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A Career in the Trucking Industry

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Creating a career in the trucking industry presents a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. The industry is diverse, encompassing long-haul international transport, local freight deliveries, and specialized transport services. It’s an industry that requires a combination of skills, from hands-on driving expertise to logistical planning and customer service. The first step in creating a career in trucking is understanding what aspect of the industry aligns best with your interests and skills.

To start a career in trucking, one needs the appropriate driver’s license, typically a Class 1 or AZ license. Training from a reputable driving school is essential, as it prepares you for the practical and theoretical aspects of truck driving. Additionally, many companies value certifications in safety and logistics management, which can be beneficial for career advancement.

Many companies have taken on the challenge of training drivers themselves in an attempt to address the chronic problem of driver shortages. In Canada in particular, the industry recently reported a shortage of 55,000 workers. The federal government has taken notice, stepping in to declare the need for more training to help supply and shore up the vital trucking industry.

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Challenger Motor Freight, based in Cambridge, Ontario, started their Transportation Training Academy to address the driver shortage head-on, offering students a chance to learn the ins and outs of the industry in an operating environment.

Challenger’s Academy (CTTA) is located at the company’s headquarters, giving students a taste of a fully functional truck yard, allowing time with experts in the industry, well-qualified instructors as well as invaluable lessons from current drivers within Challenger’s fleet.

Challenger emphasizes the integration of technology and sustainability training into their curriculum, providing key benefits to their students when searching for employment in the industry.

Beyond driving, there are myriad opportunities in logistics management, fleet management, and even training and development roles. Companies like Challenger often encourage and facilitate career growth, offering various pathways for advancement.

The trucking industry is ever-evolving, with AI and sustainability innovations set to upend the current status quo in a head-spinningly short amount of time. But for those interested in working within a dynamic and essential industry, with opportunities to help shape its trajectory organically in the coming years, trucking can offer a robust and satisfying career path.

When deciding which carrier to work for, be sure and prioritize carriers who demonstrate a commitment to employee development, safety, and sustainability, as well as fostering a positive workplace culture. In addition, compare the various offers for pay and benefits, as carriers often compete to attract and retain the best talent. When interviewing, hone in on their policies around maintaining work-life balance, and prioritize carriers who offer flexible schedules that accommodate the needs of their drivers.

With the right approach and mindset, a career in trucking can be a fulfilling and prosperous journey.

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