Untapped Potential – Women in Trucking

Canada could be facing a shortage of 25 000 truck drivers by the year 2020, according to a recent Conference Board of Canada study, commissioned by the Canadian Trucking Association.

Why? The factors include increased demand for goods transported by road, retiring drivers, and a lack of skilled drivers. Companies are going to be looking outside of traditional areas when they search for new recruits. Women in particular represent a large population of people who are currently under-represented in the field, and could be attracted to careers in trucking.

Currently, fewer than 3% of all company-employed drivers are female. Women make up only 4% of all owner/operators in the country. If the Canadian trucking industry is going to deal with the coming shortfall behind the wheels of the nation’s trucks, this dynamic is going to have to change.

Granted, there are some challenges for women to overcome. Truck driving is generally perceived as unfriendly to female drivers. It often involves long hours away from home, physically and mentally challenging work, and a lot of the time accommodations are actually inside the truck. In spite of the challenges (that face men, too) many of the women who have pioneered the long-haul landscape have found the work to their liking, and the companies they work for are finding that gender makes no difference in job performance.

More and more of the companies looking to hire truck drivers are actively trying to attract women. As the approaching driver shortage drives up demand for skilled professionals to take the drivers seat, these efforts are likely to increase.

If you’re interested in a career in the fast-paced, challenging motor freight industry, you owe it to yourself to find out more. In Manitoba, contact First Class Training Centre online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302. In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

Is Desk a Four-Letter Word?

Some people are not natural cubicle-dwellers. For them, 8 hours spent sitting behind a desk in a climate-controlled building surrounded by other people engaged in the same work is a punishment, not a job.

If you’re a motivated, independent worker who’s not comfortable staying in one place day after day, and you don’t necessarily have to leave your job behind at 5 p.m. everyday, you might want to consider a career as a long haul truck driver.

While the thought of cruising down the highway free as a bird, kilometers from a ringing phone and with no boss breathing down your neck may sound great, there is a lot more to truck driving than just driving a truck.

Whether you’re employed as a company driver or an independent owner/operator, a long-haul truck driver has many responsibilities. You will need to be able to take care of your own scheduling and route planning. You will be responsible for record keeping, and adhering to the complex regulations that govern the industry. You will be charged with responsibility for the security of the goods you transport, the ability of the companies you work for to do business, and the safety of yourself and all of those around you. You are also likely to be away from home for days at a time.

Clearly, long haul (also called “over-the-road”) driving isn’t for everyone. But if you are suited to it’s rather unique set of demands, it can be a very rewarding career. The demand for skilled drivers is anticipated to increase in the coming years, bringing increased security to the profession in the form of more opportunities. Financially, there are rewards in the industry. According to 2011 data from the Conference Board of Canada, the average truck driver’s wage in Manitoba is about $910 weekly, enough to provide a respectable living. Owner/Operators, who run their own businesses can make more money, and have even more control over their careers.
To find out more about careers in the trucking industry, and the steps you need to take in order to make it happen, contact First Class Training Centre online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302. In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.

Finding the Right Fit – Interviewing Potential Employers

Canada’s trucking industry is growing. That old saying “If you bought it, a truck brought it” is as true as it ever was.

The pool of skilled truck drivers, however, isn’t keeping pace. According to a recent study commissioned by the Canadian Trucking Association Canada could be facing a shortfall of up to 25000 truck drivers by the year 2020. The future prospects for today’s newly licensed drivers looks fantastic. More demand for truckers means that, in motor freight, you will have more choice regarding your employers and the terms of your work than in many other industries.

Many carriers are actively recruiting drivers. Rather than simply taking the first offer that’s put on the table, find out how that company stacks up against others in the industry. Here are some things to find out about:
1) Pay. Does the carrier offer competitive remuneration? If you’re paid by the kilometer, is it calculated based on “shortest kilometers” or “practical kilometers”? Will you be paid for time that you’re working but the truck isn’t moving, like loading/unloading, border waits, etc.? Some companies are fairer than others.
2) Steady work. Does this carrier offer steady work? Your income can be drastically affected by unexpected downtime caused by slowdowns in freight volume.
3) Home time. Is regular home time part of the equation? Despite the fact that you want to make money, is it balanced with the opportunity for a home life?
4) Equipment. Does a potential employer offer new vehicles, modern technology, and a good maintenance schedule? If you’re looking for a long haul job, modern amenities like a refrigerator and an Auxiliary Power Unit that allows you to run heat and air conditioning even in no-idle jurisdictions can go a long way in increasing your comfort.
5) Organization. Will you be efficiently, and more importantly, legally dispatched? Does the company stand behind its drivers, especially when unforeseen circumstances arise on the road? Will there be anyone in the office to answer the phone when you have a problem?
It’s a great time to get into the trucking industry. At First Class Training Centre we’ve got more than half a century of combined experience in the business to draw on. If you’re interested in finding out more, contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302. In the Winnipeg area call 204-632-5302.