len's masthead




londoner editor pic





If Dolly Partonís lyrics: "Working nine to five what a way to make a living? Barely getting by. Itís all taking and no giving and just getting bye": is true for you? I have an interesting career for you to investigate.

Recently I spent the afternoon at the Ontario Truck Driving School interviewing Giles Belanger General Manager and Gus Rahim the owner. Here is the scoop. There is a huge need for Transport Drivers in the next decade of an additional 37,000 new drivers per year. Remember that the only thing not delivered by a truck was your baby girl.

If you are twenty-one year old literate male/female and hold the equivalent of a G licence with a clean health, driving/criminal record you can qualify. No need to pursue years of college/university education. The cost of the instruction is $7,995.00.

Along with the above a good attitude/work ethic and a desire to learn sure helps land your first job driving transport.

Every eight weeks students graduate from the eight week program of sixty hours in class and the equivalent time in truck with one on one instruction. There is an additional forty hours of yard work to learn the ins and outs of the trade to acquire the needed AZ licencing designation to drive a tractor trailer.

The graduates get the opportunity to drive in a "Cadillac" like luxury vehicle that is 74 ft long, 13ft high and 102 inches wide. The transport cab is a home away from home with fridge, condo bunk beds, stereo & microwave. A Kenworth transport truck sells in the $125/150,000 range The vehicles come fully equipped with: an automatic transmission, air conditioning, power steering & cruise control. Not to worry about the hazzards of backache; the trucks have "air ride and captain seating".

The pay is decent with local work (home every evening) of 50 hours a week with a starting salary $38-43,000 per year. Regional operators away for a couple of days at a time can earn up to $60,000 per year. Long haul drivers who are away from home for ten days to California can make $70-80,000 per year.

To see what it is all about I was invited to take a ride in a eighteen wheeler with Anna and her instructor Rick. Anna is married to Frank who has been a trucker and in her "spare time" is the mother of seven children age nine to nineteen. She has always been interested in driving the large 425 horse rigs. Prior to enrolling in the driving course Anna was employed in farming and as a home maker. She hopes after graduation to work part time to team up with her husband driving locally. After the children are grown she and Frank will do the long haul trips.

Women are in high demand because they are often more conscientious, cautious and are better at the necessary paper work entailed in the job.

So if you are a university graduate tired of working part time for minimum wages with $20,000 in student loans there is hope. At the time of writing this column Gus has eighteen transport companies looking for AZ truck drivers. Many of his students have interviews/job offers before completing the program.

You can take off eh. The thrill of independence driving the highways and byways of North America are right around the corner.

If you are interested in a viable career in trucking you can check out the Ontario Truck Driving School, www.otds.com or call 1,800,799-JOBS.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com