Truckers in Canada are in the middle of one of the busiest seasons of the year.
The holidays used to mean increased traffic to retail locations, but with the advent of online shopping, courier companies have joined the fray, delivering holiday packages to a record number of Canadian households.
According to a study by FedEx, 62 percent of Manitoba residents planned to shop online for gifts this year, up from 52 percent last year.
This increase in trucking traffic comes in one of the most unpredictable weather periods of the year, increasing stress on truckers who face pressure to deliver their loads on time. Factor in the stress of being away from friends and family over the holiday season, as many long-haul truckers are, and heavy holiday traffic on the roads, and you’ve got a perfect storm of unfavourable conditions.
If you find yourself behind the wheel of a truck this holiday season, take a little time to relax before you head out to do battle with the traffic. Remember, you can always be a little late. No delivery is worth risking your life. Drive according to road and weather conditions, and do your best to arrive home in one piece and in a good frame of mind when you do finally get there.
If you’re sharing a road with commercial trucks, please give the drivers as much courtesy as you can. Each cargo truck you see on the road this time of year could be painted like a great big sleigh, because it’s likely delivering gifts to people, both naughty and nice, all over the country.
If you come and study at First Class Training Centre, you’ll be taught by instructors with considerable road experience, who will be able to “tell it like it is” when you ask questions about the trucking industry. We’re Winnipeg’s best truck driving school – contact us online or call Toll Free 1-855 632-5302.
Anytime you’re heading out on the highway, there’s a certain amount of emergency preparation you need to do. If you’re a local delivery trucker driving in good weather, your emergency preparation kit might consist of a fully charged cellphone, some extra snacks and water, and a $20 bill tucked in the back of your wallet.
If you’re a long-haul operator working solo for days at a time, you need considerably more gear in your emergency kit. And if it’s winter, when the weather can leave you stranded at a moment’s notice, there’s a lot more planning that you need to do. Here are some suggested items for your emergency bag:
1) Cellphone and extra battery – In an emergency, communication can be the difference between life and death. Make sure your phone operates and that all your batteries are charged.
2) Food and Water – In winter, take enough with you to last a couple of days. A dense energy source (granola bars, etc.) and a big jug of water are must0haves.
3) Extra Clothes and a Blanket – You may be stranded without heat, or you may have to leave your truck. Make sure you have clothing that’s appropriate for very cold weather. Don’t forget your hands and feet – extra socks and gloves.
4) Light and Heat – A candle can provide both if you’re stranded in your truck without heat.
5) Tools – No need to go overboard, but some basic necessities can get you out of a jam. Screwdrivers and a small socket set can take care of most immediate needs.
6) Currency – if the power is out, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to use credit or debit. In these situations, a little bit of extra cash can go a long way.
At First Class Training Centre, we give aspiring truck drivers the training they need for challenging and rewarding careers in the transportation industry. Contact us online or call Toll Free (1-(855) 632-5302.