Experts Says That There’s A Safety Solution For Canadian Truckers

Trucking experts say that there’s a way to improve trucking in Hamilton and across Canada, preventing some of the 2,000 annual highway deaths in Canada, but that the federal government is letting that solution just sit on a shelf somewhere.

Veteran driving instructor, Andy Roberts, says that there’s already a solution, a perfect one, that won’t cost too much money to implement, just sitting there.

Currently, Canada does not have national training standards for its 300,000 semi drivers. The general public have been calling for changes, which have only escalated following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash back in April, which led to the death of 16 people.

Local news outlets have learned that the curriculum has existed for years, having been paid for by the Canadian federal government. The Earning Your Wheels semi-driving course, a three-month program, is considered by many in the industry to be the gold standard. The program prepares truckers for all road conditions, including inclement weather like ice and snow, winding mountain roads as well as multi-lane freeze ways, as well as teaching them how to secure and haul their loads, often massive and dangerous, from logs to hazardous chemicals.

The Earning Your Wheels program originated in the late 90s. Even back then, Roberts and Pro Trucker Magazine Editor John White, there were already concerns about the lack of a national, uniform standard for Canadian truckers. The recent Broncos crash put the issue to the forefront; with many expressing belief that a national standard is needed for Canada.

According to a study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada, the Earning Your Wheels program works and can save lives, as its graduates have been noted to be more competent to those who took other training or didn’t have training at all.

Even insurance companies, who evaluate risks when calculating premiums, held the ETW program in high regard, with some of them saying that the program is one of the few trucker training programs that meet all of their safety criteria.

An expert lays the blame on the federal government, saying that the trucker training program should be federally operated, not how it is; where every province has their own idea on the matter.

There have been some changes made recently, as Ontario made training mandatory, with Saskatchewan and Alberta to follow suit in 2019. But it’s also been pointed out that their courses are less than a month long, and most provinces don’t have a plan.