There’s a reason why the Canadian government has doubled down on support of truck drivers: they represent a growing pillar of the country’s economy.
In February, federal officials announced $46 million would be used to train new workers for the 2,600 additional trucking positions expected for the industry this year.
The funding will go through Trucking Human Resources Canada’s Career ExpressWay Program, and participants will receive training and work experience to prepare them for a career in the trucking sector, Freight Waves reported.
“Truck drivers are essential to our economy and our supply chains,” Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in the news release. “Our government’s investment in this initiative demonstrates our continued commitment to strengthening our transportation supply chain, will allow us to continue to deliver affordable and timely goods to Canadians, and will help build an economy that works for everyone.”
While truck drivers often go unnoticed in a world of technology, they ensure the transportation of crucial cargo throughout the country — and across borders with the U.S.
That’s why Challenger Motor Freight, one of Canada’s largest trucking companies, calls drivers “the backbone of Canada’s supply chain.”
“They transport a wide variety of goods, ranging from perishable food items to essential medical supplies, from one corner of the country to another,” Paul Weatherbie, Marketing Communications Manager for Challenger Motor Freight, said. “Without their efforts, the economy would come to a standstill, and countless industries would be unable to function. They are everyday heroes.”
Even as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars have begun dominating the conversation about the future of transportation, it’s hard to imagine that governments will allow these dangerous vehicles to travel thousands of miles without a driver to ensure the safety of others on the road.
As World Financial Review reported in 2021, self-driving trucks have already been used in Europe — yet human drivers remain behind the steering wheel.
“Many manufacturers choose to maintain a human element in the automation process as a fail-safe,” the article said.
As a result, it’s clear that many governments — including here in Canada — will continue to bolster its support of human truck drivers for the foreseeable future. That is why enrolling in commercial truck driver training in Cambridge is a crucial step towards becoming a skilled and responsible truck driver, opening doors to rewarding career opportunities in the transportation industry.
Canada’s vast and diverse landscape presents numerous challenges for truck drivers. They must navigate through many extreme weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, ice, and freezing temperatures.
They also traverse remote and rugged terrain, covering long distances on isolated highways. When the goods they transport include food and medical supplies, there’s no way to avoid the bad weather — human lives are often at stake.
“The resilience and determination displayed by truck drivers in overcoming these challenges are truly commendable and further emphasize their status as essential personnel,” Weatherbie said.
At Challenger Motor Freight, truck drivers are required to maintain the highest standards of safety on the road, according to company leaders. They undergo “rigorous” training and licensing processes to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to operate their vehicles safely.
More broadly, truck driving can be an exhausting and demanding job, requiring long hours and extended periods away from home.
Drivers sacrifice their personal comfort and time with loved ones to fulfill their responsibilities, said Dan Einwechter, who founded Challenger Motor Freight in 1975.
“Canada’s truck drivers play a vital role in maintaining the strength of the economy and ensuring the continued supply of food and other goods across the nation,” Einwechter said. “They deserve Canada’s support and respect.”