Skills Terminal Supervisor - Motor Transport near Kitchener (ON)

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a terminal supervisor - motor transport in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Supervisors, motor transport and other ground transit operators (NOC 7305).

Expertise

People working in this occupation usually apply the following skill set.

  • Supervise workers and projects
  • Train or arrange for training
  • Dispatch bus drivers and monitor routes
  • Monitor and operate signal and track switch control panel
  • Ensure health and safety regulations are followed
  • Co-ordinate and schedule activities
  • Recommend personnel actions
  • Requisition or order materials, equipment and supplies
  • Resolve work problems and recommend measures to improve work methods
  • Co-ordinate repairs and rentals

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation.

Reading
  • Read log book entries and short notes from drivers. (1)
  • Read compliments, inquiries, complaints and suggestions from customers or clients to determine how to respond. (2)
  • Read instructions, explanations, and short narratives on a variety of forms and reports. For example, they read operators' written accounts of accidents on reporting forms. (2)
  • Read internal memos, notices and bulletins to keep up-to-date on company events and changes. They often need to relay the information to their employees. (2)
  • Read articles in trade or corporate magazines to keep up-to-date on the latest trends which may affect their companies' or departments' services. They identify relevant articles to review in detail. (3)
  • In union organized workplaces, interpret the clauses in collective agreements to address specific situations, or to advise their employees on contract issues. (3)
  • Read government legislation, regulations and subsequent bulletins and addendums. For example, they read the National Safety Code, which is prepared and updated by Transport Canada, to understand which safety standards are applicable to their organizations. (3)
  • May scan reports from provincial legislatures for transportation related news. For example, they may read sections of the Ontario Gazette to determine which companies have applied for transportation routes and under what conditions. They read to evaluate how the new applications will affect their own organizations' services. (4)
  • Read lengthy policy and procedures manuals, usually to get information, sometimes being forced to interpret the text to fit a specific situation and, at other times, may read to evaluate the policies for accuracy, clarity, and relevance. (4)
Document use
  • Get specific information such as names, dates, availability, work status, work preferences, and shifts worked from a variety of lists, including training records and job postings. (1)
  • Observe hazard, warning and caution signs on vehicles and equipment. (1)
  • Examine labelled sketches of accident scenes to determine the accidents' causes and confirm details of vehicles' movements before and after accidents. (2)
  • Read maps to determine the best route for trips or calculate the distances of trips. (2)
  • Read and interpret graphs displaying past service demands to predict future needs (2)
  • May use large-scale maps and route schematics to plan operations and monitor traffic. For example, subway traffic controllers use displays of subway lines projected on the wall of the control room to locate subway cars currently in the system and to monitor the distance between them. (2)
  • Enter scheduling, budgeting, and operational data into tables to create records. For example, they may enter information into tables detailing the work and associated costs for a specified period; the test results for vehicles and equipment; the details of an authorization for work on an area of track; a summary of the overtime hours worked in a given month; or the dates, times and locations of work for a given week. (2)
  • Verify or take information from a wide variety of entry forms such as job application forms, return to work forms, service request forms, accident-incident reporting forms and claim forms. For example, they may obtain information about service needs by scanning bus request forms; review incident reports to determine if additional information is required; or read runaround claim forms to obtain information about drivers' complaints. They often verify the accuracy or completeness of such forms with a signature before submitting them. (3)
  • Complete administrative forms, either electronic or hard copy, to keep a record of information. For example, they record the results of road tests on forms; note operator absences; track rental equipment in use; enter information into databases; request funding; request training; prepare disciplinary reports; note scheduled and actual arrival times of vehicles; and document the circumstances surrounding incidents. The information entered must be precise and accurate and is often summarized from operating logs, other documents, witness statements and personal observations. (3)
Writing
  • Write reminder notes to themselves about tasks to be performed or staff requests. (1)
  • Write short texts on entry forms. For example, they may comment on a driving skill which needs improvement or the condition of a switch or train. (2)
  • Write detailed e-mails and letters to share information. For example, they write to customers to answer questions, respond to complaints, and provide service information. They write to their managers to summarize the outcomes of meetings and to note changes in operations. They write letters to employees to note problems and outline the possible consequences of inappropriate behaviour. (3)
  • Write notices and bulletins to inform. For example, they may write notices to inform their employees of new policies, changes in procedures or safety concerns. (3)
  • May write evaluations of temporary staff which summarize driving skills, customer service skills and client feedback. They refer to the evaluation forms when hiring for the following season. (3)
  • Write incident or accident reports which include descriptions of the incidents and all pertinent details regarding the outcome of the investigations. Accidents or incidents may include passenger injuries or property damage, and may result in disciplinary action for the driver. Although the writing is usually short, the wording must be precise, accurate and clear. (3)
  • May write new sections or updates for company policy and procedures manuals. They may need to collect information from multiple sources and present the information clearly and unambiguously as policy manuals guide employee behaviour in critical situations. (4)
NumeracyMoney Math
  • Review and approve invoices for payment to verify the correct rates, quantity, taxes and totals. (2)
  • May prepare invoices for passenger or freight services rendered. They calculate billing amounts using time, distance and weight unit rates, apply discounts or surcharges, add taxes and total the invoices. In some organizations, they may negotiate terms of payment with the customer. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Generate short and long-term shift schedules for up to several hundred employees, considering incremental service requirements, staff vacations, special events and statutory holidays. When scheduling, they need to consider the organization of routes and jobs, the minimum and maximum number of hours that must be provided according to the collective agreement, government regulations, operator preferences and refuelling requirements. (3)
  • Adjust work schedules, task assignments, or equipment used to incorporate system wide changes. In dynamic transport and transit systems, supervisors need to make schedule adjustments quickly. For example, the schedule needs adjustment when the vehicles assigned to a job are used longer than expected; when a rush order is required; when a passenger emergency causes a delay; or when a bridge is unexpectedly closed. (3)
  • May monitor and manage the budget for their department or division. This includes addressing surpluses and deficits in staffing and equipment maintenance costs, including incorporating unexpected vehicle repair costs. (4)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure the length, width and depth of freight, vehicle dimensions, or accident scene distances. (1)
Data Analysis Math
  • Calculate distances using the scales on highway maps. (2)
  • Compare times spent driving or spent standing-by to the maximum allowed under existing regulations. (1)
  • Compare the number of hours worked by their employees to scheduled hours in order to verify the accuracy of the information before submitting to payroll for processing or to investigate discrepancies between records. They also compare hours driven by each driver to balance workloads. (2)
  • Describe transport and transit operations using basic statistics. They carry out passenger, package, and vehicle counts to capture operational data, summarize system performance by analyzing service, payroll, and financial records, and include statistical summaries in reports for management. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Make frequent small estimates to aid planning and scheduling. For example, a supervisor may estimate the amount of time a trip should take, taking into account special circumstances such as poor road conditions; the size of truck required, the approximate weight of a shipment; how long a delay will take, based on the cause of the delay; or the number of staff who can be on vacation during any given week. (2)
  • Estimate staffing and equipment requirements when information is limited. For example, a supervisor may estimate the number of buses required for a special event, or the number of drivers required for a new delivery service. Over or under-allocation of staffing or equipment will result in lost revenue. (3)
Oral communication
  • Talk to co-workers to co-ordinate work and share information. For example, they call spareboard drivers to cover shifts or receive calls from drivers to attend incidents. (1)
  • Request services or supplies. For example, they may call for driving records, taxis, repair services, or extra equipment. The requests must be clear and specific and some limited negotiation may be required. (2)
  • Provide directions, instructions and explanations to employees and co-workers when things go wrong. For example, they explain the reason for unexpected waits to drivers. (2)
  • Meet with management to share information about operations, budgets, policy or upcoming events. (2)
  • Present information to drivers or operators about current events or changes that will directly affect their work. For example they share information about regulations, new procedures, work assignments and road closures during daily briefings and weekly staff meetings. (2)
  • Interact with customers and clients on the phone or in person to provide routine information about products, services, pricing and alternatives (2)
  • Coordinate work and discuss joint projects with supervisors and managers in other parts of their organizations. (3)
  • Appear at management meetings to contribute to strategic and business planning, either in person or through a conference call. The topics discussed have direct relevance to their work. (3)
  • Interact with customers and clients on the phone or in person to listen to complaints or concerns; to comfort; to discuss complex requests; and to negotiate resolutions to problems. Customers may be upset or injured so tact is required. (3)
  • Interview drivers, operators, passengers and witnesses during accident investigations. (3)
ThinkingProblem Solving
  • Address short-term staffing problems. For example, if employees are late or call in sick, supervisors must identify available employees to fill in or cover the shifts themselves so that operations are not compromised. (1)
  • Encounter scheduling conflicts where resources, drivers and equipment allocated for one use are required elsewhere. They must make scheduling changes, call in additional drivers and reallocate equipment to meet the changes in demand. There are numerous options and they need to choose the best and most efficient way to manage the unexpected demands. (2)
  • May experience computer malfunctions which prevent them from dispatching vehicles or managing traffic. They must quickly set up alternate methods to manage transport and transit systems without the use of computers. Managing systems manually may involve note taking or using alternative traffic management schemes. Quickly and efficiently adopting alternative systems prevents customer dissatisfaction. (2)
  • Deal with equipment failures and vehicle breakdowns. For example, supervisors must respond when vehicles don't start after unexpected cold spells. They contact maintenance departments and ask to get vehicles started, reschedule routes or deliveries and arrange for alternate vehicles. (2)
  • Find that inter-personal animosities are negatively affecting the work environment. For example, a supervisor may deal with two employees who frequently argue in front of customers. The supervisor takes the different personalities into account when providing firm direction and devising solutions to ensure that the conflict does not arise again. Managing these inter-personal conflicts effectively prevents employee alienation. (3)
  • Encounter service failures and delays due to poor weather, equipment failures, accidents and miscommunication. For example, a serious accident or passenger emergency may close a highway and stop freight or passenger transportation. They identify the nature of the delay and determine its likely duration. They quickly contact the drivers or operators involved, re-organize the route assignments, devise alternative routes or introduce extra service. By devising the best scheduling and routing solution, supervisors limit the number of passengers or amount of freight stuck on route. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide how to share confidential information about particular drivers with managers or other supervisors while maintaining confidentiality. (1)
  • Make job and work assignment decisions. For example, they decide which drivers to ask to fill in for sick drivers, or which drivers or crews to assign to particular jobs or shifts. (2)
  • May decide how to deal with upset or inconvenienced customers. For example, they decide whether gifts should be sent or refunds issued. (2)
  • Make scheduling decisions. For example, They decide whether additional service is required at particular times or on particular days. In larger companies, they decide how many vacation spots are available for each week in a given year. (2)
  • May make equipment allocation decisions. They decide which trucks are best suited for particular applications, or which types of buses are best for specific routes given the passenger load. (2)
  • May make personnel decisions such as, who to hire, fire, promote, demote or discipline. Poor choices in this area can have significant effects. For example, if supervisors recruit, hire or train the wrong applicants, they have to repeat the process, incurring a significant loss of time and money. (3)
Critical Thinking
  • May assess the pitfalls that may be encountered during jobs when preparing instructions for operators and crews. They consider the types of jobs, who the clients are, the problems or issues that have arisen in the past as well as which staff have been assigned the jobs. (2)
  • Evaluate the level of safety of the services, and how they can be made safer. They consider a wide variety of factors including the condition of the equipment, the operators' or drivers' habits, the temperature's effect on driving ability, the type of freight or the number and behaviour of the passengers. (3)
  • Evaluate the accuracy of statements provided during an investigation. They consider criteria such as who provided the statements, witnesses' emotional conditions, the consistency of their statements and whether different witnesses provide the same information. (3)
  • Judge drivers' or crews' abilities to deal with work assignments. They must consider the nature of the assignments and the experience of the drivers or crews. Ensuring that the drivers or crews are suited to assignments is critical to supervisors' jobs. (3)
  • Judge how best to organize service requests into jobs. They consider which routes or trips work best together, when refuelings will be required, how busy the routes or trips are likely to be and government regulations. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Supervisors, Motor Transport and Other Ground Transit Operators plan daily tasks around the routines and schedules of the transportation and transit companies which employ them. Many job tasks such as scheduling, supervising, and reporting are repeated each day, week, month or year. They have the scope to determine the order of tasks within a framework that generally sees customer and client needs as the priority. The routine of most days is interrupted by at least one unforeseen problem or event that forces re-organization of the schedule or re-sequencing of their tasks to manage the work created by the disruption. Their work plan must be integrated with others as their managers usually require information, and their employees require support and guidance. Work assignments come from their managers, their regular work activity or are the results of an unforeseen incident, but job task priorities are usually quite clear. Since most issues need to be resolved quickly to meet client needs, the sequencing of job tasks is very important for efficiency. (3)

Planning and Organizing for Others

Define jobs and job duties; plan routes and work schedules; and may contribute to strategic and long range planning. They schedule the activities of as many as 200 drivers. They may assign particular drivers or operators to jobs, depending on the organization. For example, in large union organized workplaces the supervisors prepare job options and the drivers or operators bid based on seniority. In some cases they are involved in developing policies and procedures, and may be required to participate in committees dealing with organizational planning issues. (3)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Recall details of the drivers or operators on their teams, including driving restrictions, work preferences and abilities.
  • Remember the locations of road construction which affects service.
  • Recall service routes and the stations and stops along the routes.
  • Recall policies, operating procedures and rulebook guidelines that they and their staff must follow.
  • May recall the history of repairs on a vehicle.
  • Remember how to deal with recurring computer or equipment problems.
  • May remember details of current union agreements and of old agreements with current relevance.
Finding Information
  • Use maps to find service locations. (1)
  • Use directories to obtain contact information for staff or service providers. (1)
  • Use the Internet to research changes to government regulations. (1)
  • May consult collective agreements for supervisory protocols. (1)
  • Use information in company policy and procedures manuals to deal with unusual situations. (2)
  • Gather information about the service provided by their organizations by talking to and questioning staff, operators, customers, and competitors. (3)
  • Find information about the circumstances around an incident by speaking to the passengers involved, the operators or drivers involved and any witnesses. The information collected needs to be analyzed for conclusions to be drawn. (4)
Digital technology
  • Use database software. For example, they enter information and query a variety of pre-existing databases to manage information or obtain information. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, they send e-mail messages to users inside and outside their organizations. They write and spell check messages, attach documents, create address lists and create folders to organize messages. (2)
  • Use the Internet. For example, they obtain information from the Internet by navigating to various sites and book-marking useful sites. (2)
  • May use other computer and software applications. For example, controllers manage traffic flow on subway and LRT lines by monitoring and controlling track signals using specialized traffic control systems. (2)
  • Use word processing software. For example, they create, edit and format documents such as letters, incident reports, quotes, memos and bulletins using word processing software. They use common formatting features such as bullets and font styles and generate tables to organize budget and scheduling information. (3)
  • Use spreadsheet software. For example, they create, edit, enter and sort spreadsheets to manage information. The spreadsheets they create may include formulas and formatting for appearance. (3)
Additional informationOther Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Supervisors, Motor Transport and Other Ground Transit Operators need to coordinate and integrate job tasks with large teams of co-workers and employees. They work with a team of fellow supervisors, operators, technicians and dispatchers to deliver good service to customers. Teamwork is particularly evident as problems arise. Coordinating closely with the drivers and operators ensures that delays are dealt with quickly. When not engaged with the service team, they work independently to create schedules, manage vacation bids and maintain service statistics. (3)

Continuous Learning

Supervisors, Motor Transport and Other Ground Transit Operators learn from daily work activity, from organized workplace training, and from personal effort to improve job skills. They participate in skills development courses and job-specific training offered by employers, community colleges and other training providers. They may require technical certification for the transportation of dangerous goods. They learn from the unique challenges, demands and problems which arise each day. They keep up to date with company policy and changes in procedures. (3)

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