Trucking is one of the biggest employment drivers in the country. It pays great, there is a shortage of truckers, and a high demand in the market, making it a great job to be in. So, if you are getting into trucking, here are some obvious and not so obvious things you should be aware of.
1. You need a License
As obvious as it seems, Alberta offers multiple license classes and you should pick the right one. A class 3 license allows you to drive a three or more axle truck, while a class 5 license allows you to drive a two axle truck.
2. Canadian Trucking Alliance
Once you become a trucker, you can join the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA). Joining the alliance ensures that you got an organization that represents you and other truckers.
3. Job Shortages
You are entering a job market that has massive job shortages, so be prepared to have a range of assignments that you can choose.
If you are working within the area of Alberta and Ontario, expect to get offered assignments of oil transportation. Alberta is the largest producer of crude oil in Canada.
5. You’re in Logistics
You are not just in the trucking industry, you are in the logistics industry, that is the business of getting things to where they need to be.
6. Border Line ups
At times, you may be commissioned for cross-border assignments, so be prepared for long waiting lines at the American-Canadian border. Especially the cross at Detroit from Windsor, which is one of the busiest in the world.
Some places have good parking for trucks and trailers, but most don’t. You’ll learn that there are large parking shortages for heavy duty trucks in Canada and USA.
8. You’ll Visit Vancouver
If you have never gone to Vancouver, you probably will. Vancouver is Canada’s largest port and handles 79.4 million tonnes of cargo. If you stay in the industry long enough, at some point, you will either have to make a delivery or take a delivery from the Vancouver Port.
9. Railway Crossings
Truck-train collisions are not as uncommon as you think. Most collisions are caused by trucks not pulling far enough ahead of the tracks. Take the precaution of always knowing where your truck tail is when you’re next to the railway tracks. The government even launched a program, Operation Lifesaver, that you can look at.
10. Your Truck is your Home
For those days that you are trucking across Canada, your truck is your home. You have to ensure that everything you need, from clothing, to a sleeping bag, to snacks is there in the truck.
When you are not driving in the truck, you may be sleeping in it. So get ready for a few tiresome nights before you get used to sleeping in it.
There are tons of new things to learn when you start trucking. Prep up as much as you can and just wing the rest.