Tag: Transportation

People and Leadership

I have said this many times, I cheated myself in my early years with my formal education, you can’t change the past so as I got into the business world there was so much I had to learn. Much of that was through reading books and then putting what I read into practice, some things worked and stuck and some things did not. Here are a few tips for you to consider;

  • Train and educate the people in your business well enough so they can leave and be successful. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.
  • Leadership is the very heart and soul of business management. What you manage in business is people.
  • The manager administers, the leader innovates.
  • Leadership is the ability to inspire other people to work together as a team, following your lead, in order to obtain common goals and objectives. No one can do it alone.
  • When hiring people seek capable, experienced people, who are motivated, who want to achieve and make something of their lives and are not afraid to work hard for what they want. Look for people who are intelligent, knowledgeable, and experienced and have enthusiasm for work.
  • No one wants to follow a weak leader. Leadership is practiced not so much in words but in attitude and actions.
  • One of the essential attributes of a good leader is having enough self confidence to admit their own mistakes and know that it will not ruin them. There is nothing lost and much to be gained by admitting you are you human.
  • The person who heads up a company should realize that his people are really not working for him or her, they are working with for themselves. They have their own dreams, their own need for self – fulfilment.
  • A great leader pays attention to the 100’s of little things. Done every day that reveals their character. There is a delicate balance that exists in hierarchy of every company and that balance swings upon all the little things a leader does instinctively, intuitively, spontaneously, out of experiences good or bad. Leadership, like life, can only be learned as you go along.
  • Leaders are individuals who make ordinary people do extraordinary things in the face of adversity.
  • When you are a leader and seeking power or influence, do not expect to be universally loved and supported.
  • Endurance is no substitute for effort, we should try to minimize hostilities and promote a climate in which communications will be easier and real conflicts can be worked out.
  • As leaders we all need to find more candor. The first step is to define one’s operating standards and develop a better way of policing oneself. The second is to inject more candor into all communications, explain things better and acknowledge mistakes.
  • Regarding your credibility – don’t think about it. Focus on honesty, perspective and performance and credibility will look after itself.

I want to summarize by saying I am not the greatest leader or person BUT I work at things everyday to be the best I can be. Practicing some of the things I have shared with you will help professionally and personally.

If I got my license on a Cessna would you be comfortable with me as your Pilot on a Jet?

I’m not a betting man but I would bet that no one would even give a second thought about getting in a jet with someone licensed on a cessna.  The general public would not even think about the issues of someone being licensed on an automatic transmission tractor than jumping into a manual transmission driving down our highways.

Have a listen to my recent interview on Global Radio The Morning Show to understand more.


Insurance Hikes Hard on Everyone

Nuclear Verdicts are costing our industry big time and its not going away anytime soon. An accurate definition of a nuclear verdict is any financial award (generally over 10 million) that is significantly disproportionate to what would be expected given the economic damages in the case.

In many cases the defence must battle the plaintiffs counsel “reptile theory” which means the the plaintiffs appeal to the jurors emotions rather than the acts and data.

Here are some staggering facts:

  • In the USA the average verdict size for lawsuit above 1 million involving a truck crash has increased nearly 1000% from 2010-2018 rising from 2.3 million to 22.3 million. Remember if your trucking in the USA you play by their rules. If you think your insulated because you only truck in Canada – think again. Many experts are saying the claims are hitting nuclear verdict status here in Canada as well.
  • Insurance rates continue to go up forcing carriers to leave the business or scale back on excess insurance putting them at greater risk if a crash happens.

Some in the industry blame corporate mistrust, litigation financing and social pessimism leading to sense that the system is broken for excessive jury awards.

Currently there is to much heavily lifting to defend yourself; very time consuming for lawyers and consultants to review files and put together a solid defence. There are plenty of inefficiencies and it is costly.

Is there an answer?

Technology needs to be embraced to compile data and information quickly. It needs to be timely, affordable and effective. That is where Bluewire comes in. This new technology is going to be game changer and is going to be an important ingredient to them success of trucking company and will be welcomed by the insurance industry. Check www.Bluewire.ia out – they could save you millions.

Instructor Certification in Our Industry

It really is time is it not, I wonder how many people know that as long as you hold a class AZ licence in Ontario you can instruct people how to drive a tractor trailer.  No official instructor certification for some of the biggest and heaviest units on our highways.

In Ontario, when Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (MELT) was signed off on by all the industry stakeholders,  the TTSAO said we would sign off on it and support what was proposed with a caveat, the Government and the Ministry of Transportation would ensure instructor qualification and DZ MELT implementation would be on the table and dealt with in a year, that was 3 years ago.  Many industry stakeholders have been pushing for instructor certification all this time. Yes, there are industry and Government round tables and way to much lip service being paid to date, nothing.

It saddens me, other groups and association that the Government and MTO continue to drag their feet on this. Road safety is suppose to be paramount with our Provinces leadership and it took a tragedy like like Humboldt incident to bring our industry incompetency to the front lines. Do we need another catastrophic incident to get something done?

The majority of the industry and stakeholder groups want properly developed instructor certification programs for the trucking industry. I will leave you all with a thought to ponder. Someone teaching a kid to drive a car at 16 MUST be certified and pass a course to be qualified but someone teaching someone to drive an18 wheeler does not need to be certified. Somethings not right, you be the judge.

Key Note Speaker Focuses on Making Your Job Easier

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking at ways to make what I do on a daily basis easier. We only get twenty-four hours in a day and if your driven to succeed or work with someone who is, you want to use your time wisely.  This often turns us to technology, it saves us time, money and makes us better but there is so much of it and so many players in the technology space.

One of the players Is ISB/MEE.  Have you ever driven down the 401 West and looked over to the right just by the highway 25 exit and see a big beautiful building with the pond out front and wonder what they do and who they are?  The company ISB/MEE is one of the largest suppliers of document sourcing organizations in the world.  You name it they can probably get it for you.  For our industry that means things like driver abstracts, criminal record searches and driver history.  The big deal is they do it at lightening speed which is important when your trying to get drivers insured and on the road.  They are experts and very good at what they do.  They are the chosen service provider of many brand name transportation companies.  Fast, affordable, accurate, this is the best way to describe ISB/MEE.

This month, in a couple of weeks at the TTSAO Conference, Micheal Thompson, CEO of RSB Global Services (ISB/MEE) is the keynote speaker at the conference where he will talk about technology in our industry. He has broken his presentation into three groups;

  1. Top Tech Products; to help your business, things like facial recognition, 3D Printing and assessments.
  2. Technology Disrupters; things that could disrupt the industry like E- Commerce, Drones and Uber for trucking.
  3. What Does the Future of Trucking Look Like; in reference to social media, the cloud, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and quantum computing.

This excites me and it’s not because I’m a technology geek, it excites me from the recruitment and retention end of our business.  In order to hire the right people we must use the right tools to gather correct information in order to insure the driver.  This technology is not only important to the companies its important to the person on the other side of the desk, the people your hiring. They want to see our industry using technology and they want to work for companies who are using it.  Understanding what is out there to potentially disrupt our industry is important so we can be prepared to challenge and defend the disrupters.

With the TTSAO Conference on February 27th and 28th you need to get registered, there is limited space left.  The TTSAO Conference is billed as highly educational, very affordable and is attended by all industry sectors; schools, insurance, carriers, government, and suppliers.  Day one will feature meetings led by both the TTSAO Insurance Group and the TTSAO Carrier Group.  Both groups will talk about important issues they are working on collectively with the industry and government. The annual general meeting is on Day 1, followed by a networking cocktail party that gives you a chance to mix and mingle with other industry people.  At the cocktail party there will be a conversation between Dave MacDonald, President of Revolution Staffing and Glenn Caldwell, Vice President, Corporate Development of NAL Insurance on the Power of Networking.  Other agenda items on Day 2 include; Social Media for Business Strategy led By Kimberly Biback of Sharp Transportation, Best Practices For Training featuring leaders from Bison Transportation, Quail Transport, KRTS and CHET moderated by Geoff Topping of Challenger Motor Freight, Kelly Henderson of the THRSC will moderate a panel of industry association leaders from the PMTC, OTA and the Fleet Safety Council to discuss the value of industry associations and how you can benefit from them. This year’s conference will also feature the presentation of the first TTSAO/ PayBright Instructor of the Year.

As President of the TTSAO I know I speak on behalf of the entire board of Directors that we are proud that the TTSAO is the only association in the Province of Ontario which number one objective is representing the best interest of our full member truck training facilities. The TTSAO includes strong representation of insurance, for hire and private trucking companies, industry associations and suppliers.  The companies who are members of the TTSAO represent tens of thousands of people who are employees in the transportation industry across Canada.

I want to thank the entire TTSAO Board of Directors who have been actively involved in the success of the association over the past two years. Your commitment of time, knowledge and expertise has made our association better and our industry stronger. Never under estimate the power of the donation of your time.

Government Should Include Truck Drivers in Provincial Nominee Pilot

On March 14th, the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) corresponded with the Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese. The letter points out the “misclassification” of truck drivers under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) “C” which means the Ontario trucking industry does not currently qualify for The Ontario Immigration Nomination Program (ONIP).

Good Question!

A couple of weeks ago I was having a great conversation with a young executive in the trucking industry and during the conversation he asked what is the number one piece of advice I could give him to help him be successful in the industry?  Good question! I thought for a minute, then responded “be available”.

He looked at me kind of funny, “that’s it” he said, I needed to explain. First I asked him what does that mean to you? His response was not good, I knew he didn’t get it and I wasn’t expecting him too. Forget about young executives many seasoned executives don’t understand what being available means. Be available for me means be available when people reach out, become the go to person, be the “I know a person” person. I love being that person. I get calls all the time asking me if I know someone for something. Most of these calls come from industry colleagues who probably know I will be able to help them quickly and direct them properly. Yes, I guess you could google and many do but being able to reach out to someone and get a good endorsement about a type service or product from someone you respect and trust means so much. I like being that guy.

In order to do this you need to be available, not just for referrals or do you know someone when that call comes in, you need to be available for your customers, your industry, your colleagues all the time. I tell people all the time call me anytime, I tell people when I give them my card my cell number is on my card and call anytime. You may think how many calls do you get after hours and on the weekend?Very seldom do I get calls after hours or on the weekend, like I mean almost never. People as a rule will only reach out after hours or on the weekend if it’s an emergency.

Emails, now that’s a different story, I do have a rule that I try to stick by. When I get home from work I have a spot for my phone that is not within arms length, I try to leave it there. If the phone rings I walk to it. As far as emails go I will look at emails in the evenings, I should say glaze over my emails. If someone needs me and has reached out via email it’s not an emergency BUT I will email back quickly and say give me a call on Monday and here’s my cell number. I actually do that on purpose instead of emailing them a response to their question, that way I get to talk to them. You see I love the conversation much more then the email. It’s a connection far better then email and in most cases takes the same amount of time and means more.

At the end of the day “be available“, it is my #1 piece of advice.

Attending Industry Events Will Improve Your Business

As many others in the industry I invest a ton of time at industry events. Setting my calendar early for the my “don’t miss” events in the industry, I believe is very important to the success of our businesses.
Selling what you do and how you do it is not always done at the boardroom table or in someone’s office. Many deals are initiated on the trade show floor, conference event, golf course, ski hill, fishing boat and for some (including me) tipping a pint with someone at a watering hole. Sometimes it is a combination of all of these.

A Thrilling Day This Summer – Ultimate Exotics

I am so fortunate that I get to meet so many awesome people daily. I mean, I’ve definitely met some dough heads too, but for the most part there are some really cool people in our industry.

Geoff Joseph is one of those people I am fortunate enough to have met. What makes him cool? Most importantly, he is a Bruins fan so we connected instantly when we met a few years ago. Also Geoff is now a customer at KRTS and Transrep and our people like doing business with him and his people because of his great personality . As a serial entrepreneur he has fingers in a number of pies in transportation but it is what he is involved in away from trucking that is interesting as well.

Geoff is a partner of Ultimate Exotics in Stoney Creek. Ultimate Exotics is billed as the ultimate driving experience. I can tell you first hand it is just that. My beautiful bride of 30 years surprised me with this experience for our anniversary recently. I must tell you it has been a major highlight of summer and I would highly recommend that if your a car buff and want to drive really neat cars and like to go fast and enjoy a terrific day with that is run by some really good knowledgable people give Ultimate Exotics a call.

Let me give you some of the highlights of our experiences off the day.  First the cars I drove in my five plus hours; Tesla S90, Nissan GTR, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder  and a McLaren MP4-12C. Simply a smorgasbord of some of the greatest sports cars on the planet. This ride wheels you through some of the prettiest backroad highways in the Niagara Peninsula escarpment and wine country. For me I didn’t have to get in the passenger seat so I drove everyone of incredible machines and pushed their performance (and Lisa’s nerves a couple of times) to the brink. Your excursion stops half way through as you park your car in VIP parking at the KEG in Niagara Falls for a great lunch with stunning views of the falls. After lunch you continue your high pace cruise with a combination of backed road curves and turns along with some expressway cruising.

Ultimate Exotics is the leading top rated exotic car experiences in Canada and was recently awarded the trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence from 2016. Besides the views and cars what makes Ultimate Exotics special is their people. The entire staff was great but two guys that stuck out to me was Steve Luangpaky their Marketing Manager and Dennis Williams their General Manager. These two gents understand the meaning of customer service. If your looking for an amazing experience that is affordable, fun and exciting check out www.ultimateexotics.ca you will not be disappointed.

I hope you are all having a terrific summer!



It’s Here! Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (MELT)

Years ago when MELT was first being kicked around I was fortunate enough to meet with one of Minister Del Duca’s assistants at an industry function. She asked if we could meet the next day so she could get my opinions and thoughts about the announcement the Minister made the night before about pursuing MELT in the Province. Two hours later we were still talking about the Pro’s and Con’s, who the players should be at the table and what the goals and objectives would be.