Author Archives: Gennaro Transport Training

Breeze Through Spring: Essential Truck Driving Tips For A Safer Season

Spring trips are some of the most anticipated for truck drivers. With warmer weather, blooming landscape, and longer days, it’s a great time of year to relax and enjoy the drive. 

But with a few changes happening in the environment, it’s important to take extra precautions so you can stay safe and keep your cargo safe. With unpredictable torrential rains and waves of spring breakers, the season gathers road risks too. 

The numbers don’t lie: 

  1. In April 2020 alone, 5.3% of fatal collisions happened in Alberta
  2. In April 2022, 55,000 speeding tickets were handed out to misbehaving drivers

Because of the seasonal change and an uncertain amount of traffic on the roads, truck drivers must be extra vigilant and cautious to stay safe during this season.

Truckers rely on their experience and truck driving skills to get them through the rougher days of spring, but a few tips and tricks can help them out even more.

Prepare For The Long Haul

Prepare for long spring rides with durable tires!

Spring roads can be unforgiving to the unprepared trucker! Before hitting the roads, be sure to:

  1. Check your brakes and tires. Ensure that your brakes are in good working order, your tires are correctly inflated, and you have plenty of treads.
  2. Get your vehicle serviced and inspected. Ensure that all systems and components function correctly and that your truck is in good condition.
  3. Make sure you have enough fuel. Fuel gauges can be unreliable, so check the fuel level manually before leaving.
  4. Pack appropriately. Bring items that can help make your journey more comfortable such as snacks, drinks, maps, and warm blankets.
  5. Rest well. Remember that a happy truck driver is a safe truck driver. Get rest before a long drive, take frequent breaks, and use your discretion about when to pull off for the night.

Yield To Pedestrians

Spring will draw lots of people out of their homes! With all the throngs of pedestrians out and about, you’ll need to be extra aware and watchful of your surroundings.

  1. Stay alert. Be on the lookout for children playing, students walking to and from school, and parents pushing prams or strollers.
  2. Check your speed. Always keep your speed in check, and yield to pedestrians when they have the right of way.
  3. Avoid distractions while behind the wheel. Eating, drinking, and texting should all be put on the back burner or avoided altogether. Even a split-second distraction could lead to something catastrophic.
  4. Follow traffic laws. Spring is known for a sharp uptick in traffic, and that means more impatient drivers. Don’t give in to the pressure and make sure you obey all traffic laws, including speed limits and lane usage.

Give Way To Other Riders Too

Respect cyclists and other riders too. Share the road!

In spring, there will be an influx of hobby cyclists and construction delivery vans! They can create hazardous situations on the road, but with some simple steps, you can ensure everyone’s safety!

  1. Make sure you leave enough space. Always allow room for a cyclist when passing and avoid riding too close to them.
  2. Look before turning. Check your blind spots when turning so you don’t get in the way of any cyclists.
  3. Learn the proper hand signals. Use your hands and turn alerts when changing lanes and turning. This will help cyclists stay aware of their intentions.
  4. Be aware of construction zones. Slow down and be extra cautious when passing construction vehicles and crews.
  5. And for everyone’s health, be mindful of the environment! With the increase of vehicles on the road, there will be increased emissions. Be sure to stay informed about emissions guidelines and fuel efficiency to help reduce the effect on the environment.

TIP: This spring, make it a habit to regularly check 511 Alberta for the latest traffic updates.

This valuable resource provides real-time information on road closures, construction, and weather-related incidents that could impact your route.

Watch Out For Animals

The warmer temperatures of spring also bring out wildlife. Just like pedestrians, you’ll need to stay alert and be extra careful when it comes to animals on the road. Here are some tips for driving safely around animals:

  1. Pay attention. Keep a watchful eye out for animals, and scan the sides of the road as you go.
  2. Slow down. If you see an animal, slow down or stop to avoid hitting it.
  3. Honk your horn if you see a potential hazard. By honking your horn or flashing your lights, you can alert animals in the area to stay away from your vehicle. Be sure to use your horn cautiously, as it can startle an animal and cause it to run out into the path of your car.
  4. Follow the speed limit. Animals can appear suddenly in your way, so it pays to slow down and be aware of your speed.
  5. Be extra cautious at night. Animals are more active at night, and visibility is limited. Be extra careful when driving at night, and always keep your headlights on.

Avoid Flooded Areas

Turn around if you see a flooded road.

With the arrival of spring comes the threat of flooding! Even small amounts of water can cause considerable damage to people, property, and vehicles. It is essential to take the necessary steps to prepare for the potential of spring floods. Here are some tips to help you navigate around flooded areas:

  1. Check the weather report. Monitor daily weather reports and be aware of potential flooding in your area.
  2. If you see water, turn around. It doesn’t matter if you have fantastic truck driving skills. Never attempt to drive through flooded areas or around barricades. Even a few inches of moving water can cause your vehicle to float away.
  3. When in doubt, stay put. Avoid turning around in the middle if you come across a flooded area. Find a safe, dry place to turn your vehicle around and wait until the water recedes.
  4. Prepare for the worst. Ensure your vehicle has the necessary supplies to help you in a disaster. Have a plan ready in the event of a flood, including how and where you will evacuate your vehicle if necessary.
  5. Be prepared to help others. If you encounter stranded motorists in a flooded area, offer assistance and call 911 if needed.

Rev Up for Spring And Stay Safe!

Be prepared for springtime roads to avoid accidents!

Taking the necessary steps to prepare for spring floods and other potential hazards is always essential.

As a driver, you must follow the rules of the road and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

By being aware of your environment and having a plan in place, you can help to ensure the safety of yourself, your passengers, and those around you.

Taking time to stay informed and prepared can mean the difference between a safe and hazardous journey!


Gennaro Transport Training provides truck driving training to help prepare drivers for a safe and successful road career. With courses taught by seasoned industry professionals, Gennaro Transport Training enables drivers to acquire the essential skills to stay safe on the roads.

Pull Over for Self Care: The Importance of Mental Health and Wellness for Long Haul Drivers

Quiet stretches of highway, the freedom of the open road, and long-term job stability—the life of a truck driver is an attractive one for many. But as with any job, it has its own unique set of challenges. At the top of the list is mental health and wellness—a topic that isn’t often talked about in the trucking industry, but should be.

Driving training schools worth their salt will teach you the basics of safe driving. But the more important lessons are often relegated to the sidelines. So we’re using our platform to discuss the importance of mental health maintenance for long-haul drivers. After all, a healthy driver is a productive and safe one.

Mental Health Challenges Truckers Face

In a 2012 study of professional truck drivers, the following were identified:

28% truckers suffered from loneliness

27% were depressed

21% experienced chronic sleep disturbances

14.5% had anxiety

13% reported other emotional issues


These mental health challenges can lead to higher rates of fatigue, inattention, and poor decision-making. All of which are dangerous for long-haul drivers who need to stay alert and focused at all times.

Understanding the Obstacles

A white truck on the highway.

There are a lot of benefits to being a truck driver. But proper mental health maintenance should be a priority as well—especially when you consider the obstacles drivers face. To fully understand these challenges, it helps to know the common causes of stress and depression among long-haul drivers.

1. The Stigma of the Tough Trucker

In Canada, over 97% of truckers are male. This has created an atmosphere of “toughness” in the industry. Unfortunately, this means that truckers are often less likely to admit to needing help with mental health issues.

2. Prolonged Isolation

Long-haul drivers are often on the road for days or weeks at a time, which can be incredibly isolating. With limited interaction with family and friends, this prolonged separation can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

3. Sedentary Lifestyle

Spending long hours sitting in a truck can lead to physical problems, such as neck and muscle pain. This lack of movement can also contribute to depression due to a decrease in endorphins.

Fact: 

The average truck driver drives approximately 500 miles a day. That’s a lot of time sitting behind the wheel.

4. Job Demands

Driving for long periods of time can take a toll both mentally and physically. Not only are drivers expected to stay awake and alert, but they’re often under pressure to make delivery deadlines. This pressure can lead to increased stress and anxiety.

5. Exposure to Accident and Injury Risks

There are a multitude of risks associated with long-haul driving, such as weather conditions, traffic congestion, and other drivers. All these factors can lead to potentially dangerous situations, which can increase stress and anxiety. That’s why driver training schools should set a strong emphasis on safety as well.

6. Personal Concerns

With all these work-related risks and concerns, truck drivers are juggling these alongside their personal concerns. This can be especially difficult when serious matters happen at home and at work—it will just be hard to focus while driving.

Given all these obstacles, driver training schools should educate drivers on how they can prioritize good mental health and wellness while on the road. This will help them balance their workloads better and give them the tools to manage stress.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Support for Truckers

A man talking to a mental health professional.

As a trucker, it’s important to take proactive measures to prioritize your mental health. As reputable driving training schools teach you to be a safe driver, it’s also important to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to maintain your mental well-being.

This includes knowing the signs of mental health issues, understanding how to manage stress and anxiety, and having access to resources such as counselors or support groups.

The IHSA (International Health Service Association) has also released a set of guidelines on mental health and well-being for truckers. One for drivers and one for employers.

Mental Health and Wellness—Dispatcher/Supervisor

Mental Health and Wellness—Professional Truck Drivers

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has put in place Healthy Minds@Work as well, which is an initiative to promote mental health and well-being in the workplace.

Why The Conversation Matters

It’s important to recognize the mental health and well-being challenges that truckers face. By normalizing the conversation, we can open the door to more resources, support systems, and training to help prevent and address these issues.

Proactive steps such as providing mental health education as well as creating an open dialogue between dispatchers and drivers—can go a long way in ensuring that truckers have access to the support they need. 

Not to mention, the benefits of having a healthy trucking workforce:

1. It Improves Job Performance and Safety

Being able to work smoothly and undistracted is refreshing, right? The same applies to truck drivers.  When they’re mentally healthy and well, their job performance will be improved, reducing the risk of accidents or mishaps.

2. Reduced Burnout

Driving for most of the day is exhausting, especially when the traffic is heavier than usual and the drive is across distant provinces. With driver training schools giving focus on safety and mental health, it will help drivers feel more relaxed and stress-free. This way, they can drive with ease, not forgetting to take short rests in between trips.

3. Enhanced Quality of Life

When truckers are able to prioritize their mental health and well-being, they can enjoy a better quality of life. They’ll be better equipped to handle the stress and demands of their job, while also feeling good about themselves. This can lead to improved relationships with their families, friends, and colleagues.

4. Compliance With Regulations

In Canada, 30% of disability claims have been attributed to mental health issues. Setting in place a  program to take care of mental health and well-being can help truckers comply with regulations and reduce the risk of disability costs for their company. Not to mention, it can also help them keep up with the demands of their job, leading to improved customer service.

Strike a Conversation

Two men talking at work.

The first step to being aware of your drivers’ mental health is asking them how they are doing or feeling about their job. While this is easy, it is crucial in determining the next steps a company should take to maintain a good mental health state among their truck drivers.

Consistency is key when you’d like to keep your employees in a good state and fit for work. Here are some things you can do to better your drivers’ mental health:

  • Provide resources and support for mental health awareness. This can come in the form of self-help books, podcasts, and recreational activities.
  • Have regular check-ins and wellness assessments, like quick catch-ups or spontaneous non-work related talks just to have a break from occupation-related concerns.
  • Encourage healthy habits on the road. This includes having light physical activities or eating meals that aren’t just processed and reheated quickly.
  • Implement flexible schedules. This is to provide them with more time with their families and leisure; allowing them to be with themselves and do things outside work.

Better yet, create a driver-friendly culture. This ensures that the driver’s voices are heard and their concerns are addressed whenever they come up.

Invest in Safety and Mental Health

Going the extra mile and investing in safety and mental health can go a long way. It starts by equipping yourself or your truckers with the right tools to handle the demands of their job—such as enrolling in a reputable driving training school. But it doesn’t end there. Mental health is a continuous journey of taking care of oneself, and it requires more than just self-care. It requires an understanding that mental health is a priority not just for the business but for their careers as well. 


Want to take the first step towards ensuring that your truckers are well-equipped to tackle anything that comes their way while on the job? Our lines here at Gennaro Transport Training are open. Let’s connect today!

Breaking Down Barriers: Staying Safe on the Road for Female Truck Drivers

As the trucking industry scrambles to fill empty truck driver seats, more and more female truck drivers are hitting the highways. 

But while this growing workforce of female truckers is a welcome addition to trucking, there is one looming barrier that trucking companies must address—safety. 

Safety, by its very nature, is a priority for truckers. 

As a truck driver, you might mitigate safety risks by taking a truck driver safety course, adhering to hours-of-service regulations, taking regular breaks, and performing truck maintenance. 

For female truck drivers, however, there are additional safety risks that must be addressed. 

Representation Matters 

Traditionally, trucking has been male-dominated due to the nature of its physical demands. 

In recent decades of the 21st century, trucking companies have made significant progress in diversifying the truck driver workforce.

According to the Women in Trucking (WIT) Index, there has been a three percent increase in female drivers since 2019, and comprising about 14% in North America alone. 

In Canada and other parts of the world, women make up at least 3% of the professional truck driving workforce and a higher percentage in leadership roles. 


These recent figures are encouraging for those who advocate for inclusivity within the transportation sector. 

But, as essential members of a competitive industry, how are women safe on the road and in their workplace? Are companies and organizations taking preventive measures to ensure the security of their drivers? 

Female driver

A Tough Journey 

In November 2022, safety was a topic of conversation during the kick-off meeting of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) under their new charter, the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB). A higher recruitment rate of women would be likely when they feel protected in their environment.

How trucking companies can protect and accommodate their female truck drivers is a hot-button issue for trucking executives and safety personnel.

Here are some of the top concerns female truckers face on the road.

1. Workplace Harassment and Discrimination

In the survey conducted by FMCSA in the WOTAB meeting, about 55% reported harassment, assault, and threats, while 42% did not. Further survey results included not only women but also minority males and people identifying as other genders.

2. Work-Life Balance

With hours on the road sometimes stretching into late nights and early mornings, truckers often feel they have no control over their personal life.

3. Truck Design

A truck’s size, pedal placement, and truck cab height can pose a safety risk for truckers, particularly for female truck drivers as they may have to climb up and down the truck multiple times in a shift, leading to potential injuries.

A Gennaro white tractor head

Safety Is Always Road-Worthy 

Extra precaution and vigilance on the part of truck drivers, trucking companies, and the trucking industry can help ensure female truckers are safe on their routes. 

Ensuring the goods they transport and services they provide are equally important to your safety and protection. 

Safety Tips for Women Truck Drivers 

1. Plan Ahead

Map out truck routes before setting off. This means planning your bathroom breaks, truck stops, and overnight stays. When stopping at a rest area, you should try and find one that is well-lit and has other people around – preferably in view from inside the cab – so that you can feel safer while trucking.

2. Request Safety Training

If you don’t already have truck driver safety training, request it from your employer. Completing a truck driver safety course can help you understand the risks and dangers associated with trucking and provide tips on how to stay safe while driving. 

A safety course may include truck driver safety skills such as defensive driving, blind spot awareness, and truck backing techniques.

3.  Stay Alert

Awareness is key to truck driver safety. Be sure to stay aware of the traffic around you and your blind spots, especially when switching lanes or merging. 

4.  Know Your Truck

Whether it’s a truck or bus, know the size and weight of your vehicle before you drive.  Knowing the truck’s limits helps to prevent accidents and can help prevent excessive truck wear and tear.

Semi-trucks at truck stop

5. Keep Doors Locked

Your first line of truck driver safety defence is to keep truck doors locked when stationary and when moving. This will help to secure the truck from intruders and potential theft.

6. Keep Emergency Supplies

Every driver needs certain items in case anything happens while on the road – like flares, first aid kits, tools, flashlights etc. But female truckers, in particular, might want to carry additional emergency supplies like pepper spray or personal defence devices just in case you encounter  a dangerous situation. 

7. Trust Your Instincts

Be wary of red flags like warning signs when it comes to potential danger. If you feel uncomfortable with a situation or location, move away immediately or call for help if necessary. 

Staying Safe on the Road 

Organizations such as Women in Trucking (WIT) have initiated campaigns like ‘Share the Road,’ which focuses on raising awareness about issues faced by female truckers.

We’re finally seeing truck safety being taken seriously, but there is still more that can be done. 

With truck driver safety courses and the tips mentioned here, female truckers can be more confident in their ability to truck safely and be empowered to make trucking their career.  

And with trucking becoming more gender-inclusive, truck driver safety is something that everyone should be aware of. Together, truckers can help create a safe trucking environment for all.    

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Interested in truck driver safety courses? At Gennaro Transport Training, we take truck driver safety seriously and  offer a Professional Driver Improvement Course (PDIC) along with a range of other truck driving training classes. We want you to continuously enhance your truck driver safety skills and be best-in-class on the road. Contact us today to find out more!

Will Driverless Trucks Dominate Canadian Roads In The Future? Here’s Why Truckers Shouldn’t Worry

The possibility of self-driving trucks on Canadian roads has opened up a lively debate among both truck drivers and experts in the transportation industry. 

The spark for the debate was lit when Loblaws Supermarket and Gatik’s pioneering plan to use these vehicles for grocery deliveries was announced.

It took Loblaws and Gatik 2 years to transition to driverless delivery trucks. They needed to do test runs with safety drivers at first. 150,000 self-driving trucks passed without any incidents.


Naturally, this development prompts the question of how this will impact the human drivers. 

After all, it sounds like a daunting prospect for truckers—but are we really on the brink of a driverless truck revolution?

Let’s examine the facts to answer this question.

Why Are Automated Driving Technologies Being Developed?

Man in self-driving car.

Over the years, autonomous driving technologies in logistics have been developed to help stakeholders in many factors, such as:

Worsening Labor Shortage

A shortage of drivers in Canada has caused many drivers to work more than their usual hours. If this persists for many years, autonomous trucks can help alleviate the problem.

Opportunities To Improve Efficiency & Productivity

Driverless trucks don’t get tired and can work longer than human drivers. This means that self-driving trucks can reduce delivery times, allowing companies to move more goods faster.

Possibilities To Enhance Safety

Self-driving vehicles are programmed to obey traffic laws and drive more defensively, which reduces the risk of accidents on the road.

Chances To Improve Reliability And Scheduling Accuracy

Automated systems allow for better scheduling accuracy as delays due to human error become eliminated when self-driving technology is used instead of manual labor in transportation jobs such as long-haul trucking trips across Canada’s vast highways.

Achieve Possible Environmental Benefits

In a 2021 report by the World Economic Forum, it’s estimated that 15% of trucking kilometers are driven without load. Driverless trucks can help reduce this number as they’re programmed to deliver goods more efficiently, on time, and with maximum fuel efficiency.

Why Truckers Don’t Need to Worry About Driverless Trucks?

Trucker checking his phone while parked.

The rise of self-driving trucks does not mean the end for truckers.

Autonomous cars are still in their early stages of development and cannot yet drive independently. 

They still require human drivers to take over in complicated and dangerous situations.

Cost

The cost to operate is also a factor to consider. Autonomous vehicles require expensive technology and components that are not readily available or cost-effective in the Canadian market. 

This could mean driverless trucks will be used for specific routes only for testing, leaving human drivers to handle more complex deliveries where driverless trucks can’t go.

Autonomous Trucking Is No Overnight Feat

Experts can’t predict that self-driving trucks will conquer the roads right away. The transition is a long process that requires the collaboration between manufacturers, regulators and lawmakers.

And even if companies are able to find solutions to all the challenges in autonomous driving, truck platooning or semi-autonomous driving will probably be the norm for a long time.

Truck platooning is a driver-assisted way of driving that involves multiple trucks led by a driver in the front.

The lead truck dictates the movement and speed of the whole convoy while the trailing trucks follow and move at a safe distance.

Take note: the trailing trucks are still being driven by pro drivers, but automation has enabled them to adjust to the lead’s speed with less effort.

Data and Security

Again, driverless deliveries won’t be the norm anytime soon. Automation will happen slowly and ease the stress of truckers. But automation still requires a lot of training and knowledge.

There still needs to be more professional drivers who can interpret the data and decide based on what’s in front of them.

There’s also the issue of hacking. Fully and partially autonomous vehicles are vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which means these trucks need strict security measures in place.

Safety and Liability

Autonomous vehicles can still experience glitches and malfunctions, putting driverless trucks in dangerous situations.

This can be a problem, especially with driverless trucks traveling on busy highways with other driver-operated vehicles.

Manufacturers might also be held liable in case of an accident, but this is still debated.

Infrastructure Development

Not all roads in Canada are suitable for driverless trucking.

To be able to deploy driverless trucks on major highways and routes, more infrastructure development is needed.

This will involve adding sensors, signals, and other communication devices that driverless trucks can use to navigate safely.

Government Support

Driverless trucks need the support of government authorities.

The Canadian government will have to push regulations to ensure driverless trucks are safe and secure when used on public roads.

Public Acceptance

Lastly, driverless trucks will need to gain public acceptance.

Fleet owners must adjust to the benefits and consequences of fully-autonomous trucking.

Stakeholders will also need to educate and inform the public about driverless trucks for them to be comfortable with the idea of driverless deliveries.

The Long Road To Fully Autonomous Truck Driving

The bottom line? If you’re an aspiring truck driver, driverless trucking is not something you need to worry about anytime soon. 

The technology is still in its infancy, and experts predict that it will be a while before we see driverless trucks dominate on Canadian roads.

Truckers can rest assured that their jobs are safe and will remain so for the foreseeable future. 

In the meantime, consider improving your driving skills and becoming a certified truck driver. 

This will help you stay ahead of the curve and be ready for when autonomous trucking eventually takes over. 

By leveraging these opportunities, truckers can ensure they remain competitive in the future job market. 

Here at Gennaro Transport Training, we offer the best comprehensive driving courses to help you be job-ready or improve your skills.

With the proper training, you can be confident and ready for any driver job in Alberta. Let’s get trucking!