It is no secret, that the Canadian supply chain continues to heavily rely on carriers and professional drivers to transport the increasing demand of freight. Freight will range from retail products, grocery loads, heavy equipment, and more.
With the increased amount of freight required to be transported, this provides an opportunity for carriers, also known as trucking companies, to expand their business operation offerings, which requires more professional drivers to transport such cargo.
The challenge trucking companies are experiencing, is finding professional drivers to cover the vacant positions. The transportation industry has thousands of professional drivers operating on the roadways each day. Unfortunately for some, trucking companies are realizing that the thousands of professional drivers currently operating, are not enough.
To add to the ongoing hiring challenge, trucking companies must ensure the professional drivers they hire meet specific requirements, typically set out by the insurance providers and their safety programs. For professional drivers with years of experience, this is an encouraging situation as there is an overabundance of openings in the industry.
For professional drivers just starting out, that do not currently meet certain requirements, such as 3-year experience operating as a professional driver, they will be faced with limitations on which trucking companies they can work for.
Defining Driver Experience
Experience is determined by several components. For the sake of this article, the components mentioned will remain general.
Trucking companies will often be required to validate that a professional driver meets a minimum number of years operating safely and completing specific job duties. 3 years of driving experience, for example, can be validated by background checks and a commercial driver abstract.
If a trucking company requires a driver to have cross-border experience, for example, then this will be confirmed through background checks and possibly reviewing additional documents such as the PSP report of the driver, and the clearinghouse.
Trucking companies that are looking to fill specific driving positions are encouraged to list the requirements in their job postings to help attract the right candidates. New and experienced drivers need to view these requirements and make sure they meet the requirements before applying. When new drivers do not meet the experience required, it is important to not be discouraged but to understand these requirements are in place for a reason.
New Professional Drivers
The need for new professional drivers continues to be increasing, and depending on which statistics you review, this will be a necessity for quite some time. The term new professional driver is typically defined as a younger driver that recently received their commercial drivers license, or someone in their second or third career that has recently received their commercial drivers’ license.
The responsibility of all professional drivers is great, and it can be stated that new professional drivers have even more of a responsibility as they need to learn an enormous amount of information to be successful.
First off, new professional drivers are encouraged to be proud of the position they have worked hard for.
Secondly, the training does not stop after they have received their commercial driver’s license. That is only just the beginning. If you ask an experienced professional driver, they will be quick to say that they will likely learn something new every day, so new drivers are encouraged to keep this mindset as well.
Protecting Yourself, Protecting Your Carrier, Protecting the Public
When new professional drivers are starting work with their first trucking company, they need to keep in mind the importance of training. Trucking companies are required to train professional drivers on specific components such as hours of service, cargo securement and pre-trip inspections before the newly hired professional driver operates their commercial vehicles.
When a new driver is starting out and working, keep in mind that when you are focused on protecting yourself, and the trucking companies’ equipment, you will also help protect the public.
New drivers can protect themselves by ensuring they follow the required laws, such as speed limits. Speed and space management is essential for not only preventing tickets that will hinder your career path as they reflect on your driver’s abstract but also can help prevent preventable collisions. Additionally, they need to make sure they understand the legal way to secure cargo before they depart a customer location to prevent any cargo from falling off the truck or trailer, and again not receiving violation tickets or being placed out of service.
Collisions, regardless of how severe, need to be prevented at all costs. This includes hitting tires on curbs by turning too sharply or striking overhead objects because a driver was unaware of the height of their cargo.
By protecting yourself as a new driver, you will help ensure you have a long successful career in the transportation industry.