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Fair and Balanced Discussion of Covid-19 and Manitoba's Trucking Industry

- by Susan Green

The Manitoba Trucking Association's Executive Director Terry Shaw was recently featured on CBC Radio One's Up to Speed with guest host Marjorie Dowhos. The main topic of discussion was the number of positive cases of Covid-19 in Manitoba related to the trucking industry. As Shaw says, the positive Covid-19 numbers overall in Manitoba remain very low, drivers are isolated in their work, and they are careful - including going for testing - to ensure that they are not spreading the virus, out of an abundance of caution for their family members, friends, and communities. As well, he points out that while so many of us were able to stay home to prevent the spread of Covid-19, we were able to do so because truck drivers kept freight moving. The conversation also includes a discussion about the economic impacts of Covid-19 on Manitoba's trucking economy. You can listen to the interview here: https://www.trucking.mb.ca/files/2020/June/terry%2...


 

How to Become a Successful Trucking Dispatcher

- by Christina Hryniuk

Truck drivers represent more than 45 percent of our industry’s workers, but there are other occupations in trucking and logistics that deserve consideration too.

According to Trucking HR’s Labour Market Information: Interim Report September 2019, dispatchers made up about two percent of the workforce. Despite such a low number, they play a substantial and important role in the trucking industry.

From Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census we know:

  • There are 16,730 dispatchers working in Canada’s trucking and logistics industry
  • Regionally, 12% of these dispatchers are in B.C., 15% in Alberta, 7% in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 39% in Ontario, 22% in Quebec and 5% in Atlantic Canada
  • Women make up 39% of the dispatcher workforce
  • 19% of dispatchers are newcomers to Canada
  • 19% are visible minorities
  • 4% of dispatchers are Indigenous

People between the ages of 15 and 35 make up 31 percent of the position, while people over the age of 55 account for 17 percent.


Become a dispatcher

A dispatcher monitors where trucks are located, checks on how the runs are going, deals with customers, finds the next load assignments, and more. The job of a dispatcher is fast-paced and constantly changing.

If you are thinking about becoming a trucking dispatcher, you’ll want to know whether it’s a right fit for you. You don’t need formal education to become a dispatcher, however there are programs and classes that are very helpful to the position. The other approach is quite simple. Hands on experience.

Once you are a in the position, you will quickly learn that it can be occasionally stressful. To overcome this, check your documents and work before moving forward, because one mistake could cause a domino effect of many more mistakes.

Dispatchers are good at multitasking. From finishing a phone call, you’ll likely have multiple emails, then be back on the phone again, then try to manage more emails and phone calls. With that being said, it’s important to plan ahead—know what the weather will be like the next day, whether there’s construction on your route or not, and map out a general plan.

As a dispatcher you will work closely with drivers where you will have to communicate with clearly and regularly.

Go to Jobs Canada to find dispatcher jobs now.


 

Regulatory Sandbox on Electronic Shipping Documents for Dangerous Goods Project

- by Christina Hryniuk

Transport Canada is launching a regulatory sandbox on electronic shipping documents. This project will allow them to test the use of electronic shipping documents for dangerous goods shipments in a safe way. As the transportation sector evolves, Transport Canada is looking at ways regulations can be updated to help keep Canada competitive and encourage innovation, while keeping Canadians safe.

Transport Canada will use the sandbox to evaluate whether electronic shipping documents can help reach the same or a better level of safety as paper documents, and if so, under what conditions.

The project will look at using electronic shipping documents across four modes of transportation: air, marine, rail, and road. They will also look at both rural and urban environments, including areas with limited or no internet or cell coverage.

The success of this project depends on stakeholders participating and contributing. Transport Canada is looking for shippers, carriers, first responders, enforcement personnel, and other government agencies to participate in this project.

How to participate

You can participate by:

  • Applying for an equivalency certificate.
  • Submitting feedback or completing questionnaires

Applying for equivalency certificate

You can apply for an equivalency certificate if you are a Canadian consignor or carrier that transports dangerous goods in Canada, and you can:

  • Communicate shipping document information to first responders, inspectors, and CANUTEC within five minutes
  • Provide a point of contact who can provide shipping document information when the dangerous goods are being transported
  • Register with CANUTEC
  • For road vehicles, display a sign advising that electronic shipping documents are being used. These signs will be provided by Transport Canada and must be displayed on a driver's door and at least two sides of the means of containment.
  • Send Transport Canada a report every six months that describes any incidents.
  • Give Transport Canada information related to your use of electronic shipping documents. This could include the impacts or benefits on operational activities, training, equipment, and administrative activities.
  • Send Transport Canada your feedback throughout the two-year study.
  • participate in emergency response simulations during the study (not everyone will be asked to participate)

To apply, you will need to register an account in with an approvals application website and contact Transport Canada for an application form. If you have already applied for an equivalency certificate, you won't need to re-register.

If your application is approved, you will be issued an equivalency certificate that gives you permission to use electronic shipping documents from spring 2020 until spring 2022. Simulations and engagement activities will also take place during this time.

Participating in this project is voluntary, so you will not be compensated for participating.

For more information, click here.


 

SmartWay Technologies Reduce Emissions Significantly

- by Christina Hryniuk

Over the past decade, technology has dramatically improved supply chain freight efficiency. The SmartWay Technology Program have accredited numerous innovative technologies, which fleets are adopting because of the return on investment.

EPA-verified technologies reduce emissions for tractors, trailers, and locomotives. It also saves fuel. EPA varies aerodynamic devices, idling reduction equipment, and retread low rolling resistance tires. It also designates trailers quipped with combinations of EPA-verified technologies as SmartWay Trailers.

Fleet managers can buy SmartWay Verified Technologies directly from manufacturers and dealers.


Aerodynamic Devices for Trailers

Adding aerodynamic devices to smooth airflow over a truck on the highway is relatively cheap and an easy way for fleets to improve fuel economy in long-haul tractor-trailer applications.

Low Rolling Resistance (LRR) New and Retread Tire Technologies for tractors and trailers

Using the right tires cuts down on furl costs and harmful NOx emissions. Certain low rolling resistance tires and retread technologies can reduce cost and emissions for long-haul class 8 tractor-trailers by three percent or more.

To reach that reduction, the following requirements must be met:

Tires

  • Tires are used on the axle positions for which verification is specified.
  • Verified low rolling resistance tires are installed on all axle positions of the tractor and trailer. (Note: EPA has also demonstrated incremental fuel savings when low rolling resistance tires are used just on the tractor and/or just on the trailer.)
  • All tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Retreads

  • Verified retread technologies are used on both the drive and trailer axles. (Note: EPA has also demonstrated incremental fuel savings when low rolling resistance tires are used just on the tractor and/or just on the trailer.)
  • The retread technologies are used on the axle positions for which verification is specified.
  • Verified low rolling resistance steer tires are used.
  • All tires are properly inflated according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Idling Reduction Technologies (IRTs) for trucks and school buses

In extreme weather conditions, truck divers must idle, but idling reduction technologies allow operators to shut down the main propulsion engine by using a device.

Each year, long-duration truck idling results in the following estimated figures:

  • 1 billion gallons of fuel consumption
  • 11 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • 180,000 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx)
  • 5,000 tons of particulate matter (PM)

Looking to save money and reduce your carbon footprint? Join SmartWay.

The Manitoba Trucking Association encourages all trucking companies to better educate themselves with the myriad of benefits the SmartWay program provides. SmartWay will be hosting a free webinar on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.

Greening Freight Programs invites you to join this Webex meeting.

Meeting number (access code): 557 426 888
Meeting password: 8bBywY62
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:00 am | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr

Join Meeting


 

How does SmartWay Calculate Carrier Emissions Rates?

- by Christina Hryniuk

SmartWay provides partners access to free resources and tools, while helping track and improve fuel efficiency, which will reduce emissions and operating costs. SmartWay is also committed to recognizing and publicizing the work of its partners. How are emissions measured and calculated?

In collaboration with their partners, SmartWay is asking partners to submit data to the SmartWay tool. The tool calculates a company’s specific emission rates, with accordance to their fleet category.


The six emission categories are:

  • Grams/kilometer of carbon dioxide
  • Grams/kilometer of nitrous oxide
  • Grams/kilometer of particulate matter (2.5 microns)
  • Grams/tonne-kilometer of carbon dioxide
  • Grams/tonne-kilometer of nitrous oxide
  • Grams/tonne-milometer of particulate matter (2.5 microns)

At yearend, shippers can calculate their own freight carbon footprint using the information from the carriers they work with.

The actual emission rates are never made public, however SmartWay uses the data to place companies into performance ranges, which are specific to each fleet category. Each fleet category has characteristics that can affect both fuel consumption and emissions, which makes the study unique.


How do Shippers use the data?

Shipping partners also submit data each year. They can import the information using SmartWay so they to can compare fleets, while evaluating transportation cost’s. Other calculations include, freight emissions and inventory of emission levels across each of the emissions categories.

Track truck carries data here.

For more information on SmartWay go here.

The Manitoba Trucking Association encourages all trucking companies to better educate themselves with the myriad of benefits the SmartWay program provides. SmartWay will be hosting a free webinar on Feb. 26 at 10 a.m.

Greening Freight Programs invites you to join this Webex meeting.

Meeting number (access code): 557 426 888
Meeting password: 8bBywY62
Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:00 am | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr

Join Meeting


 

Manitoba Truckers Needed: How to Get Funding for Truck Driver Training

- by Christina Hryniuk

Manitoba’s most recent labour market information report (Labour Market Occupational Forecasts 2019-2025) shows transport truck driver is an occupation with one of the highest levels of net openings. In fact, 99 percent of the 500 specifically listed occupations in the report have lower new job numbers than transport truck driver.


Manitoba needs 4,100 Transport Truck Drivers by 2025 if the needs of the provincial economy are going to be met. While this information highlights a serious economic concern, it also presents significant job fulfillment and public policy opportunity. Specifically, in support of the Manitoba Skills Strategy and Manitoba Works plans which have targeted “enhanced alignment between workforce training …and labour market needs” as well as “40,000 private sector jobs”. According to a national labour market forecast, vacancies for truck drivers across the country have more than doubled since 2016 with 22,000 vacant positions in 2018.



So what options are available for carriers to fill these positions? There is the driver training funding program, which covers the cost of driver training for those eligible applicants. Hundreds of Manitobans have been trained via this program already. The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) encourages trucking companies looking for drivers to take part in the program.
So how does it work?


Funding for Truck Driver Training

People who are looking to become drivers first need to obtain their class 5 driver’s license and finish the graduated licensee process. At this point, air brakes certification may be required.


Once you complete the graduate process, you will need your class medical, which has to be completed by a doctor and can be obtained through the registry of motor vehicles or Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) or your local insurance broker. Your medical conditions will be reviewed by a board of approval of Class 1 upgrade.



After you receive your medical, obtain the Class 1 instruction, book your test with MPI, and write your class 1 knowledge test.



You will then have to obtain your commercial abstract from MPI or your insurance broker. A commercial driver’s abstract reflects your driving habits for all class vehicles. The next step is to get a criminal record check. A clean search report is best because it allows you to cross the border, but its not necessary.



There are six approved truck driver training schools in the province. Upon registration the school will provide you with a letter acknowledging your registration.


You will also need to obtain a letter of intent from a trucking company. A letter is an acknowledgment-not an offer-that you spoke with them about the trucking industry. It indicates that the employer will hire you upon completing school and a company road test, based on the information you provided them. The letter of intent and registration letter will now allow you to approach your local Manitoba Jobs and Skills Development Centre for approval of funding.


Funding is available for the 240-hour Class 1 Training Program and is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.




For Employers

There are also opportunities to promote your organization by other means, such as Yes! Winnipeg’s 2020 International Recruitment Mission. The Asper School of Business regularly looks for companies to work with on co-op placements, as does Red River College. While these are not all opportunities for driving positions, the reality is that we need talented people throughout our industry.


Finally, there are resources available to smaller trucking companies, such as the Canada Small Business Financing Program, that will support investment in your organization (not specifically people) that may help your business grow as needed.


It can sometimes be a challenge to know where to turn to support your business, but the first place to try is the MTA. We regularly receive new information about new programs and opportunities, and we are always working to improve efficiency in bringing new people to our industry. So, if you have a question or aren’t sure where to turn for resources, contact us.


 

We can learn from U.S. ELDT program

- by Christina Hryniuk

Once again, our American counterparts appear on pace to beat us to the punch when it comes to implementing a much-needed safety initiative.

This time, it is the FMCSA’s national Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT), which is supposed to come into effect in February 2020. Watching this program roll out, I would suggest that there is a lot that we can learn from this process.

This will be a national backstop program, meaning that across the country, there is now a minimum training standard.

Once this program is implemented, no one will be able to simply test for a commercial vehicle license, they will be required to take some form of entry level training.

This is something that the Manitoba Trucking Association’s (MTA) board of directors has discussed with a national training program: the need to ensure there aren’t any loopholes or opportunities to slip through the cracks.

By having one national program, a backstop, if you will, no drivers can take advantage of lower standards in one state or another. Further, if a state already has a testing standard in place that is higher than what the FMCSA is proposing, the higher standard remains in effect.

With that said, it has to be pointed out that saying “there’s a standard” has to actually mean something.

In Manitoba, drivers in the MELT program are required to complete 121.5 hours of training, consisting of 40 hours in-class, followed by 41 hours in-cab, as well as 40.5 hours in the yard. Instructors are able to access a government and industry-designed set of training materials designed to cover all of the content in the curriculum.

According to the FMCSA website, there is no required amount of classroom theory/knowledge training or set number of hours behind the wheel. In this program, a new driver’s ability to drive is at the discretion of the trainer.

No specific training materials have been developed by the FMCSA beyond what can be found in the appendices of 49 CFR 380. This is a government document, not training material. So, to say there’s a testing standard might not mean what we would anticipate.

Second, much of the program requires self-certification that is not overseen. While we want to trust that everyone who registers with the Training Provider Registry meets the requirements, based on what our industry has seen with self-certification of ELDs in the U.S., the question must be asked, “Have all of the requirements actually been met?”

Finally, this is a huge program, which has led to delays in implementation and the usual finger pointing. Getting all regions on board and developing the necessary infrastructure and automation is a huge undertaking.

This isn’t a surprise, nor is this unique to the FMCSA. The recently implemented carbon tax backstop program here is Canada also had huge infrastructure and wrinkles that are still being resolved. Unfortunately, what it means right now is that the ELDT program is in limbo.

Why is it important for Canada’s trucking industry to pay attention to this? First, these drivers will be driving in Canada, so we want to ensure their drivers are as safe and well-trained as ours (safety-related reciprocity is a longstanding issue in Manitoba between the MTA and Manitoba Infrastructure).

However, there is opportunity to learn from their program as well.

If we can learn from its deficiencies, such as by ensuring the infrastructure is in place well in advance of roll-out or by developing a higher standard that is accepted across the board, then I believe we will be working toward creating a more level, safer playing field for all carriers and new drivers.

Our executive director Terry Shaw wrote this feature for trucknews.com.



 

MTA's Executive Director Terry Shaw on CJOB talking about Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel

- by Christina Hryniuk

Terry Shaw, Executive Director of the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA), speaks about the differences of biodiseal and renewable diesel in light of the province's announcement about increasing Manitoba's biodiesel content and what it means for the trucking industry. Shaw also dives in to other options for reducing green house gases.

The MTA has been advocating for the GrEEner Trucking Program for years. We will continue to advocate for other options such as electrification and policy programs that are industry standard.

Listen to the interview here.


 

Province and Feds Announce Efficient Trucking Initiative

- by Aaron Dolyniuk

June 10, 2019

CANADA AND MANITOBA ANNOUNCE CLIMATE ACTION
IN THE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR

A recent report from expert Canadian scientists showed that Canada was warming at twice the average global rate. People in Manitoba are feeling the impacts of climate change in their communities. Reducing carbon pollution from the transportation sector is one way the government is taking action to fight climate change and protect the environment, while growing the economy.

Today, the parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Terry Duguid, on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, joined Manitoba Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires to announce a federal investment of up to $5.9 million to improve the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles. This funding is a component of Manitoba’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund allocation of up to $66.8 million.

This funding will help the government of Manitoba provide incentives for fuel-saving devices and retrofitting on heavy-duty freight trucks. Manitoba’s program will provide cost-effective solutions to support the trucking sector to reduce carbon pollution, increase economic competitiveness and save money on fuel.

The government of Manitoba will be also be contributing $5.9 million toward the efficient trucking initiative program.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting climate action and investing in programs that will make our air cleaner and our communities healthier, while helping transportation companies save money, promoting clean innovation and supporting good middle-class jobs.

Quotes

“We are taking real action on climate change, with practical solutions to reduce pollution and help people save money. By investing in fuel-saving devices and technology, we are helping people across Manitoba take action in an affordable way. These investments will also help create good jobs and help us build up the strong clean economy of tomorrow. By building a better today, we make sure our kids and grandkids will have a better future.” – Terry Duguid, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and member of Parliament for Winnipeg South

“Our government is committed to making Manitoba the cleanest, greenest, most climate-resilient province in all of Canada.

“Given Manitoba’s geographically central location, we are natural trucking hub. Heavy-duty trucking is a significant driver of our local economy, but also a growing source of greenhouse-gas emissions. Making fuel-efficiency improvements specific to the industry is key in helping Manitoba achieve its reduction targets in a meaningful way and enhance the competitiveness of our businesses.

“This new program, in partnership with Canada, is an important initiative that supports Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan. By working together, Manitobans and Canadians can continue to protect the environment and grow the economy in a practical and affordable way.” – Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires.

Quick Facts

• Canada’s heavy-duty vehicle regulations will make the transportation sector more competitive by saving new vehicle owners approximately $1.7 billion in fuel costs annually by 2030.
• Canada’s emissions standards are designed to promote innovation. Heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers will have the flexibility to choose the clean technologies that will increase their fuel efficiency, reduce emissions and operating costs.
• Manitoba’s new program aims to enhance awareness in the trucking sector on the benefits of fuel-saving technologies for long-term decision-making.

Associated Links

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For more information:

  • Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.
  • Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.
  • Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-945-4916.

 

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

- by Varinder Brar

Please take a moment to subscribe to our YouTube channel located HERE. We will be updating it with new content regularly. We recently released a new video on driver recruitment that you can view below.


 

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