If you haven’t heard, substantial changes are coming to how an Ontario truck driving school trains its students! Beginning on July 1, 2017, all trucking schools in the province are going to be held to much higher standards – called Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) – with 100+ hour training programs intended to ensure truck driving graduates are truly prepared for their jobs.
What does this mean for your selection of an Ontario truck driving school, and for your education? Let’s discuss the issue.
First, the obvious question:
Why Is MELT Being Implemented?
Simply put, because there were too many truck driving schools in Ontario churning out graduates who weren’t truly capable of operating their machines. In particular, there was a glut of low-cost/low-quality schools which taught only the bare minimum basics needed to pass a driving test, but absolutely nothing about actual trucking work in the real world.
If you ever saw a school advert claiming they could teach you truck driving in a week or two, that was the scam they were pulling. This didn’t just result in poorly-trained truck drivers, but they were actively dangerous! So, the Ontario government has stepped in to guarantee better training.
Will MELT Increase Prices for An Ontario Truck Driving School?
Yes… and no. If we’re talking about average prices in the region, including all the bad cut-rate schools, then the prices are going to go up.
However, the MELT standards were largely based on recommendations from groups like Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario and other high-profile trucking schools which always focused on providing superior real-world truck driving training. So, prices at those schools will be staying about the same, because they aren’t having to alter their training methods. They were already providing top-quality training.
Won’t Some Schools Look to Cut Corners in Other Ways?
Probably. There’s no way for the government to precisely monitor every truck driving school out there, and some will likely find ways to offer sub-par training at slightly lower prices. But the thing is, in the trucking and transportation industry, reputation matters. The major transportation companies know which schools are creating quality graduates who can be trusted with the responsibilities of truck-driving… and that’s where they go to find new hires.
For a student, there is still good reason to shop for an Ontario truck driving school based on quality, rather than price. The high-quality schools are also the ones with the best industry contacts, giving you the best shot at finding a job quickly.
Is This Going to Make Trucking Schools Busier?
That’s the real question, and no one is quite certain at the moment. On one hand, all prospective truck drivers will have to attend a MELT-ready school if they want to get their license. On the other hand, those who thought they could get away with only paying a few hundred dollars for a cheap school may not be able to afford MELT-certified training.