by Gloria Welton
After working in the trucking industry in Canada, the UK, and the US for more than 50 years, David K. Harris started his company, Safety & Compliance Consultant, on PEI to fill the need for specific classroom training and training programs for Truck Drivers. Now, he is offering the training and education online as well.
“As a result of strong industry partnerships, my website is now a central location for the training required for the industry to meet safety standards,” says David. “I never thought I would be into online training. Since my company opened in 2010, training was done in person. Now COVID-19 restrictions have led me to make some changes.”
He trains close to 130 Drivers from five Island companies on safety and compliance, safety management, training and development, road testing, safety audits, insurance, and more. He also recruits for these companies by interviewing Truck Drivers searching for employment and matching them with companies that are hiring.
Due to continued growth of the industry, Dave is planning to take on more PEI companies and plans to hire his own staff as well.
David has recently partnered with an Ontario company that offers online training for Truck Drivers, and will be using their training.
“CarriersEdge is recognized by insurance companies, which is important because insurance is very expensive now and the industry wants to make sure Drivers are trained properly.
“My services, which include developing an orientation process for each company, will be included on the CarriersEdge list of online courses for the companies I work with. Drivers in training can do the course work online. I can work one-on-one with anyone who needs help with the online process.
“It is ideal to be able to use the expertise of CarriersEdge and customize the training to suit individual company needs.
“By June 2021, all Canadian trucking companies will be required to do Elogs, which record all login information electronically. Once the Driver learns how to so this, the process is a lot easier than keeping all the paperwork. I am involved in that training as well.
“Insurance companies want Drivers with three years’ experience, and so it is a challenge to find new Drivers. I work with driving schools to place Drivers with companies. I developed a training program for new Drivers who join a company after finishing driving school which satisfies the requirements of the insurance companies.
“I can draw from a list of partners to provide the training required to maintain trucking safety standards on PEI. Along with CarriersEdge, I work with Geo-Tab for the Elog Supplier, Rupture Seal, and more.”
Dave is also working on projects with Alvin Smith from West Point PEI, who started his own business called ASTA Safety. “There is a lot of work out there and we will share what we do together,” says Dave.
“I have one staff person now and I plan to train someone who can help handle the increase in clients. As the company grows, more staff will be needed, and I may hire two part-time people. It would be great if the new hires have a trucking background and computer skills a must.”
Facing challenges in the industry
Trucking is a tough industry, especially for long-haul Drivers. Long hours and being away from home is hard on families, challenging to find drivers everywhere, and PEI is no exception, Dave says.
“We need to find a way to attract Drivers and keep them in the industry. Training and support is a big part of the solution. I am on the board of the PEI Trucking Sector Council. We are all working together to improve the industry and attract new Drivers. All the companies I work with work together.
“Drivers need professional training to do every aspect of the job. I make sure companies and Drivers comply with COVID-19 standards as well. The rules are in constant flux, but we are working together to keep Drivers and PEI residents safe.”