Looking for a career change that offers more than just a paycheck? Truck driving could be a viable option. This profession provides not just financial stability but also a unique lifestyle that contrasts sharply with conventional 9-to-5 jobs. If you’re the kind of person who values autonomy and the opportunity to see new places, trucking offers a way to combine work with a sense of adventure. It’s not for everyone, but for those who find the idea appealing, it can be a deeply rewarding career choice.
Why is commercial truck driving a good career choice?
First and foremost, it’s a job that’s always in demand. As long as goods need to be transported from one place to another, there’s a need for truck drivers. This inherent demand provides a level of job security that many other professions can’t guarantee. Financially, truck driving offers competitive wages, and often, additional benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. Beyond the tangible benefits, there’s the allure of the open road.
For those who cherish independence and dislike the monotony of a desk job, truck driving offers a refreshing alternative. Every day presents new landscapes, challenges, and experiences. It is a career that doesn’t necessarily require extensive formal education, making it accessible for a wide range of individuals. For many truckers, their truck cabin feels like a second home, showing their dedication to keeping business moving.
To become a commercial truck driver in Ontario, you’ll need an AZ or DZ licence.
What is AZ licence in Ontario?
In Ontario, an AZ licence is a specific type of driver’s licence. It authorises individuals to operate:
- Straight trucks up to 26 feet or tractor-trailers as long as 53 feet.
- Vehicles being towed that have a total gross weight exceeding 4,600 kg (about 10,000 lbs).
- Towed vehicles equipped with air brakes.
- Tractors that are pulling double trailers, also known as B-trains.
However, without the Z-endorsement on a Class A licence, one’s driving capabilities are more limited. They can operate:
- Class G vehicles, which are standard cars or trucks.
- Heavy Trucks categorised under Class D.
- Class A vehicles, as long as they don’t have air brakes.
Many holders of the AZ licence in Ontario typically drive tractor-trailers, either within the province or on long-haul routes.
What are the expenses associated with an AZ licence?
Obtaining an AZ licence in Ontario usually costs around $10,000. A breakdown of typical costs includes:
- Air Brakes Knowledge Test: $16.00
- Official MTO Truck Handbook: $20.00
- Official MTO Air Brake Handbook: $20.00
- 5-Year Licence: $90.00
- Class A Tests: $122.75
- Medical Examination: $50.00 – $150.00
- MELT Course: $4,000 – $10,000
Government and Other Financial Aids for AZ License in Ontario
Given the considerable cost for an AZ licence, various financial assistance options exist:
1. Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit
A temporary refundable credit offering up to $2,000 annually, covering 50% of qualifying expenses from the preceding two tax years.
2. Canada Training Credit
This recently introduced refundable credit supports eligible educational expenses. Annually, $250 accumulates toward this credit, capping at $5,000. Eligibility criteria match those for the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit.
3. OSAP at Humber College
Humber College’s Commercial Driver Training program is OSAP-eligible. Though fees are paid upfront, OSAP reimbursement is possible if one meets the qualification criteria.
4. Windmill Microlending
A charitable institution, Windmill extends micro-loans to skilled newcomers in Canada. These loans can fund accreditation, training, and more. Moreover, they offer additional services like financial planning, mentorship, and more.
5. Alternative Financing
Personal loans, accessible through banks or alternative lenders, are also an option. Secured credit cards can also assist in building one’s credit.
Dreaming of a thriving career in trucking? Look no further! Caledon’s AZ truck training program is the bridge to your aspirations. Register today and pave your way to success. Contact us for more details on our Fall promo.