Demand for Manitoba truckers driving training overhaul

A driver-training program is getting a major overhaul as it gets ready to train much-needed drivers.

Adrian Bruce, the director of the Arnold Bros. Transport Academy, says its owners have poured in roughly a million dollars to renovate its academy and boost its training program.

“It’s not a matter of people getting their license and getting a job in the industry,” Bruce said. “It’s about creating safer, more knowledgeable drivers that can go out and do their job better and safer.”

Trenton Klassen is one of the academy’s instructors helping new truck drivers get comfortable behind the wheel.

“I’ve been in trucking for 17 years,” Klassen said. “I’ve now been instructing longer than I’ve been driving.”

He says training makes a big difference.

“Usually instructors are ex-truck drivers but I got very little training when I started and I made a lot of mistakes that cost me a lot of money.”

The academy is hoping to become national leaders in driver training.

Bruce says this includes a driving simulator, updated training, and more emphasis on a mentorship program.

It also added more seats to its training program, saying more drivers are needed.


Aaron Dolyniuk, the executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, says many truck drivers are close to retirement age.

“The province released a labour market outlook report which outlined that we have a shortage of 4,300 truck drivers over the next four years in Manitoba,” Dolyniuk said, which is a loss of 25 per cent.

He says women are underrepresented in the industry, but the stereotype of who’s getting behind the wheel is changing, leading to better representation of people with different cultural backgrounds.

Dolyniuk also says highway drivers can make anywhere from $45,000 to $85,000 a year, but specialized company drivers can earn up to $104,000.

“At the end of the day we need more truck drivers to move freight for you and I – groceries, food, clothing, household products.”

He says a new federal grant called Trucking HR Canada’s Career Expressway Program, that Dolyniuk helped create, will help with the costs of training drivers.