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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK BY JOHN WHITE As I write this, I can’t help but think back to December of 2019. The merging of Pro-Trucker and Driver’s Choice Magazines was such a great opportunity not only for a much-improved magazine, which it turned out to be, but also, selfishly, for me to have the opportunity to semi-retire and travel. I fantasized about sitting in a motor home at a ball tournament, or on a warm beach somewhere, talking to customers and interviewing drivers, both Canadian and others, from wherever I might be at that time. Being able to do this was not even on the radar 22 years ago, when Pro-Trucker first published. But it is easy now, due to advancements with cell phones and Wi-Fi. I say semi-retirement because I love what I do. Unfortunately, this means you will have to continue to put up with my overly opinionated, and not necessarily accurate view of trucking and the world in general. I was not alone in December of 2019. We all had our dreams. We all looked forward, with wide eyes and great expectations, at what we hoped the New Year would bring. Then, in March, our world changed. One of the most surprising changes was, for the first time in history, every country in the world, some faster than others, finally agreed on something. Mortal enemies, like Iran and Israel, North and South Korea, Pakistan and India, to name just a few, all agreed that we had a pandemic on our hands. 2020 also spawned many new conspiracy theories. Tin hat sales were higher in 2020 than at any other time in history. To be fair, some conspiracy theories from the past have proven to be true. But when you have groups like Q Anon telling us there is a worldwide group of high powered people that eat babies, and drink their blood, a person has to be just a tiny bit sceptical. (Yes, my sarcasm lives on.) Mindless forwarding of every “shock” meme that comes to a person’s inbox or on Facebook, without fact checking, just muddies the already murky waters, and divides people even more. It seems social media “likes” has taken priority over the truth on both sides of any discussion. The people, who don’t believe in vaccinations or wearing masks, complain the government is using scare tactics to control people while they, at the same time, use fear of poison and microchips in vaccines and carbon monoxide poisoning from masks, among other things, to get their point across. To be honest no one needs micro-chips in a vaccine to tell them where everyone is. Google and Facebook already does that for us. When it comes down to it everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Unfortunately what both sides are really saying is, “Everyone is entitled to my opinion.” The truth be known, no one is going to convince the other side to change their minds. We live in an age of alternate facts and jumping on any bandwagon is, and should be, a personal choice. So jump on, go for a ride, but then sit back and try to immerse yourself in that wide-eyed, optimistic feeling you have always had going into the New Year. The future is bright if we let it be. Our wish for you and yours is for a very safe, happy and prosperous New Year. Cheers! John White john@ptmag.ca JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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RIG OF THE MONTH by John White

Photo Credit: Andy Willerton 'The Kenworth Guy'

I called David Benjatschek to thank him for my copy of the 2021 WOWTRUCKS calendar and to compliment him on the great job he did in putting it together. During the conversation, the topic of “Rig Of The Month” came up. He asked me to turn to January 2021 in the calendar and strongly suggested that the driver of that truck would be a great candidate. After talking to Jay, I couldn’t agree more. This is Jay’s story.

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y name is Jay Palachuk. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, and, unlike a lot of you, I’m a firstgeneration truck driver. I first became involved in trucking when I was laid off from my job in 1979. At that time, Unemployment Insurance offered to send me to school to get my Class 3 license. After getting my license, I worked locally, driving a straight truck for two years, then my sister’s boyfriend offered to teach me how to drive an eighteen-wheeler. I got my Class 1, and he got me a job hauling mail from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay, Ontario. One day he called me and asked me if I would like to run double with him to Florida. I called my boss and asked him if I could go, and he said no. I

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decided to go anyway, and by the time I returned to Winnipeg, I had lost my job. After that, I worked for my sister’s boyfriend for about six months at Pacific Midwestern Express (P.M.E.), driving a 1979 Kenworth W900 loaded with all the options. After those six months, P.M.E. then offered me a permanent position. I have to thank all the guys at P.M.E. because they taught me everything I needed to know about trucking and maintaining a truck. I look up to all those guys, and funny as it may seem, I didn’t realize until just earlier this year that they weren’t much older than I was at the time. In 1983, P.M.E was sold, so I bought my first Kenworth. It was a 1979

Jay Palachuk W900A and I put it to work for Arnold Brothers out of Winnipeg. I worked there for 11 months before I decided to call Global Agricultural Products in Bramalea, Ontario. It was the company P.M.E. hauled freight for when I was working for them. In 1986, I bought a brand new 30th Anniversary in Canada W900 Aerodyne. Eventually, the Global Agricultural Products partners split the company into two entities, one selling meat and the other transportation. Global Agricultural Products became JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021


www.driverschoice.ca Global Meat Exports, and the transportation division became Future Fast Freight based out of Oakville,

Ontario. We hauled meat and produce in and out of Ontario. Some of the greatest times I had was trucking across I-80. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to run into 10 or 20 friends going down the same Interstate. Meeting new people every trip, having dinner at the truck stop sitting at the counter and listening to all the drivers telling their “stories.” Those days are long gone, and so are the days when drivers would wave to each other. I loved it back then. It seemed to show that we recognized the kinship that we all shared. In the ’80s and ‘90s, the winters on the road seemed especially brutal. From what I remember, there seemed to be more snow and colder weather than there is now. The highways department always seemed to be out there all night long maintaining the roads alongside us truck drivers. I remember one time my truck froze up in North Dakota, and I barely made it to the rest area. Because my truck wouldn’t run, and it was extremely cold outside, I ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor in the rest area JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

just to stay warm. The next morning a tow truck towed me into Fargo to have my truck thawed out and fixed. It’s situations like these that are the real-life lessons in driving. You quickly learn from them and do your level best to ensure that they don’t happen again. Now I make sure I have extra filters and additives with me at all times. I can remember more than once getting caught in a snowstorm and driving down the road with my head out, looking down to see the lines on the road because I couldn’t see past my hood. It is a dangerous situation. You are torn between parking on the road and having someone run into you and keeping going and possibly running into someone yourself. One time it took me 4 hours to go 20 miles in a snowstorm in Minnesota. I remember seeing a stop sign and then realizing it was a stop sign for a snowmobile trail. Every once in a while, I would have to stop just to get my bearings straight because the snow was moving faster than I was, and I had no idea if I was actually moving. When I finally reached the truck stop, I felt there was no point going the extra 2 miles to the border. The sad part was that I was just 90 miles from home and my nice warm bed. When I woke up the next morning, the weather was just as bad, if not worse, than the night before. I was 50 feet from the fuel island and was unable to see it from my truck. The road was closed for three days, and I was in my truck the whole time. Back in those days, people would usually check to see if you needed any help and the C.B.

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was a very useful tool in situations like that, but today, very few people still use a C.B. In the early ‘90s, I dressed up to go trucking. I had a rock star kind of look! Big hair, long coat and rockin’ boots., I can remember being asked a few times to leave the truckers section in restaurants as these tables were reserved for truck drivers only. I remember one trip, in particular, when my girlfriend came with me. We stopped for a shower and lunch at the truck stop. When we went to the counter, the clerk said Wow, I love your hair! My girlfriend said “thank you” to the clerk. The clerk replied, not yours, his! As we left the truck stop to get on the Interstate, we heard, “Check out those two baby dolls in that Kenworth” My girlfriend looked at me and started to laugh hysterically. She thought that was the funniest thing ever. I remember another time when a waitress asked me for my autograph for her daughter. She thought I was from a rock band. I tried to explain that I was only a truck driver, but she didn’t believe me and got annoyed that I wouldn’t give her an autograph. It kind of made me laugh! Back then, all my friends referred to me as Rock Star on the C.B.. Even today, some of them will bring it up. I remember a trip in 1992 when I left Edmonton going to Vancouver. I was driving through the mountains, and something didn’t seem right. After I unloaded in Vancouver, I picked up apples in Washington and then went on to Bend, Oregon, to pick up more produce going to the market in Toronto. As I was climbing hills in the mountains, my fan would cut in, and I could hear it rubbing on my fan shroud. I found a place to pull over, opened the hood, and the engine was leaning a bit, then I had trouble closing the hood. I called Kenworth in Bend, Oregon and explained my problem. They said to bring it in, and they would take a look. After their inspection, they advised me that the frame was cracked and it would take a few days to repair it. I have to admit that it was kind of scary seeing Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine


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www.driverschoice.ca 80’s and early 90’s when I was on the road more than I was home.

one side of my truck up on jack stands. I got a hotel room and soon found out that anything can be repaired after four days and a stack of cash has changed hands. Taking that stack of cash, they replaced the frame rail, and I was finally on the road again. In 1995, I custom ordered a 1996 Kenworth W900 Studio sleeper. Keewatin Truck Service in Winnipeg usually did any repairs I needed to have done, and I would wash my truck at the local truck wash. When I got my own shop, I finally had a spot to wash my truck and do most of the repairs and maintenance myself. I am not a mechanic, but over the years, I started to learn how to do my own repairs, and Jim at Keewatin would always offer his assistance when I needed it. I owe a lot to Keewatin Truck Service as they were always there for me over the years. Today I do 90% of my own repairs. Around 1996, Future Fast Freight closed its doors, so I started working for D.M. Krenkevich Inc. based in Winnipeg, hauling Kitchen Craft Cabinets to Florida. We had an excellent crew, and we always got the job done. In 1997, someone offered to buy my truck, and it was too good a deal to pass up. I then purchased a 1998 Peterbilt 379 60” flat top, and in1999, I sold the Peterbilt and bought my current truck, a 1996 Kenworth W900L Aero 1. Dwane, the owner of D.M. Krenkevich, had purchased the truck in 1995. He drove it from Vancouver to Winnipeg and then parked it in his shop. When I bought it from him it had 1500 miles on it. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

Around 2008 I went to work for Payne Transportation based in Winnipeg and was still hauling Kitchen Craft Cabinets to Florida. In the spring of 2015, my friend and I decided to haul tankers. His company was called River City Tank Lines, based out of Winnipeg. In the winter of 2015, I found myself back at Payne Transportation hauling Kitchen Craft Cabinets to Florida and John Deere tractors back north to Winnipeg. In 2017 while attending the Mid America Truck Show in Louisville, Kentucky I ran into Dwane Krenkevich and told him if you’re looking for another driver, give me a call. Dwane called me in the fall and said he has a deal with Décor Cabinets based out of Morden, Manitoba if you’re interested. I handed in my resignation at Payne Transportation, and in October 2017, I once again started working at D.M. Krenkevich. I started out hauling cabinets to Chicago but switched when a run to Florida came up. Today I haul a variety a freight all over North America, including household goods for people who are relocating to another city. I recently hauled a load from Florida to Newfoundland for the Gap store. The Ferry ride from New Brunswick to Newfoundland was interesting to say the least. Because of Covid 19, I had to stay in a cabin so they could keep all the passengers separated. My cabin had no tv, no internet and worst of all, no window. It was the longest trip I’ve been on in a very long time. I was away from home for 21 days. Which, in reality, wasn’t bad compared to the

My pet peeve would most definitely be hours of service. Whoever made the driving rules for truck drivers obviously have no idea what we drivers do out here. I often find myself driving for 3 - 4 hours in a day and running out of hours. If it’s early in the day, I find myself struggling to fall asleep because I get hours back at midnight so I can go back on the road again. I would prefer to make it home that day to be able to sleep in my own bed instead of sitting around in a truck stop 4 hours away from home with nothing to do. Truck drivers have to take a reset for 34 hours after their 70 hour window is up. So, for example, if you’re 4 hours from home, you have to spend 34 hours sitting at a truck stop when you could be at home with your family. When you do finally get home, the company could send you right back out again because you just got your 70 hours back. I’ve been long-haul driving for 40 plus years and during that time my truck driving career has taken me to 48 states and 10 provinces. I’ve been everywhere man!. Although a lot of things have changed, I still enjoy my job! I usually have the same route every trip, but once in a while, I get to see something new! Whether it be a town I’ve never been to or a road I’ve never been down. I still have my 1996 Kenworth W900L and I recently had it painted and restored. Most people don’t like to say they’re old, but I am proud to say I’m an old school truck driver. There aren’t many of those around anymore. It’s always nice when you pull into a truck stop and meet another old school truck driver. There’s always lots to talk about. I like to talk to people, so it makes it hard to leave when you’re having a good conversation with someone with the same trucking values as you have. I love being a truck driver, and I’m in it for the long haul. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021


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Letters to the Editor John, I do not always agree with everything you say but I do respect your right to your opinion and I think this is what is missing in the world today. Instead of meaningful conversation where each side’s opinion is heard, considered and responded to, we now have a them or us mentality about every subject. Whatever happened to respecting another person’s opinion and open-minded discussion? Name withheld by request Editors note: Thank you for your letter. It is what I based my editorial on this month. Unfortunately, I think that we in Canada have gone the way of the U.S., where a person’s opinion is not allowed to waver from their previously stated position or the one held by their political party. It seems that it is considered a failure or weakness if a person changes their mind about something. Hello John, Happy New Year to you and your family. I have been reading Pro-Trucker since the very beginning, and out of curiosity, I went back over the old issues (I have them all) and found that the first time you mentioned the industry needing better driver training through an apprenticeship program was back in May of 2000. I lived in BC at the time and have since moved to Ontario. I can’t express how disappointed I am that no politician in BC has had the $#%^ to pressure their party into even considering the idea. Even after the Humboldt tragedy, BC has not come forward with the MELT program that they have been promising for years now. It seems that their heartfelt concern ended with the photo ops and promises they used to get votes. As far as the Humboldt tragedy is concerned, I believe they put the wrong guy in jail. The driver was inexperienced and cut loose too soon by the owner of the company, who knew full well that the driver did not have the experience to be safe on the road. Tom Abramson, Retired Asphalt Surfer, Kingston On. Editor’s note: Yes, I have been beating that dead horse for a long time Tom, but I am convinced that one day if enough pressure is put on our politicians, something will come of it. All the driver recruiters that I have talked to have welcomed Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

cker azine Pro-Tru Choice Mag s Driver’

the idea of an apprenticeship program culminating in a Red Seal Certificate. They say it would take the guesswork out of hiring by knowing that the driver has at least passed the course. That doesn’t mean that all drivers would then be perfect, but they would know that the driver has the knowledge and training to do the job and make an informed decision. In my opinion, the BC Transportation Ministry’s failure to ensure BC has an effective MELT program is nothing less than a dereliction of duty. I believe the most important thing that this department can do is to ensure the travelling public’s safety. As I said after the Humboldt tragedy, every politician who could have prevented this accident by ensuring there was proper driver training owns part of those deaths and all future ones where lack of adequate training is identified as the cause of the accident. To our readers: Do you have a story about a trip you have made that will interest our readers? If so you can contact me at john@ptmag.ca

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Fools Casting Calls T

he day was like any other out on the highway. Some traffic passed quickly by and disappeared over the horizon as they headed to some unknown destination. The sun was shining and the road itself was in good condition. A few potholes and cracks in the pavement making the tires give a thump, thump, thump, sound as they rolled over them. I had the honky-tonk turned up and the DJ was playing some southern rock. My fingers drummed along on the steering wheel as I listened. After an hour, I could hear some drivers on the twoway radio squawking about a truck wreck up the road. I turned the stereo down a bit so I could glean whatever information I could about the crash. Questions like was anyone injured or was the road closed. I could make decisions with that info. Another thirty minutes and I happened upon the site of the incident.

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.

The tractor-trailer appeared to have driven out of a truck stop driveway and failed to negotiate the turn into the lane of travel and then continued till it drove straight into the ditch and almost completely off the road. The back of the trailer was still up on the shoulder, partially blocking the eastbound lane. I slowed and pulled into the truck stop to grab a quick coffee top-up, use the facilities, and do a walk around. While I maneuvered into a parking spot, the comments were somewhat shocking. Well, not really. But to someone who hasn’t listened to truckers on the radio lately, it would’ve been. Some went on as though they were Crash Scene Analysts. And others shot vulgarities out about the driver’s race or abilities based on the 30 seconds that they saw the crash as they passed by. To say the least, it was appalling

behaviour. And even more shocking was it went on for the next few hours as I continued on my way. Rewind back to when I was in the parking lot. Emergency Services arrived while I was inside. It turns out what the peanut gallery didn’t know was the driver who had a wife, two children, and four grandchildren had suffered a heart attack and was clinging to life. It was just a reminder to refrain from calling someone’s misfortunes out and or casting derogatory remarks about them. Showing a little humanity and compassion should have been the order of the day. It also reminded me of this wise quote: “It’s better to appear a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Waiting For The Bus In Calgary at a crowded bus stop, a beautiful young woman was waiting for the bus. She was decked out in a tight leather mini skirt with matching tight leather boots and jacket. As the bus rolled up and it became her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step. Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver she reached behind her and unzipped her skirt a little thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg. Again she tried to make the step onto the bus only to discover she still couldn’t! So, a little more embarrassed she once again reached behind her and unzipped her skirt a little more and for a second time attempted the step and once again, much to her chagrin she could not raise her leg because of the tight skirt. So, with a coy little smile to the driver she again unzipped the offending skirt to give a little more slack and again was unable to make the step. About this time a big cowboy from Lethbridge that was behind her in line picked her up easily from the waist and placed her lightly on the step of the bus. Well, she went ballistic and turned on the would-be hero screeching at him. “How dare you touch my body!! I don’t even know who you are! At this time the Cowboy drawled, “Well Ma’am normally I would agree with you but after you unzipped my fly three time, I kinda figured that we were friends.

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We Are All In This Together M

ental capacity, while I don’t understand it fully, I know there’s never been a better time to talk about it. With the Covid-19 lockdowns, all that surrounds the pandemic, the hugely polarized political landscape and the non-stop barrage of new media, you can ill afford to be short on mental capacity. Last month I gave my take on building your physical capacity to help take on this brave new world. I should say it from the start, I am nowhere near as successful in building my brain power up! But I am working on it. As truckers, we have possibly had the best preparation for what is causing people strife in this pandemic, and that is because we are used to being alone. Yes, unless you drive team or spend your days doing local delivery, a good many hours of your day are spent with yourself. Scary place sometimes, right? I know sometimes I say to myself, “Evasiuk, you are one strange man…” or “Evasiuk get your mind out of the gutter!” or “Stop being such a f*%$ idiot Greg, you got this!” Honestly, I refer to myself in the third person, and I know I’m the only person I can’t get rid of, so I decided not so many years ago that I better learn to love myself or at least generally tolerate myself! Being a social person, I had to learn this when I started running to the far north because you have no outlet or communication with the outside world. When in cell

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.

phone service, I have been known to rack up the minutes. I bounce ideas off friends and family, solve my problems and generally enjoy the company of others through the phone. We’re talking to the tune of a few thousand minutes. This means that when I have no one to talk to, I have to talk to the guy in the mirror, and for the longest time, we didn’t get along! This is the point in my article where I would normally have some great trucking analogy for how building and figuring out your thoughts is akin to maintaining your truck. Or how not checking your thoughts would be like letting an old two-stroke jimmy run away. Truth be told, I’m hoping you can come up with your own words to explain it. The reason being, as I said before, we deal with this every day, and people outside trucking don’t. Instances of mental illness and suicides are running out of control in the midst of Covid, and with more business failures to come and a lonely locked down winter carrying on, we need to help. In the past several months, I have had some harrowing phone calls from friends whom I had always held in high regard; resilient, intelligent people with a positive outlook on life. For a wide variety of reasons related to the pandemic, these otherwise strong people are expressing fear, uncertainty, hopelessness, and even

some suicidal thoughts. These feelings are compounded by being forced to stay home and away from their normal social circles. This is why it is so important to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones. When you notice someone having a tough time with loneliness or dealing with business loss, or anything causing them undue stress, don’t run away… lean in. I know for me the fact that I had lost my business, that I have been away from my family for months, and having watched my industry change, with no recourse, makes me the perfect person to help. I’m sure you have those same hardships to draw on, times that have beaten you and not broke you. Having been to the bottom, or close to it, I know I don’t trust the advice of anyone who hasn’t been there too. That is why we are the right people to help during the current crisis. So while I cannot tell you how to increase your own mental capacity this month, I want to encourage you to share what you’ve got. Use your experience from the tough times in trucking to help your friends and family get through the crap surrounding this pandemic. Listen to them and let them know you’ve been there too. If you’re feeling rough or lonely yourself, reach out, pick up the phone or CB mic, and I’ll guarantee you’ll find someone who has been there.

The Big Bucks A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his shop. The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike. The mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hey, Doc, can I ask you a question? Look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, fix ‘em, put ‘em back in, and it works just like new. So how come I get paid so much less than you do when we’re basically doing the same work?” The surgeon leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running.” Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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How to get Time Off I

had spent all week working in the pit repairing one machine after another and was looking forward to a couple of days off, but that was not to be. Dad had his R model and one of the B61’s hooked up to flatbeds, and when I sat down to supper, he informed me that we had to be at the Toronto Auction Yard at 0800 the next morning to load some heavy equipment that was going to Calgary. It seems that some oilfield company had picked up a couple of dozers and wanted them ASAP. He had made a deal to haul them, but he also had somehow got us a good paying load coming back, but we had to hurry. Early to bed, and by 0800, I was in the yard. Dad showed up about an hour later. I was just finishing loading my unit, so I tied it down and then had the privilege of “helping” Dad tie down his load and making everything secure. The trip out was uneventful, but I noticed that Dad always seemed to disappear going down the road and would be waiting for me at the next fuel or rest stop. While he got to have a leisurely meal or break, I was always being pushed to hurry up. We unloaded in Calgary, and then I found out that we were reloading at Versatile in Winnipeg with two tractors for a dealer in Stayner, Ontario. We pulled out of Calgary, and that old 61 of mine was hard-pressed, but I managed to keep Dad in sight all the way to the Peg. Of course, Dad got to load first, but while he was tying down this time, I was busy loading my own unit, so he got to tie his down all by himself. Then he came over and told me to make sure I did a good job and pulled out. I finished tying down everything and picked up my bills, and

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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.

was on my way. Now travelling on my own, I could stop where I wanted and rest when I was tired. A funny thing happened when I went through Thunder Bay as I noticed Dad’s truck at the Husky, but I didn’t bother stopping there and kept on trucking. I caught a few hours of sleep down the road and then took a good rest at North Bay and from there trucked it on through to Stayner and unloaded my unit with no problems and no damage claims. They asked about their other tractor, and I told them it would be along later. Stayner to our yard was only about an hour, and I pulled in, shut down, did all my paperwork and since no one said anything about more work, I hopped into my old pickup and got out of sight quickly and spent a three

day weekend at my Uncles cottage up at Wasaga Beach. Daytime fishing and laying around the beach and chasing some fine young ladies at night. What more could you ask for? Dad was more than a little peeved when I finally rolled into home as It seems he unloaded about a day after I did and expected me to be behind him and was setting up another trip for me to ensure that I was kept busy so I would not go astray and spread my wild oats. It ended up that it was a good-paying trip, and despite Dad, I managed to get a couple of days off and while I won’t admit to any spreading wild oats, let’s just say I had a great time. The trucking was fun, and its memories are great, but the little blond lady I met at the dance hall was also pretty memorable.

The Seawall

I walked along the seawall by the ocean way out west Waves were pounding on the shore but the seawall stood the test A storm upon the ocean; waves march toward the land Crash upon the beaches, and ebb back across the sand. Then the storm is over and gentle breezes blow Little wavelets caress the land, and gentle currents flow The interaction of sea and land reminds me so much of life The many trials and troubles between a husband and a wife Love can be a seawall, bound with trust and respect Anchored down with common sense, it can pass any test Walk along life’s storm beaches together, hand in hand Then when the gentle breezes blow, walk gently in the sand.

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A New Year H

appy New Year, one and all! The Season of Rejoicing & Overindulgence is behind us. It is my sincere hope that your time with friends and loved ones was truly safe and rewarding. It certainly was a celebration like none other we have experienced in recent history. Churches that were compliant were cold and empty, and most of the pomp and circumstance we usually have was virtual on TV and the Internet. Goodbye 2020! Your passing won’t be mourned by many, although many will mourn the results of the actions and inactions that we have seen over possibly the worst 12 months in political history. I do not wish to politicize this column; however, I believe it is important to understand the implications, particularly because of the critical role the transportation industry is playing in the scheme of things. If it wasn’t for drivers bringing emergency supplies to destinations that are in distress, North America’s situation would be much worse. Indeed, trucks carrying lifesaving vaccines to at least 600 injection sites were on the move toward the end of the year. Many of you, like my son Chris, even worked over the holidays. Good on you! Know

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

that you are valuable and valued citizens. Walk and drive with pride! What may we expect from 2021? What happens across the border always has a distinct effect on us Canucks. They are our biggest trading partner and many of us have friends and relatives who live there. Personally I think it will take a big effort on the part of the President and Vice PresidentElect in the U.S. to return America to even a partly normal routine. Of course this will require the support of those individuals that pass or reject action that will actually “make America great again.” When I hear people say they would like things to return to ‘normal,’ I know they aren’t thinking clearly. The old normal is where all this panic, chaos and pandemic were spawned. No ‘normal’ person would wish to go back there. Canada has fared somewhat better than its neighbours to the south, but we cannot allow complacency to lull us into a state of self-satisfaction, and we must remain alert to the hazards lurking in our midst. When I reflect on my past career, I remember the many stops and social

interactions with other drivers during road closures, layovers and such. In this modern era of rush-rush and Just In Time delivery, these occasions are now few and far between. There was a time that a driver knew where everyone that mattered to him or her was on the continent. Today nobody knows anymore who’s behind that illegally tinted window comin’ atcha. The camaraderie of the vocation has died an unnatural death and likely will not ever be born again. Since Stan Fraser was beaten unmercifully and left for dead in a ditch near Valemont, BC drivers think twice before stopping to offer help or pick up a hitchhiker. Enough about the good (?) old days. Let us move forward in 2021 with a smile on our lips and a good word for everyone. You can make a difference. Start waving at every truck you meet on the road again. If everyone did that we could quite possibly turn the clock back and make driving more enjoyable again. Perform an act of kindness every day and watch what it does for your own wellbeing. Be compliant and be safe. The life you save could be your own … 10-4!

Guilty as Charged A man owned a small farm outside Lethbridge Alberta. Employment Standards claimed he was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent out to interview him. “I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,” demanded the agent. “Well, there’s my hired hand that’s been with me for 3 years. I pay him $600 a week plus free room and board. The cook has been here for 18 months, and I pay her $500 a month plus free room and board. Then there’s the half-wit that works here about 18 hours a day. He makes $10 a week and I also buy him a bottle of rye every week,” replied the farmer. “That’s the guy I want to talk to; the half-wit,” says the agent. The farmer says, “That would be me.” Scientists say that the universe is made up of Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons but they forgot to mention Morons. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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Added Benefits of Trucking T

his story is about things that are not necessarily truck-related, but if I weren’t driving a truck, I would not have seen or experienced what I am about to tell. In the ‘70s, I was coming back empty from Thompson, Manitoba, on a beautiful winter day. The sky was clear, and there was a chill in the air. As I came to The Pas, Manitoba, I saw signs telling of a Winter Carnival. Since I was empty and it was a nice day, I thought that I could stop and see the Mutt Races that they advertised. It turned out that the race consisted of using your house dog harnessed to a toboggan or sleigh, and the dog had to pull you around a short route. It was for kids up to 16 years of age. The object was for two teams start side by side behind the start line. The race began when the judge fired the starting pistol. They had to go about ½ a block to a post, then turn round the post and head back to the starting line. It was great. I had never seen this before or since. In order to prepare for the race, the kids had to teach their dogs voice commands and, of course, the sleigh, kids and the dogs had to be of the right size. In the north, dogs tend to be of a larger size – but not all of them. The first boy was about 6 or 7 years old, and his sleigh was being pulled by what looked like a Jack Russel type just a bit larger, and it seemed obedient and quiet. His opponent was about the same age, but his ride was a 6-foot toboggan, and his dog looked like a cross between a wolf and a barbed-wire fence. It was quite hyper, and it had bad hearing. They lined up, and the gun went off. The little dog knew what he had to do, but the load was heavy. The wolf took off howling and jumping, leaving the little one in their dust. When the wolf got to the post, the

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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.

race suddenly changed. It seems they did not explain the rules to the wolf, and as far as I could see, he thought it was an endurance race. When they went by the post, the boy was hanging on and yelling left! Left! LEFT! Unfortunately, the dog thought it meant faster, faster, faster. The last we saw of the wolf, he was still going straight - but he was making damn good time! On the other hand, When they went by the post, the boy was hanging on and yelling, “left! Left! LEFT!” Unfortunately, the dog thought it meant, “faster, Faster, FASTER!”. The next story was unexpected. I was parked at the Ford Dealership in Ft. Saint John waiting to unload cars at 10:30 pm. It was normally a good time to unload as there was usually less traffic and distractions. As I was unloading, I noticed that the sidewalks were filling with people on both sides of the street. I climbed down from the trailer and asked what was going on? I was told that it was because they were waiting for the airshow to start. Just then, there was an ear-splitting scream of a jet engine. Being completely dark, I could not see anything until the jet came over the street. It was really quick, and it was not until it was right over me that I could see it was flying upside down. It immediately turned 90 degrees right above us and, turning on the booster rockets, went straight up and disappeared into the black with a large train of fire from the exhaust. Just then, two jets came by, going in opposite directions. This display went on for about ½ an hour, and then they were gone. It was explained to me that the Ft. Saint John airport, the longest and widest runway in the north, was a joint venture with the U.S. when they were building the Distant Early Warning line. The DEW line consisted of radar stations built all

across the north during the cold war to warn North America of a Russian attack. What I was lucky enough to witness was the American Jets doing their last practice runs over Ft. Saint John before they left in the morning for the 4th of July celebration in Anchorage, Alaska. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Not many people get to see an airshow at night. Another time it was close to Christmas and I was taking a car from Regina to the Ford dealership in downtown Moose Jaw. The remainder of the load went to Medicine Hat and Calgary. I pulled up to the dealer and went into the showroom to see where he wanted the car. He said that I could park it where I was, but I should hurry and unload because there was a Santa Parade coming. Away I went and unloaded the car and then went inside to have the bills signed. The salesman said there was a barricade in front of my truck, but he would move it so I could go ahead of the parade. I turned onto the main road, and as I left, I caught up to the Santa Clause float. I didn’t realize it when I turned out, but I was now the second float in the parade. I thought that I might as well wave at the people even though I did not have decorations on my truck, and the only thing I had in my cab to throw to the kids was some empty chocolate bar wrappers. Somehow I didn’t think that would work. The crowd didn’t seem to mind and they all waved back enthusiastically! I stayed with Santa to the first road that led to the highway, where I waved and tooted my electric horn as I turned right and departed the parade. I didn’t want to use the air horn, or it may have scared Santa’s horses, and if they spooked he may have beat me to Medicine Hat.

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An ill Wind T

here’s an old saying that goes something like, “It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.” I think the ill wind of this world-wide virus seems to be blowing some good in the parcel delivery drivers’ direction. People are ordering more and more stuff online because shops are closing in the lockdowns or because they just don’t want to mix with other people and take the chance of getting infected. As some stores don’t want to accept cash, it’s getting easier to slip into a cashless lifestyle. Hungry? Just order some takeaway via the multitude of apps on your phone. The delivery driver is quite happy to knock on your door and leave it on the step. Not having to wait for you to pay him means he can fit in more deliveries. The other day as I was out in my local area getting some governmentapproved daily exercise, I watched the driver of a DPD parcel delivery van going about his business. My wife and I were almost keeping pace with his van as we walked up the long curving street, watching as he dashed in and out of quite a few houses. In this modern world of technology, you don’t need to sign for deliveries anymore, not even a scribble on the screen of his hand-

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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.

held device, so the only thing holding him back was customers who weren’t at home. I started to wonder how many deliveries the average driver took out; all the big companies are obviously busy because in amongst the Ford transit and Mercedes sprinter vans zipping in and out the streets are estate cars and hatchbacks crammed with parcels. My question was answered when my youngest son treated himself to the new PlayStation 5 games console. The launch day was fixed on the 19th of the month so everybody would get their console at the same time. And as if drivers aren’t monitored enough, via another App, my son could track the driver who had his delivery on board. It was like some computer driving game watching the progress of the van on a map of our local streets. The App told him his delivery was number 17 of 107, and the driver had apparently started delivering at 13:30 and had completed four deliveries. ETA was between 14:30 to 1600. With the ability to track your parcel as it moves around your area, I’ll bet some of the drivers get an angry response from some customers, i.e. why did you leave Brown Street and go to Smith Street instead of coming here first. The office is tracking you, and now customers are tracking you. Just one more reason I’m glad I got out

of the business when I did. More than forty years ago, when I started in the trucking industry as a multi-drop driver for the railway subsidiary National Carriers, I enjoyed it. I liked meeting the people waiting for the parcels I had for them. On an average weekday, I had 55 deliveries a day and three or four pick-ups, three regular pick-ups from companies, and seasonal pick-ups from people sending large wicker hampers to their seaside hotel. They were full of anything they thought they would need for their twoweek holiday and, as such, were quite heavy. In busy times we worked Sundays, as there were no pick-ups you got 75 deliveries, you also got double time, whatever happened to double time? I think a hundred or so deliveries would’ve been no problem if I was not wasting time getting a signature, even with the old Commer walk though van I used back then. British rail used a lot of these vans. Some were yellow with NCL on them and some white with whatever department they were working for. They all had the Perkins 4 cylinder diesel engine and a fourspeed transmission. It was a truck that was ideal for multi-drop and much the same shape as UPS use today, with sliding doors that were left open in summer and a door through to the back. The parking brake was mounted on the steering column. That meant you could pull on the brake and be halfway into the van to get the next delivery before the truck stopped. Great times, although in the modern world we live in, you couldn’t, or should I say wouldn’t, dare to leave a truck full of parcels with the doors open. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021


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Loving the Road O

ne late afternoon in the early spring of 2019, after unloading hay in Chilliwack, I was deadheading up to Prince George to pick up a load of lumber. While entering the city from the south, on the old Caribou Highway, I passed by a livestock feed and supplement dealer that was advertising feed supplement brands that I have hauled in the past, out of Whitewood, South Dakota. I didn’t know this dealer existed, and when I saw it, I immediately thought how cool it would be to haul a load all the way from Whitewood to Prince George. The simple thought of those 2200 kilometres laying out ahead of my rig gave me a warm, peacefullylonesome feeling. This is a big part of what trucking has always been to me – long distances to cover and no one to depend on but myself. Although trucking has treated me well with respect to pay and career opportunities, these benefits have always felt like much-appreciated bonuses because when I first started driving, I would have damn near done

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

By Dave Elniski

Dave Elinski lives in Lethbridge, Alberta. Like most drivers he started out driving smaller trucks and then got his Class 1 license six years ago. Since then, he has mostly done flatbed work in western Canada, and the U.S. He is also in the army reserves and has driven various military trucks over the past seven years.

it for nothing. I was first attracted to tractor-trailer driving for the excitement of the job, and it has not let me down. It’s true that I would much rather spend time with my family than be out on the road, but I have yet to experience a work environment as pleasant and relaxing as rolling a big truck down the highway. I like being in control of the rig, knowing that I have everything in working order, the load is on and properly secured. I like distance ahead of me, knowing that even a familiar stretch of road will be unique to my senses and something I will never be able to duplicate exactly in the future. I like to go, and the further I have to go, the happier I am. I’m not trying to gloss over the many frustrating aspects of truck driving or get lost in trucking romance. Trucking can be dangerous. For the driver who doesn’t know what they are doing, the many regulations and uncertainties can easily lead to anxiety, burnout and a sooner-than-anticipated change of

jobs. But I have felt wonderful feelings on the road that I know are only possible to feel while trucking, and I have many cherished memories and exciting stories that are my rewards for choosing this career. I currently have an interesting job as a trucking safety officer and get to spend a lot of my working time out of an office managing a trucking company’s health and safety aspects. My office job has its own pleasures, and I find the world of trucking safety to be both interesting and challenging. The best part of my job, though, is that I still regularly, and figuratively, get to change gears. I withdraw into my own headspace in that seat after making sure that everything is good to go, and I think about all the distance ahead of me and wonder what the road will be like this time. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

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Insecure Loads 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.

My first driving job was for a local Delta, BC farmer, hauling fresh produce to Washington and Oregon. Now, some drivers claim that the reefer’s sound lulls them to sleep, but I found myself sleepless in Seattle and many other places. I made sure that dry vans were all I pulled in my next two jobs. Thankfully, those loads usually consisted of well-behaved pallets or immovable bales of soggy cardboard for recycling, but a few of the deliveries turned out to be quite memorable. One dark winter morning, I arrived at a warehouse in a busy industrial area in Fife, WA, to make my drop. A regular stop, the loads always consisted of boxes of used clothing, shoes and toys stacked to the trailer’s ceiling. I found my assigned door and opened the trailer doors before backing up. Empty trailers parked opposite the loading bays did not leave much room to jackknife the rig. A grizzled driver was watching me from his truck at the next loading bay. “ You won’t make it from here. You have to pull out onto the road and back straight in,” he opined. He looked like he knew a heck of a lot more than I did, and I happily took his advice. Of course, I should have shut the darn doors before venturing onto the busy road, but I just didn’t know any better. Catching a break in traffic, I pulled out onto the roadway. I happened to look back in the mirror just as the trailer Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

wheels hit the slight bump caused by the lip of the driveway. A cascade of cardboard boxes was descending from my trailer and spilling the contents all over the roadway. “What are you - a man or a mouse?” I asked myself as I reluctantly got out of the cab to face the music. Expecting moth-eaten cardigans and scuffed platform shoes, the lifeless bodies of a couple of hundred used teddy bears of all shapes and sizes greeted my disbelieving eyes instead. The Fates were definitely wagging their finger at me, and I was in no doubt which digit it was. As fast as I could, I desperately began stuffing the bruins back in their boxes while traffic zoomed by. Air brakes hissed as a truck stopped behind me. “Must be Monday,” was all the driver said as he worked along with me - there are some truly nice people in this industry! As if by magic, a forklift appeared and started taking away the boxes and soon I was back at the loading dock. For some reason, I was given priority in unloading, and in no time at all, I joined the morning traffic on the I-5, happy to leave my newfound notoriety behind. A few months later, I was sent on a delivery to Portland, OR. The usual

cryptic set of instructions awaited me -a load of insulation, address, drop the trailer at door number such and such, and the truck keys are on the - well, you all know where the truck keys are! I picked up the sealed trailer in the late afternoon and arrived in Portland in the middle of the night, with no one around. With the Teddy Bear Picnic fiasco still fresh in my mind, I gingerly backed the rig to the appropriate loading bay, leaving barely enough room to open the trailer doors. I opened the right side and gazed at the huge bales of pink insulation, tightly wrapped in plastic and stacked from floor to ceiling. As I turned my attention to opening the left door, I heard a faint swish of plastic followed by a large KABOOM directly behind my posterior. I was halfway across the yard before I stopped running. Freed from it’s plastic wrapping, the insulation was several times its previous size, and as I gathered it up, I marvelled at how heavy it actually was. Dropping on my head from that height, it would have definitely ruined my day, but at least I would have been nice and warm when they found me in the morning. When I reported the mishap to the boss in the morning, he sounded indignant at my ignorance: “When you take the freeway exit, just hammer on the brakes, and it will shift the load forward,” he growled. Well, silly me, why didn’t I think of that? The last company I drove for was a large nation-wide outfit, and the warehouse guys really knew their stuff. That’s why I was surprised when I peered inside a trailer I was to deliver to Calgary and saw the cargo of numerous glass doors and windows. Instead of the usual load bars keeping everything JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021


www.driverschoice.ca 35 in place, 2x4s and other assorted scraps of lumber were tacked into the thin plywood walls of the trailer with nails. “ A private customer wanted to do the loading themselves,” shrugged the forklift operator as he deposited a large motorbike strapped to a pallet into the last bit of unused space in the tail. The whole thing looked a bit hinky, but I made it through several red lights and a few potholes without incident. I had almost reached the freeway when

a lone car on a side road tripped my light to red with little warning. What works with bales of insulation does not necessarily work with glass doors and windows; I managed to stop without running the red light, but then a deep rumble started behind me and went on for several agonizingly long seconds. I found a safe place to pull off the road and had a peek inside the trailer. Vancouver’s Granville Street after

the Stanley Cup riots came to mind as I surveyed the carnage. Only the motorbike sat unharmed on its pallet. With some trepidation, I called the terminal manager with the good news. He did not sound all that surprised. “Is the bike okay? I’d hate to damage a guy’s bike,” was his only comment as I breathed a big sigh of relief.

Donation The United Way realized that it had never received a donation from the city’s most successful lawyer. So a United Way volunteer paid the lawyer a visit in his expensive office. The volunteer opened the meeting by saying, “Our research shows that even though your annual income is over a million dollars, you don’t give a penny to charity. Wouldn’t you like to give something back to your community through the United Way?” The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, “First, did your research also show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay? “Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbles, “Uh...no, I didn’t know that.” “Secondly,” says the lawyer, “my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children.” The stricken United Way rep begins to stammer an apology, but is cut off again. “Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister’s husband died in a dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children?” The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, says, “I’m sorry, I had no idea.” And the lawyer says, “So... if I don’t give money to them, what makes you think I would ever give any to you!”

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MARILYN TAYLOR IS OUR COMMERCIAL TRUCKING SPECIALIST!

Marilyn has over 30 years experience in providing insurance for Owner Operators operating in Canada & the U.S.A. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

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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.

Memories D

ecember always brings such a whirlwind of emotions to me. There are Christmas holidays to look forward to, although this year with covid restrictions in place, it may be a little difficult to do much celebrating. Then there is the dwelling that I do, wishing my mom was still here and wishing she hadn’t already missed out on twelve Christmases with us. It’s so hard to believe that it’s been this many years already. It gets me feeling sad one moment, yet I look back on some fond memories, and I try to turn the frown upside down. Julie Andrews couldn’t have said it better when she beautifully sang, “When the dog bites When the bee stings When I’m feeling sad I simply remember my favourite things And then I don’t feel so bad.” I sat down one day a few years ago and compiled this list of things that make me remember the good times with my mom, especially throughout the holiday season. In no particular order, these are my top ten Christmas memories with her. 10. When I used to sing Christmas songs in the house, she said if it was for her benefit, then it wasn’t necessary. Nothing like brutal honesty from your mom, and you know at that point not to quit your day job. I can remember this day like it was yesterday. Strange how sometimes when I get to the Canadian border, and they ask what day I left home and I stare blank-faced like I haven’t the slightest idea even though it was maybe only four or five days ago. I had already forgotten what day I left home, but I can remember standing in the kitchen with my mom, twelve plus years ago, singing along to a CD to What Child Is This.

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9. She made us waffles every Christmas morning. For many years it was the frozen Eggo ones, which I absolutely love but then for a few years, she got fancy with a waffle maker and made them from scratch with a syrupy peach topping for them. 8. She got me a new dress every year for the Christmas concerts at school. My mom loved to shop, not necessarily for herself, but definitely for others. Up until a few years ago, and maybe still to this day in the closet, is a dress I had from a grade six Christmas concert. Of course, with every new dress came the yearly Christmas concert photo too. 7. She would make Cheese Whiz and pickle pinwheel sandwiches for Christmas parties at school. This was obviously before allergies and food sensitivities. They were such a hit every year. My mom would specifically buy a certain bread, cut all the crust off then go to town rolling up all these little sandwiches. Into the later years of school, she even got fancy with them and made her own bread, adding red or green food colouring to add to the festivities. 6. She was so festive with her Christmas decorations. Every year my mom decorated the house with the same decorations. Things were strung from the ceiling, and they were sitting atop tables, they were on the walls etc. Some decorations were as old as the hills but still made it out every year and placed in the same spot every year. 5. She made the best nuts and bolts snack and caramel corn. I remember every year having ice cream pails full of it. These snacks were a definite must to every Christmas tradition. 4. She always got the neck from the

turkey and let my dad and I fight over the giblets. I don’t know if this happens in anyone else’s household, but it was such a treat for us. I’m sure lots of people just throw that bag of “goodies” away and don’t even bother cooking them. My mom would place them on a plate in front of my dad and me, and he would cut them up, and we would gobble them down - pun intended!! 3. She just loved to shop and spoil everyone. As I mentioned above, my mom never really bought a lot for herself. She took great joy in finding out what everyone had on their Christmas wishlist, and she did her best to surprise everyone. The second to last Christmas that we had with her, she went above and beyond and bought sentimental items for everyone as she knew that would maybe be the last holiday shopping she would ever do. As I write this now, I think of how heartbreaking that must have been for her to do. 2. Her smiles when she watched us open our presents were the best. You could just see her anticipation grow as she watched us unwrap presents, and you could tell she was so excited to see the surprise we would have and the smiles that would come across our faces. She would always play it off like she couldn’t find this or that on our lists. Meanwhile, she had items and then coyly smiled at us when we opened what she said she was never going to get. To wrap up this list and these memories is the ultimate number 1 best memory of my mom, and that is just her being here with us! So if anyone is ever feeling the same way I am, just sit back and make a list, and you will see that there is still so much to be grateful for, and they are called memories. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021


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Go ahead and back up T

here I was down in Yuma, Arizona, enjoying my “winter in the sun.” So I decided to go and visit my friend Jim who has a motorhome in an RV Park. When I got there, he and one of his friends were having a beer – so I joined them. We are all ex-truckers, so you know what we talked about. We had been gabbing for about half an hour when a 40-foot motor home, with a car towed behind, stopped on the road in front of us. A guy jumped out and walked over to us and said, “Hi, I’m Bob, and I’m in the spot next to you.” Jim said, “Welcome Bob, can we give you a hand with anything?”

hitch. Emma gets out and goes to the back and stands with hands-on-hips and says, “Robert, get started.” Which he does, and then Emma hollers, “That chain thing is not first. You have to do the electric plug first!” While they unhooked the car from the motor home, all we heard was, “How many times do you have to do something to get it right? Robert do this, Robert do that. We practiced at home. Can’t you remember anything?” Poor Bob didn’t say anything. He just did what he was told and eventually they got the car separated from the motor home.

Then it came time to back the motorhome into the spot. To start off, Bob said, “Emma and I work as a Emma told Bob to get in the driver’s team, and we have got it all figured out. seat and open the driver’s window, and I was an accountant all my life, so I am if he followed her instructions, they good at figuring things out. We bought would be fine. She went to the back of the motorhome Two months ago, and the motor home and started with the we’ve been practicing in the driveway, hand signals. We honestly thought she so we have it down to a science.” was going to go into flight, her hands and arms were flailing around so much. At this point Emma stuck her head Well, it wasn’t working out at all, even out and hollered, “Robert, we haven’t with Bob sticking his head out the got all day – you’ve got work to window and looking backwards. Then do!” Bob immediately jumped up she hollered, “Can’t you remember and trotted over to the back of the the hand signals? Do I have to tell you motorhome and stands by the car everything?” Then she started to holler directions, but that didn’t work out too well either as Bob’s Drivers 70-80 CENTS PER MILE! hearing wasn’t that good. So she told Bob to get the telephone things out. So out comes two Super B & tridem step 2 yrs exp & acceptable abstract walkie talkies. Western Canada & USA She’s telling him Some dedicated runs to go this way, and that way, and that didn’t

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By Frank Milne

work out at all. She then went up to the front and ripped a strip off Bob for not paying attention. Then she said, “Robert, you can’t seem to do what I tell you, so what I’m going to do is get at the back corner, and all you have to do is follow me.” That went quite well for about ten feet – then she walked behind the motor home, and Bob couldn’t see her. That’s when he hit a small tree and bent it over. Emma lost it! She hollered. “Robert, all you had to do was follow me. How hard is that?” To our surprise, Bob finally said something. “How can I follow you when I can’t see you?” Emma’s reply was, “If you can’t see me, then you weren’t following me – do I have to do everything?” During this backing up episode, we noticed Bob didn’t use the rearview mirrors. He just stuck his head out of the driver’s window and looked back. That’s when I went over to his window and said maybe I could help as I used to be a truck driver. He said. “Okay.” I went back and told Emma I had been a truck driver and could help. Of course, she had to have the last word and said, “I hope you have better luck than me. He’s so ignorant he can’t follow simple instructions.” I got up to the driver’s window and said, “Do what I tell you, and we will get this thing into the spot.” However, every time I told him to go a certain way, he would turn the wheel the opposite direction. I ended up telling him to turn the steering wheel the proper way. Well, between the two of us, we finally got it into the space. JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021


www.driverschoice.ca 41 I went back to my beer, and two or three minutes later, Bob came over and thanked me for helping. That’s when he told us about the problems the rearview mirrors are giving him. He said both mirrors were distorted at the bottom, and you couldn’t see very far back with them. Not only that, but when a car was beside you, it seemed to bend as it passed, and both mirrors were the same. (The bottoms of the mirrors are convex.) We told him it was a factory defect. What happens, we explained, is the mirrors are made in a mold, and if they take them out before they are completely set, and stand them on their ends to cool off, some of the glass will sag, and it will distort at the bottom. He said that made sense and that as an accountant, he knew there was always a sensible reason for things. The next thing he said was when you look into the mirror, everything

JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2021

is backwards. As an example, he said when you look at an ambulance ambulance is spelled out backwards on the hood but when you look at it in your mirror it’s the right way around. Also, you guys say it’s the back of the mirror when it faces forward. That’s like calling a front bumper a back bumper. Everything is backwards, and it is confusing. That’s when I piped up and said there was a new mirror out that has glass on both sides. No front or back. They are called “Forward and Reverse Mirrors, Trucker’s call them go ahead and back up mirrors.” One side is like what you have now, but the other side makes things the right way around. They are electrically operated with a switch on your dash. Just flip the switch, and it will turn 180 degrees then you will see everything the right way around. I told him that they are so new on the market that very few people know about them. Truckers don’t care for them because

they are used to the old ones and are reluctant to change over. He looked at us and said, “Wow, you guys have really opened my eyes. I drive on the right-hand side of the freeway so that I do not have to use my right-hand mirror. By doing that, I figure that I cut my chance of getting in an accident by 50% because they can only hit me on one side. Now with these new mirrors, I can drive in all the lanes. When I get back home, I’m going to have my R.V. guy order me a set.” At that point Emma called him, saying supper was ready. As he walked away, we looked at each other and smiled – it had been a good afternoon. P.S. Isn’t it wonderful what a class 5 license will let you do?

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NEED IMMEDIATELY

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20795 Langley Bypass, Langley, BC V3A 5E8 Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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Our people make us better - Engrained into Van Kam’s history of 73 years is a company dedicated to growth, stability, and community. As a company that continues to prosper, we value our employees at every level and recognize that our success is based upon having committed individuals on our team. Van Kam is committed to ensuring a positive and healthy company culture with an accepting, diverse and challenging environment. We are devoted to treating all employees and customers with respect, fair treatment, and honesty.

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INDEX AutoRoute Transport........................................................................................ 14

TRUCKING SERVICES

Berry & Smith ..................................................................................................... 09 Bronco Transportation ............................................................................ ....... 29 Centurion Trucking Inc. .............................................................................. 13

B & W insurance ............................................................................. 02 & 06

DeckX ...................................................................................................................... 48

Cool Heat Truck Parts .......................................................................... 30

Edge Transportation .................................................................................. 45

Cool-It Highway Services .................................................................. 27

Golden Express Trucking Inc. ..................................................................... 04 Grant Transport Inc. ......................................................................................... 40 Jagged Edge ....................................................................................................... 08

Diamond Insurance ............................................................................ 35 First Truck Centre ............................................................................. 39

Key West Express Ltd. .................................................................................... 42

Howes Lubricator ......................................................................... 24 & 25

Light Speed Logistics Inc. .................................................................. 05 & 47

Michel’s Industries Ltd. ...................................................................... 33

North Coast Trucking Ltd. ........................................................................... 19 Pro-Ex Transport Systems Ltd. ................................................................... 46

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

Select Classic Carriers ..................................................................................... 17

Norris & Co. .............................................................................................. 29

Shadow Group of Companies ..................................................................... 21

Ocean Trailer ......................................................................................... 23

Shergill Transport Ltd. ................................................................................. 37 Transam Carriers Inc. .................................................................................... 31 TransX ...................................................................................................................... 03 Van Kam ................................................................................................................ 43

Top Line Truck Parts ........................................................................... 36 Trucker’s Pages ........................................................................................ 41 Truck West Collision .............................................................................. 33

Watt & Stewart Trucking Inc. ........................................................................ 15

16

FOOLS CASTING CALLS Scott Casey

18

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

26

38

ADDED BENEFITS OF TRUCKING

Myrna Chartrand

MEMORIES

Glen Millard

28

AN ILL WIND Colin Black

Greg Evasiuk

40

GO AHEAD AND BACK UP Frank Milne

20

32

HOW TO GET TIME OFF

LOVING THE ROAD

22

34

Ed Murdoch

Dennis Sova

Dave Elniski

10

Dave Madill

A NEW YEAR Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

INSECURE LOADS

RIG OF THE MONTH Jay Palachuk

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accept the challenge Siemens Transportation Group Inc.

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IS IT TIME FOR A CHANGE? COME JOIN THE PRO EX TEAM

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Profile for Creative Minds

Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice - Jan Feb 2021 (Find your Trucking Job)  

Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice - Jan Feb 2021 (Find your Trucking Job)  

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