MISSISSAUGA, ON – In alignment with its ongoing effort to improve road safety, in 2017 the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO)’ approved the Ministry of Transportation’s draft training standards on Mandatory Entry Level Driver Training (MELT) in the province of Ontario.
Committed to raising the bar of quality driver’s training in the trucking industry, leading Ontario commercial driving schools have been adapting their curriculum’s in compliance with these new training standards. MELT addresses such issues as instructor qualification criteria, verification of training hours and night time training.
The first school in Mississauga to achieve MELT compliance is Commercial Heavy Equipment Training (CHET), Musket Transport Ltd.’s in house driving school. A registered Private Career College under the Ministry of Training and a full member of the TTSAO, CHET graduates industry-recognized AZ and DZ commercial drivers for Intermodal and OTR routes. As a result of CHET’s rigorous program and road tests, the school was already above compliancy level prior to the introduction of MELT.
“As the Chairman of the board of the TTSAO I was pleased to see CHET’s being one of the first schools in Mississauga to participate in the new Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program. CHET has been a valued member of the TTSAO for many years” commented Kim Richardson [2017-04- 27]
“I was pleased to see CHET’s being one of the first schools in Mississauga to participate in the new Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program. CHET has been a valued member of the TTSAO for many years,” commented Kim Richardson, Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of the TTSAO.
Phil Fletcher, Operations Manager at CHET, expressed that “Our hope is that in addition to making the roads safer, the introduction of the MELT standard will help break down the inaccurate perception that truck driving is a low-skill occupation. We have held our drivers to the highest standard.”
The MELT initiative requires that drivers in training complete a minimum of 103.5 hours of instruction, including 36.5 hours of classroom instruction and 32 hours of one-on-one driver training behind the wheel, before they can complete their road test. New MELT standards also include more demanding road and written examinations that challenge drivers to knowledge and practical skills.
Alarmingly, before the implementation of these standards, drivers could complete single-day training at some schools that charge less than $1,000 for commercial class driver programs and were able to avoid provincial regulations.
The introduction of MELT will help the Ontario government close this loophole. Schools that don’t meet the MELT standard requirements will no longer be able to hand out licenses. It will also ensure that drivers enter the field with a much higher level of competency.
“MELT in Ontario is an excellent first step in supporting a nationally consistent training approach for the occupation. With our national occupational standard for drivers serving as the foundation, we set the stage for other provinces to adopt a similar approach,” says Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada.