Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice - Nevember December 2021 ( Find Your Trucking Jobs)

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK BY JOHN WHITE After 21 years as editor of Pro-Trucker and the last two as editor of ProTrucker/Drivers Choice, I have concluded that nothing has changed. Twentythree years ago, the industry was lamenting the driver shortage, and today it is doing the same. This brings to mind the old definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Truckers have always been heroes to kids who enthusiastically pump their arms up and down, hoping to be seen and swiftly acknowledged by a blast of the truck’s air horn. A positive response automatically results in a huge grin from both the kids and even the most stone-faced trucker. So what is the problem? These kids often grow up with the romantic dream of driving a big rig off into the sunset, and many of them make that dream come true. But then, for too many, the rose-coloured glasses fade to grey and the “big adventure - got’er made in the shade” dream fades with them. I believe that our driver shortage is a myth. I believe that there are more than enough Class 1 drivers in Canada right now than we need to fill every idle truck. The real problem is that many drivers have quit in frustration. They are frustrated by low rates and fly-by-night companies that prey on the drivers who cannot get a job with other companies because they do not have two years’ experience. So these drivers accept lower rates to get the experience which in the long run only helps to hold down all rates as other companies strive to compete. Then we have copious regulations put in place made by public servants who have never stepped foot in a truck and were only promoted to the top policy-making positions strictly out of seniority. Sadly I also believe they were never the kid on the side of the road pumping their arms. Add some poorly trained inspectors and police who believe their job is to punish, not educate, and you have the perfect storm. Frivolous tickets that any judge with an ounce of sense would throw out are never contested because it costs more to take time off and travel to court than the original fine. Hence the abbreviation “B.C.” is often referred to by truckers as Bring Cash. To top that off, many times, a ticket writer will do some research after writing the ticket and realizing that they were wrong they don’t rescind the ticket - they just don’t show up in court. These people should face fines themselves. So how do we fix the problem? Well, here I go again; 23 years later, I will beat this dead horse one more time. We have to start with better basic training where a Class 1 license actually means something. We need our Federal Government to grow some and put in place a minimum standard for entry-level drivers where drivers are fully trained and can enter the profession with a 2-year rating. We need a graduated licensing system where endorsements are issued for specific jobs like mountain driving, low-bedding, and various trailer configurations, to name a few. Call it a Red Seal, Class 1 or just common sense, but if we are ever going to keep drivers and encourage others to enter the profession, we have to put some Class back into Class 1. Well, there you have it, my last rant of the year. First, I want to say that I am very proud and thankful to the many men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces. We should all stop to remember them on November 11th. They are the ones who have made it possible for me to criticize our government without fear of repercussions. It is a privilege that many people around the world do not have. From all of us and our families here at Pro-Trucker/Drivers Choice, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous New Year. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021

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RIG OF THE MONTH by John White

I called Scott Casey to see if he could recommend a veteran driver for our November/December Rig of the Month. He introduced me to Robert Pigeau, and I am glad he did. I have spoken to many recruiters, and those I have talked to over the years all seem to agree that veterans make great truck drivers because of their military training, to take direction and get the job done come hell or high water. This is Robert’s story: I was born in London, Ontario, on March 9th, 1959, to Art and Joan Pigeau. I have three siblings. A younger brother, Jim and two younger sisters Debbie and Marilyn. All of who live in London, Ontario. I retired from the Military in March 1997 and now live in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I joined the Royal Canadian Sea Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

Cadets in 1973, and then in January 1976, I joined the Canadian Armed Forces, 22 Service Battalion in London, Ontario. Two years later, in February of 1978, I transferred to the Regular Military. My first posting with the Military was at CFS Holberg in Holberg B.C. on northern Vancouver Island.

For over 21 years, I was a cook in the Canadian Armed Forces. During that time, I did two UN missions. The first was in 1982–1983 with the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus. (UNFICYP) I was with Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI) at the time. The Cyprus mission is one of the longestrunning UN Peacekeeping missions. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


www.driverschoice.ca It started in 1964 to prevent fighting between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. There was an unofficial ceasefire in August 1974, and since then, UNFICYP has maintained a buffer zone between the Turkish forces in the north and the Greeks in the south. The ceasefire lines extend over 180 kilometres across the island, and over 800 UN troops and 60 police officers have to deal with hundreds of incidents a year. I also served 1992 – 1993 with the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) during the Yugoslav wars. At that time, I was with the Canadian Contingent Support Group (CCSG) in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The mission was to prevent torture, killings, expulsions of minorities and ethnic cleansing that was ongoing. When I was with 2PPCLI, I drove a 2.5 Ton, 6x6 truck and pulled a kitchen trailer. The trailer was a pop-up with sides that folded down. Troops had to climb stairs and walk along a ramp that passed a steam table to get their food. If we were going to be there for some time, they would set up tents for them to sit in, but it constantly changed - we could be in one location for hours, a day, weeks, or months at a time. When it came time to think about retiring from the Canadian Armed forces, I knew that I didn’t want to be working inside as a cook, so I started to look around to see what I might be happy doing. I had 2 Uncle’s that drove truck and so did my brother who had also been in the Military. I had ridden with him in a straight truck a few times delivering groceries on my days off and decided it would suit me. So I took my Air Brake course while still in the Military, and then in the spring of 1996, I did my class 1 course with Reimer Express Driving School. It was an excellent threemonth course that I have since learned was very much like the original Earning Your Wheels Course. I was NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021

lucky first in getting into this course, and second, since I was still working in the Military, they accommodated me on my shift work. They were a great school, but unfortunately, the company that took them over shut it down. When I retired from the Military, I started driving an International over the road with Southway Transport. While working for Southway, I was able to take my son Justin with me on his first trip. He was 12 years old, and we went down to Mississippi over New Year’s. Unfortunately, on our way home, we ran into the big blizzard of 1996 and the highways were closed for four days from Watertown, South Dakota, into Manitoba. Luckily I had just bought a little 12 volt TV so Justin could watch TV in the truck, and they also had a TV in the driver’s room of the truck stop. After nine months, in May of 1997, I started at Big Freight Systems INC. I am still here. It is an excellent company with good management and dispatchers that treat you like part of a family, not just a number. When I started with them, I was supposed to train with another driver for three months, but he kicked me out after only two weeks, saying I didn’t need any more instruction. For the first few years, my son would come with me on trips. When running down through North and South Dakota, we would often have a contest to see who would be the first to spot the hawks on the fence. He has seen a lot of country that other kids may never see, like the Dakotas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nebraska and everything in between. He has also seen a lot of Canada from BC to the Maritimes. My wife Paula is from Montreal, but her mother’s family is from New Brunswick, and she has a sister in PEI. My wife came on one trip with me that went from Winnipeg to London, to Milwaukee and then to Dubuque, Iowa, and back up to Edmonton where we reloaded

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to Nebraska and then loaded farm machinery that went to Saskatchewan. Finally, we headed back home. We had a great time. On one trip in Quebec, I was hauling an oversize load, and since my son is bi-lingual, he was my interpreter. We came to a spot where a cop was stopping traffic so we could go to go under a bridge when an old lady, who did not want to stop, clipped his knees while going by. Needless to say, he was not pleased. I have worked many jobs driving for Big Freight Systems INC. In my first few years, I did open decks hauling oversize loads. The biggest was 13.5 feet wide and 98.75 feet long bumper to bumper, out of Winnipeg down to Pennsylvania. To haul the load, I had to extend the trailer. It was my first time and probably took me an hour to figure it out. It was a huge base for an exhaust system for a mill. They sent the rest of the unit ahead of me on other trucks. So they had to wait about a week for me to show up so they could unload me first and put it together. I also hauled parts for coal and nuclear-generating stations. Often it was the crusher wheels that they used to crush the coal into powder which is then blown into the furnace. I also did nine months in the US glass division. That was great, as I always pulled the same trailer. After that, I went back on open decks. I have also trained new drivers, and I am an over-the-road recruiter. One day I slipped on the ice in Swan River, Manitoba. It was covered in snow so I couldn’t see the ice, and I went down on my back, throwing out my shoulder. The next day I hit a deer, which just compounded the injury, so I could no longer lift the tarps or throw straps. After that, I moved over to the specialized Van Division, where the trailers have an extra floor. They load both floors using ramps. Over the years, I have worked motorcycle, and Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine


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www.driverschoice.ca received the Kenworthsponsored Manitoba Excellence Award. This award is presented to 10 people each year at a big Gala, and it was quite an honour to be picked. The drivers are announced before the event, so we knew what to expect and could invite guests. At the same event, a Volvosponsored “Top Driver Award” is presented. No one knew which of the ten would get the top driver award until that night, so it was a huge surprise when my name was called.

snowmobile shows all over Canada. There is often a couple of trailers hauling motorcycles or snowmobiles and then one show trailer that a crew sets up on-site. I do a lot of volunteer work with different organizations. One of the groups is the Canadian Veterans of Manitoba and Supporters, where we do the marshalling of motorcycles for “The Ride for Dad” that raises money for Prostate Cancer research. I have also been to CFB Bagot Ville for the Airshow. That was a great time as everyone says I have the gift of gab, lol. I travel anywhere Big Freight would like me to go in the USA and Canada from Vancouver Island to St. John NL and as far north as Hay River, Northwest Territories. In December 2018, I was coming out of Revelstoke, BC, when I had a headon with a drunk driver. There was a truck and a car in front of me, and she went between them, clipping the car, which changed her direction so that she hit me more on my passenger side. It was lucky that she clipped the car in Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

front of me because, while it was still a head-on collision, it was not quite as bad as if she had hit me square on the grill. As it was, it broke the spring and pushed my wheel right back. We were in an open area, so when she bounced off my wheel, she ended up about 1500 feet off the road. She was driving a four-door, but you couldn’t tell by looking at it. Luckily the car she clipped was driven by a Doctor, so he was on the scene and took care of her until the emergency crew arrived. They had to use the Jaws of Life to get her out. She lived, but I was off work for three months. They figured I managed to stop in 6 seconds, and the RCMP praised me for being able to stop so quickly and still keep my truck in my lane. I was empty, and that was why I could stop so fast. That and the fact that I pushed the brake so hard it blew out all the seals on the trailer. In March of 2019, Big Freight Systems did the beautiful Military wrap truck you see here for another veteran and me. In 2019 I also

My wife and I enjoy camping and going on trips to see family and friends. I enjoy golfing, hunting, fishing and riding my bike. Unfortunately, this year I had to switch to a Can-Am Spider because of my knees. But life is good. There are over 2000 Cat Scales in North America, and each year 60 trucks are picked where they make up cards that they give you with your paperwork. One side of the card has a picture of a truck, while the other side tells about the driver. Thanks to that beautiful mural, my truck was picked this year. It was an excellent way to finish off the year. Please keep an eye out for me on the road as I enjoy getting together and talking. I also belong to many veterans groups, and I enjoy volunteering to help other veterans out and other events in my community. As well, I enjoy driving around and meeting new friends and getting together with old friends. I made many friends while serving in the Military, and being in the trucking industry for 25 years has allowed me to continue to do the same. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


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Letters to the Editor I have received over a dozen emails concerning mandatory vaccinations to enter the US and I thank everyone for sending them in. They ran 50-50 for and against the measure which surprised me because normally a group protesting something is more vocal. I chose to print this one because it expressed both arguments to a certain extent without calling out what unfortunately has turned into a “them and us” situation. People who have a different opinion are not the enemy. They do not make the decisions they only agree or disagree with them as you do. John, Now that truckers going south must be fully vaccinated by early January it is all over Facebook. I have read stuff from drivers who say that they would rather be fired than get the vaccine and they compare being forced to get vaccinated to communism. Others are signing petitions and calling for shut downs. I can’t see that happening because not everyone can afford to quit and still provide for their family. Not only that but when was the last time that a shut down got a lot of support from the whole industry? There

cker azine Pro-Tru Choice Mag s Driver’

are many young families out there that rely on trucking and the bills still have to be paid. Name withheld by request. Editor’s note: It is not just going south that is going to cause havoc with those who are not vaccinated. I have a good friend who has a large company in BC (not trucking). Apparently, he cannot ask his employees if they are vaccinated. As it turns out, he will not have to as all his company’s work is done on his customer’s property, and he has already received notice from many of them that they will require proof of vaccination from anyone entering their facilities. Some companies have already notified trucking companies that they will not allow unvaccinated people on their property. No matter what your view, like it or not, this is not going to just go away. The Canadian Government, and from what I understand, every other country in the world, consider vaccinations a public health measure that has always taken precedence over personal choice.

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Something Different By Dennis Sova I was always interested in the big rigs, so when a chance to retire early from my lifetime career came up, I took the gold watch, got my class 1 and hit the road. For the next ten years, I hauled everything from potatoes to Zambonis in Western Canada and the U.S., acquiring many (mostly) happy memories along the way.

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t was late summer when my friend Gordie called me. The large organic potato farm where he worked was getting ready for the fall harvest and temporarily needed truck drivers. Most were class 3 jobs, but the queen of the fleet was an old Ford L 9000 semi with a 48-foot trailer, and that’s where another driver and I were needed. I was between jobs, and the farm owner was a nice guy who gave me my first highway driving opportunity, so I happily volunteered. “It takes about two weeks and gets a bit dusty, but no big deal,” Gordie assured me. He didn’t know my luck... We started in mid-September, and the rain began shortly after that. Potato trucks are basically dump trucks where the box tapers down towards a conveyor belt at the bottom of the box. Numerous plywood boards cover the belt. The driver climbs inside the box to unload and “pulls” the boards one by one, allowing the spuds to exit in manageable quantities without damage. Of course, you needed a good back then - I’ve been told that the trucks can unload themselves

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nowadays. The semi was just a bigger version of that, with more boards to pull. The farm had several large fields spread throughout the community of Ladner, BC. Once in the assigned field, our mission was to drive at a precise speed and distance beside the harvester (called the Grimmie), which extended a boom into the truck and filled it slowly and evenly with the potatoes. Due to the noise, the Grimmie guys were experts at giving dirty looks to any driver not performing to their expectations. Performing well got difficult as the fields became increasingly slick. Finally, I was fully loaded and stopped to figure out how to get up a short but sloping driveway from the muddy field and then make a 90 degree left turn onto the narrow country road. “You gotta drive her like you hate her,” said one of the old hands. Over the crest of the road, I could see a large water-filled ditch on the other side. “Good girl!” I petted the steering wheel. We made it halfway before getting stuck. No big deal as it turned out; they had a monster of a farm tractor standing by, which got

us underway in no time. Soon, the fields were too muddy for the semi, and I was assigned to the straight trucks. The fleet had about six or seven of them - all different makes, some gas, some diesel with transmissions I had never seen before or since. It was like being in a museum where you’re allowed to drive the exhibits! When loaded, these trucks were incredibly topheavy; on one of my first trips, the curve advisory sign said 60 KMH, and I quickly found out that about half of that speed would be prudent. Did I mention my luck? The rain continued, and the monster tractor was kept busy pulling us out of trouble. We downsized again, now to regular farm tractors pulling a large version of the Red Flyer wagon. Every little boy’s dream, except we weren’t getting the spuds out of the ground fast enough. Then finally, some good newsclear skies were on the way! But by now, we were into October, and after a couple of clear days, the fog rolled in, lasting all day and night. Finally, the ground dried enough to get all the trucks going again, but the clock was running out for the organic (i.e. expensive) potatoes. The decision was made to extend the operation to midnight. At night the visibility was almost zero, and finding your way around a 160 acres or so of featureless potato field was challenging, especially when looking for the exit. The other driver was driving the semi and was backing onto what he thought was an access road. It turned out NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


www.driverschoice.ca 17 to be the slough; the loaded trailer partially slid underwater and lifted the tractor off the ground. I had just got to the barn when I heard the news -”thank goodness I didn’t do that” was my selfish first thought. The aforementioned monster tractor came to the rescue the next morning,

and incredibly, the rig was in operation shortly after that, minus a couple of tons of spuds. We had most of the crop in when a heavy rainstorm was forecast shortly. “This is it guys. The rest will have to stay in the ground. Thanks

for your help,” said the boss. I drove home that night looking forward to putting away my gumboots and thanking my lucky stars that I wasn’t born to be a farmer.

Good Bluff: A fellow had been drinking at a pub all night. The bartender finally said that the bar was closing. So, he stood up to leave fell flat on his face. He tried to stand one more time; the same result. He figured he’d crawl outside and get some fresh air, and maybe that will sober him up. Once outside, he stood up and fell on his face again. So he decided to crawl the four blocks home. Again, he fell flat on his face. He crawled through the door and into his bedroom. When he reached his bed, he tried one more time to stand up. He managed to pull himself upright this time, but he quickly fell right into the bed and was sound asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. He was awakened the next morning to his wife standing over him, shouting, “SO YOU’VE BEEN DRINKING AGAIN!” Putting on an innocent look with the intent on bluffing it out, he said,” What makes you say that?” “The pub just called; you left your wheelchair there again.”

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The Cutting Edge G

o BC! Here is some good news for a change. Vancouver has become a hub of innovations in the transportation industry in the transition to zero emissions by 2050. Vancouver has a strong history of innovation and research in critical technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells needed for clean transportation. With an accessible group of reputable and research-focused universities, Vancouver has no shortage of talent needed for the clean energy transition. Important work in the hydrogen sector is being done in Vancouver, opening up possibilities for a hydrogen economy to help the province meet its clean transition goals.

Wet Coast, so there is a made-to-order variety of engine power, aerodynamic design and economy already in existence for research and progress.

By Ed Murdoch

Ed has held a commercial drivers license for 65 years and has spent the better part of 50 years on the road. You can get Ed’s new book at www.drivingthroughmymemories.ca

The Coast has pioneered in hydrogen fuel cell technology and lithium-ion batteries for decades by the Ballard Company who produced the first lithium-ion batteries in North America and the very first hydrogen fuel cell in the whole world. Strong-armed lobbyists have delayed progress in production but are losing ground faster than they can keep up running at full speed. The writing is on the wall, and even many players in the fossil fuel game can read it and are making significant, if too slow, gains in solar power and other alternatives. Alberta is primed as an essential team member in the new clean transportation economy, which is bad news for its controversial Premier maybe, but good news for the unemployed families.

Canada, and a host of new companies with engineering talent provided by local universities have sprung up and put Vancouver on the climate change Platform of Champions. Metro Vancouver is also leading the world in capturing carbon in the area and using the stored carbon to produce low carbon fuels, a temporary solution.

It is pretty difficult to say hydrogen fuel cell without also saying Ballard in the same sentence. Ballard, along with the National R e s e a r c h Drivers 70-80 CENTS PER MILE! Council Canada Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, has set the pace well ahead Super B & tridem step of its time. 2 yrs exp & acceptable abstract Western Canada & USA This combo’s Some dedicated runs success attracted Daimler North America to

Using hydrogen fuel cells to create electricity to run EVs, electric vehicles offer the path to zero emissions and overcome the limitations of charging and range that BEVs (battery electric vehicles) provide. The market value of on-road fuel cell vehicles is predicted to be upwards of $160 billion by 2042. Currently, the race to decarbonize over-the-road vehicles is led by BEVs. However, questions remain whether BEVs can deliver the range, minimum downtime and flexible operations required for long-haul trucking and high mileage city bus operations. Huge batteries and hours of recharging along routes are not practical solutions

Foreign investors who wish to share the technologies but do not own the resources can see Vancouver as a hub for clean transportation open for fair trade. BC has been acquiring expertise in this sector for decades resulting in success producing various zero-emission vehicles already and the components that put them in that category. Folk in towns along the Trans Canada Highway surely have noticed a steady stream of transport vehicles going to and coming from the

Hiring Qualified O/Ops & Drivers

Call Al 604-882-7623

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Most of the electricity in BC comes from renewable energy sources, and fuel cells will significantly assist that program. In addition, hydrogen as a source for clean energy in transportation has a vested interest in trucking, marine applications such as ferries, ships, trains, buses, and even aerospace. We have it all right here in Beautiful, Supernatural British Columbia like no other province.

NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


www.driverschoice.ca 23 to attain zero exhaust emissions. The larger companies like GM and Daimler North America are pouring millions into rushing the technology of fuel cells and reducing the capital costs

simultaneously to reflect the range, refuelling quick stops and power currently provided by today’s diesel engines. It’s an exciting time, and British Columbia and Vancouver will

be somewhere at the forefront. It’s winter … adjust! Motor with care, enjoy a great holiday season, be well and be safe. 10-4!

Contempt of Court: During a trial, in a small Saskatchewan town, the crown council called his first witness to the stand. She was sworn in, asked if she would tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, on the Bible, so helps her God. She said, “I do. ”She was a proper well-dressed elderly lady, the grandmother type, well-spoken and poised. The prosecuting attorney approached the woman and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” She responded, “Why, yes I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy and frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, cheat on your wife, manipulate people and talk badly about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the sense to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper-pushing shyster. Yes, I know you quite well.” The lawyer was stunned. He couldn’t even think for a few moments. Then, he slowly backed away, fearing the looks on the judge and jurors’ faces, not to mention the court reporter who documented every word. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney? “She again replied, “Why, yes, I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He’s lazy, big-mouthed and has a bad drinking problem. The man can’t build or keep a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire Province. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. Yes, I know him.” The defense attorney almost fainted and was seen slipping downward in his chair, looking at the floor. Laughter mixed with gasps thundered throughout the court room and the audience was on the verge of chaos. At this point, the judge brought the courtroom to silence, called both counselors to the bench and in a very quiet voice said, “If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be thrown in jail for contempt. Is that clear?”

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REQUIRES

Company Drivers & Owner Operators

PREFERRED CARRIERS INC. A very busy flat and step deck carrier, running Canada to and from the U.S.A., are presently expanding the fleet in order to service our customers better.

LOCATED AT 80 DIAMOND AVENUE, SPRUCE GROVE, AB COMPANY DRIVERS: For late model Kenworth trucks. 10 Full-time Permanent Positions Available $26.50 Per Hour ($60,000 and $75,000 Annually, Based on Mileage Rate) Medical Benefits Provided Minimum of 1 Year of OTR Experience is Required Fluency in English Valid Passport and Willingness to Travel to the USA is Required Valid Class 1 Licence Passing Drug Test is Required

OWNER OPERATORS: With or without own trailer, able to carry 45,000 lbs. pay load, better than Average Revenue. Contact SKEE or RAY for more information on these openings. 780-962-5801 skif@preferredcarriers.com

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Phone: 403.278.1129 • Fax: 403.278.8307 Email: marilynt@westlandinsurance.ca www.westlandinsurance.ca

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Marilyn has over 30 years experience in providing insurance for Owner Operators operating in Canada & the U.S.A.

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His Lips Were Moving T

his story is about a young driver (me) in 1978 with a no-quit, do the best you can, no matter what, and we’ll sort it out when we get back to the terminal attitude. I was working with a dispatcher that had an attitude and no qualms about stretching the truth (lying). But, unfortunately, he hadn’t learned yet that if you stretch it enough, it will come back to bite you in the fruit of the looms. My home terminal was Calgary, and I was to go to Blairmore, AB, to an abandoned sawmill where I’d find a sawdust burner. I was told there should be a pile of split cedar logs there, and I should load and tarp them for a lumber yard in downtown Chicago, Illinois. So when I got to Blairmore, I stopped and asked for directions to this abandoned sawmill with a Beehive sawdust burner. I found it and waited for help to load up. Finally, a guy in a pick-up pulled up and told me which rails were to go. We loaded the fence rails by hand and tied them down with chains as ratchet straps hadn’t been invented yet. Also, there were no rubber bungees in those days, so we made our own with inner tubes cut into strips 1 ½ to 2 inches wide. We then used eight-inch spikes bent into an S shape hook to hold the tarps in place. I left for Chicago and planned to get there at night and park on the street to be ready to unload in the morning. All I had for direction was an Atlas map for highways and cities in North America. There was no G.P.S. back then. Instead, I got paper sketches. I got up early and drove a couple of blocks to the lumber yard. The receiver asked where I spent the night, and I told him I was on the street and had slept in the truck. He

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

looked at me and By Glen Millard said, no way! You are Glen “The Duck” was born in the wrong colour to Saskatchewan. He has driven trucks sleep there. He just for 50 years, mostly long hauling. shook his head when He’s now retired, that is until I told him that I was another adventure comes along. awakened about 6 or 7 times with strangers using two forklifts, but I had to pull out knocking on the door, of the yard onto the street to tie down but we didn’t discuss money, religion, and tarp the load. I called the owner of relatives, or their intentions. our company and told him what was up. He said, “Great, when you unload We unloaded, he signed the bills, in Denver, you can go to Fort Collins, and I called dispatch. It was a long north of Denver, and load for Linden, weekend, and I was anxious to be AB. reloaded and headed for home. The dispatcher said there were no loads out In those days, the highways in of Chicago going west. About then, I south-central U.S.A. were topped with began to think the dispatcher’s nose concrete, and they were rough, as the was growing, so I called the company concrete cracked and the resulting phone and asked for the owner by potholes were severe. I travelled name. I explained my situation, and slowly because of the roads, and I he said, “Phone me in 15 minutes, and had all weekend to get there, but as I’ll have something coming back. By I got close to Lincoln, Nebraska, I the way, there is a load in Fort Collins, could hear a jingle where the road Colorado back to Linden AB”. Fifteen was rough. I pulled over to check the minutes later, the boss gave me a phone load and found a broken spring on the number for Wagoneers Transport and trailer. I limped into a truck stop in said to ask for Maude. I called her, and Lincoln and asked the attendant where she said, “Come over to our terminal, I could find a spring shop. He said that and I’ll give you the trip lease bills I wouldn’t find one on a long weekend, for the load.” In those years, we had but he knew a guy that worked at one single trip leases, door name changes and would call to see if he could drop and some Bingo chips (insurance tags a spring pack off on his way to go to make the load legal.) She said I fishing. However, he said he needed had to have sideboards and tarps and $150 in cash, and I would have to that it was a load of shingles for the arrange to have it replaced myself. Coliseum in Denver, Colorado”. She gave me $3,700.00 cash and said I had I was up early when the spring pack to have it at the Coliseum by Tuesday arrived and decided that I would do morning. I stopped at a lumber yard the job myself. I only had a jack, a and bought plywood sheets to make pipe wrench, and a length of pipe with four-foot sides for the trailer, then me. I found some railroad ties in the went to I.K.O. shingle and backed in back of the lot that I could borrow and to be loaded. The shipper said that I carried the ties and spring pack over to was just in time. They would load me NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


www.driverschoice.ca 31 the truck. That was when I was much younger. Now I could only carry the pipe wrench. I worked most of the day, but I finally got the old springs out and installed the new ones. To torque the bolts, I put the pipe wrench on the nuts and tightened them with a pipe extension as tight as I could, and then I gave it a little more! It rained most of the way from Lincoln, but I got to Denver okay and found the Coliseum. I was tired by this time and quite happy when security told me to park the truck, and they would send someone over to unload in the morning. The next morning my gloves were

wet and slippery when I was taking the tarps off, and as I pulled down to unhook the tubing, the rubber slipped out of my hand, and the hook flew off the trailer, and one end went right up my nose. I almost jumped over the Colosseum! I just said one bad word, really, really, loud and many, many times. After I calmed down, I realized I was not too injured as there was no blood that I could still see. (Glad I didn’t have to fill out WorkSafeBC paperwork to explain that one). After unloading, I drove to Fort Collins and found the machinery manufacturer. As I got the trailer ready to load, the forklift operator asked where I wanted the pallet of nuts and

bolts. I asked what they were for, and he said there were four cultivators, but they were not assembled, just parts and pieces. I told him that I had faith in him. He had done this many more times than I had so he could put them where they would ride the best and where the weight would balance out. Once loaded, I left for Canada. On the way, I stopped at a truck stop to call dispatch to let him know I was on the way home. He smugly said that he was going to find me a load from Chicago. I told him that I was leaving Fort Collins loaded, coming home, and we would discuss things when I got there. The rest of the trip was as smooth as a shot of Tennessee Whiskey!!!

Divorce: An elderly gentleman, (mid-nineties) well dressed, well groomed, great looking suit, flower in his lapel, smelling slightly of a good aftershave, presenting a well looked-after image, walks into an upscale cocktail lounge. Seated at the bar is an elderly elegant-looking lady (mid-eighties). The gentleman walks over, sits alongside of her, orders a drink, takes a sip, turns to her and says, “So tell me, do I come here often?”

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thank you to those who make the miles count

In honour of National Trucking Week, we are celebrating Drivers, Dispatchers, Mechanics, Dockworkers, and all of the people behind the scenes that keep the trucking industry moving. A salute to the Trucking Industry!

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888 9209

LETTERING

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604

NORRIS

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& CO. SIGNS #

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Rolling Billboards M

arketing has long been a part of trucking. It’s an effective way to grow your business. With your company’s message being spread through various mediums, including business cards, pens, web articles, and television commercials. We also know that our trucks and trailers are rolling billboards. Some are just a few letters of the company name, while others are more elaborate graphics. Some are full lifelike murals. Every once in a while, those full murals depict something entirely outside of the commodity relocation business. Mike “Motor” Rosenau has a truck and travel trailer combination that reflects the service and sacrifice made by the members of our Canadian Armed Forces. In 2019, Motor donated his truck- trailer and his time to act as a support vehicle for the cross Canada motorcycle rally, The Rolling Barrage. If you don’t know Motor, you’re missing out on knowing a good man with a big heart. This month I started a Gofundme initiative for Motor. Well, specifically

Motor’s Motor. You read that correctly. The “Freightrod,” as Motor like to refer to his Rolling Billboard of troop support, had some engine troubles, and he had to park it. Now keep in mind the Freightrod is a Not for Hire rig. He keeps it running as a tribute to our military and veteran communities. The initiative to rebuild his engine is a response to learning that Motor has recently been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Because of Motor’s dedication to the trucking industry and our troops, I thought it would be a good gesture to cover that rebuild cost.

donations to this.

Cummins in Kamloops and Tridem Services of Kelowna have teamed up to do the rebuild. With Cummins initially searching for and compiling the extensive list of difficult-tofind Cummins N14 parts. Cummins Kamloops has covered a portion of the cost of the parts, and Tridem Services will cover the cost of and conduct the engine labour. Both are amazing

I’d personally like to thank everyone who has contributed in so many different ways to this cause. Our mission is to have Motor’s Motor fully rebuilt, and his truck washed and waxed for when he kicks Cancer’s Ass!!!

By Scott Casey

Scott, our Rig of The Month for May 2003 has written “Ghostkeepers” a book about his years as a gun toting truck driver while serving as a Canadian Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia.

At this time, we have raised a total of $16,000 of a requested $20,000. Motor is overwhelmed with the generosity displayed by so many people and extends his heartfelt thanks to everyone. He is currently going through his second round of chemotherapy at the time this went to print.

Divorce: An  old man in  Miami calls his son in  Vancouver and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; 35 years of misery is enough.” “Pop, what are you talking about?!” the son screams. “We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer,” the old man says.“We’re sick of each other, and I’m sick of even talking about this, so you call your sister in  Montreal and tell her.” Then he hangs up. Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like  hell they’re getting divorced,” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this.” She calls Miami immediately, and screams at the old man, “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay,” he says, “They’re coming for Christmas and they’re paying their own fares.” Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021

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ELD Systems - A trucker‘s worst Friend? Opinion article by: J Cooper, Consultant

A

s most drivers are aware, the Government of Canada has been working on an electronic logging device (ELD) for commercial drivers for some time now. However, the legislation that started the clock on full implementation and Compliance went into effect on June 12, 2021, with only three certification bodies for all of Canada and only one certified device a week later. The one certified device available took nearly ten months to reach the compliant stage, however with only one device available, in limited stocks, the government has formed a monopoly on products available. Let‘s take a step back and look at this process, born out of desperation and frustration and managed by bureaucrats with no experience in the transport industry or knowledge of what drivers go through daily. We see they are still finding new ways of making a driver‘s life even more complicated. As the certification method points out, Canada‘s ELD is not designed on the same platform as the present American version. Our American cousins have an industry self-certification process for their manufacturers. In contrast, Canada has appointed certification bodies meaning that unless submitted to one of three certifiers, none of the US ELD‘s presently in use will comply with Canadian standards. This will create problems and high costs for companies who have already adopted the US ELD if only to comply with the USA requirements. As we move forward, we see a global shortage in computer components across all industries brought on by shutdowns worldwide due to Covid-19. The ELD stands in this shortage because it is a computer combined with added components needed to connect it with

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

a vehicle‘s OBD II data connection that takes time to acquire, test, and install. Transport Canada is under the impression that hardwired installations only take minutes to put into commercial vehicles. At the same time, almost all drivers and mechanics know the time to install is far longer than predicted. A spokesperson for the ELD project also made unrealistic claims that drivers can update the firmware of ELD‘s when they stop for fuel or on breaks at truck stops. While they can update a device on a hi-speed test bench in 30 minutes, updating at truck stops that have slow connections will take much, much longer A driver‘s job is to move freight, not play around with updating software and trying to meet compliance standards with an American ELD on steroids. I‘m unsure but probably correct in saying those who came up with the ideas of an ELD on steroids have never worked in the transport industry, not driven a truck or bus, and have no idea of the industry‘s daily operation or how drivers are paid. ELD‘s may become a safety tool over time. Still, for a start, they only make an enforcement officer‘s job easier as they complicate a driver‘s workload placing added mental stress on operators who struggle to meet industry demands. Safety, maybe, mental stress, yes, Compliance – another money grab of enforcement. But, at the same time, drivers lose valued income to an increasingly bureaucratic system replacing many with foreign labour and gravitating toward autonomous vehicles that don‘t need to eat, sleep or have social interaction to survive. The result is less interest in trucking, higher unemployment and more significant risks on our highways. Better driver training lessens

the mental stress and spreads out the workload without bureaucratic complication. In addition, a genuine trade recognition of transport operators would attract newcomers and improve a failing system that has been driving young people away in recent years. Technology is here to stay, but it shouldn‘t replace the human factor to increase carriers‘ profits. Instead, the two elements should work together. Our industry needs to move to pay by the hour, not mileage of load revenue, to improve living conditions for drivers and truly improve safety. It worked in Europe, and it can work here too. As of October 24, 6 Canadianapproved ELD devices are listed on the Transport Canada website for use under the Canadian Mandate. Nine months remain in the soft enforcement mandate. The authorities are considering a possible extension to soft enforcement as they are not equipped to manage the new requirements. In addition, transport Canada has not decided on the policies and practices on the enforcement, which must be complete before the provinces can enforce the new Canadian ELD mandate. As Canada rolls out its new ELD mandate, there are likely to be a range of problems and confusions between the United States authorized exemptions that many drivers continue to use and those of each province, some of which have their own local exemptions to the Federal Hours of Service. These confusions are likely to affect enforcement interpretation for crossborder drivers until, at possibly some point in the distant future, all provinces, the USA and Canada, can agree on a single platform, not unlike the European model that encompasses nearly 26 countries. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


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­

Send resume to jstewart@wattstewart.com NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021

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Dad’s Wreck W

as the dark of the moon on the 6th of June in a Kenworth hauling logs ----- Oops, sorry, wrong story. I was in Calgary and had just gotten off the phone with Mom, where I learned that Dad had been in a bad accident up around 100 Mile House. It seems he had been rounding a lefthand curve and met up with a truck that was way over the line. Dad swerved over as much as he could, but the other truck hit his driver-side tank and duals and then his trailer and drove Dad off the road into a rock-cut. The other truck was totalled along with Dad’s trailer, but Dad’s tractor was easily repairable, and although Dad had been taken to hospital, he was in good shape. Mom told me to deliver my load in Vancouver and then meet Dad at our usual stopping place. I delivered the next day and went over to the motel, and crashed. While having breakfast the next morning, I saw Dad pull in bobtail. His tank was

smashed all to bits, and he was singled out on the left with two smashed tires on his deck. There was no way that this would be a parking lot repair, so I knew what I would be loading and hauling east. I spent most of that day loading and tying down Dad’s baby then seeing him off at the Airport. The next morning I got on the phone and found a D4 Cat that had to go to Concord (just north of Toronto), which would put me within 50 miles of home and would more than pay my fuel and food to get home. So over to the dealer I went, and after unchaining Dad’s tractor and moving it all the way forward on my trailer, I slipped the little D4 in behind it, tied everything down tightly and headed east. I will have to say I got a lot of funny looks hauling that load and got called in at every scale, but after explaining

By Dave Madill Dave Madill was Pro-Trucker Magazine’s Rig of the Month in June of 2001 and he has been entertaining us with his poetry ever since. Dave has published three books of poems that are available by special order through Chapters Book Stores.

that the truck was ours and the Cat was paying for the trip to get Dad’s Mack home for repairs, I had no problems. I made sure everything was well tied down and had very few problems. I delivered the little Cat on time, backed the Mack into our loading ramp, and had it off before Dad came out to help. He was teed off about having to send me all that way for nothing but sure perked up when I handed him the bills for the Cat and saw how much I had charged for special speedy service. The funny thing about that was how come I was the one who had to install a new fuel tank and tires on a truck that I had not broken and seldom got to drive.

Scattered

Dave Madill

His ashes scattered to the winds but his memory still lives, Though he is dead and gone he still has much to give. His attitude, his love of life, his sense of right and wrong, The strength of his convictions helped him as he traveled on. Passed down to all his children, this guide still stands strong. Though he is scattered to the wind, his memory lives on.

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Christmas is Cancelled O

n behalf of truckers all over the world, I’d like to apologize for retiring. I’m sure we all feel a little responsible for the shortage of what is becoming just about everything we need to enjoy life. Petrol, groceries, the list gets longer every day. If I’d known my selfish attitude of wanting to enjoy my twilight years was going to cause this much chaos, of course, I’d have kept driving until I was no longer able to continue. After all, I’ve only been working since leaving school at 15, a mere 50 years. And my two sons seem to have grown up ok despite only seeing me one or maybe two days a week. Now according to the panicinducing media, there is a real danger that Christmas could be cancelled this year due to the empty shelves in supermarkets. This time it’s not only the toilet roll aisle that’ll be bare due to the shortage of drivers to keep the stores stocked up; it could be other parts of the stores. But, not to worry, our own Trump lookalike Prime minister Boris and his merry men have a solution. Just like on the TV show the Cube, he’s pressed the simplify button, the class one test is now easier. To free up testers to concentrate on class one tests, he also removed the need to sit a class two licence. So now it’s just like when I sat my test forty-something years ago, as long as the driver has a current car licence and is over 21 years of age, they can go straight to a class one test. That’s rescinding a previous change where drivers who passed their car drivers test after 1979 had to sit another test to drive a 7.5-ton GVW truck or

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tow a trailer, and then move on and sit a test to get a class two licence. Instead, all the government testers can now concentrate on getting new HGV class one drivers on the road. But that’s not all. To make the test shorter and quicker, he removed the need for learners to demonstrate to government testers they could couple and uncouple a trailer and perform the reverse manoeuvre. That part of the test will be outsourced to private companies, maybe the driving schools. When a candidate turns up at a government testing centre all he, or she, has to do is present the tester with all their certificates showing they sat and passed the theory test and the reverse and trailer couple and uncoupling manoeuvre. In my opinion, it’s just another opportunity for unscrupulous companies to make a fast buck charging for a signature on a form without doing the proper training. Of course, retiring drivers can’t take all the blame. The 51.8 % of the population who voted to leave the European union unaware of the chaos to come, have got to take some of the flak. Foreign drivers, fruit and vegetable pickers, and of course, the all-important turkeys for Christmas. Poultry workers left the UK and went home to their own country when we split. But Boris has created special visas to get those foreign workers back into the UK, 5000 visas for drivers and another 5000 for other workers.

By Colin Black Colin Black lives in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland and has been driving truck for over 40 years. His story shows us once again that the problems drivers face are universal.

According to the media, there have been 127 driver applications so far. So, it would seem they don’t want to come back. Now that glowing screen in the corner of every living room is telling us that there’s a shortage of butchers, and pig farmers are in fear of going out of business. The farmers are under contract to rear the pigs, but with not enough butchers to process them, the pigs are eating away at the profit. I hope that it doesn’t spread to Canada. Can you imagine the panic a bacon shortage would cause? In a bid to entice people into the trucking industry, wages have gone up, and firms are offering sign-on bonuses from £1000 up to £5000. But in my opinion, it wasn’t about just money that made the older drivers call it a day and retire. It was all the regulation—the constant monitoring. The older drivers were used to leaving their yard with a loaded trailer. When that trailer was unloaded, they called their preferred backload broker from a payphone and loaded it for home. Then they called the office to say they were coming home . For a driver to go into the dispatch office only to be asked why their tracker showed them stopped for ten minutes near the yard by an employee who only needs to walk a couple of feet to a toilet, it kinda sticks in your craw. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


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Gotta Make Some Changes T

his whole pandemic has really turned a lot of things upside down. I tried to book a physical at my doctor’s office a year and a half ago, and they said, due to covid, they aren’t allowing physicals at the moment. Okay, I get it…. understandable. I called back a year later, still not doing physicals at the moment. What happened to trying to be proactive about one’s health to make sure we are in tip-top condition to fight off a virus, should we get one? This summer, I finally got a call from the doctor’s office saying that I was overdue for a Pap test. I literally roll my eyes because I had tried twice to book a physical, so I would assume since they didn’t want me in there for that, then a Pap test was out of the question too. Anyhow, I said to the receptionist that if I am going to go in for that, could I please have a physical as well. She still gave me the same reply that they currently weren’t doing them. I said I’ll already be there, so what’s the big deal for a few extra tests. Finally they agreed that it made sense and it would be fine. The day comes this past August, and I go into the office waiting room and wait for the receptionist to call my name. She calls my name, asks me the typical covid screening questions, and when we get to the part about having been out of the country in the past 14 days, you could see the panic on her face! I thought, are you serious? Are we still in the same position that truck drivers are being singled out and frowned upon? I got hustled out to another waiting area until someone came and shuffled me off to what they called a “quarantine examination room,” which was essentially no different than the others. The nurse practitioner was the one who did my exam and wrote me up a requisition for blood work. She did a blood pressure test and informed me that I was on the high side. I have been for a while, so I never really thought too much about it. I feel like I’ve coasted

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along the last couple of years on the borderline of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, so I wasn’t too worried that there would be much change this year. From the clinic, I took myself for my blood work, and within a week, the doctor’s office called and said they wanted another set of blood work done to confirm results as I’m showing type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol now. I immediately felt a real pain in the pit of my stomach. I knew that I had coasted along for so many years being borderline, but to hear I had now crossed over into the danger zone hit me more than I thought. I did not want to be taking medications for this, and I knew then and there that a big change was in order. I knew that I had to completely change my eating habits and work daily exercise into my plan from that day forward. Jennifer Hudson sang, “I am changing Trying every way I can I am changing I’ll be better than I am.” I used these words to fuel my new way of life. I bought a two-serving air fryer that I can use in the truck to cook real food and not fast food or prepackaged foods. I started doing meal prep before every trip on the road. I used Tik Tok to learn how to cook some ketofriendly meal ideas. That I have to say is quite handy because you learn to cook the meal in about a minute versus watching a full cooking show that takes half an hour. I’m not following a super strict keto diet but trying to cut out bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. All fruits and vegetables are still fair game. I’m also following a calorie deficit diet, which means that I burn more calories than I eat. Two weeks after I got the news of being diabetic, I went and did the blood

By Myrna Chartrand Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba and was our April 2019 Rig of the Month driver.

work again. I had been strict on my diet and exercise plan, so I was hopeful that even those two weeks would have made a difference. However, in mid-September, I got a call from the doctor’s office saying my blood sugar went from 7.7 to 6.7, but that would still require medication. I told her that I had already lost 25 pounds at this point and made exercise a daily priority. She said that changed everything then. She has now given me until the end of October to do blood work again and see where we are. I hope to bring it down below 6.5, which I was informed would not require medication. I was pleased to find out that I could change my sugar levels in just a few weeks, so I’m hoping to get down to a normal level if I stick to the program. I’m so thankful to have such support from friends and family that offer tips and tricks and help me stay accountable in my workout goals. I always get nervous when I start something new so late in the year because with winter coming, I know I won’t be getting out to dance around my truck in the evenings when it’s minus 30 degrees! My health coach has always said nutrition is key, so even if you can’t work out, you can still get results by eating well. So here’s to a new challenge in life and a reminder to take your health seriously because those “it can’t happen to me” moments hit you harder than you think. I’ve been on and off the health wagon more times than I care to think about, but I feel like I’ve finally been scared straight. NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2021


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INDEX Acme Transport Ltd. ........................................................................................ 46

TRUCKING SERVICES

Berry & Smith ..................................................................................................... 17 Centurion Trucking Inc. .................................................................................. 25 DeckX ....................................................................................................................... 24 Golden Express Trucking Inc. ......................................................................... 05 Grant Transport Inc. ......................................................................................... 22 Kindersley Transport ...................................................................................... 32

Big Rig Power ....................................................................................... 03 B & W Insurance ............................................................................. 02 & 06 Cool Heat Truck Parts .......................................................................... 20 Howes Lubricator ......................................................................... 26 & 27 Hutch Systems ......................................................................................... 48 Hydra Steer ............................................................................................... 29

Key West Express Ltd. ..................................................................................... 21

Kinetic Wireless ....................................................................................... 18

Light Speed Logistics Inc. ................................................................... 08 & 45

Michel’s Ultralift Technologies ...................................................... 31

North Coast Trucking Ltd. ............................................................................. 13

Mobalign Services Inc. ......................................................................... 09

Preferred Carriers Inc. ..................................................................................... 28

Norris & Co. .............................................................................................. 33

Royal City Trucking ........................................................................................... 43 Select Classic Carriers ..................................................................................... 35 Transam Carriers Inc. .................................................................................... 04

Ocean Trailer ............................................................................................ 15 Trucking App .......................................................................................... 41 Trucker’s Pages ....................................................................................... 09 Trucker’s Together Fuel Services ................................................... 39

TransX ................................................................................................................... 47

Truck West Collision .............................................................................. 23

Van Kam Freightways ...................................................................................... 04

Ultrack Systems Inc. ............................................................................. 19

Watt & Stewart Trucking Inc. ........................................................................ 37

Westland Insurance ............................................................................. 29

16

34

42

Dennis Sova

Scott Casey

Myrna Chartrand

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

ROLLING BILLBOARDS

22

38

Ed Murdoch

Dave Madill

THE CUTTING EDGE

DAD’S WRECK

30

40

Glen Millard

Colin Black

HIS LIPS WERE MOVING

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CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED

GOTTA MAKE SOME CHANGES

10

RIG OF THE MONTH Robert Pigeau

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