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Manitoba to bring in mandatory training for trucking startups

Manitoba, by the end of the year, will require a one-week, 40-hour mandatory training program for new trucking company owners.

Think of it as MELT (mandatory entry-level training) for trucking company owners. Aaron Dolyniuk, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) said it’s a win for industry, which is looking to heighten the barriers to entry into the profession.

“Our members, for a long time, have felt there needs to be more to starting up a trucking company in Manitoba, and quite frankly Canada,” Dolyniuk said in an interview with TruckNews.com. “Our members felt having some initial education would serve the industry and society better.”

The requirement stems from a 2019 Auditor General report on the province’s motor carrier division, which called for more robust training requirements for new entrants to the industry. The MTA jumped at the opportunity to push forward training for new trucking company owners, which is something it had wanted previously and now realized there was appetite for from government.

Working with industry stakeholders, the MTA has developed a curriculum. It includes everything from fleet safety basics, audits, contracts and agreements, working with owner-operators, record management, legislation, National Safety Code requirements, Hours of Service, maintenance, weights and dimensions and other must-knows.

Manitoba flag
(Image: iStock)

“One of the purposes of this course is, it helps gives carriers the tools they need to develop a safety plan,” Dolyniuk explained. When implemented, anyone seeking a Safety Fitness Certificate in the province of Manitoba will be required to take the training. It will also be available to existing fleets who may want to train employees. The course will be offered in-person and remotely.

“Our members are excited about it. We feel we’re taking the lead on this and it’s something that sets fleets up on the right foot as they get going,” Dolyniuk said.

Rick Geller of GL Transport Consulting welcomed the program and was involved in developing the curriculum.

“The importance of this program is that new entrant carriers now have a reliable resource to learn exactly what is expected of them,” he said. “In the past, it was expected that the carriers would have adequate compliance and safety programs in place, but there was little to help them understand exactly what that meant. This program lifts the veil and helps them understand both the expectations and how to meet them.”

He hopes participants will take away a better understanding of their responsibilities as owners of regulated vehicles, as well as a better knowledge of where to get the information the need. Also, he hopes they learn “how to install a culture of safety in their business and an improved understanding of why fleet safety is crucial to the success of their business. It provides the tools to be successful from the start, as opposed to the current paradigm of having to learn from your mistakes.”

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