complaints that some schools are trying to bypass newly introduced mandatory training for commercial drivers.
The Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program was introduced by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation on July 1, and sets a minimum of 103.5 hours of training for anyone looking to earn a Class A licence. It’s the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce such a standard.
In a memo obtained by Today’s Trucking, the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development says it has heard some schools may not be complying with approved training programs and conditions. The issue includes programs designed to upgrade BZ or DZ licence holders to AZ licences, or simple hourly lessons.


Syrian driver in waiting: “I don’t want to be idle”

July 7, 2017 by John Smith

TORONTO, ON — Truck driver Ahmad Al Rasoul knew it was time to leave Syria the day the bedroom where his two-year-old son Joseph was sleeping got destroyed by a bomb. Miraculously, young Joseph remained unscathed, albeit covered in ashes. Rasoul, 46 at the time, and his wife Rasmia Al Mekhlef, had four other children and lived in Homs, a community badly wracked by the Syrian civil war. You’ve probably seen the skeletal remains of Homs buildings on the news. Since he got his licence at 22, Rasoul had been a truck driver and loves the work. But he’s still waiting to apply his skills in Ontario.


Online accident reporting course

May 23, 2017 by John Smith

CarriersEdge has unveiled a new online training module that guides drivers through legal and safety procedures and responsibilities following an accident.


Association releases “DCP in a box”

May 3, 2017 by John Smith

TORONTO, ON — The Ontario Trucking Association has released its Essential Driving Skills: Tractor-Trailer Driver curriculum for fleets that want to upgrade their Driver Certification Program (DCP) ahead of the province’s Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) regime that takes effect July 1.