Monthly Archives: June 2015

More Jobs Driving Less Than Truckload

Since it first became a common shipping mode in the 1980s, LTL (Less Than Truckload) shipping has become a staple of the trucking industry. These smaller shipments have made the freight business, and in fact the manufacturing and distribution industries as a whole more competitive, and have changed the way companies move their goods to market.

Previous to the advent of LTL trucking, businesses were restricted to the cost of a full truck to deliver goods, making smaller shipments impractical and giving an advantage to customers who shipped at higher volumes. The LTL model levelled the playing field, giving smaller companies better access to transportation so they could compete more effectively.

Life on the road is different for companies and individuals moving goods that don’t fill the truck. There are more pickups and deliveries, and goods need to be handled more on their way to their destination. For over-the-road haulage, LTL carriers prefer tandem or “pup” trailers, which allows them the ability to drop off half of their load to a terminal, and then continue to a second destination with the other half.

For local delivery, goods are generally moved to a day cab truck, which is shorter because there’s no sleeper compartment. Trailers often utilize roll up doors rather than traditional swing doors, as it makes it easier to load and unload. The truck will be equipped with a pallet jack, as the load will need to be manipulated between shipments.

LTL shipping means more business for smaller companies, and more opportunities for aspiring transportation professionals. We’re forecasting a significant shortage of truck drivers in the short term, which means that carriers that accept LTL shipments will be looking for drivers. If you’re pursuing in a career in trucking, come and see us at Winnipeg’s premiere driving school, First Class Training Centre. Our instructors are freight professionals who know the ins and outs of the complicated trucking business, and can help you make informed decisions about he best way to enter the industry for you.

Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.

In Brandon, contact us at (204) 727-4781 or fill out our online form with your questions.

More Connectivity is Coming

Gone are the days of “seat of the pants” trucking, in which a solitary driver had to face all kinds of obstacles in an effort to get the goods where they needed to go, on time and in good shape.

Today, you might find that you’re the only one in the cab of the truck, but you’re far from alone. You’re connected in obvious ways (your radio and cellphone) and in ways you don’t commonly see. The loads you carry are tightly scheduled, and if you’re a little late for a drop-off, you will be missed.

Even the trucks themselves are becoming more connected. GPS tracking tells you and your clients exactly where the truck is at all times. Even tire pressure monitoring systems are starting to come online, alerting you (and if you are driving for a fleet operator, them) about fluctuations in pressure, tire wear, etc. Fuel consumption is tightly monitored so adjustments can be made.

Most of these new digital communications take place without the drivers’ knowledge, and provide truck owners with a wealth of information that they can use to manage their fleets.

These tools are being integrated into more and more trucks. The leader is Sweden’s Scania, who not only manufacture premium trucks for the European market, but also operate their own trucking business to help them build better trucks. Scania not only makes the tools that communicate the deluge of data generated by a truck on the road, they have determined how to use this information to better serve their customers.

The digital revolution is just starting in the road freight business, but you can bet that it will become an important part of the industry, and quickly. Those who don’t modernize risk perishing at the hands of better informed operators.

If you’re considering a career in trucking, you need to see the professionals at First Class Training Centre. As Winnipeg’s premiere Truck Driving School, we have decades of experience on the road, and hundreds of hours in the classroom. Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.

Look Out! Summer Brings New Challenges on the Road

Summer’s coming, and with it longer days, warmer nights, and a whole lot of things to enjoy.

Unfortunately, it brings some worries, too, especially if you spend your days driving a truck. Here are some things you need to be prepared for:

Busier Highways
Summer is vacation time, and the roads are going to fill up with travellers who have recreation on their minds. Many will be travelling in unfamiliar locations and operating vehicles that they don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel of. Be especially mindful of RVs and 4-wheelers towing trailers, and give these drivers as much space as you can.

Harsh Climate in the Cab
It’s going to be uncomfortable, especially out here on the Prairies, where the sun is hot and the days are long. Make sure your truck’s air conditioning works before the season starts, and make sure you have sunglasses, appropriate clothing, and that you stay hydrated, so you can stay healthy and alert.

Maintenance Requirements
Basic vehicle maintenance requirements are heightened in harsh weather – hot or cold. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated (remember to check them when they’re cold, as pressure is likely to go way up when driving in hot conditions), that your truck’s fluids are fresh and at optimum levels. Don’t forget the windshield wash – you’ll be scrubbing lots of bugs off your rig, especially early in the season.

Take it Slow
Remember, no load is worth endangering your life. If traffic’s bad, or you’re too hot, or tempers are flaring, sit back, take a deep breath and a big swig of water, and drive on. Let cooler heads (yours) prevail.

With over 50 years of experience in the truck transport industry, our instructors have seen it all! We’re happy to pass along our tips and tricks, both in the classroom and if you want to contact us.