Tag Archive: safety

  1. Make the Transition to a Night Driving Position

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    Most truck drivers put in hours of night-time driving at some point throughout their careers, whether at the end of their day shift or early in the morning; however, it takes a specific type of individual to be responsible for driving and delivering throughout the night. Although it is a tough job, trucking under the streetlights and low-traffic roads gives you the upper hand on a less stressful ride.

    A Day in the Life of a Night Driver

    Night driving with The Erb Group has many benefits, like less traffic, more terminal-to-terminal runs, and the opportunity to be home daily (depending on your position type). “A typical day in a local night driving position could be a mix of pick-ups and deliveries or terminal-to-terminal freight moves,” says Scott Misener, our Baden Driver Services Manager. Another perk of night driving is that the night shift typically begins at a specific start time, unlike the day shift, which can vary from day to day. 

    In contrast, daytime drivers are more likely to drive a straight truck and deliver loads requiring hand-bombing. The night shift doesn’t require as much lifting and moving, which could make this shift ideal for some. Additionally, working the night shift can make booking time off for personal appointments or caregiving easier, with time flexibility during the day.

    When it comes to the position’s challenges, the biggest obstacle as a night driver is managing your sleep schedule. It’s harder to sleep during the day because the likelihood of distractions is higher and increases the potential of you coming into work tired. There are many ways to help improve your sleep quality; you just need to be aware and set yourself up with the right tools.

    The Ideal Candidate

    Our Corporate Driver Recruiter, Krystal Satchell, explained, “With a night driving position, you either love it or you don’t.” According to Krystal, adapting to a night shift is much easier if you have previously worked swing shifts or nights in the past. In addition, driving at night requires more independence and critical problem-solving skills. Have your friends ever called you a night owl? An introverted personality and the preference to be more active at night will also set you up for success.

    Ultimately, making the switch to night shifts relies on you and your preferences as a driver. We have many different shift types and accommodations for individuals to suit their lifestyles , needs and preferences. If we have a driver struggling with a lack of sleep, we take this very seriously. Driving while sleep deprived is equivalent to driving impaired. We suggest sleeping tools and techniques to drivers when needed. 

    A strong and communicative relationship with our Driver Services team will also help you succeed! Scott shares these tips for anyone thinking of making the transition into a night driving position.

    • Keep your shift routine over the weekends. Don’t flip to days on the weekend to keep the consistency of sleep.
    • Ensure you are getting your sleep. Sleep deprivation is equivalent to being impaired. Manage your time and take breaks when needed.

    Interested in driving for The Erb Group of Companies? Check out our updated job postings here. Please note that we request one year of driving experience; however, once you have reached the 11–12-month mark, we encourage you to contact our recruiting team to start learning about the application process. Email us at recruiting@erbgroup.com when you are ready to make some cool moves!

    To read this blog in French, please click here. 

  2. Three Tips to Stay on Top of Your Cybersecurity

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    It’s cybersecurity awareness month! Every October, The Erb Group recognizes cybersecurity month as an opportunity for our IT department to share its expertise and inform our employees of the importance of cyber safety. Cybersecurity awareness can prevent employees from potentially clicking into security violation scams and exposing private information. Cybersecurity in the workplace is essential for any industry sector; however, the focus of cybersecurity in trucking and logistics has taken significant precedence as many transportation businesses slowly shift to using digital infrastructures and platforms for their operations.

    Cyberattacks are a growing concern, and the impact of one attack could cost you and your organization valuable resources, time, and confidentiality. In fact, according to the 2021 Cyber Defense Report, 86% of Canadian organizations experienced at least one cyberattack within 12 months. Being aware of cybersecurity best practices is significant because no organization or individual is exempt from a cyber-attack. 

    Throughout October, our talented IT team has been sending out a new cybersecurity tip every week to help keep our employees feel secure both on the job and at home! Here are our three top tips for keeping on top of your cyber safety this year.

    Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

    Have you ever had to enter a unique code alongside your password? That’s Multi-factor identification. As the name implies, MFA is an additional method of proving you are authorized to access the account you’re attempting to access. MFA doesn’t mean your accounts are invincible; however, it does mean you will be notified if anyone else is trying to log into your account. MFA often comes in the form of a code sent through email, text or phone call and is run through third-party programs such as Google or Microsoft authentication apps.

    MFA is the most important thing you can do to protect your accounts. If a website or company is hacked, your account will remain inaccessible to a hacker because they would need physical access to your phone to access the code. Even if they know your password, they will still need a unique code to log in to the account. Never give your MFA codes to anyone!

    Phishing

    We know that fishing on a boat is fun, but when it comes to phishing online, if it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is. If you have a computer or cell phone, you’ve probably seen a phishing attempt, whether you knew it or not. Phishing is a type of social engineering that tries to trick you into giving out sensitive information, such as passwords or downloading malicious software. Phishing can come from an email, phone call or text message. Never give any personal information to an unknown contact! 

    Cybersecurity experts predict that an estimated 98 percent of cyber-attacks use social engineering methods, which involve using fear and uncertainty to manipulate a user to reveal information. You can spot a phishing scheme simply by analyzing what the message is asking you to do. For example, these asks could sound like, “You’ve won a trip; please enter your information” or “Your account will be locked unless…” Suppose you find a phishing scheme in the workplace, report it to your IT department immediately and delete the message. If you’re at home, delete, block and report the sender of the message. Have you already been baited by a scammer? Change your password for the affected accounts and immediately run an antivirus scan to avoid any more pop-ups or slowdowns on your device. 

    Fake Chrome Extension

    Google Chrome is one of the most popular and trusted internet browsers today, with more than six in ten people using Chrome to browse the internet. As users provide more and more trust in the platform, it creates more opportunities for scammers to develop fake malicious software and present themselves to users as if they are the brand. Then, they target the software toward someone who isn’t equipped with the tools needed to sight a cyber threat.

    Scammers have developed a fake chrome extension called “Internet Download Manager” that has been in store for years and could hurt your device without you even knowing. Before you download any “chrome extensions” or updates to add to your browser, make sure you research or ask your IT department if you are unsure. Additionally, when you click on a new link, be cautious of the following:

    • A new tab opening 
    • Unrelated websites 
    • Pop-up ads asking you to download additional programs and files 

    As we become a more paperless organization, we are grateful to our team of IT professionals for safeguarding our systems and working hard to create resources and tools to help our employees become more conscious of online threats, preventions, and protocols. It also establishes an excellent learning experience from significant awareness months, like Cybersecurity month!

    “I think it’s crucial to acknowledge Cybersecurity month, as it reinforces our commitment to keep our employees aware of cyber safety and to constantly be on the lookout for cyber threats, especially in email, which our employees work with every day”, said Darryn Nafziger, our VP of Information Technology (IT).

    With the rise of the digital era, Cyber safety continues to be a growing threat around the globe and is advancing at a rapid pace each year. As cyber criminals become more creative, the number of breaches continues to rise and threatens those vulnerable to attacks. Cybersecurity is a team sport, from those who set cyber strategies, policies and frameworks to the individuals putting them into action. Cyber security is achieved through everyone’s participation. This Halloween, follow these three tips and tricks to help yourself, your workplace, and your friends stay calm and combat cybercrime one click at a time.

    To read this blog in French, please click here.

  3. How to Navigate Through Brake Safety Week

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    Brake Safety Week is a program dedicated to improving commercial vehicle brake safety throughout North America to reduce the number of highway crashes caused by faulty brake systems. Since 1998, the CVSA has conducted roadside inspections educating drivers, mechanics, and owner-operators on the importance of proper brake inspection, maintenance and operation. “Brake Safety Week shines a light on our current safety practices. It encourages the principles and habits of being prepared and aware at any time, not just when there is an inspection or accident,” says Sheldon Wheeler, Corporate Driver Service and Fleet Safety Manager at The Erb Group.

    In 2021, 35,764 commercial motor vehicles were inspected during Brake Safety Week. Twelve percent of those vehicles were restricted from travel because inspectors found brake-related critical inspection item conditions and placed those vehicles out of service. Brake Safety Week is not just a reminder for drivers to keep up with the mechanical integrity of their trucks. Sheldon explains, “It’s also for the individuals in front or behind our trucks that don’t know what traffic is like or how to merge around larger vehicles properly. Our practices need to be the best because the practices of others are not always promised.” 

    This year’s focus is on brake hose leaks and chafing. Inspectors will look for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system and non-manufactured holes (such as rust and holes created by rubbing or friction). Sheldon has shared his top three safety tips for drivers and how they can lead with a safety mindset beyond Brake Safety Week. 

    Preparation

    Getting into an inspection routine familiarizes and encourages drivers to be more prepared to check specific truck components and equipment. We do our best to prepare our drivers for any unexpected surprises by implementing a tagging program that gets them into a routine of inspecting their fleet for potential problem areas. When you become comfortable with your environment, you may overlook things; however, when someone else with fresh eyes is in that environment, they may notice something you didn’t. Conducting personal inspections also allows drivers to learn what they need to be more aware of before heading out on the road.

    Awareness

    We recommend taking advantage of the outreach and educational opportunities that provide renewed air brake knowledge, inspection skills and heightened awareness to our drivers to help reduce the risk of safety for drivers and others on the road. During Brake Safety Week, we remind our drivers of upcoming inspections, what they should know and what they can do to ensure they are ready for whatever lies ahead. “Inexperienced drivers or drivers who haven’t yet been through a lot of inspections throughout their careers could benefit from being refreshed on what the CVSA standards are and how the inspectors will confirm the air brake components are in proper working order,” says Sheldon. 

    Ask Questions

    When in doubt, ask other drivers, fleet maintenance or Driver Services for help! It’s okay to ask for more information or support. We encourage a coaching mentality when it comes to safety. Brake Safety Week is an excellent opportunity for drivers to be in an environment where they can strengthen their knowledge or ask questions if there is any uncertainty. Developing a solid understanding of your truck, its components, and how they work, along with working together with your maintenance team, can maximize the safe operation of your truck. 

    Our priority is the safety and well-being of our employees and others on the road. At the end of the day, we want you and everyone around you to make it home safely. For additional resources and information about Brake Safety Week, see the links below or call and schedule a time to talk to Driver Services.

    Brake Safety Resources

  4. Five reasons why you should consider a career in trucking

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    Want to jump into a second career? Are you deciding what driving school to attend? Are you debating on following in a family members’ footsteps to become a professional truck driver? No one’s path to trucking, or any career is linear. Everyone has their own story of why they chose a career in the transportation industry.

    At The Erb Group of Companies, we have drivers from all walks of life. A large portion of our driver workforce are in their 50s. However, we are seeing a new generation of drivers coming into the industry. Our workforce has seen several female drivers emerging, and millennials applying to job roles.

    Are you still on the fence and wondering if a career in trucking is right for you? We’ve outlined five reasons why you may want to consider a career in trucking.

    Job Security

    As a specialist in temperature-controlled transportation and logistics, we are in a unique position to always have shipment demands. There is always a need for perishable food items. They are and will always be in demand; meaning you are never without job security. Even during the pandemic, our drivers remained busy, still on the roads, delivering items throughout North America. Trucking also plays a vital role in the Canadian and U.S. economy. According to Transport Canada, roughly 30,000 trucks cross the Canada-U.S. border every day, carrying an estimated $1 billion in goods. In 2021, there were 324,200 truck drivers in Canada, an increase from 300,000 drivers in 2020.

    Career Pathways

    For most truck drivers, this is a second career. However, you can still move through the ranks or find roles that suit your preferences and lifestyle. As a current employee, you have access to job postings before they are listed externally. This allows you to have the first pick at applying for your next cool move.

    Community-driven

    Community and family-based values are embedded into our foundation. We don’t always shout about our community involvement, but you won’t go a week or month without hearing about The Erb Group of Companies pitching in to help. Our latest involvement includes driving mattresses donated by a local company to a community youth shelter. Food drives, sponsoring local playgrounds or celebrating females in the industry are few a few initiatives you can get involved with.

    Freedom and Independence

    Not a fan of the office cubicle? Truck driving is a great way to see our North American landscape. Our drivers like the independent lifestyle they get while on the road. If you want a real treat, our long-haul cross-border drivers get the amazing experience to see some pretty wicked sunsets.

    Flexible Schedule

    Want to still be able to come home at night? You can become a Local Driver. Want to live a life on the road? You can find roles as a long-haul driver within Canada or cross-border. Let’s drop a myth buster fact right now. Not all truck drivers are away from home for 2-3 weeks at a time. You have the flexibility to find a job opportunity and get the hours that suit your lifestyle. Speak with our recruiters or managers to learn about how you can push your career forward.

    Learn more about how the trucking industry is evolving by visiting Canadian Trucking Alliance’s “Choose to Truck” campaign. Know someone that may benefit from reading this? Share the link with a friend.

  5. Inside Look at Our Shop Operations

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    After spending 50+ years in the transportation industry and nine years at The Erb Group of Companies, Senior Corporate Fleet Director, Jim Pinder, sat down with us to talk about all things shop. Jim leads a large team of technicians across our terminals, ensuring everyone is meeting their career goals, safety standards, and maintains a large functioning fleet.

    Based out of our Baden terminal, Jim starts his morning speaking with technicians and supervisors to get a grip of what’s to come for the day or week. Typically, there are more technicians employed during night shifts because of the requirement for the equipment to be out on the road during the day. But there is an opportunity for new hires to fit in. There are shop specific shifts covering days, afternoons, night and day and afternoon swing shifts.

    Key to a Shops Success
    Working in a shop is different from a standard desk-job. Every day is different, and it’s very hands-on. Jim says, “The work environment is very positive and a collaborative space. We encourage technicians to speak up and converse on problem-solving.” Another item Jim highlighted was about the physical space being tidy and organized. “Safety is our number one priority. Ask any employee at Erb, whether it’s a driver, technician or staff employee, and they will say safety.” All Baden shops have in-floor heating, LED lighting and easy-access pits to work underneath the equipment. All technicians at Erb must be certified are certified to operate the 5-tonne cranes in each shop, which allows them to get underneath heavy-duty equipment to analyze faults and service requirements.

    Another key to success is having the latest technology available to employees. “We invest in software because it enables us to do in-depth programming and adjustments to their equipment. Some examples are Eaton RoadRanger software, Diamond Logic, Detroit, and Freightliner diagnostics. All of which our technicians learn to use and get training on if they are new to it.”

    Safety First

    “Without safety, people get injured. If people are injured, we cannot function as a company.” Each shop undergoes a monthly inspection by members of our internal Health and Safety Committee to ensure there is no bias and standards are being met. To keep the space clean, there is a floor sweeper available to scrub clean which is used based on the volume of traffic coming through the shop. During intense weather conditions in the winter, the shop has a standby generator, ensuring the team can continue working efficiently while functioning off-grid with the diesel generator. While the space is a priority, so is training. There are safety module requirements to work in the shop for all employees. On every shift there is a trained St John’s Ambulance technician, several strategically placed well stocked first aid kits and a defibrillator on-site.

    Equipment and PPE sometimes needs replacing and Erb reacts to employee needs to address those requirements. A $150 boot allowance and a hand tool allowance of $390 are provided annually for apprentices and technicians.

    Considering a technician career?

    A good technician will never be out of work. Jim explains, “There will always be job stability and opportunity. Being a technician is a transferrable skill and can be used in any industry. We have many mechanics that started off as auto technicians and have moved to a 310T Truck / Coach or 310J Truck Trailer certification.” He continues, “Our technicians have a unique opportunity because Erb works with temperature-controlled food; we are considered an essential service. Meaning no apprentice or certified technician should ever be out of work.”

    Interested in a technician job at The Erb Group of Companies? Technicians work out of our Baden Shop, Sandhills Shop and six other locations where we service, repair, and maintain equipment. Check out our job postings here or speak with our recruiters by emailing recruiting@erbgroup.com.