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FIRST CLASS PAY • SAFETY • SUPPORT • EQUIPMENT

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK BY JOHN WHITE

W

elcome to 2020 and Pro-Trucker/Driver’s Choice Magazine. Pro-Trucker has been publishing for 21 years, and Driver’s Choice has been publishing for 14 years. We have now merged to form this unique and much-improved trucking magazine. Our 35 years of combined publishing experience has taught us that the perfect trucking magazine should give you what we both have individually given you in the past. You will still be able to read articles from your favourite writers and have a platform to express your personal concerns, but now, compliments of Driver’s Choice, you will have more current job opportunities, and parts and services advertisements, of any trucking magazine in Canada – all in one magazine and right at your fingertips. Another significant change is that Driver’s Choice already distributes in Ontario, so Pro-Trucker’s readers from Ontario will now be able to pick up Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice at their local truck stop. I, as the editor, still intend to bore you with my sometimes overly opinionated and not necessarily right, point of view of the trucking world. Hopefully, as in the past, this will encourage conversation and, through letters, continue to give you a platform to share your views. Pro-Trucker’s talented, occasionally humorous, and sometimes a little strange, writers will also continue to share their stories about life on the road. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice will continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire to make your workplace safer by putting in place MELT programs that actually do what they were initially intended to do. Not just knee jerk reactions that leave out very fundamental things like training for specialty loads and the many different truck-trailer combinations. Not to mention essential things like chaining up. This brings up mountain driver training. Today, in the eyes of the government, a driver who has never seen the mountains is fully qualified to maneuver over them in the dead of winter, pulling any and all loads. Apparently, our politicians have never tuned in to Highway Thru Hell or Heavy Rescue:401. (Did I mention my sarcasm will still be alive and well?) It is good to see people getting on board and questioning why ICBC and the BC government, two years after the Humboldt tragedy, have yet to do anything towards implementing a MELT other than to paying it political lip service This is not just a BC problem; this is a national problem because drivers from across Canada are still forced to share the road with new drivers from BC who have not gone through a MELT program. BC has the most dangerous mountain roads in the country with steep grades and unpredictable weather changes, yet provincial politicians have sat back and watched as first Ontario, then the prairie provinces have all implemented a MELT program. The political doublespeak that BC politicians and ICBC use are just to appease the voters so that the politicians do not have to commit to a timeline. Statements like, “We are closely watching other provinces’ programs” or “Applicants for a Class 1 commercial driver’s licence in B.C. are required to undergo robust testing…” Those statements can be described as stalling for time at best but could just as easily be seen as pure negligence by our politicians whose duty it is to protect you and the general public. I stand by the editorial that I wrote just after the Humboldt tragedy. Every politician in Canada owns part of that and any other accident involving a new truck driver. If, as stated, safety was the primary concern of our politicians, they would be working on a national Class 1 apprenticeship program with graduated licensing that would culminate with a Red Seal Certification. John White 604.581.7773

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John White: john@ptmag.ca PUBLISHER Coast2Coast Business Pages Ltd. ADVERTISING/MARKETING Tony Arora: tony@coast2coastpages.com John White: john@ptmag.ca CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ben Proudley • Bill Weatherstone • Colin Black • Dave Madill • Ed Murdoch • Glen Mallard • Myrna Chartrand • Scott Casey • John Maywood • Ross Evison PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Proudley • Alicia Cornish David Benjatschek wowtrucks.com

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RIG OF THE MONTH by Greg Evasiuk

This month the rig of the month is a big truck that is built to overachieve, Unit 402, a big C500 that can bed some fantastic sized loads. It’s owned by Fox Transport, and the truck was designed by one of the company’s owners, Stofer James. While we normally showcase the driver/owner more than the truck, Stofer wants to make sure the truck gets its fair share of the limelight, so we’ll let him and the big K-dub split their space in the article. The story starts back in an unlikely place for oil exploration, Armstrong, BC. That is where Stofer James was born and raised. His parents obviously weren’t Oilfield people, his dad was an RCMP officer turned farmer and his mom, an entrepreneur with a couple of small businesses. Stofer was going to follow in his dad’s footsteps too and not as a farmer. He went through most of the preliminary steps to become an RCMP officer, aced the testing and was in good physical shape. Unfortunately for Stofer, at the time in the ‘90s, the way the selection process was structured, it was going to be a long shot for him to be accepted. He was told it could take years, which, like most kids fresh out of high school, seems like an eternity. Time for a new plan… It was in Armstrong that Stofer got his start trucking. Why did he choose trucking? “I like big toys and bush roads! So trucking’s perfect!” He went to work for Hornby Equipment, hauling and delivering agricultural equipment throughout the Okanagan valley. It was a great place for a young driver to learn because of the variety of equipment coming and going. He got to learn how to tie stuff down and haul oversize gear too. Stofer was still pretty new to trucking when he first got the

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bug to go out on his own. In 1997 he bought a cat powered C500 log truck and began hauling logs locally. Things were slow starting out, so he picked up a highway run that had him running wood up over the Coquihalla down to the coast. Now when you meet Stof, you learn pretty quick that he’s a hustler, (and I don’t mean watch your wallet) he’s always working and looking for the next job or a way to do this one more efficiently. So it was no surprise to me when he said he found a backhaul pretty quick that pretty well doubled the money! They were long days, but he enjoyed the work. In 1999 loads of logs were slowing up, so Stofer sold his truck to a buddy and moved to Alberta to find more opportunities and better money. He found that opportunity at Cobra. They started him in a winch tractor with a tri-highboy, and he learned to haul pipe and move rigs. It was a bit of a learning curve, and like most of us, he had a few interesting moments of… learning! “I was headed north off the Alaska Highway with a load of tubing for a rig. About halfway into the site, I came to a big hill. It was snowin’ like crazy, so I chained up, and then pin ‘er up the hill. I got about halfway when she kicked (spun the drive tires), and it hopped a few times, so I backed out of it a little, until she grabbed again, and I kept climbing. A few seconds later, I took a look back to see the center of my tubing load shifting and sliding down the hill! I ended up having to hand bomb 36 joints of tubing back onto the trailer, there’s a lesson in cargo securement!” Stofer was at Cobra, working his way up when they were bought by Transco. We were trying to figure out the exact

JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020


www.driverschoice.ca date that happened but it will take a forensic accountant or someone who was there because it pre-dates the advent of the web. “The early 2k’s were like that in the patch, you went to work in the morning working for one company only to find out they were bought out when you got back to clock out. You might start a rig move working for one oil company only to have the name change before you moved it on to the next hole.” That’s probably one of the reasons we couldn’t figure out what his job was in 2006 when Transco was bought out by Flint. He may have been a wheeler hand or running the big bed as he worked in almost every area of rig moving in the time he was there. Learning the ins and outs of Oilfield hauling on the ground helped him move into dispatch. His title when he parted ways with Flint was Dispatch Manager. All the skills he picked up while at Cobra/Transco/Flint and maybe a bit of his mom’s entrepreneurial spirit gave him the perfect preparation for his next chapter.

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too because with times changing and belts tightening, Stofer was looking to something to give Fox a competitive edge. If you’ve spent any time in the patch, you’ll know what a Texas Bed or T-bed is but for those of you who haven’t let me explain. The T-bed is part winch tractor and part bed truck. A traditional bed truck used for rig moving and in the Oilfield will have a full-width flat deck that ends just behind the rearmost wheels. It will have one or two winches mounted at the front of the deck and a full-width roller on the back. A winch tractor will have obviously a winch mounted behind the cab, and generally, a small frame width roll mounted lower and behind the rear wheels. This is the Reader’s Digest version of the differences in oilfield trucks, so if you want to discuss it in-depth, I’d be glad to just not here. If you have more questions at the end, feel free to contact me for more info!

So a bed truck is designed to be able to move and spot loads on a location by winching them onto Stofer and Amy the tail roll. A winch tractor is lighter and is used in conjunction with a trailer to move these loads In 2013 Stofer James and friend Chris Cassain started Fox down the highway, where legal weights and measures are Oilfield. Its only 7 years back, but it wasn’t exactly the concerns. Now, most bed trucks can pull a trailer, but given heyday of the oil patch when the two got started. Buying their already heavy weight with the deck and big winches, three older winch tractors and a bed truck, they began they can’t haul much payload. A winch tractor can haul the making a name for themselves early on as a company you payload and can load and unload over the tail roll of its can count on to get things done. Stofer dispatched and drove trailer, but it doesn’t offer the maneuverability of a bed truck while Chris handled the office and management aspects. It’s on site (you also can’t stand up tanks and bins without a bed a partnership that still works well today. “We play to our truck, but we can cover that another time). This is where strengths and respect each other’s decisions. It’s what helps the T-bed comes in. The Texas bed is a winch tractor for the us grow and stay strong.” Chris had said that to me once most part, but we add a few bed truck pieces, a pop-up tail when I was asking him. Honestly, having worked with the roll, one to three pop up or fold up bunks to take the place boys at Fox, I can say it does work well. of the bed and a bit more wheelbase. When you do this, you create a truck that does double duty. Since I am near halfway through this article, it might be time to introduce Unit 402? It actually fits the timeline pretty well Stofer didn’t invent the T-bed, but he may have reinvented

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it. When he started talking with Marcep Manufacturing Ltd., they had a goal of 40,000lbs of spotting ability. Most Texas beds are limited to 25-30,000lbs on the roll. In 2014 a C500 was meticulously spec’d out, and Fox had the order placed. Unit 402 was to have the high torque 550 HP 2050 ft./lb Cummins backed by 18 speed Eaton main and a 4 speed Spicer auxiliary transmissions. The secret to making the truck able to spot 40k would be to get the weight far enough forward. If you think of the truck as a fulcrum or teeter-totter, you need to have an equal amount of weight on each end or at least have the tipping point biased towards the light end. The magical wheelbase number is something I’ll keep as a secret, but Stofer might share it with you too if asked nicely.

402 is kind of a metaphor for how the company works, careful planning based on years of experience that leads to achieving more with less. It’s also a testament to Stofer and Chris, who are always reinventing and reimagining the company, which is what keeps it growing in a time where most companies in the oil patch are scaling back. They stay true to their roots in the patch but have, in the last couple of years, started hauling to the US. Fox also has been moving more and more new and used heavy equipment as well as landing some large project work in mining. They’ve hauled on the Arctic ice and to Alaska. Even with the company growing, I still consider Stofer a driver because he still goes out and gets it done.

So the truck was finished in early 2015, and it didn’t take long to put it to the test. “We had a customer ask if it could lift one of their 50,000lb pressure tank skids,” recalls James, “we gingerly pulled it up and the truck handled it like a champ! Being able to lift that extra 10k is a big deal it meant we could handle any of the drilling packages for one of our biggest customers on-site.”

I went along to help out moving wildfire camps this summer, when I was leaving Stofer's office, I asked: “Should I call you when we get to Slave?”

Having 402 be able to spot 50,000 lbs often keeps Fox from having to send a bed truck out, which really adds up to saving for their customers. The truck can also haul up to 34,000 lbs on its bed without the trailer so it can easily move a lot of loads down the highway that a conventional bed truck just can’t. “It’s a hard-working beast that gives us a huge competitive advantage,” says Stofer with pride. He should be proud too as the truck is very well set up, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little smitten with 402 myself! Having done my share of temp work with Fox, I’ve been able to witness what the truck is capable of, and it is impressive.

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“Ya sure,” he said, “you can yell it out your window because I’ll be there too.” “Going up to Supervise?” “Goin up to drive! This is all hands on deck man plus I love this sh@#!” True to form, he was up there with us until the last shack was moved. I saw firsthand at the Fox Christmas party that his drivers see him the same way. The whole group will go out of their way to help Stofer and Chris, which is so refreshing to see. Honestly, in the world of trucking, it's not easy to find a group of people who genuinely enjoy what they do, much less find a bunch of them at the same company! So here’s to you Stofer James for staying true to your trucking roots, surrounding yourself with good people, building a bad-ass T-bed and providing a great place to work. Cheers! JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020


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100 YEARS

OF BEING PREPARED With the New Year comes new challenges and lower temperatures. You don’t ever want to be caught unprepared. As winter takes root and temperatures tank, it’s important to know your fuel is ready to tackle the cold. Treating your fuel with a trustworthy anti-gel is the best way ensure you keep moving no matter where you’re headed. Choosing the right additive for the job could mean the difference between starting the best year ever and being stranded on the side of the road, stuck in the cold. For 100 years, Howes has been making the highest quality additives and lubricants to help keep you moving. Howes Diesel Treat has been proven effective by generations of over the road truckers. The market’s leading anti-gel, Diesel Treat is guaranteed to prevent gelling in even the harshest temperatures. It is also loaded with performance enhancing elements that complement its unbeatable anti-gelling abilities. Diesel Treat safely removes water, demulsifying it out of the fuel, allowing it to be removed by the water separator. This helps to prevent fuel filter icing which could lead to wax build up, the root of gelling issues. It contains a detergent that helps prevent harmful deposits from forming in your system. It lubricates your fuel, giving you more power and better fuel economy. Diesel Treat reduces cold filter plugging and helps protect your pumps and injectors. Best of all, Diesel Treat is absolutely alcohol-free. It contains no harmful solvents and is 100% petroleum based. That means it is safe to use in all diesel emission systems. With 100 years of experience under their belt, Howes is confident in every product they make. Tested for excellence and proven to perform, Howes products are backed by the strongest guarantees in the industry, so with Diesel Treat, you never have to worry about gelling. Howes guarantees, YOU go or WE pay the tow! When you’re looking for the best product to keep you prepared for everything winter has to throw at you, turn to Howes. Tested. Trusted. Guaranteed.

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Bella Coola By Glen Millard

Glen was born in Saskatchewan. He has driven trucks for 50 years, mostly long hauling. He’s now retired, that is until another adventure comes along.

I

have a story about a trip that very few truck drivers have taken, and it is not for a rookie or the faint of heart.

In February of 2018, a friend that I was working for, phoned me and asked if I would be interested in taking a load of bridge timbers to Bella Coola. He said he and I would be taking two B–trains and the third truck would be a tri-dem 53-foot trailer. Right away I felt an adventure coming on. The trailers were loaded and sitting in the yard in Chilliwack. The three of us met in the yard and hooked up and checked everything out. We left around 6:00 am and everything went smooth until Williams Lake. My friends B-train had a flat tire that we discovered while fueling. No problem, just call a tire shop, and they would send out a truck. Three hours later, we were on our way again. I thought to myself, February, short chilly days, and we may have a chance of a snow storm. Bella Coola is 280 miles or 451km west of Williams Lake. I had a feeling that I was going to be up past my bedtime. We headed west on highway 20 and were about an hour out of Williams Lake when we came upon a mudslide. The highway crew was already on-site digging through the mud, so we were only held up for about half an hour or so. The road got a little bit worse from there with snow and ice covering it in places all the way to Anahim Lake, but it was just normal winter driving. After Anahim Lake, the road got even worse as we Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

climbed to the top of the “Hill.” The pavement had ended a while back, so now we were on gravel, which gave us better footing, but it was full of washboards and holes. The last hour we were ripping along at 45 – 50 miles per hour. At the top of the “Hill,” there were three or four big signs –no flashing lights, just a feeble light and a pole with a camera on it. The first sign said brake check, the second said chains on all axles mandatory. The third said 5000 feet altitude and the last sign said 18% grade. By now it was starting to snow and vision was reduced, so we all stopped and put on triple rail chains. My boss told us that up ahead we would have three 360 degree corners on a one-lane road and the first corner goes left and is not level. “Be sure to have your right steer tire right on the edge of the road,” he said, “If your back trailer wants to come around just pull the trailer brake a bit and step on the throttle, this should straighten yourself out. Oh, another thing, don’t go over the side, we will be on a rock face, and it is 3200 feet straight down”. He asked if we were ready and I said yes, but I felt my voice was a little bit high, and my pulse was right up there also. I jumped in, put it into second gear, and away we went. We came to the corner and he was not exaggerating. We were on solid rock, snow and ice and the road leaned left like a speed curve. As I got halfway around the curve I looked in the mirror and saw that my back trailer was right sideways. Being the old pro that I thought I was, I thought, don’t panic! JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020


www.driverschoice.ca 19 My boss told me that if the back trailer comes around to just pull on the trailer brakes and give it throttle. I guessed this was the time he was talking about. I did what he said and sure enough, it all straightened out and on down I went, with the Jake brake roaring, tire chains slapping and Red Simpson singing “Diesel Smoke and Dangerous Curves” on the stereo! How much better can this get!! After everything straightened out, the rest of the way down was fine. The corners were all flat and the gravel gave us better footing. We stopped at the bottom and took the chains off, the road was still one lane, but there was no traffic at all. We kept going after midnight until we came to the small town of Hagensborg, which is about 15 miles short of Bella Coola. As we entered the town, we saw the sign of the company where we had to drop the bridge timbers so we pulled over and parked in an abandoned service station. There was lots of room for our three trucks and it was right off the highway. Early in the morning, we went across the street to a small gas station and convenience store. We had no cell service but the clerk said if we go just two more blocks into town, there

is cell service for 2 or 3 blocks then no more service until you reach Bella Coola. Just then a pickup truck from the company pulled up and the drivers said, “You’re in the right spot, just follow me.” We followed him to the company’s yard and unloaded by crane. We had the operator load our back trailers onto the front trailers to give us more weight on the tractors and to shorten our length for cornering. When we were ready to leave, we saw 4 old fellows walking toward us. One guy was the owner of the company and was 72 years old, next the crane operator was 68 years old, the helper for the crane was 70 years old, and a younger fellow from forestry was 58 years old. As they walked, all four were limping. In conversation they said all the young people leave town to go to work in other places and that just leaves us old-timers, here to work. We thanked them and headed home. The road on the way out was much easier to drive because it was daylight and we were empty. In the two days that we were in and out, we met two vehicles, one each day and they both had to stop and back up to a wide spot so we could get by. That was a trip I’ll always remember, and I was glad to have the chance to take it.

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Letters to the Editor Hi John, There are rumours on the road about Pro-Trucker Magazine that you will be retiring and shutting down Pro-Trucker. I hope that is not true as I have every magazine that you have put out right back to March 1999 and look forward to picking it up every month. Your last editorial just said some changes were coming and to look for a new magazine in January which kind of left everything up in the air and the rumours started from there. Please keep up the good work. Chuck Williams Saskatoon

Editors note: Sorry for the confusion Chuck, but at the time we went to press with our November issue, we were in the middle of negotiations so I could not say too much. The changes I wrote about are right in front of you and I hope you are impressed - I know I am. With magazines like Truck News and Truck West shutting down it may seem a little crazy to be coming out with a new magazine but Pro-Trucker and

Driver’s Choice have never followed the pack. For years now, Driver’s Choice has been the go-to magazine for drivers looking for jobs or parts and services. While Pro-Trucker has always led the field in providing a place for drivers to tell their stories or express their opinion in letters such as yours. We have always said that our main focus is on drivers and this merger does not stray from that it only enhances it by giving drivers a single magazine that encompasses the best of both. Hello John, The Blackfoot Truck Stop opened 60 years ago and still serving Calgary. Though the owner Edna Taylor passed away some years ago now, there are still many staff who have remained and continue to serve customers some with up to 30 years’ service. Even the train continues to run around the cafe after many years. With booths as well as an old-style sit-up counter, this is still a good go-to for truckers to have good food and service. J Cooper Editor’s note: Thanks James, I haven’t been there for a few years but know the place well and have always found their staff to be great people. It has always amazed me how drivers from all over the country can walk in there and the waitresses will greet them by name. It is a throwback to how truck stops used to be, good food and friendly service. You get a bit of a home away from home feeling when you walk in a place like that which, as we all know, is so important when you’re out on the road alone.

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Hole in One 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.

I

was heading west with our old Mack and a good load of machinery for Winnipeg late in September. It was a lovely fall day, sun shining, crisp and bright, and the old truck was humming right along. Just passed through Hearst and was back up to highway speed when there was a crash and glass splinters were flying everywhere - I also heard a thunk, thunk. Looked over and my passenger’s side front windshield had a small hole in the upper right corner, so I hammered on the brakes and pulled over to the side. I hopped over into the passenger’s seat to see what had happened and was just starting to investigate when I noticed smoke coming from the sleeper. Quickly pulled the curtain back and saw that my nice new Hudson’s Bay blanket was smouldering, and there was something shiny lying on it. I grabbed the shiny thing and pulled it out, burning my fingers, and dropped it on the floor of the cab. I smothered the smouldering part of the blanket to put out the fire. Once the fire was out, I started to look around to see what had happened. There on the floor, (where I had tossed it ), was a bullet and in my windshield was a bullet hole. The hole also went through the back of my cab and my sleeper, and there was an indentation in the padding on the back wall of the sleeper. The bullet had gone through my windshield, cab and sleeper and then did not have enough left to penetrate the back wall of the sleeper and had bounced off into my bed and being as hot as it was had started to set my bed on fire. I got on the CB right away and managed to get hold of someone who had a base unit. They contacted the OPP for me and had them head in my direction. The bullet by now had cooled off enough that it could be handled, so I picked it up and checked it out. It was a perfect 30 calibre 180-grain soft point bullet, looked like a standard Winchester bullet or something similar. Little shaken, I got out of the truck and checked everything else, and then the Police arrived. The cop looked around at all the evidence and asked me what I expected him to do. He stated that some Moose hunter had probably taken a shot at a Moose and had missed, and it was just bad luck that the bullet had hit my truck. I asked him to at least fill out a police

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report so I could contact my insurance company and get covered for a new windshield. He wrote a short statement in his notebook, then gave me a case number and a notice that my windshield had been broken by a bullet. It also said that he was authorizing me to keep driving until I got somewhere that I could get a new windshield. I put some tape over the hole in the back of my cab and also managed to get the sleeper hole plugged, but what about the windshield? I still carried a tire repair kit, so on the outside of the windshield, I put a small, one-inch square patch, and then stripped half an inch of rubber off the top of my windshield wiper so it would not snag the patch. On the inside, I put a 4-inch square patch to reinforce the windshield and then headed out again. The next afternoon I pulled into the Falcon Lake scales and guess who got a Red Light. I was still collecting all my paperwork when Mr. DOT walked up to my truck and demanded to know what the hell was on my front window. It took about an hour with me explaining what had happened, showing him all my papers and then waiting for his call back to the Hearst OPP before I was allowed to leave. I was told that at the next scale I crossed, I had better have a new windshield, or I would be shut down and locked up. I delivered in the Peg the following day and then went right over to a glass company and had new glass installed. Both my Dad and Grandpa were ex-soldiers, and they had taught me how to shoot, but it was Len, one of our drivers and also our next farm neighbour, who had instilled in me the need to always know, when shooting, where your bullet was going and if you missed where the round would impact. Unknown to most people is the fact that a 30-06/308 round will travel 13 miles if fired at the right angle, and even a lowly 22 will carry 3 miles. I was lucky that the bullet had not hit my side of the truck as even after penetrating the windshield, it still could have killed me. Guess you could call me “The one that got away.”

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KEN KE K EN E N HOOD HOOD says ssay sa ays ay a ys Good Go G o Bye yye e

W

ell it’s the end of an era. After 30 years in the transportation industry it’s time to retire. Over my career, my focus was towards driver services. In the beginning it was quite apparent to me that in order to succeed in the industry the key was to hire and retain Professional Transport Operators. This task became my focus. Over the years I have been involved in many heated discussions, and in some cases shown the door as a result of those discussions, over the fair treatment of the back bone of the industry, the driver. For without them nothing happens. In the beginning the first order of business was to pay the drivers for the mileages that they ran. Keep in mind in those days we had no P.C. Miler and we miled everything from the House Hold Movers Guide. It was not very accurate, but in those days, it was the best we had. Todays systems are far more accurate. The next big thing was home time and how to schedule time off which in some cases still seems to be a problem today, more so for company drivers than owner operators because of the tractor down time. Even today lay overs or detention continued to be a sore spot, and how they are handled, but I digress. Many people in the industries continue to work to resolve the age-old problems that have plagued the industry for years. My only regret is that I still wanted to see a professionally recognized designation of Professional Transport Operators with the appropriate training and skills to go along with the designation. The MELT program is a beginning, but we need to

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go much farther. Just a question? Will the provincial or federal governments ever put up some training cash for the companies who wish to train and produce well trained professional operators. With that I would like to say thank you to all the drivers and co-workers that I have worked with and known over the years. Some good and some bad, but I would not have had it any other way. Thanks for putting up with me.

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Wildlife 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.

T

he story about Fred, the freeloading fly, in a past issue of Pro-Trucker, got me thinking about wildlife affecting a driver’s working day. It doesn’t need to be something big like a Moose or deer to give a driver cause for concern, trying to get rid of an annoying insect has the capability to be just as dangerous. Over here, we do get the occasional deer running across the highway, but mostly it’s smaller stuff, like rabbits and badgers. Badgers are on the chunky side and can do a bit of damage to your car if you hit one, I’ve been quite fortunate and never hit much wildlife in my years on the road. Although I was heading back to the depot in the early hours of the morning with my trailer load of car parts one day when a Tawny Owl failed to look both ways before crossing the highway. It hit the windscreen just above my head and jammed up into the tinted plastic sun visor of my Mercedes Axor. Luckily it didn’t break the windscreen or the visor, probably just broke its neck, poor soul. It stayed there for the rest of the trip back to base with one wing flapping in the wind, for some reason the movie Moby Dick came to mind. When Captain Ahab was tangled up in the ropes on the back of the great whale, one arm was flapping as if beckoning to his crew to follow him. One young driver of a 7.5 ton GVW box van was not so lucky early one morning. At one time these vans could be driven with just a car licence, so more often than not, it was a young driver at the wheel. In fact, back in the days when there was a bunch of us on the CB, a couple of young guys came on looking to join in with the conversation. They were double manning a 7.5 tonner with urgent parcel freight, non-stop to Birmingham

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and back, they asked what our “handles” were, but back then we didn’t bother too much about handles. The guy with the mike said they were, Batman and Robin, but that was the only time he ever used their handles, maybe due to our reaction, I don’t know… But back to the unlucky young driver, I was heading north again when I saw the taillights and four-way flashers of a truck up ahead, it was a two-lane highway, and he was in the right-hand lane. I slowed down and passed him on his left - it was a 7.5-ton box van with the front badly damaged. On the road in front of it was a large dark coloured horse that had escaped from a nearby farm, I would imagine the horse was as big as some of the moose you guys get over there, minus the antlers. So you can picture the damage to the truck hitting a horse at 70MPH. At least in the cab of your trucks, there’s a certain degree of protection. When I was delivering parcels as a young trucker, I was always wary of being bitten by dogs when delivering to homes. Although what had me on my guard were farm deliveries, farm dogs were usually friendly enough, what was never often friendly were geese. If you’re walking across the yard with an armful of parcels to the farm house and six or seven geese come squawking at you, that’s a worry. Those big beaks are at just the right level to inflict serious pain to the most tender, vulnerable parts of a man’s body. In fact, there’s a bonded whisky warehouse in Dumbarton that keeps a flock of geese in addition to human security guards.

Oh yes, a trucker’s life is not all beer and skittles. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020


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

On the Road Again…

I

would like to start off with some lyrics from The Kendalls, “Thank God for the radio. When I’m on the road. When I’m far from home and feelin’ blue. Thank God for the radio. Playin’ all night long. Playin’ all the songs, that mean so much to me and you.” As most truck drivers know, its music that gets us through those long days and nights on the road. It helps us through those good times and the bad. It gets us moving to the groove when that feeling hits or inspires us when we think we can hit the high notes like Whitney Houston. Music is often a connection between people, whether it’s remembering a fun outing between friends, an emotional moment between people, etc. Music is extremely therapeutic for me. If you really listen to the lyrics of songs, it’s uncanny how so many of them seem like they are speaking right to you. It’s like they know exactly how you feel and what you are going through. I lost my mom almost 11 years ago now and I find my biggest connection to her is music. I hear certain songs that remind me of her or certain lyrics that hit a real spot in my heart. With the holidays, I find I need music even more since the holidays have really been a tough time since I lost my mom. I listen to certain Christmas carols and I think of how, when I used to sing them around her, she would tell me, “If you are singing for my benefit, you don’t need to continue!” Then we would laugh and carry on listening. There is one Christmas song in particular that I find the saddest song. It’s “The Christmas Shoes” by Newsong. The lyrics are describing this guy who is saying he’s not really in the mood for Christmas. Once he sees this boy in need for a present for his mom since she may not make it through the night, he pays for the gift for the boy and this generosity brings spirit to his holiday again. He has made the Christmas for this little boy and his mom! I remember Christmas Day, 11 years ago and how I looked my mom in the eye, wished her a Merry Christmas and knew it was the last time I would ever tell her that again. Now I feel that I have lost my Christmas spirit for good. I have such a hard time trying to remember all the great holidays we had because I focus so much on the one bad one. I have worked on Christmas Day a few times since then as more of an escape than anything. In the end, it never really helped because then

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CANYON CABLE 1988 LTD. 930-6th Ave., Hope, BC 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 I think of how selfish I am by running away and leaving my other family and friends behind. I listen to a wide variety of music and some days I feel the urge to listen to a good mix of “bar” songs. We all know those ones that they played on good nights out like, “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC or “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex. They really bring pep to my step and I think back on the good days when my friends and I used to go bar hopping. Oh, what a time that was and what a whole other life it seems like now!! Music is also something that keeps me motivated for my workouts. In my last article, I wrote about my new health and fitness regime that I started. I’m happy to report that since October 1st, I have lost 21 pounds and 20 inches in total from body measurements!! Music gets me moving I tell ya!! It’s not easy but I’m doing it. I haven’t missed a workout yet but with a few trips to Texas on the cold days, I have to say that sure helps!! I love it when my friends and fellow drivers share new music with me. Sometimes I’m a creature of habit and listen to the same old songs but then I get introduced to new artists and think, “How have I not heard of this singer or band yet? They are amazing!!” Social media and music streaming apps have become such a great platform as well to share these great finds with others. A lot of people suggest audiobooks to me to pass the time and I have found that I just don’t seem to absorb the content. I could listen for an hour and not have the slightest idea what they were talking about. I find even with music, I sometimes need to repeat a song several times just because I didn’t feel I gave it the respect it deserves or I didn’t listen to it closely enough to really capture the message. I’m guessing I’m not alone in some of these thoughts because deep down I think a lot of us, whether we are truck drivers or not, have really let music and lyrics get us through some of our most difficult and most happy times.

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2020 Vision

T

he dawn of a new decade is upon us as we enter the year 2020. Will this usher in another 10 years fit to be called the ‘roaring twenties’? Will we fall hard into recession? Maybe things will just continue on somewhere in the middle? Honestly, none of us can know for sure, but I sure like the number 2020 because I’ve always associated it with clear vision (yes I know when dealing with vision it is written 20/20 but it sounds the same!) That said there are some clear signs that the twenties will be good for drivers and owner/ops.

becoming a trend industry-wide. While we all have lamented those guys that haul legitimate “cheap freight,” those very same companies large and small are going bankrupt at an alarming rate. Some will point to these trucking company failures as proof positive you can’t make it in trucking. I’d like to say it’s more proof you can, but you have to run at a profit, you can’t continually take freight at a breakeven price just to keep your wheels going. These companies exiting means fewer trucks to compete for that same freight. Another factor tightening the market is the driver shortage, and that will get worse before it gets better. Time and time again, we watch the baby boomers exit the industry to retire to be replaced by… well, no one. Until the government helps pay for training and lowers the financial barrier to the younger generation, we will have to be content with a negative growth rate for the driving force. We should applaud the increased standards in driver training because it ultimately raises the value of our profession.

Tightening capacity, it’s a phrase you here from time to time in regards to specific freight lanes, and the signs point to it

The ELD (electronic logging device) is not a popular subject to bring up amongst drivers, and I have to admit

By Greg Evasiuk

Greg is a third generation trucker with over a million miles and 20 plus years in trucking. He now sells trucks for Nortrux.

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I wasn’t a fan initially either. No one wants a piece of electronic gadgetry telling them when they can and can’t work. I also knew that the safety impact of the devices would be negligible because it doesn’t prevent fatigue or bad habits. The thing that the ELD does do is put everyone on the same lower productivity playing field, which in turn cuts capacity. While we could talk for hours or write volumes on all of these issues, the point is they are going to continue into the new decade, and the effect will be raising rates. Its simple supply and demand and the supply of freight is not going to shrink, and the need for drivers won’t either. That makes it pretty clear to me that rates will stay strong in 2020. Another positive I see in the industry is the advance of technology in trucks. No, not the tech of driverless trucks that are being invented to steal our livelihood. The driverless car still has a long way to go to meet safety and public approval, the autonomous semi is farther behind that. The tech I’m talking about is what’s already here, the tech that is in the trucks we buy and drive today. Technology has fuel economy at all-time highs with some trucks into the double digits as a 90-day average. Advanced air ride suspensions that will soon include active ride sensing along with electronic stability and steering assist will have drivers living in a level of comfort previously reserved for expensive coaches. All of the manufacturers now offer over the air diagnosis and tracking for help with breakdowns and maintenance. I drive both new trucks and trucks from the ’90s and early 2k’s. While I still love the growl of a single turbo cat and working a twin-stick trans, if I have to spend long days on the road, it’s hard to argue with new. And the numbers are proving that the latest versions of all of the engines, from all manufacturers, have less downtime. If I had to point to one other movement that will positively impact the next decade of trucking, it’s the move to the hub and spoke distribution. More and more large companies are having their distribution centers placed close to intermodal terminals, building massive centralized warehouses for a region to allow for same-day delivery (think Amazon, etc.). On the surface, this would appear to be trouble for trucking as it takes a volume of freight off trucks and puts it on container trains. While that will undoubtedly happen, these high volume truckload commodities were never really high paying loads anyway. The real bonus of this system is that it creates opportunities regionally. If the container comes into the area, it needs to be unloaded then reloaded somewhere close by and brought back to the railhead. Then there are the one-off smaller loads that need to come from other areas, rail can’t compete with trucking on speed or low volumes. The more freight shifts to regional, the more home time is available to drivers. If seeing family and being in your own

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bed is important to you, the next decade will hold a ton of opportunity for you! Time for a hefty disclaimer! I am in no way shape or form a predictor of the future, nor am I responsible if the next decade turns out to be nothing like what I describe in the above editorial. All of my theories are based entirely on my own observations of the industry and maybe tainted with years of diesel fumes. These same fumes and countless years of truck stop coffee, cold meals and greasy hands have given me an extraordinary power to look at trucking through rose coloured glasses. This positive outlook for the future is contagious. Should you experience feelings of hope, optimism and general happiness towards trucking, you should immediately share them with those around you!

I do genuinely believe trucking has a great future, and we are the ones to make it happen! So Happy New Year! Lets roar into the twenties, happy and prosperous!

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On The Wrong Road

By John Maywood

Ulster Transport After 52 years, John Maywood, owner of Ulster Transport, is still driving truck. His first two years were spent at Holberg BC, hauling off-road on some of the toughest logging roads on Vancouver Island. He was an RCMP officer for four years, so he views the industry from both sides. He bought his first truck in the mid-sixties and jokingly says he is still paying it off.

I

n the spring of 1968, I went to work for Millar and Brown out of Cranbrook, because, not only did I have a keen interest in trucks and trucking, but also seemed to have the needed natural propensity and skills to meet the demands of trucking, which on all accounts, because of technology, were lot more demanding then. Since those days, I have seen trucking deteriorate from what was once an enviable profession where individuals were considered fortunate to ‘drive truck’, to one where companies freely and desperately advertise for anyone with a pulse to fill the ranks of a ‘driver shortage’ with competing sign-on bonuses to boot. I get that today we face increased truck traffic, demand, and all that goes along with it; however, industry-related government agencies and trucking associations alike, are staffed by people who, realistically, have no trucking background, but

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

feel justified in telling those who do and may have made a lifelong career of trucking, just how to go about it, and so have somewhat contributed to the state of the industry. Yes, we are facing some real safety issues within the realms of today’s trucking, but as a ‘hands-on’ observer of what is taking place on our highways, I feel that the core problems resulting in the outrageous number of truck accidents we are experiencing are being ignored in favour of setting parameters for less complex but more enforceable areas. We are simply not attracting the right people into trucking because we have taken away what used to be the motivation for an interest in a trucking career in the first place, and having to advertise overseas for foreign drivers to fill Canadian driving jobs, says it all. When you tell a driver he has to do JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020


www.driverschoice.ca 45

a day’s work in reduced hours; therefore, pick up the pace, sleep on demand, grab a pre-wrapped sandwich at a ‘truck stop?!! deli’ instead of taking time for a decent break and meal without infringing on a daily window of opportunity to earn a living, sit idly by waiting for the passing of time when wide awake, and then head out on the road just when one should be hitting the bunk, and so on, you are going to have accidents, and it shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. As per statistical references, regulators are no doubt scratching their heads trying to figure out just why things don’t add up on paper the way they thought they would when they sat around and agreed on how to make the roads safer for us all. As far as speed limiters go, personally, 105kph is plenty fast for any commercial truck even in ideal conditions, but making them mandatory, is not going to ease up on truck accidents any more than ELD’s have, in fact, the reverse may be true and they could compound the issue. A lot of drivers travelling the highways today, more than anything else need an attitude adjustment, and associations should be working toward making those adjustments a reality instead of not being able to distinguish the forest from the trees in trying to over-regulate an already shackled trucking environment. I have been told many times that I sound like a broken record, and that may be true, but any old ‘skinner’ from the past will agree that we drove safer when tired back then, than most drivers today ‘wide awake,’ and it has everything to do with how a driver perceives his position in maintaining what even the public acknowledged as a ‘professional’ image. In all honesty, I do wonder sometimes if we, as truckers, are getting true representation for the most critical issues at hand shaping the future of the trucking industry, from an over the road driver perspective, rather than just the whims and fancies of the upper echelons of the ‘new and improved trucking world.’ It would be unrealistic to suggest that we have to go back to the days when truckers did not have to endure all the babysitting we put up with today, but the ‘one size fits all’ strategy does not work for everyone in the industry as a whole, and it shows both in attitudes and performance out on the road. Many of the solid ‘bona fide’ truckers that I grew up around have long since left the industry that they at one time loved, simply out of disgust for what it has become. My trucking days are somewhat numbered, and I guess I might have a little more endurance and patience than most, but I’d like to maintain that the industry is not beyond repair if the agencies that created the ‘fiasco’ we call trucking of late, were to take appropriate measures to rectify the situation before we arrive at the point of no return. We all pay for the shortcomings of individuals, of course, and the media has JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020

a tendency to play some situations to the full, but the knee jerk reaction to try and appease public outcry can sometimes impact an industry in areas that are totally unrelated to the root cause of such events. I am fully sympathetic with the terrible tragedy at Humboldt, and I am not downplaying the severity of it in the least, but if the driver, who should never have been behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, had struck a farmer in a pickup instead of a busload of young hockey players, we would never have heard of it, even though the same disregard for driving, let alone ‘professional driving,’ was present. Sit beside truck route traffic signals anywhere in the lower mainland, and watch the steady stream of trucks, flying through long after the lights have turned red, displaying the very same indifference to road safety as the Humboldt driver. Years ago, the Kamloops and Horseshoe Bay runaways sparked a similar tightening of regulations and inspection criteria that, if proper training and government screening were employed from the onset, would have been unnecessary from a ‘professional’ industry’s perspective. Speed limiters and ELD’s will have no bearing on truck accident statistics, they won’t make a guy or gal who will never have the necessary skills and dexterity to drive a truck in all types of road conditions, a better driver. Not everybody has what it takes to be a professional driver, even though they may possess a Class 1 licence. Driving in general, and particularly professional driving is still a privilege and not a right, as some would suggest. A tightening of the qualification procedure for entrance level applicants, and on a graduated basis similar to other licence classes, as an incentive to maintain a safe driving record, ease up on the restrictive issues that now discourage the proper people from entering the trucking field, just might bring the results we all hope for.

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Know Your Limits 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

Summer 2019 is but a memory. Indian Summer, while it lasted, was very welcome, but now it is finally winter just one of the natural four seasons that make up Canada’s weather. The other three are 1. More Winter, 2. Road Construction and 3. Early Winter. If the Weather were an Olympic Sport, Canada would bring home Gold every year. Sadly the first blast from the lips of Old Man Winter witnesses the convening of the Summer Tire Association’s Annual Meeting in the middle of our highways. Alberta seems to have a higher membership than all the other provinces for some silly reason. I am currently driving back and forth between Vernon, where I have taken up residence, and Enderby and Salmon Arm, where most of my activities take place, such as the radio show every Saturday morning. I’m not sure what “retirement”

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

actually means…it’s not a word I can find anywhere in my dictionary. After our first taste of what’s on the menu for us over the next few months, I witnessed a few vehicles in the ditch in the North Okanagan, including one fatality just north of Armstrong where the highway narrows to two lanes. And then last week was the horrifying head-on crash of two semis near Albert Canyon east of Revelstoke. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Hopefully, they both will make it home for Christmas. It has occurred to me that in today’s business environment of rush, rush, rush, JIT (just in time delivery) and the indiscriminate use of a carrier’s trailer as a warehouse, drivers are pushed to the limit and often drive when they ought to be parked. Newbies and veterans have different skillsets, and to ask a new-hire to keep going as a vet might, is not, in my opinion, proceeding with due care and caution. No one, not even a crusty old gear jammer, ought to be forced to keep going when the going is unsafe. In other words, to operate outside of one’s comfort zone. People in the dispatch office or operations room aren’t in the cab with you, so they are not in a position to tell you if it is safe or not. But don’t use that as an excuse to slack off - they’re usually not dumb either. Kudos to the carrier who notifies all its customers, both shippers and receivers, that their drivers are instructed to shut down when the weather turns

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www.driverschoice.ca 49 nasty. And hats off to the drivers young or old, male or female, gay or straight who know when they have reached the upper limit of their comfort zones and take the appropriate action. Back in the good old days when I was an O/O pulling flat decks, I came upon extremely treacherous freezing rain west of Cochrane ON, and it was so slippery that I was barely able to make it to the first empty service station. No sooner had I dynamited my rig when the CB crackled, and a passing trucker cried, “C’mon Birddawg, ya ain’t gonna make any money sitting there!” Well, he was right, but wisdom prevailed, and I replied, “It’s okay brother, I’ll see ya down the road.” And I certainly did. Once the sand and salt wagons went by, about 5 miles down the highway, I saw him. Actually, I only saw the rear end of his trailer sticking out of the bush, where he tried to build a new shortcut. It cost him $750 for the tow, and that was 35 years ago, plus he lost a day and a half of revenue while I enjoyed productivity for most of that day and all of the next one. If I had kept going, I would have been driving outside of my comfort zone. I cannot convince myself or too many others, for that matter, that I was a coward for stopping when I did. On another occasion, when I was hauling the Royal Mail from the Montréal Canada Post Distribution Centre, the road was closed at Revelstoke for 48 hours. There was another carrier there also carrying mail but with two drivers who were not friends and did not wish to share a single bunk, so in their

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wisdom, they decided to go south on Hwy. 23 to Nakusp and take the two ferries to get to Vernon and then go south on 97 to Hwy. 3, not the best choice in inclement weather, especially with a front lift axle on the drivers. Automobiles naturally got priority, and they had to wait at each ferry for room to cross. To add insult to injury, they had to apply jewelry to the one drive axle to get enough traction to get up the ferry ramps. And of course, Paulson Summit and Allison Pass required chains too. After two days of reading, relaxing, sipping a modicum amount of strong drink while consuming some of the best Chinese cuisine on the planet, we were released from our bondage, and when I exited the Coq at Hope, who did I pass but these two beleaguered souls. On top of that, I was first to unload at the Annex in Burnaby before waiting until morning to get on the ferry to Victoria. Boy, they were some bummed… Patience is a virtue…it just wasn’t one of theirs. So if you wish to arrive home safely to be with your friends and loved ones, determine the range of your comfort zone and please have the discipline to stay within it. It doesn’t matter how long one has been an asphalt engineer, comfort zones change over time. Know what yours is and do not exceed it. By the same token, no driver ought to be penalized for parking when he/she is not comfortable with conditions … no matter what others are doing. You don’t know if they will reach their destination safely or not, but you know that you will … 10-4!

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Cooking Class

J

ohnny's right hand deftly moved the gearshift from the "big hole" and downshifted through all the gears smoothly till he was slowly rolling through the parking lot of one of the most popular truckers cafes in the Crow’s Nest Pass. He drew a line in his logbook, got his coffee cup and wallet, and then waited an extra minute to let his Kenworth cool down. A smile emerged upon his face as he noted the turbo had cooled down and cycled the ignition key to the off position. The summer heat hit him square in the face the instant he opened the truck door. Walking across the parking lot, he was already thinking of the "Wednesday special," of roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and Yorkshire pudding. His favourite meal. Even with the anticipation of such a splendid feast, he turned slightly on his heels and glanced back at his A Model. He sure loved his truck and its shine.

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.

Johnny had been in the trucking industry for 18 years, and today, he was celebrating his one-millionth mile. A significant milestone for professional drivers. Phyllis, the waitress, turned the moment she heard the familiar jingle of the bell as the main door to the cafe opened. She placed the lightly bleach soaked cleaning cloth in the sink, rinsed her hands off, and welcomed the trucker by name. "Johnny, come on in darlin, coffee to start?" To which he nodded with a big smile, "Yes ma'am." Sitting in his usual spot, he glanced around at his surroundings and felt the air conditioning soak the heat from his body. Johnny had seen his fair share of greasy spoons and dives in his 18 years on the road. He always marvelled at how clean his favourite cafe was. "Phyllis, I gotta hand it to you, this place is cleaner than my truck. And I don't have near the square footage to maintain," he said, genuinely. "It's a lot of work, but I've never had one person leave here end up in the hospital," she replied proudly. Johnny continuing his compliment, said, "Well, the reputation that you've created by running such a great cafe has spread from Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

Vancouver to well past Speedy Creek and from here all the way to Willy’s Puddle, for sure, maybe further." Phyllis waved her hands at him in mock embarrassment. Down deep she was pleased that her hard work was noticed far and wide. The conversation made Johnny think about how he maintained and drove his truck. With the utmost care and attention to professionalism. Much the same as Phyllis ran her cafe business. She proudly displayed her inspection reports right next to the cash register. He knew restaurants had regular inspections by the health board. There were thousands of restaurants in each province, all governed by provincial health ministries. He thought that there may even be federal health inspectors who conducted random inspections. So why is it restaurants fail health inspections regularly? There are chef schools across the country and Food Safe courses for all restaurant employees. Yet, across Canada, restaurants get busted for failing to meet the standards laid out. Enjoying his tender roast beef dinner, he couldn't fathom that issue here. But, what are the common denominators for other restaurant businesses? Were they, lack of enforcement? Schools being run by deceptive owners? Loose deals between inspectors and restaurant owners? Could it involve temporary foreign workers? Maybe even immigration scams that bring individuals in that circumvent the entire system. These questions, as he mulled them over while eating, carried a very familiar ring to them. The trucking industry was very similar in how it lacked enforcement and schools, which circumvented the process. And although there were inspections conducted regularly, the spoilers seemed to run their fleets like a 53ft reefer of swinging meat that had no refrigeration in August. Would the New Year bring a complete change to the industry? The upcoming imposed National Driver Training Standard was set to begin. Johnny sat back in his chair and smiled. He had just cleared one million safe miles and eaten the best meal in days, in the cleanest joint on the road. Maybe it was time to hang up the steering wheel and let the powers that be figure out the answers. One thing is for sure, he thought out loud, "It'll be interesting to see what the feds have cooked up for the industry because there will be no better clarity than the hindsight of 2020. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020


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Free, Online Aggregate Hauling Equipment Training Course NOW Available!

It’s everywhere and part of your everyday, whether you’re hauling it or not.

Aggregate is a fundamental component of construction and important part of the world around us. Floors, basements, sidewalks, patios, roads, buildings, landscaping, trails, playgrounds, winter road applications and even toothpaste, include aggregate. If you are hauling aggregate, you know first-hand that it’s hard work, each product behaves differently and there are literally millions of truck loads on the move. But what about the specialized skills required to keep everyone safe when hauling? Do you know the risks and dangers you are exposed to and what could potentially put others in harms way? In 2015, a young Alberta man named Stephen Penny sadly lost his life to a tragic incident involving aggregate. It was a regular day on the job and he was hauling street sweeping material. When the end gate of his dump truck didn’t open, Stephen stepped behind his vehicle to see why. Moments later, the end gate opened unexpectedly and he was buried under the one tonne load. As a result of this tragic accident a Creative

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Sentence was directed, such that a specific skills development course could be created. The AMTA is pleased to introduce and now offer the Aggregate Hauling Equipment Training Course. This free, online course is designed to introduce drivers to different types of aggregate hauling equipment and safety practices for operating, loading and unloading. It includes definitions, equipment configurations, inspection requirements, legislation, hazard awareness, fatigue/stress/ impairment and distracted driving strategies, trip inspections, journey management planning as well as hydraulic and air systems. Upon successful completion of this online course, drivers must complete a competency evaluation that is conducted by their employer in order to receive their certificate of completion. Stephen’s story is a tragic one and a harsh reminder the drivers must be aware of the responsibilities and hazards associated with their job, understand equipment configurations and safety best practices. Ultimately, it is the goal that the development and accessibility of this course will promote occupational health and safety, and reduce the risk of similar accidents and loss of life from happening. Take the Aggregate Hauling Equipment Training Course today by visiting amta.ca.

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INDEX ASL Global Logistics ........................................................................................ 04

TRUCKING SERVICES

Berry & Smith ..................................................................................................... 52 Bronco Transportation Systems Inc. ........................................................ 62 Centurion Trucking Inc. ......................................................................... 55 Challenger Motor Freight ........................................................................... 03 Envision Transport Ltd. .............................................................................. 38 Garuda Transport Ltd. ................................................................................. 50 Golden Express Trucking Inc. ............................................................... 13 Grant Transport Inc. .................................................................................... 20 Heartland Transport Ltd. ......................................................................... 42 Key West Express Ltd. .................................................................................... 14 Kindersley Transport ................................................................................... 63 Light Speed Logistics Inc. ........................................................................... 05 New Malwa Express ....................................................................................... 08 North Coast Trucking Ltd. .............................................................................21

AB Big Rig Weekend ............................................................................ 57 AMTA .......................................................................................................... 59 B & W insurance ............................................................................. 02 & 06 BC Heavy Truck Solutions ............................................................. 47 BD Diesel Performance ........................................................................ 43 Blue Capital Equipment Finance ................................................... 54 Canyon Cable 1988 Ltd. ....................................................................... 34 Chevron ..................................................................................................... 61 Diamond Insurance ............................................................................ 48 First Truck Centre ............................................................................. 51 Gear Centre ........................................................................................... 49 Gemm Diesel Ltd. ............................................................................... 45

Preferred Carriers Inc. ................................................................................... 29

Gold Key Insurance ......................................................................... 30

Royal City Trucking .......................................................................................... 35

Howes Lubricator ......................................................................... 16 & 17

RV Transport Inc. ........................................................................................... 53

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

Sandhu Express Inc. ...................................................................................... 46

Norris & Co. ............................................................................................... 20

Select Classic Carriers ..................................................................................... 31

Ocean Trailer ......................................................................................... 22

Shadow Group of Companies ............................................................ 32 & 33

Pacific Inland Powertrain .................................................................... 36

Shergill Transport Ltd. ................................................................................. 37

Pittsburgh Power ................................................................................... 26

Spady Transport Ltd. ......................................................................................... 09

Skiddd Wheel Rotation Indicator ................................................ 52

Sunrise Transport Ltd. ................................................................................. 41

Trucking APP ........................................................................................... 25

Transam Carriers Inc. .................................................................................... 64

Truck West Collision .............................................................................. 19

Tri Force Inc. .......................................................................................................15

Truxmar ........................................................................................................ 39

Triple Eight Transport ..................................................................................... 27

ZZ Chrome ........................................................................................... 58

Watt & Stewart Trucking Inc. ........................................................................ 23

18 BELLA COOLA

40 2020 VISION

24 HOLE IN ONE

44 48 56

Glen Millard

Dave Madill

28 WILDLIFE Colin Black

34 ON THE ROAD AGAIN Myrna Chartrand

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

Greg Evasiuk

10

ON THE WRONG ROAD John Maywood

KNOW YOUR LIMITS Ed Murdoch

COOKING CLASS Scott Casey

RIG OF THE MONTH

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move forward with kindersley move forward with kindersley Siemens Transportation Group Inc. Siemens Transportation Group Inc.

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Profile for Creative Minds

Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice Jan-Feb 2020 ( Find Your Trucking Job)  

Welcome to 2020 and Pro-Trucker/Driver’s Choice Magazine. Pro-Trucker has been publishing for 21 years, and Driver’s Choice has been publish...

Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice Jan-Feb 2020 ( Find Your Trucking Job)  

Welcome to 2020 and Pro-Trucker/Driver’s Choice Magazine. Pro-Trucker has been publishing for 21 years, and Driver’s Choice has been publish...