Education is the Key to Being a Smart Trucker

I hear it everyday 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 everyday. 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 or

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is transportation consultant with over 30 years experience in the industry. He is the host of The Lead Pedal Podcast for drivers (, author of the books Running By The Mile, and Driven to Drive, and is a trainer and consultant for the industry. You can learn more about Bruce and his work at

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