B.C. legislation mandating new training for truck drivers a 'positive step': Kamloops trucking company | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. legislation mandating new training for truck drivers a 'positive step': Kamloops trucking company

Image Credit: Province of B.C.
October 12, 2021 - 6:02 AM

The owner of a Kamloops truck driving company says the province’s new mandate requiring new truckers to take additional road safety training is a “positive step in the right direction.”

Greg Munden, owner of Munden Truck and Equipment Co. in Kamloops, currently employs 14 truck drivers and has just added three new employees to his current fleet.

“It could further deplete the availability of drivers, that will have an impact but there are some people that just shouldn’t be behind the wheel of a truck,” Munden said. “The bottom line is we want the quality of driving and professionalism to come up and those companies that I guess have gotten by with recruiting drivers and putting drivers in the seat that are not qualified, I think this is a step in levelling the playing field.”

The new legislation requiring advanced training for new drivers won’t change Munden’s hiring process, which already relies on references, previous experience and attitude at its forefront. A few employees have also been provided with additional training through a professional driver training program for log-haulers if they’re less experienced, he said.

The trucking industry in B.C. and across the country has long struggled with a driver labour shortage and some companies may be tempted to reduce internal standards for who they employ, he said.

It took between six to eight weeks to find the three new truckers and hire them, which Munden said is OK with their search for qualified drivers.

Even through the mandatory entry-level training program, most students aren’t ready to jump in a truck in the industry. There still needs to be involvement from the company to do additional training and ensure truck drivers are competent, Munden said.

B.C.’s program will exceed the minimum requirements set by the National Safety Code Standard for entry-level training of Class 1 drivers when it begins Oct. 18.

“(New training requirements) will improve the behind-the-wheel driver training for people before they become commercial drivers, which will ultimately improve safety on our roads. Creating a higher standard of competence before people can be licensed will help improve driver decision-making, leading to fewer mistakes on the road,” said David Earle, president of the B.C. Trucking Association, in a press release from the province.

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