It took over almost two years from the day the Toronto Star released their exposé, and revealed to the general public the major issues happening at Drivetest Centres, for the introduction of Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (MELT) to happen.
There has been lots of publicity and hoopla about MELT. There has also been some posturing about who did what, who were the leaders, who drove the bus and who is taking the credit. For the record, from how I, and many others see it, the Ministry of Transportation were the leaders. They drove the bus and did a hell of a job in doing so. The entire industry can take the credit and some are saying it was all them but make no mistake, the MTO put together a well-oiled machine to tackle this project. They were the leaders, and the industry was part of their team.
Yes, the OTA held the meetings at their office and yes, when the Minister of Transportation made his announcement, it was only David Bradley standing with the Minister for the announcement and the photo-op and so deserved. For years Mr. Bradley has been the most powerful person in trucking in Ontario. He does this with the support of a terrific team. We’re going to see how valuable he is when he retires from our industry. David Bradley is a true leader and his support team is second to none. I know this first hand because I worked with those terrific people during my term as Chairman of the Board of the Allied Trade Division of the OTA. They are a very hard working organization.
Minister DelDuca and Mr. Bradley are the most powerful people in trucking in Ontario, so those who thought they should have been standing with Minister DelDuca and Mr. Bradley when the cameras were running and the press was there taking notes, don’t be disappointed. If everyone who contributed to MELT was in the picture, there would not have been enough room for the photo to be taken. The industry knows who did what and more importantly, your family and friends and those close to know what you did.
For example, Mike Millian, President of PMTC was at every meeting. He was there representing both the Private Motor Truck Council (PMTC) and the Truck Training Schools Association (TTSAO). Mr. Millian was constantly asked for input at meeting after meeting because of his extensive trucking and educational background in our industry. Speaking of the TTSAO, many members of the association were at the table during the process. Carriers, insurers, training schools, for hire and private trucking companies all supporting the direction and position of the TTSAO. Without a doubt the TTSAO had the most representation at the table overall. On behalf of the entire membership thank you for your commitment to all of the meetings you attended. The TTSAO continues to be a growing organization and the industry and government are paying plenty of attention to the TTSAO.
So, will MELT have an impact on carriers? You betcha it will. The good carriers will figure it out, some have already. The mediocre carriers? They will either raise their bar or get out of the business. At the end of the day this is all about the driver. It’s about good people getting good education and going to work at good carriers. The fly-by-night training schools or licencing mills, as properly coined by the good training schools and the TTSAO, they will do the same. They will get better, follow the new legislation or get out of business.
Carriers can stay ahead of the curve by getting involved with the TTSAO Carrier Group. How to do that? Give us a call or drop me a line and we will let you know when the next TTSAO Carrier Group Meeting is.