Requirements for Becoming a Commercial Truck Driver in Ontario

Becoming a commercial truck driver in Ontario is a great career choice and will open many lucrative opportunities. Trucking is an essential industry in Canada; however, it is also heavily regulated, and those interested in joining must meet specific requirements. Nova Driver Services is one of the top driver recruitment agencies in the province, and one of the first things we do when we get a new applicant is to see if they meet the following criteria.


Age Requirements

To become a commercial truck driver in Ontario, you must be at least 18 years old. This is the minimum age requirement, but if you are interested in higher-paying trucker positions, such as cross-border trucking jobs, fleets tend to prefer drivers with a bit more experience. The good news is that there are no maximum age restrictions for drivers in Canada.


Medical Requirements

All drivers must pass a vision, wearing corrective eyewear, such as glasses or contact lenses, if necessary. You will also need to pass a medical exam. Unfortunately, you may not be eligible if you suffer from some medical conditions that could cause problems on the job.


Education Requirements

The great thing about trucking is that, unlike other lucrative career paths, you do not need higher education to land a job. In Ontario, drivers only need to prove they have a Grade 10 (or equivalent) education. However, some fleets do ask for a high school diploma (or equivalent).


Besides a basic high school education, interested drivers must also enroll in an accredited truck training school or program, which usually takes around three months. This is where you will get all the required training hours needed in order to take the Ontario Class 1 Drive test, which will earn you an A license.


License Requirements

To get hired as a commercial trucker, you will need a class A or D license, with most fleets requiring an A license. To get these, you will first need a full G license in Ontario. You will get all the training, hours, and knowledge needed to get an A license during the entry-level training course. After that, you can take the official test.


Record Requirements

Trucking is a heavily regulated industry, meaning drivers must undergo a record and background check before getting hired. You will need a clean driving record, and most fleets want a clear criminal record as well, especially if you are looking at cross-border jobs. A criminal record doesn’t mean you can’t become a commercial trucker; you just won’t qualify for every job.


If you want to learn more about becoming a commercial truck driver, contact Nova Staffing today. If you already have all the requirements and are just looking for an exciting opportunity, check out our online trucker job board.  


6 Major Recruitment Mistakes Employers Commonly Make

A company is only as good as its employees but finding and hiring the right people for the job isn’t always easy. It’s not that the talent isn’t out there. Often, companies make some common recruitment mistakes. Here are some things to avoid doing, according to the experts at our hiring agency.

Not Defining Your Ideal Candidate

If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you won’t know how or if you’ve found it. Before you post a job opening, take the time to determine what you’re looking for in a candidate. Defining skills and experience is important, but also consider what personality traits would make someone successful in the role.

Not Looking Internally

Sometimes the best person for the job is already working for you! Hiring externally is a good way to add fresh blood to the office, but internal hires have the advantage of already knowing the company. Promoting internally is a great way to show others there is career growth within the company, and it rewards loyal, hardworking employees.

Making the Hiring Process Too Complicated

A lot of companies forget that hiring is a two-way street. Your business is looking to attract quality talent, but job seekers are also evaluating your company to see if they want to work there. Making the hiring process too long or complicated is a quick way to show candidates you’re not really serious about finding someone. Good hires are in hot demand, and making them jump through a lot of hoops isn’t likely to appeal to them.

Taking Too Long or Rushing

Finding the right person for a job opening can take time. Rushing the process might fill the opening sooner, but it could result in your hiring the wrong person and having to do the process over again. On the other hand, taking too long is equally as detrimental. You can’t expect quality candidates to sit around waiting forever to hear if they’ve gotten the position. A long hiring process also puts additional strain and stress on the team already in place. Be mindful of your hiring timeline.

Not Thinking About the Job Posting

Many companies make the mistake of thinking of the interview as the first impression, but it’s really the job posting. A good job posting should tell the candidate everything they need to know about the job and company. Be sure to include things such as what your company does, what the job entails, what you’re looking for in a candidate, and how they can apply.

Not Utilizing Help

Recruiting is a skill, and if your company doesn’t have a dedicated department for it, you should consider outsourcing help. The hiring process can be long and time-consuming. Rather than taking time away from other duties, let the hiring experts like Nova Staffing do it for you. Recruitment agencies have the skills and experience needed to find quality candidates within your timeline.

If you need recruitment help, contact Nova Staffing today. Our team of hiring experts has over 200 years of combined industry experience, and we’re ready to fulfill any open job positions you have.

Canada-U.S. Border Saw $35B in Truck Shipments

Trucks move the majority of goods between Canada and the United States, and they transported over $35 billion in freight across the border in October 2022. Trucks moved US$35.1 billion in goods, accounting for more than half of the $65.4 billion transborder freight.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the trucking industry also moved $48.2 billion in freight across the U.S.-Mexico border. Combined with Canada-U.S., this marked a 12.9% increase in North America’s transborder truck freight compared to 2021.


The report also highlighted the top three truck ports along the Canada-U.S. border, including Detroit, Michigan ($10.2 billion), Port Huron, Michigan ($5.8 billion), and Buffalo, New York ($5.8 billion). All three of these land ports accessed through Ontario, making them popular crossings for Canada-U.S. day trip truckers. The top three commodities moved by truck across the border included computers and parts ($5.7 billion), vehicles and parts ($4.7 billion), and electrical machinery ($2.4 billion).


The remaining shipments across the Canada-U.S. border were moved by pipelines ($10.3 billion), rail ($9.2 billion), air ($3.3 billion), and vessels ($3.2 billion). The value of oil increased by 7.4% between October 2022 and October 2021, contributing to the increased use of pipelines and vessels.


Transportation and trucking continue to be important industries in the U.S. and Canada. With rising demand and a need for qualified drivers, there are tons of lucrative career opportunities for those interested. If you’re interested in truck driving positions, contact Nova Driver Services or check out our online job board.


What is a Shunt Driver?

The trucking and transportation industry is a vital part of the global supply chain and is a lucrative career for those interested. There is more than one type of commercial truck driver job, and every kind of job has its own requirements. Particular truck driving jobs require special licenses, skills, training, or experience.


To help you understand each type of truck driver job, our commercial driver recruitment agency will break them down. Today, let’s look at shunt drivers.


What is a shunt driver?

A shunt driver is responsible for the movement of vehicles on a construction site. This could include trailer units or larger goods vehicles. The job could be maneuvering goods around a job site, into storage or loading bays, or to be picked up by other workers. Essentially, a shunt is responsible for moving LGVs and trailers to designated spots around a construction yard so the work can get done as needed. Since construction sites are often heavily populated, have expensive equipment, and have tight deadlines, shunters are highly valuable.


How much does a shunt driver earn?

Like most trucking jobs, how much a driver earns depends on skills, experience, and region. In Ontario, shunters earn around $45K. However, newer drivers can expect to earn lower until they build up their experience.


Do shunt drivers need a special license?

Depending on the job and employer, a shunt position may require applicable licenses to operate the equipment necessary to move trailers. This could include needing a class D, A, or Z license. Most commercial trucking jobs will require one of these licenses, so investing in training and special licenses will open up doors for multiple commercial truck driver jobs.


What does a shunt driver do?

As a shunt, you’ll have two primary duties- preparing trailers for moving and driving or “shunting” the trailers. Preparing the trailers would involve yard checks, attaching the trailers, checking locked trailers, and completing any necessary forms. Moving the trailers involves driving, some administrative work, and communicating with the warehouse and dispatchers.


What skills does a shunt driver need?

In addition to having the required driving experience and license, shunts must also know how to communicate and work well with others. A construction site has many moving parts, and shunts will need to work with others to ensure everything is being done correctly. Paying attention to details and staying calm in stressful situations is also highly valued, as job sites can sometimes be busy and tense.


How does one get a shunt driver job?

If you’re interested in becoming a shunt driver, you can contact Nova Driver Services today! Our team of hiring experts is ready to help find you the perfect commercial driver position. You can also check out our online job board to see all of our open truck driver roles. 


3 Skillsets Driver Recruitment Agencies Look for in Hires

Commercial trucking is a highly lucrative career path. Trucking is an integral part of the global supply chain, and drivers are in high demand right now. This means that truck drivers are experiencing job security and pay rates like never before. While driving is a crucial part of the job, it’s not the only skill set our employment experts at Nova Driver Services are looking for when hiring new candidates. Here are some skillsets that driver recruitment agencies look for and that you should hone to stand out from the competition.



It cannot be understated how vital trucking is in the global supply chain. In fact, around 90% of all goods in Canada are delivered by truck. Even goods shipped by rail, air, or sea are eventually moved to their final destinations by trucks. Given how much the transportation of goods, and the economy by extension, relies on trucks, trucking fleets only want to hire candidates they can rely on. This means being there when you said you would and doing what you’re supposed to. Drivers aren’t sitting at a desk under the watchful eye of a manager. There is a degree of independence and responsibility with the job, which is why reliability is so important.



Many driver candidates are surprised when our hiring experts ask about skills such as time management and organization. After all, don’t drivers just drive? Not really. Driving is, of course, a huge part of the job. But drivers are also responsible for keeping track of everything they’re transporting. There are lots of vital documents and pieces of information that commercial truck drivers have to keep organized. This includes applicable licenses, permits, inventories, invoices, paperwork, and more. Drivers also have to keep track of personal information such as hours worked, receipts for meals and fuel, and paperwork for repairs or maintenance on the vehicle. Many in the industry would argue that organization is the most important skill set to have.



One question our driver recruitment agency gets is, “do I need mechanical skills to be a commercial truck driver”? The answer is- yes and no. No fleet will expert their drivers to have all of the skills of a fully licensed and experienced mechanic. However, all truck drivers should have some basic mechanical knowledge of their trucks. Having some mechanical knowledge is helpful in emergency situations or with minor repairs so that you don’t have to wait for help. While some fleets don’t like drivers to work on the vehicles for liability reasons, it’s still crucial for commercial drivers to have enough mechanical knowledge to be able to identify and diagnose if there is an issue.


Are you interested in starting a lucrative career as a commercial truck driver? Contact Nova Driver Services today to talk with one of our driver recruitment experts, or check out our online job board!

World in Need of More than 2.6 Million Truck Drivers

The transportation and trucking industry has been struggling with a driver shortage for years, and a new survey just revealed how bad it is. A recent report found a global shortage of more than 2.6 million commercial truck drivers. 


The IRU, a global transportation organization, identified that there was 2.6 million unfilled truck driving jobs in 2021. This was based on data from the U.S., Mexico, Argentina, Europe, Eurasia, Turkey, Iran, and China. The report didn’t include data from Canada; however, the country is also experiencing a driver shortage. 


“It is a global issue,” said IRU business analyst Natalia Corchado, presenting the statistics during a June 27 webinar. The shortage is expected to intensify in 2022.


The report also found that in addition to open positions, certain demographics were severely underrepresented in the trucking industry. Women make up fewer than 3% of the global truck drivers. While these rates are higher in China (5%) and the U.S. (8%), it’s still a long way away from a 50% gender balance. 


Age demographics are also imbalanced in the industry. A vast majority of truck drivers are over the age of 55 and quickly approaching retirement age which will aggravate the driver shortage even more. Fewer than 7% of the world’s truck drivers are under 25. Canada faces a similar issue, with the country’s average truck driver age being 48. 


“The driver shortage is very real and only expected to get worse,” agreed Sutco Transportation president Doug Sutherland, chairman of the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s blue ribbon task force on the driver shortage.


Canada wasn’t included in the IRU data, however, it has more than 23,000 open truck driver jobs. That number could reach 55,000 by the end of 2024, according to Trucking HR Canada data. 


There is no simple solution to the issue. There are a number of barriers preventing a new generation of truck drivers from entering the industry, including minimum licensing ages preventing younger workers from starting. 


The good news is that driver wages are on the rise, making the positions more lucrative and enticing. At Nova Driver Services, we have a number of open commercial driving positions available with some of the top transportation companies in the country. If you’re interested in starting a lucrative career with lots of job security and growth potential, contact us today or check out our online driver job board


How to Attract Quality Hires During the Truck Driver Shortage

It’s no secret to anyone in transportation that the industry faces a severe truck driver shortage. Reports have found that Canada is short around 25,000 truck drivers while the U.S. reports a shocking lack of around 60,000 drivers. Drivers are a vital part of North America’s supply chain, but finding quality candidates is hard despite many job openings. Trucking companies are in a heated competition to woo new drivers away from their competitors these days. According to our hiring experts at Nova Driver Services, here are some ways you can attract quality new hires despite the truck driver shortage!


Competitive Wage

Money is the top factor people consider when it comes to selecting a job. While most people would love to do something they’re passionate about, we all have bills to pay! If you want to stand out from other trucking companies hiring, you’ll have to offer competitive wages. Trucking is a demanding job, so you’ll have to make it worth any new hires’ time.


Quality Benefits

Don’t stop just at wages. Candidates these days are always looking at benefits packages when determining which company to go with. What sort of bonus, sick days, vacation days, and other perks do you offer? If you can’t compete on salary with other trucking companies, benefits are one area you can try to woo quality drivers with.


Flexibility & Balance

The pandemic highlighted many problems in the current working world, with a big one being work-life balance. The Great Resignation Canada and the U.S. have been feeling is in part due to a lack of balance and flexibility. While truck driving demands chunks of time, companies that encourage world-life balance and offer flexibility for routes and schedules will attract more workers than those that stand by the rigid, old way of operating.


Company Culture

A huge reason behind the truck driver shortage is that drivers felt like they weren’t respected. Drivers are a vital part of the global supply chain and integral to keeping Canada running during the pandemic, and they deserve respect and quality working conditions. If your company culture reflects this, you’ll attract quality drivers.


Training & Growth

One solution to a lack of quality drivers is to train them yourself! Another aspect of the driver shortage is that many commercial drivers are nearing retirement age. Appeal to young workers by offering them support in training and certification and clear growth paths once they’re hired. A big appeal to trucking is the long-term career opportunities. Young drivers are more likely to commit to this career if they feel supported and like they have a real future ahead of them.


Are you looking to hire quality drivers? Contact us today! Nova Driver Services is one of the top truck driver recruitment agencies in the GTA, and we’d be happy to help fill open positions in your company.