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APTA working on program to address driver shortage, training and retention

DIEPPE, N.B. -- The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) says it is working on a project that will help the industry deal with pressing issues such as the driver shortage, training and driver retention.


DIEPPE, N.B. — The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) says it is working on a project that will help the industry deal with pressing issues such as the driver shortage, training and driver retention.

“We are very pleased to move forward with a long awaited project for the trucking industry,” said Jean-Marc Picard, executive director of the APTA. “The trucking industry in Atlantic Canada is facing a massive driver shortage. Having the proper framework in place to attract and recruit qualified employees, and harmonize training requirements to support the industry is a priority. This project will help address some issues regarding the recruitment and retention of professional trucks drivers, along with other challenges the industry is currently facing.”

Funding is being contributed by the federal government, through its Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

The APTA says the program will be available to career counselors, training schools, government personnel, carriers and the industry.

“This initiative is a first of its kind for our industry,” said Picard. “We trust that it will create some structure and have a positive impact to our driver shortage. This will also increase the level of professionalism in the trucking industry, raise awareness of professional driving careers, and make it accessible for your people to enter our industry.”

The APTA says 90% of goods consumed in Atlantic Canada are moved by truck and more than 25,000 jobs are directly related to the trucking industry. There are some 4,000 trucking companies based in Atlantic Canada.


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10 Comments » for APTA working on program to address driver shortage, training and retention
  1. steve says:

    We dont need a study to find out people can make as much at a call center as trucking , be home at night work less hours ! Free pics and drops ? When will the goverment step in and protect us ? Everyone else gets paid for work why not drivers ?

  2. Les Howlett says:

    DRIVER SHORTAGE there isn’t one. There are plenty of class 1 and 3 drivers, just no home life or pay to attract those individuals. People need to sacrifice one or the other like a pilot, policeperson, fireperson, doctor or a nurse they sacrifice everyday, but money offsets that quailty of life when they do get days off, but you can’t sacrifice both. “HENCE the NEED for MORE money”

    TRAINING is not there, its all about profit and quanity and passing a road test (which is stupid) and not quality. All schools need to be regulated by the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council and understand that drivers are not just drivers. If you do not follow CTHRC you can not be a school. All trades are regulated and have to meet certain critria before moving forward. A first year apprentice in plumbing doesn’t get to certify the final inspection of a sprinkler system at a school where children attend everyday. Drivers are time management experts, weights and measures consultants, customer service representatives and very good mathematicians “accountants” budgeting fuel, food and quality of life while on the road (and your GPS or smart phone doesn’t do all that for you). This is not to mention having to know all the regulations from the National Safety Code, Provincial regulations and the FMCSR in the US and being regulated by hours of service again CAN/ US and Provincial (I’ve seen the HOS change 8 times in just my short career). WOW you can’t learn all that in a 20 hours course to pass a road test. Having a well trained individual will help in retention too!

    RETENTION would be much easier if standards were higher, you want to driver a truck, you need to pass an aptitude, attitude and knowledge test (and not just 30 questions at the motor vehicle office) oh and we will be requiring you to maintain your certification through online testing ever couple of years. All industry would more respect for the driver knowing what they need to do to keep up in the industry.

    To obtain all of this: First it would take a CHANGE in attitude on everyones part. Then we need a NOC this puts the responsibilities of a truck driver at least at the same level as a custodian or hair dresser which are recgonized as NOC (these are just examples there are thousands of NOCs such as heavy equipment operator) then the schools need to FORGET about PROFIT and QUANITY and go with QUAILTY through a recgonized program. Then the respect of the position will increase attracting new individuals to the industry. The turnover won’t be as great and individuals will stay more commited and loyal to the company they work for in their community.
    SIDENOTE: I bet if you took a survey of driver turnover those with a higher education is a lot less.

  3. MurrayF says:

    Why should the government step in to help the poor whining truck drivers. I have an idea. Why not us truck drivers start saying NO more often. We as truck drivers can change everything in the trucking world if we do it together. Think about it .

  4. bob says:

    We agree 100 percent. But only one way to fix this problem is for owner operators and company drivers to shut down together for a week. And get rid of the brokers at the border, and big companies, their the ones making all the money.

    • wayne says:

      Yes all drivers and owner-ops need to shut down until the shippers start treating us better,. This government will bring more offshore drivers except that Canada has a very bad name around the world for how are large trucking customers treat their drivers. The shippers need to set up phone lines to allow drivers to report bad companies and no longer hire those companies until they treat their foreign drivers better

  5. Delma Williamson GHG says:

    Having recently attended the huge APTA Truck show in Moncton, I am now more aware of drivers and what they are looking for from their employers. One of the key elements we have noticed and heard a lot about, was health and dental benefits as well as disability coverage.
    Benefit plans are and always will be a key element within a compensation package.
    Some of the companies with the huge RECRUITING signs at the trucking show do not provide benefit plans for their drivers. Plans can be customized to meet budgets starting with a “basic Chevy” type plan rather than the “Cadillac”. (Nothing wrong with a chevy – better than the bus!)
    Our local Atlantic Canada Partners can assist with any benefit plan needed.

  6. MFH says:

    How about really recognizing the drivers contribution to the industry / company. Customers are not paying for office staff and management. They pay to have their goods moved from A-B and it’s the drivers that do this. As a driver in this industry, I don’t need these people. I can buy a truck, trailer, computer, smart phone etc., use accountants and run my own show.The paycheck that these people take in comes from supporting me in my efforts , yet a lot of them consider us drivers as being nothing more than a necessary evil that they have to put up with. Who wants to spend long hours, days, weeks on the road sacrificing a home life only to be disrespected and looked-down on by people who have only a small part to play in the realm of things. It’s not surprising that there is a shortage of drivers and unless these people recognize reality, it’s going to get worse.

  7. Brook says:

    I don’t comment, however after looking at a few
    of the remarks on this page APTA working on program to address driver shortage, training and retention | Truck NewsTruck News.
    I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright.
    Could it be simply me or do some of the comments come
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  8. Tony Godsoe says:

    The trucking industry,in the Maritimes with the exception of a few bigger companies, is still old school. Too many smaller companies still exist who do not, pay tolls in advance to the drivers who have to have U.S. money of their own in order to deliver the freight, or take advances on a credit card at a commission to the company. Only a few offering drivers .40c to start. very few have satellite and even fewer with EOBR technology.One reason they can and will push drivers beyond their HOS, is paper logs. I personally worked for a company who told me to get rid of paper log sheets after a trip to the U.S. because if they were audited they would have been shut down. Most of the freight leaving the maritime s go to the U.S. The Canadian dollar is .80 cents but drivers have to eat, sleep over and wait for days in the U.S. without any pay. The TFW,s are being abused by some companies just to hopefully get a permanent residency and then move on. The federal government and provincial government, need to look at some of these issues. Dispatchers, Planners, etc. can and will make a drivers life hell to get freight moved they do not care if a driver has been behind the wheel 90 or more hours a week. No home time, Hungry and then pay day, you take home a whopping $400.00 if you get some miles in to the office while you are on the road. Sometimes no pay because they use the excuse YOU did not fax in your trip sheets with your money, before the cut off date therefore no,pay But keep on trucking. This is still happening to a great degree any wonder why there is a driver shortage and very little driver retention here in Atlantic Canada. Talk to these companies, and then talk to the drivers who really tell the truth.

  9. Tony Godsoe says:

    One huge reason is the pay. New driver.s are not told that they will be paid by the PC miler, which is not odometer miles. You may drive 1000, miles from point A to the customer but your company will tell you on payday that it is only 860 or so. Many companies still only pay city limits to city limits or postal code to postal code, but the drivers are not told this until they see their pay. A driver arrives for work does a pre trip 1/2 hour no pay. fuels the truck more time no pay. P/U load or wait in the drivers room for god knows how long NO PAY. drives to Moncton, waits again NO PAY. Drives back to Halifax, all for about $80.00 less tax. Do this 5 nites a week and see what you take home pay is. Most Companies only share a very poor benefit pkg. If you drive the U.S. and get injured they tell you I HOPE YOU HAVE insurance to get home or worse. OH if you break down for a couple of days the first day is on you NO PAY. Until the second or third day when you maybe back on the road. Welcome to the world of trucking in Atlantic Canada. And do not ever hire on with a company that wants you to have a cell phone, and if you do not shut it off at the border there goes your paycheck. Any company that says you need a cell phone it had better belong to them.

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