The introduction of Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) this July 1, is going to shake up truck driver training, according to industry stakeholders at the recent Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario’s (TTSAO).
As reported by Today’s Trucking:
“We’re going to see fundamental changes,” said Rolf VanderZwaag, president of Techni-Com and manager of maintenance and technical issues for the Ontario Trucking Association. “The tests are going to get tougher.”
“What we’re going to get rid of is the notion that a Class A licence (in of itself) makes you a truck driver,” VanderZwaag continued, adding that MELT will better prepare would-be truckers.
“MELT is going to cut off the bottom end, the bottom feeders,” he said, adding that programs will educate about more than just driving the truck, and focus on workplace culture and provide students with more of the support they require.
“If drivers are poorly paid, poorly trained and they say ‘Don’t get into this job, don’t work for this company’, we are doing a disservice to the industry,” VanderZwaag said.
Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development with Bison Transport, said MELT should help alleviate some of the shortage of professional truck drivers.
“In 2015, 42% of the drivers hired didn’t meet our driver criteria,” Pitzel said. The fleet addresses the gaps through an extensive entry-level training program of its own, offering 13 weeks of in-cab training with an instructor.