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Mandatory entry-level training in trucking is needed

There isn’t a job in the world that doesn’t require some sort of training. The level of training will change depending on the job or profession. But without training, people will not perform adequately to meet the needs or expectations of the job.

When you consider the skill required to operate a tractor trailer in North America, there is no greater need for in-depth training and testing. Never mind the size, weight and complexity of the trucks being driven today, but add in the need to improve road infrastructure, and congestion, this drives home the need for significant training.

In 2017, Ontario implemented Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) to ensure all commercial drivers who obtained a Class A licence receive proper training. The goal was to ensure a consistent competency level for all new drivers. While many individuals had been receiving adequate training, there were many obtaining a licence by learning only the minimum skills needed to pass a road test. This is now changed, and those obtaining their Class A licence will be better trained and have increased competency level in their skills.

At Bison, we understand better than anyone the need for properly skilled and trained drivers. Upon joining our team of professional drivers, and as new to the industry, they enter our Driver Finishing Program. Our goal is to develop each driver so they have the required skill levels of a professional driver. These drivers will spend 13 weeks with a number of qualified in-cab instructors. Instructors are changed regularly so the driver can experience different driving and instructional techniques, as well as provide us with another opinion on the driver’s progress.

Drivers move through different regions, including driving in the mountains and the United States. Each week, results are documented and reviewed in training reports and driver feedback. Part of the training program will have the driver spend time in one of our truck simulators to effectively assist their development. After the 13 weeks, the driver is road tested and if we are satisfied with the progress made, they go solo.

At Bison, we believe in investing in our people. We coach and mentor them to be the best professional driver and followup to ensure they have a successful career with us.

It is this type of training that has made us North America’s Safest Fleet for 12 years and counting.

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