Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice - March April 2022 ( Find Your Trucking Jobs)

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK BY JOHN WHITE

Twenty-Three Years of Unwavering Support. Over the years I have done my best to stand up for truckers and their rights. I guess you could call me a Conservative with empathy, which some people mistakenly rule as left-leaning, but that is the problem with labelling people. You create an atmosphere of them versus us that only divides and alienates people, who, in the grand scheme of things, often hold the same values and beliefs as you. I remember fighting for a driver who received a frivolous ticket from an RCMP in the interior. The ticket meant that this driver would no longer be able to cross the border putting him where he would have to leave a job he loved. This RCMP was known for giving out frivolous tickets and not showing up when someone fought the ticket. It was rumoured in town that he was having an affair with the justice of the peace who would rule in his favour no matter the circumstances or how frivolous the ticket was. A call to Victoria took care of this. Then there was the logger who, while coming across the Port Mann Bridge in Surrey, was pulled over by a rookie female cop. He had his trailer decked the same way loggers have been doing it for years, yet the cop insisted that he had an unsecured load. The trucker asked how it should be secured, and the cop said she did not know, but she knew it was not secure and wrote the guy a ticket. Another call to Victoria, and it was taken care of too. Then there was the ex-driver who was working for ICBC, testing Class 1 drivers. He told me that none of the Class 1 inspectors had a Class 1 license. Great! We wrote about it, and he got back to me a month later saying they had all been told they had to get tested. I replied that I thought that was good. He said it could have been, but they tested each other. After another editorial exposing this, I received an indignant call from a woman who at that time was in charge of testing. Like too many who end up overseeing regulations that directly affect truckers, she had reached the position by advancing through the secretary pool and winning the bid for the job posting. Don’t you just love promotion by seniority? Qualifications be damned! She proudly announced to me that she had made some real changes since she was in charge. As an example, she explained drivers now had to hook up to a trailer as part of their road test. Great! Just Great! Absolutely no comprehension of the problem, yet so proud! You go, girl! Then there were the 17 years where my family and I, and many wonderful volunteers, spent every summer doing two truck shows, one in BC and one MARCH / APRIL 2022

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in Alberta. We started when there were no truck shows of any size in Western Canada and finally shut it down when there were lots around to take over. These shows were not just open field shows, and I am not putting them down, but in hindsight, doing them that way would have made our lives a whole lot easier. No, Big Rig Weekends typically took a week of travel, setting up the camp and the site and then tearing everything down at the end. But even before the shows, there were months of preparation, and I can guarantee we did not do it for the money. We loved the shows and the people from Friday through Sunday, but we may have had slightly different views the rest of the year because of the work involved.

find to show how indignant they are about the current topic of the day, have decided that because I have a different view, I do not support truckers.

Then there were the Christmas Lighted Truck Parades that we put on with strong support from local truckers and that great bunch of guys and gals rom Vancouver Island who brought their trucks over to the mainland. The public loved the parades, as did the drivers. The parades were in support of the Children’s Christmas Bureau, of which I was a director for many years.

The reason? I suggested the Convoy could have had better results. For years I have advocated truckers sticking together to get things done through the industry for the industry. Many times I have said that if all truckers stuck together and fought for changes to the industry, we could be a powerful political force. I believe that truckers should have gone to Ottawa with a list of industry-specific demands, not political. Better and more parking and rest stops, better rates, proper training for new drivers, not Band-Aid MELT programs meant to make voters think politicians really give a damn. Hours of Service that don’t force you to try to sleep when wide awake and then, because you can’t sleep right away, forces you to drive when tired, just to get your time in. High fuel prices, paid waiting time, and the big one in my mind that I strongly believe would automatically raise rates and give drivers some control over their lives is to have Truck Driver listed as a Red Seal trade.

We supported many other organizations like the 18 Wheels of Christmas hosted by Rosenau Transport, the Kamloops Charity Golf Tournaments that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Kamloops Hospital, Cops For Cancer Rides, and many others. Still, my personal favourite was Military Minds, with our good friend Scott Casey, the president for many years. Military Minds does a wonderful job supporting veterans and first responders with PTSD. It is an entirely volunteer group that has saved many lives that otherwise may have been lost had the people been left to wait for government support.

To borrow a line from the Buick advertisements, “This isn’t your Grandfather’s truck.” The number of truck trailer configurations, cross-border regulations, hours of service, bigger loads, winter driving, and yes, even knowing how to put your damn chains on! Mountain driving, load securement and a multitude of paperwork. Very little of this is taught to any great extent in the average driving school under the MELT program. I knew an ex-driver turned driving inspector who would tell the drivers he tested, “Okay, you passed the government test, you have your license, now go learn how to drive.” That is sad.

Then there were the people who tried to organize truckers in loosely knitted associations with the objective of bettering the industry for truckers. My comment to each of these was that I would give you my full support until the infighting starts or outsiders, with ulterior motives, take over. I was always assured that would never happen. I kept my word – they didn’t. For that, I was vilified.

In conclusion, yes, it has been my job to run Pro-Trucker Magazine, and I could have done just that, and that alone. However, I chose to do more because of the many friends I have in the industry and that little thing I mentioned at the beginning called empathy. So if some of you want to beat your chest to show how dedicated you are to the industry, then go right ahead, but I, in my own way, will continue to fight for truckers and the industry as a whole as I see fit. True freedom includes being able to speak your mind.

Why am I telling you all this? Because a small group of people, some of whom I have always thought of as friends, and others not from the industry, who are people that live on social media and happily jump on any bandwagon they can

Cheers, my friends – stay true to yourselves and please everyone, stay safe,

John White john@ptmag.ca

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RIG OF THE MONTH by John White

Pat Robertson is this issue’s Rig of the Month Driver. This is his story: I was born in Edmonton in November 1960. I took my grade one there and then moved just outside of Kelsey AB and went to school in Bawlf from grade 2 to 8. The families next move was to Mannville, where I took Grade 9 to 11.

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y dad, Sam Robinson, owned heavy equipment and for 25 years he was a contractor to Ducks Unlimited. I started working for him in the summer before going into grade 8. He had a 1964 R210 International tandem gravel truck with a 5x4 and 504cid inline-six gas pot. Another young fellow and I would hand pick rocks along farmer’s fence lines and throw them into the bucket of a 410 JD hoe, which was then dumped into the truck. Once loaded, we’d dump the load around the control gate of the dam. I’d always sit in the passenger seat, listen to the engine, and watch how he shifted the 5x4. I had it down to a science by the second summer

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and since a lot of the work was offroad, Dad would let me drive. Like so many other kids before me, I was soon hooked. The next truck dad bought was a 1975 Chev tandem gravel truck with a 427 and 5x4 and we pulled a rubbertired hoe on a trailer behind it. One day in Camrose, I was stopped and asked for my class 1. I was 16 at the time and only had a class 5. The DOT let me phone my uncle, who had a class 1, and told me I was legal to leave as long as he rode with me. Dad next bought a 1961 B61 Mack single-axle bed truck with a 250

Pat Robertson Thermodyne engine and a 5x3. It was the first diesel truck I ever drove and the one I drove to get my class 1. It had arm-strong steering, and if you had a cigarette in your hand when you cranked the wheel, you’d break your smoke against the windshield. I loved the sound of that B61’s four inch chrome straight pipe and its distinctive turbo whistle. Dad also had cats, scrapers, trackbackhoes and two 98 Linkbelt draglines. Arctic Transport, Rebel Transport and Brass Transport moved the bigger equipment for him and I’d MARCH / APRIL 2022


www.driverschoice.ca always meet the lowboy, lead them out to where the equipment was, and load and unload for them. By the time I was 20, I had lots of experience operating and loading equipment. The first truck I bought was a 1970 KW with a 318 and 13 speed. I wanted to put a gravel box on it and put it to work for my dad, but I was operating one of the draglines, and he convinced me I’d make more money doing that. Of course, I would. Sober dragline operators were hard to find, and he couldn’t bark at them the way he could me. I worked for my dad for five years until he sold out in 1982 and then I sold my 1970 KW to my father-in-law, John Bury, who still has it today. My next truck was a 1979 KW winch truck, with a 350 Cummins, a 13 and 4, and a 40’ oil-float hi-boy. Dad was still doing odd jobs for Ducks Unlimited, so I would haul for him, then park the truck, and operate machinery for him. There was lots of oilfield work, and things were good for the first six months but then the National Energy Program started taking its toll. By the time I had the truck a year, I was two payments behind. There was no catching up so I gave the truck and trailer back to the finance company. By the time the smoke cleared, I still owed $5K. I then went to work for Latimer Backhoe Services in Redearth, AB. They built leases, lease roads and supplied tow cats for rig moves. Overweight permits were unheard of, and moving D8 K’s with 463 scrapers still hooked up on an 8-wheel lowboy was quite common.

hauling. I figured that with Suzie studying all the time, she wouldn’t even miss me. So in 1986, I started with TriLine Expressways. At the time you just had to put $5 thousand down on a new cabover International (the cabbage patch trucks), make lease payments for three years, and you owned it. It was the first truck I drove without a 4-speed aux and the first one with air ride suspension. I had never hauled outside of Alberta before, but we were licensed for 48 states and all of Canada. I ran Vancouver and Winnipeg the first few months, and then I took my first load south to their yard in Houston, TX. This became a steady run. Once I got more comfortable with border crossing, I preferred running south. One Friday morning, I left Edmonton with a load that had to be in LA Monday morning. I pulled into Baker Tool in LA late Sunday night and could see they would be closed until Monday morning. They had a long driveway with a nicely mowed lawn on both sides so I pulled up to the security gate and parked. It was really hot, and I had the vents open in the sleeper, but that didn’t help much. Then around midnight, I could hear sprinklers not 20 feet away. There was no one around, so I grabbed my shampoo and bar of soap and had a quick shower under

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the sprinkler. It was great, I cooled off and could finally get to sleep. The next morning the security guard invited me into the office for a coffee so I got dressed and went in. He said, “I see you got in about 11 PM last night.” I said “yup, how’d you know?” He grinned and pointed at the security camera. All I can say is it’s a good thing we didn’t have social media back then or everyone would have already met me. I kept the cabover for one year, then in 1987, I bought a new Western Star. I tried to get someone to take over the lease payments on the cabover but that didn’t work so I ended up giving it back to TriLine. The Western Star had a 444 Cummins, with 3:90 ratio and a 15 over. It also had a 66” stand-up sleeper. I loved the sleeper – there was no more losing the change out of your pockets when putting your pants on. I ran hard with that truck, and by the time it was one year old, I had 150 thousand miles on it and 3000 hours. I did logbooks according to how hard I was running and got shut down for 24 hours a few times for being over hours. Funny thing is I never turned in one logbook in two years and ten months with TriLine. When management finally caught on they wanted six months’ worth of legal logs. There was not way I could legally do that so they grounded me. That was the end of my highway hauling.

In August of 1984, I married Suzanne Bury and we have three daughters. When we first met, Suzie was in grade 9, and I was in grade 10, and we’re still together today. We lived in Edmonton at the time, where Suzie was attending the University of Alberta. I decided that it would be good to try highway MARCH / APRIL 2022

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www.driverschoice.ca got two mpg hauling D9s and 631 scrapers. I wasn’t paying for fuel, so there was no babying it. I have a lot of respect for a 425.

I traded a guy at TriLine the Western Star for a 1975 cabover KW. He refinanced the Western Star, and I took his KW in exchange for my equity. I loved working at TriLine and would have stayed if I could, but I was burnt out. I ran hard for three years and made good money, but I wanted a change. I made some life-long friends there and have some of the best memories of my trucking career. I ended up working for Twin City Excavating in Edmonton, pulling enddump. It was seasonal from May till October, and then in the winter I’d do snow removal for the City. It was sure a nice change being home every night. I kept the cabover one year, then rebuilt a 74 HD Hayes over the winter. It had a 400 Cummins with a 15x4. I put New Way air ride on it because once you’ve had an air ride you’re not going to go back to a rubber block suspension. When I got the Hayes, it was a single-stack dump truck. I took the box off and put on a 36” sleeper. I also rebuilt the front fenders, built a new bumper, added duel 6” exhaust, and a wet kit. Then I took it all apart, painted it, and put it back together in time for dirt hauling season. I pulled end-dump Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

with it for a couple more years after that. During the winter of 1992, I drove 1975 Pete winch truck and lowboy for Graham Bros, doing a powerline clearing job north of Manning. It was the first truck I drove with a cat engine. It pulled good considering all they had for lowboys were 16 wheelers. I was there till spring, then went back to my Hayes and pulled end-dump for the summer. The engine finally went in the Hayes, and while it was getting swapped out, for a Cummins 440 magnum, I went back driving for Graham Bros. Unfortunately, by the time my Hayes was ready to go, there wasn’t much end-dump season left, so I just stayed with Graham Bros. When spring came, I drove for Graham Bros full time. Their main yard was in Acheson, and they had one in Killam. The Mack went to Killam, and I got a 1988 KW W900 winch truck, 425B cat with an 18-speed that stayed in Acheson. They had a tandem oil-float hi-boy, a 16-wheeler, and 32 and 40 wheelers. That was one tough truck. The 425 cat was cranked and

After driving for Graham Bros for four years, I sold my Hayes and bought a D6H dozer. I put it on with Graham Bros, building leases and doing cleanups. I had to borrow Graham Bros’ truck and lowboy or hire someone whenever I had to move it, so I bought a 1981 KW and a tandem lowboy. The 81 was a nice truck, 36” sleeper, air windows, and 4:30 rears with an eight bag air-ride. When didn’t have cat work, I would haul equipment for Graham Bros. It wasn’t long before I was doing more trucking than cat-skinning, so I replaced the 36” sleeper with a 60” flat top, and re-painted it. In the winter of 2000, I put the 81 KW on with Trak Equipment Haulers. I ran that old KW up to Zama City, Indian Cabins and Rainbow Lake all that winter, and it never missed a beat. After spring break-up, I went back to operating my D6H doing oilfield work with Alsike Construction from Breton. I worked there two years with the cat, and then an opportunity came up at Trak. I sold the cat and bought a 2001 T800 winch truck. I still kept my 81 KW but just parked it. Trak hauled a lot of heavy equipment, and they were prorated, so we hauled from BC to Manitoba. In the winter, we would haul into the Northern BC and Alberta oilfields. There was a wide variety of work at Trak. One day you could be pulling an 8-wheel lowboy, the next, a 48-wheel lowbed. We did lots of town work in the summer and then northern work in the winter. There was rarely a dull day. In 2007 I bought a new T800 High Hood with a 72” high-rise sleeper. I put a 4-speed aux in it with a power tower to run a 30-ton winch. This was one of the nicest trucks I had owned since the MARCH / APRIL 2022


www.driverschoice.ca 13 74 Hayes. A couple of years later, I bought another 81 KW. This one was a longnose with a 3408, 15 over, 36” sleeper on an 8-bag air-ride. I went right through that truck, doing wiring and airlines and added a 4-speed aux, then painted and licensed it. I used it at Trak in the summer and loved it. When the engine started getting weak, I swapped it out with a 3408. I kept that long-nose for several years but worked it less and less and finally just took it to truck shows. So now I had two 81 KWs. I stayed at Trak till 2011, when it sold to Entrac. The owner of Trak, Terry Colban, and I have remained good friends. He built a shop in Winterburn (West Edmonton), and I rent a bay there to this day. I stayed with Entrac over the winter, then bought a new scissorneck lowboy and went to work for Bill Morgan at Carmacks. That was good steady work hauling paving equipment and asphalt plants after that I went hauling for E-Construction, which was similar work. They kept me very busy from May till November. I wanted a backup truck I could put a winch on and found another 81 KW long nose in Toronto with a 270” wheelbase. I run provincial, not federal, so wheelbase isn’t an issue. It was a day cab, so I originally thought I’d put a 60” sleeper and winch on it which would give me a spare truck. It was a beauty—lots of power, cruise control and smooth ride. So now I had three 81 KWs and the 07 T800. The 81 day cab was in such nice shape that I hated to cut the back of the cab out for a sleeper on, so I held off doing anything to it. The next winter, I found another 81 long nose KW in Kansas with a 270” wheelbase and a 60” flat top so I flew to Kansas and drove it home. Now I had four 81 KWs. I sold the 81 day cab to Terry Colban, who still has it and I sold the other 81 with the 3408 to Ben Kowalczyk, who also still has that one. MARCH / APRIL 2022

The first year I had the Kansas KW I had the KTA inframed and put on a Braden 20-ton winch and then the next year I licensed it. I didn’t care for the super 10, so I replaced it with a sixspeed. Now it was a 6x4, which was a nice combination with the 3:70 ratio. That 6-speed lasted a year so I replaced it with an 18 over. The 18 was nice, but I would rarely use the 4-speed so I found a rebuilt six-speed and returned to a 6x4, which is still in it today. For many years I had wanted an A model aerodyne high-rise bunk and my buddy Kim Wylie found one for me just south of Regina. In the winter of 2018 I took the flat top off and took the truck and 60” high-rise over to Western Star to be painted. As usual with any truck that old, there were a lot of cosmetics to fix before painting. It was there for two months and when I showed Suzie the bill it was the first time I ever saw her jaw drop. I ran the 81 every spring from May to September, then went back on the 07 KW. I loved it even more with the high-rise sleeper because you can stand up to put your pants on. Instead of a passenger seat, I have an upholstered 12V cooler that gives me easier access to the sleeper, and cold water and lunch are just an arms-reach away. The KTA is definitely a keeper. It gets anywhere from 5.5 to 6.5 mpg while pulling a tridem scissor neck which is usually better mileage than the 565 ISX in my 07 KW. I never licensed it in 2021 because I traded my 07 T800 on a new 2020 Western Star 4900 EX DD16 with an 18-speed ultrashift transmission. It has an 82” highrise sleeper, 20-ton hydraulic winch, and 300” wheelbase. I wanted to get all the miles I could on it while it was on warranty, so I ran it all year. The WS is roomy, quiet, and the smoothest truck I’ve owned, and I really like the ultrashift. I bought a nice light Raja tridem lowboy last fall, and wanted a nice

light tractor to pull it so I could haul a 66,000 lb payload. I found a 1996 cabover Freightliner with an N14 and 224” wheelbase. It’s a 100” cab with a 42” mattress, and the speedo shows 498K km. It’s in really nice shape. This is my winter project this year, and I think that’s gonna be the last one. About five years ago, I found and bought the 1978 Freightliner Conventional Suzie and I borrowed for our wedding truck back in 1984. It’s in real nice shape with a 8V92 430 hp and 60” flat top sleeper. So now I have the 2020 Western Star, two 81 KWs, a 78 Freightliner, a 96 cabover Freightliner, and a 2010 Freightliner sport chassis that replaced the 1980 cabover KW. I have loved trucks and heavy equipment since I was a kid! Nothing sounds better than a 46A D8 working with a straight pipe or a 3406 in a truck with straight pipes. In the same breath, nothing makes me madder than a truck with straight pipes, jaking into a rest area at midnight. My greatest mentors were my dad and Terry Colban. Once you’ve worked for your dad, you can work for anybody. You learn not to argue because it won’t change a thing. You’re not gonna get a pat on the back for a job well done because that is what is expected of you. You just have to be happy with the fact that he’s proud of you. Terry Colban is the best person I’ve worked for. I’ve known him since 1989 and have rarely seen him angry or in a bad mood. Instead, he finds humour even in bad situations. He’d never push you to go that extra mile, but you wouldn’t mind doing it for him if you had to. His kind and friendly demeanour towards his customers got him most of his business. You soon learn from that and treat his customers the same way because you represent Trak every time you haul something. I made so many connections working for him and for that I will always be grateful. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine


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Letters to the Editor Editor’s note: While I think everyone has the right to their opinion I am strictly against the “them versus us” mentality that drives a wedge between drivers. In order to stop the social media ostracizing of drivers for their opinion (on both sides of any topic) I have withheld names that may otherwise encouraged trolls to sit at their computers and call people down. John I’ve been watching the trucker’s convoy on Facebook. My buddy sent me a WhatsApp about the company I was working for when I retired. The drivers and warehouse staff are going on strike for a week over pay. There are quite few companies offering wage rises and sign on bonuses of £1000 or maybe £2000. With gas and electric costs going up on what seems like a weekly basis, if your pay stays the same people will be struggling. Take care John tata the noo Colin Black

cker azine Pro-Tru Choice Mag s Driver’

doing this for all truckers. The majority of those I know are still working and vaccinated. How did this become a political thing? Why are truckers protesting things that have nothing to do with us? We have enough headaches and complaints with government regulations without spending all our time and money and energy supporting other people’s political agendas. I can’t even voice my opinion without being jumped on by radicals that were not even in the convoy. Please do not publish my name as I just want to do my job and try to raise a family while trucking like my father, two uncles and my grandfather did. Editor’s note: If the convoy was about the many trucker’s complaints, that I listed in my editorial, and that strongly impact all drivers, I would have been at the front of the convoy with a huge smile on my face.

Editor’s note: excuse my ignorance Colin but are truckers in the UK organized in any way? Is truck driver officially recognized as a trade or as basic labour like in Canada? Mr. White I have tried to post a number of announcements to the ProTrucker Facebook page about the traitorous communist politicians in Ottawa but they are never approved. Why am I being censored? Editor’s note: I received a number of emails asking this or a variant of this question. They can all be answered by this response: This email went on to speak of many grievances - none of which were related to trucking issues. While I have often personally commented on, and given voice to others who have grievances against government policies that affect the industry, we do not give space to political hacks whose sole purpose is to have a forum for political gain. John I have been sitting back watching the trucker’s convoy on TV and object strongly to them implying that they are

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Where were you? I

n May of 1980, I was working for Stan Spencer out of Calgary when they asked if I would be interested in taking a load of fertilizer down to Richvale, California, to the rice paddies. I had to ask again, rice paddies in California? They explained that the fertilizer was in bulk in a convertible hopper trailer, and when it was empty, I could fold the sides down flat on the trailer, and they would find lumber or some load that would work on a flat deck to come back. It sounded like an adventure developing, but I didn’t realize how much of an adventure this trip would be. Richvale is east and a bit north of Chico and Fresno area. So I thought California would be just right for me in the spring, and that part of the trip went well. When I got there and found the farm area where they wanted the fertilizer, they took me to a field and a storage building where I could unload. All the fields nearby were covered with water which confused me until I saw an airplane show up where I was unloading. The procedure is this. The fields are drained, and then they take their seeders out to seed the rice. Then they flood the fields with water. The fields are level and have small dikes all around them. When the seeds sprout, they put the fertilizer in the airplane,

which has tubes and By Glen Millard augers under the Glen “The Duck” was born in wings, and then the Saskatchewan. He has driven trucks fertilizer is applied, for 50 years, mostly long hauling. much like crops are He’s now retired, that is until sprayed in Canada. another adventure comes along. When the rice matures, they drain inside to finish tarping. I thanked the the paddies, and then people, got the paperwork and left when the fields are dry enough, they town, headed for Post Falls, Idaho and bring in mechanical harvesters. I up through Kingsgate into Canada. thought, “Ain’t that slick.” While the load was running off into the auger in the storage bin, I phoned back to dispatch in Calgary on the customer’s office phone. (there were no cell phones yet) They said they found a load of ceiling tile for mobile homes going back to Calgary. They said there was no hurry, I was to go over to a place called Saint Helens in Oregon on highway #30 north of Portland. On May 18, 1980, I was at the warehouse of Armstrong World Industries, bright and early to be loaded. The boss showed me where to park inside the warehouse. I stood back and let them load with forklifts. When they finished loading, the boss said, “We are a little slow today, so you can stay inside and tarp the load.” When I was putting the tarps on, I heard some loud “booms” outside so I went out to see what was going on. It was 8:30-9:00 am May 18, 1980. The noise was Mount Saint Helens exploding. I could see rocks and ash blowing into the air like an Atom bomb. I watched for about 10 minutes, then I went back

There was no ash on the road for the first while, but by the time I got to Spokane, the air felt like I was in a cement plant. There was a very light dusting of ash on the highway, and I could see the dust swirl around the trailer tires in the mirrors. The sky had darkened as though there was a storm coming. I stopped in Post Falls, had supper, and turned north into Canada. The further I went, the better the air was, and there was no visible ash. The next day I got into Calgary, and I heard about the eruption and how bad it was and that it was still going on. They also found that the ash was destroying engines if it was sucked into the intake. I checked the air cleaner and saw that it was lightly dusted, but no ash went into the engine. I had got out of there just in time. That trip was more of an adventure than I expected. When people ask me where I was when Mount Saint Helens blew up, I can tell them I was as close as I wanted to be.

All About Nothing Parliament is the only place where a person will stand up and speak for an hour without saying anything. Then, another person will get up and argue the point for the next four hours. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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MARCH / APRIL 2022

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In The Beginning Part 1 (continued) E

ditor’s note: Well, I have to say that is a little awkward. When Frank sent me his article for our Sept/Oct issue last year titled “In the Beginning Part 1” I did not see the second page. It ended so well at the end of the first page that I did not know the rest was missing until he called and asked what had happened. The beginning of his story talks about how he went on a run with his friend Dutchie, who surprised him by letting him drive his truck for about 5 hours on the trip. It was a big red Hayes HD gravel truck with the biggest box in B.C. at the time. It was strictly an off-road unit. Frank went back again for another run hoping to get another chance to drive, and to his surprise, with very little training other than how to set the brakes and check the oil, the boss, Jerry, gave him the keys to a brand new red Hayes HD, the twin to the one Dutchie drove and told him to go to work. This is the rest of Part 1 of Frank’s story. I got into the line–up to get loaded, then I went to the guy behind me and told him I was new on the job and asked if I could follow him to the road site where they were dumping, and that’s what I did. All day I just copied what the guy ahead of me did. I drove for 10 hours that day, and not once did Jerry come over and ask me how it was going or if I had any problems. Finally, on the way home to Port Alberni, he asked me what I thought about the truck. All I could say was it was a nice truck. What else could I say? I wasn’t a real truck driver yet. When I was driving back home to Campbell River that night, I started to come back down to earth again, and it dawned on me that Dutchie must have said some good things about me to Jerry because no one gives a guy with 5 hours of experience a brand new truck to drive by himself. After I got to know Jerry (I worked

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

for him four times), I found that he was the kind of guy who would challenge you just to see what kind of metal you were made of and see if you would take the challenge. That is what he had done with me that day, and I guess I passed the test. Now that I have told you about my schooling (15 hours total), my next article will be about me really driving on my own and getting paid for it. I was only 20 years old (1958) and thought I was a pretty good driver – did I have a lot to learn! P.S. Father to Son- “ You’ve got to get up early in the morning to get your work done – it’s the early bird that gets the worm,” Son replies- “I bet that worm wished he had slept in.” In The Beginning – Part 2 If you read my article in Part 1, you will know I had only 15 hours of experience driving the biggest gravel truck in B.C. About two weeks after I had completed my 15 hours, I got a phone call from Jerry Brock, the owner of the truck. The conversation was quite short – he said would I like to drive #6? And I said yes, and he said to come to Port Alberni as soon as I could. I had quit my job, which I had been fed up with about a week before, and two days later, I’m in Port Alberni. He said you’re going to Revelstoke (about 500 miles away) to work on the Trans Canada Highway. So I asked when Dutchie and I were going up there. He said you’re going up by yourself and that Dutchie was to stay in Port Alberni. Then he proceeded to tell me and show me how to grease the truck – some things daily and some weekly. Finally, he showed me how to adjust the brakes, and that was it. Then he told me if I should run into any problems, the old truckers on the job would help me. So the next day I was on my way, all by

By Frank Milne Retired Driver, Lease operator and company owner

myself! About 15 hours later, I arrive in Revelstoke, and the next morning I’m on the job site. All the other drivers came over and admired my truck and me being only 20 years old and this big red truck. They asked if it was my Dad’s truck and I said no. Then they said you must be a good driver at your age to get a truck like that to drive. Then I said one of the best things I ever said. I told them that I was brand new and that my boss said that if I got into any trouble, you guys would help me out. Well, those truckers took me under their wing and helped me and guided me. I am so grateful to these first guys and for many after that. After Revelstoke, Jerry sent me up to Fort St. John, where they were extending and widening the runways at the airport. They were double shifting it. Each shift was 9 hours, starting at 4:00 am until 10:00 pm. Jerry sent another driver up to help me out, but that didn’t work out, so I did not get very much sleep for a month and a half. After that job was finished, one of the other truck owners offered me a job on a highway haul from Edmonton to Toronto. I talked to Jerry about it, and he said to go for it as he would drive #6 in the winter in Port Alberni. That was a good thing about Jerry. He would not hold you back and told me that it would be a good experience and to keep in touch with him. P.S. My father used to say, “you don’t have to be the best – you just have to do it better than the other guy. My next article will be about my schooling on the highway. MARCH / APRIL 2022


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Rolling Thunder

Dave Madill

MARCH / APRIL 2022

From Halifax to old San Fran, from Tampa up to Nome, There is a million miles of highway that the big rigs call their home. If you stand beside that highway any time of night or day, You can hear the rolling thunder as they pass along the way. Cross mountains and cross desert with any type of load, You know that they would roll through hell, if the devil built a road. The thunder of the big rigs is the song of liberty, And the drivers are the people that keep our nations free. The freedom of our nations depends on hands of steel, And one rests on the gearshift, and the other on the wheel. The drivers of these big rigs are a special type of breed, And the rhythm of the highway seems to fill an inner need. The thunder of the diesel and the whining of the tires, Seems to set their blood to pumping, and set their souls on fire. The cold and lonely blacktop just never seems to end, And the rig that he is pushing becomes a driver’s closest friend. So come out to the highway and listen for the song, The call of rolling thunder as the big rigs roll along. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine


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You Have No Idea T

o my knowledge, the ongoing protest is currently the single largest protest in Canada. Admittedly, it’s somewhat impressive to see Canadians actually doing something for a change instead of having their heads buried in the sands of apathy. However, every day I hear or read the words ‘freedom,’ ‘our rights,’ ‘communism,’ ‘Nazism,’ ‘tyranny,’ etc., coming from people who’ve never lived a single day without a host of freedoms or rights and never under a regime whose mantra is the very essence of tyranny. Very few (there are some) Canadians that can claim they’ve been dragged from their homes in the dark of night and bore witness to their loved ones being raped, tortured, hauled off, or murdered by the government in power at that time. Few have also had to leave their communities with their worldly belongings being only what they could carry on their backs. They’ve never been to a polling location to cast a ballot with soldiers staring over automatic weapons at them. Only in Canada can you drive unencumbered for days on end and claim you have no freedom. Do

you know what a Choke Point is? Do you know what Dragons Teeth are? How many road checks lined with landmines have you driven into where the conductors are pointing weapons at you as you’re just going to get food or water for your family? More now than ever, Canadians are exclaiming veterans need to support them standing up for the stripping of rights and freedoms of our citizens by a tyrannical communist leaning PM based on having to wear a mask and to show a vaccine card to enter a private business. Now I’m no fan of how he’s unscrupulously used the system to manipulate wins for his party. Or his defective moral compass. I’m also not a fan of the abysmal leadership and groundhog day effect of this health order debacle. There was no Junta, no Coup de tat. Canadians democratically elected him.

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But here’s a giant question for you. Where were you when C a n a d i a n soldiers were in Vietnam, C y p r u s , Rwanda, Egypt, S o m a l i a , K o s o v o , Cambodia, Eritrea, Croatia, Haiti, Bosnia, Desert Storm,

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.

or Afghanistan? When the citizens of those countries were being brutalized and murdered by the scores, and our troops were up to their eyeballs in it, where were you? Or, more recently, where were you when the current Prime Minister publicly stated that veterans are asking for more than the government can give? Where were you when veteran wait times for claims rose beyond two years? Where were you when veterans were killing themselves beyond the KIA numbers of those wars? Where were you when veterans needed you? Following all of those tours of duty, I didn’t witness any protests in the streets. I didn’t witness any protests in support of veterans following the Prime Ministers’ dismissive quote. Do you know why? Because there were none. There were all kinds of pissing, moaning, and protests for BLM, the Pipeline etc. But Veteran protests? NADA, ZILCH, NOTHING. Do you know who fought for veterans? VETERANS. No office staff, no shipyard workers, no sawmill employees, no grocery clerks, no farmers, and definitely no truckers were lined up from sea to sea. There was no state of emergency called to dispel the protestors for veterans. MARCH / APRIL 2022


www.driverschoice.ca 31 When other countries’ rights and freedoms were being stripped, and real tyranny swept across those nations, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, you know who lined up? Canadian Soldiers. That’s who. They lined up without you and did what was necessary to restore order. Those soldiers had front-row seats on what a society without human rights and freedoms looks like. They witnessed the butchery and barbarism while the rest of you sat at home morbidly watching overpriced sports, “reality TV,” and the fleeting bits of news, and said things like, “oh that’s so terrible,” “our troops are so brave,” “I sure hope we don’t lose too many,” “lest we forget,” “thank you

for your service,” and a multitude of other soothing comments to ease your spoonfed Western, oh so empathetic hearts. Am I saying Canadians don’t support our military and veterans? No. Many do and those that do are appreciated. What I’m saying is, make sure you really understand your rights and freedoms and when they’re truly being infringed upon. Don’t use buzz words like tyranny or Nazism to prop up a misguided notion to entice veterans into a fight that you’ll only back up until their noses bleed, and then run with your tails

between your legs back to your cribs and 80 inch big-screen TVs. Instead, make sure you fully understand what you’re supporting and that which you’re asking for from those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for YOU. The Canadian public only wants soldiers when it’s selfishly convenient for them. Put out the fires, sandbag the floods, melt the ice, and kill the bad guys. Support our notion. Well, we’re tired of fighting alone. So don’t be surprised if a lot of us don’t show up, because your selective actions have taught us that you won’t return the favour.

Muddy Road A motorist, after being bogged down in a muddy road, paid a passing farmer twenty-five dollars to pull him out with his tractor. After he was back on dry ground, he said to the farmer, “At those prices, I should think you would be pulling people out of the mud night and day.” “Can’t,” replied the farmer. “At night I haul water for the hole.”

MARCH / APRIL 2022

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MARCH / APRIL 2022

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Fed Up M

other nature has been tough on British Columbia this year. The fires, the floods and now the crazy winter storms are attacking the freshly reopened highways. With all these stresses during the already turbulent pandemic, it is little wonder when drivers start to get…testy. I was treated to a vibrant display of this on Ladd 1 a few nights ago as I descended from the Clapperton brake check. I had just delivered an oversized load to Edson and headed back down to Langley for another. When I left the town of Clearwater, it started snowing pretty hard, and by the time I was passing the weigh scales in Kamloops, the roads had a good three inches covering them, and it was still coming down. If you travel the highways of the west, Ladd 1 is the VHF radio equivalent of Channel 19 on the CB. It is where you go for a quick road report or to let a driver know something is waiting for them around the next corner. On this particular night, I started to hear about the mess on Clapperton two hours before I got there and with the closure on highway one, there was no way around it. As I got closer to the action, I realized that all the action was in the northbound lanes, so I was gonna be able to somewhat sail through southbound. The entertainment, if you could call it that, was the radio chatter from the one hundred or so trucks creeping their way up the hill. Here's a loose transcript of what I heard. Some of it is rude, some of it racist, and some of it I can't even categorize or transcribe.

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

"Do we need chains to get over Clapperton?" - probably a valid question… "Put your freakin chains on you idiots! For f**k sakes if I see one more guy spin out…" - wow someone is heated…" "Tow truck backing down the northbound lane please give me some space here guys so we can clean this up" "Ya guys let's give him a little help so we can all get outta here" - well, two guys in a row that are calm and collected, maybe this will catch on? If you were here two and a half f'n hours ago, we wouldn't be here right now!" - maybe not catching on… "Anybody no whats up on 5A?" - somebody thinks he can get away without chains maybe… "5A is good till it ain't, and you'll need your jewelry for Knutsen" - he got his answer "What the f**k are you brown guys.." - I can't repeat the rest of this one…

By Greg Evasiuk Greg is a 3rd generation trucker with over 1 million miles and 22 years in trucking.

strike up conversations and listen to stories. What I have found recently is this - people are fed up. They are fed up with government mandates, fed up with people who are fed up with mandates, fed up with kids wearing masks, fed up with social media, mainstream media, fact checks, health checks, small pay-cheques! Just fed up!

It goes on. I recorded a bit of this and was shocked at the ridiculousness of it all when I listened to it again later. However, what became evident to me was the parallels of this radio chatter to our society today.

I was not part of the convoy to Ottawa, but I understood and supported the movement. I took part in the first Saturday convoy in Edmonton and was amazed at what we saw. My belief is that the people of Canada need to be heard. It seems to have worked in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, even Ontario and Quebec. But, unfortunately, our Prime Minister and his government have chosen to act like the truckers on that hill, screaming obscenities, blaming everyone else and ignoring any solution but their own.

We had two decidedly different camps and very few people in the middle, calmly taking it and trying to figure out the best solutions for all. This is the first time in my 40 odd years on this planet, in this country, that I have actually worried about widespread conflict and possibly violence. In going across the country from BC to Quebec, I have spoken to hundreds of people. It's my nature to

With the pending Emergencies Act I worry about my freedom of speech, about a government that may seize my bank account for stating my dissent, and about our very democratic right to peacefully oppose our elected officials. I just hope that enough MP's in the NDP and Liberal parties will stand up to this tyrannical enactment, or we will see the slippery slope is not ending in a soft snowbank. MARCH / APRIL 2022


www.driverschoice.ca 35

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

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

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

866-962-5801 rayf@preferredcarriers.com MARCH / APRIL 2022


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MARILYN TAYLOR

IS OUR COMMERCIAL TRUCKING SPECIALIST! Marilyn has over 30 years experience in providing insurance for Owner Operators & fleet transport companies operating in Canada & the U.S.A.

www.westlandinsurance.ca PHONE:

403.278.1129

FAX: 1-866-704-8470

MARCH / APRIL 2022

EMAIL: mataylor@westlandinsurance.ca

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Trucker’s Nightmare! A

s we all know, driving a 40—70 ton plus commercial vehicle in today’s traffic is not an easy feat. Truckers have a lot more on their plate than just following the vehicle ahead or driving an open road. As change occurs in both technology and climate, we see old school truckers adapting to many new changes in equipment standards, on-board technology, road layout, increased traffic, and sudden weather changes. As you’re all painfully aware, the recent floods in British Columbia, New Brunswick and northern Washington State brought new and, sometimes, terrifying outcomes for people living in these communities and to their supply chain - our truckers. Drivers found themselves stuck in remote locations, with little food or water and many without facilities. Many found themselves with loaded trucks trapped in isolated communities that were already struggling to contend with disasters facing them. Congratulations to the trucking industry and truckers specifically, who helped aid some communities, they were stuck in, while dealing with poor government planning. Others set out to work with helicopter firms and private pilots to get desperately needed supplies to communities, some even joining in handing out goods or

performing services. As time passed and the governments involved continued to debate actions, the federal government took its own action sending in the military, who helped to bring order to chaos and work with truckers and residents to control the continued weather disaster situation. When the government finally decided, they created new chaos by not establishing a transport management plan to implement technology or communication with truckers, leaving most to figure out their own solutions. Unfortunately, some of these solutions by got-to-go companies ended rather badly. Several accidents occurred, there were injuries and equipment was destroyed. They even had to completely ban one carrier from British Columbia when caught trying to overtake other truckers on a very narrow, two-lane stretch of solid line highway. However, truckers have mostly brought some order to the chaos as they worked well beyond their governmentregulated hours of service (abet under a temporary life in hours of service by both Canada and the US) in delivering disaster relief supplies. What the future brings is unknown; however, it is time truckers and companies alike set forth in developing transport management plans that

By James Cooper

governments appear unable to do. We must set plans for temporary flow restrictions, marshalling yards at brake checks and truck stops with pre-planned policies using not just cell phones but CB and VHF radio. That way, we can coordinate logical and safe movements of trucks in limited numbers of alternating traffic moving goods and services through or around disaster sites or inclement weatheraffected regions. The trucking industry isn’t about politics. It’s not about trucking associations or regulatory groups. It’s based on drivers and their abilities to come together and work as teams. The best way for this to happen is for drivers, regardless of backgrounds, truck size or experience, to set their differences aside and become the solution that government appears completely unable to plan for. Again, I have to say the affected truckers didn’t riot; they didn’t strike, most didn’t even complain about conditions as they came together in ways not previously seen in present history. Now it’s time for our industry to set out with the government to establish a hard and fast policy in emergency transport management, one run by truckers for truckers, not politicians for profit. Thanks brothers and sisters and keep up the good work!

Something tastes funny Tower: “Westjet 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7” Westjet 702: “Tower, Westjet 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off, we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway.” Tower: “Air Canada 635, cleared for takeoff behind Westjet 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Westjet 702?” Air Canada 635: “Air Canada 635 cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes, we copied Westjet... we’ve already notified our caterers.” Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

MARCH / APRIL 2022


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BC: 604-888-1883 ON: 905-564-3000 HEAVY DUTY TRUCK

LED HEADLIGHTS ON PROMOTION

CASCADIA LED 08-17 VOLVO VN, VNL LED 15-17 AFTER MARKET, LIMITED QUANTITY, PICTURES MAY DIFFER FROM ACTUAL PRODUCTS.

CASCADIA 2018 LED #3 20085 100A Ave, Langley, V1M3G4, BC. Canada | www.chtp.ca | 604-888-1883 #17 1707 Sismet Rd. Mississauga, L5T1X6, ON. Canada | www.chtp.ca | 905-564-3000 MARCH / APRIL 2022

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Book Your Space in 2022

Edition • Truck & Trailer Repairs • Dealerships & Sales • Parts (Truck & Trailer) • Transmision & Differentials • Tires • Suspension

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• Bodyshop • Mobile Services • Towing • Financial Services • Truck Wash

Trucking Jobs & Services or at www.trux411.com

Contact us:

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WILL PAY YOU CASH FOR YOUR EQUIPMENT!

ANY TRAILER OF ANY TYPE, CONDITION, OR AGE,

WE WANT IT! Call your local Ocean Trailer branch today or email Mack at mackk@oceantrailer.com

Mission

OCEANTRAILER.COM MARCH / APRIL 2022

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Snake Bit D

ad and I had taken a load over the Christmas holidays and had run from the cold of Ontario all the way down to New Mexico. We had delivered just outside Nogales and headed back towards the truck stop when Dad decided to have a leak. He pulled over to the side of the road, set the brakes, slipped his moccasins off and pulled on his winter boots (It was all he had for footwear), hopped out of the truck and headed across the ditch into some scrub trees. I, meanwhile, just hopped out of the truck and used the duals and the truck frame for shelter to do my thing. I looked over to where Dad was and could see him waving at me as if something was wrong. I started towards him and had just crossed the ditch when he quietly told to me to go back to the truck, get the axe out of the toolbox and bring it to him. I returned to the truck, grabbed the axe and started back and then Dad told me to watch out for snakes. I stopped right where I was and then proceeded towards Dad, carefully looking out all around me. I got to within four feet of Dad and saw his problem - he was standing on the biggest darn snake I had ever seen. He had one foot on the snake’s body about two inches behind his head, and the snake was trying to get his head turned enough to bite Dad’s foot. I managed to get close enough to Dad to hand him the axe, and Dad started to try and figure out how to cut off

the snake’s head that close to his own foot and not have the severed head possibly bite him. A Texas State Patrol car rolled up behind our truck about that time. This patrolman hopped out of the car and shouted to us, asking us what we were doing and if we needed help. I yelled at him that we had a snake problem and that Dad needed help. A second officer got out of the car, and she was drop-dead gorgeous and probably a lot more deadly than the snake. She hopped the ditch, came around behind me, put her hand on my shoulder, and told me to slowly head back towards the truck and watch where I was stepping. I nodded, backed away, and went back towards the truck while she headed towards Dad. She took a couple of steps, stopped, surveyed the situation then looked at Dad and said, “You all aren’t from around here, are ya.” I heard Dad answer that he was from Canada. She nodded and said, “Just lift yer foot up and step back – don’t matter if he bites ya – he won’t get through yer boot and anyway, he is just a Bull Snake.” Dad asked if she was sure, and she told him yes. Sure enough, he stepped back, and the snake hit him on his boot. He took another step back and then turned

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.

and headed for the truck. The Lady Officer stood there for a minute or two and then turned and walked back to the road. Dad hopped in the truck and said he would be right back as he disappeared into the bunk. I stood there talking to the two Officers for about 5 minutes before Dad joined us, and I noticed he had changed pants. We spoke to the Officers for a few minutes more, and then they hopped in their car and headed down the road. Dad and I hopped in the truck and headed for the truck stop, where Dad proceeded to do his laundry (something he never did). I told him that one pair of his jeans looked a little damp, and I was told that he would use the axe handle on me if I ever mentioned that to anyone. That was trucking, and since Dad has been gone for a long time now, I guess it is OK to mention this. I realized that day that even some of the biggest and best of us could be a little frightened sometimes.

Be careful who you threaten A pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver. He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, “Do you know what I use this for?” The navigator replied timidly, “No, what’s it for?” The pilot responded, “I use this on navigators who get me lost!” The navigator then proceeded to pull out a .45 automatic and place it on his chart table. The pilot asked, “What’s that for?” “To be honest, sir,” the navigator replied, “I’ll know we’re lost before you will.” Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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H E R E

F O R

T H E

L O N G

H A U L

DRIVE YOUR CAREER!

WE ARE HIRING:

• COMPANY DRIVERS A-Z • OWNER OPERATORS A-Z, D-Z • DISPATCH ASSISTANT • SHIPPER/RECEIVER • MECHANIC

Why us?

Contact us today!

At Transam Carriers, we believe that success is not achieved without professional human attitudes. We are proud of providing some of the most flexible work options in the industry for an optimum work-life balance. All of these, in conjunction with new equipment, modern technologies, in-house truck shop, and cross-dock facility, make Transam an exceptional workplace that we call here our second home.

James Taylor: 416-907-8101 x4013 Toll-Free: 877-907-8101 Address: 205 Doney Crescent, Concord, ON L4K 1P6 Email: hr@transamcarriers.com

ALL JOB OPPORTUNITIES ARE transamcarriers.com/

ON OUR WEBSITE careers

@TransamCarriers @Transam_Carriers

MARCH / APRIL 2022

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Experience and Consideration W

hen starting out as a rookie driver, you think it’s all about showing how well you can do the job. The last thing you want is for other drivers to think you don’t know what you’re doing. What you don’t realize is other experienced drivers can see right through your façade because we’ve all been there. Everybody had to learn the ropes. An Irish company I worked for brought in an agency driver to run an extra night shift truck when they were busy. The young guy who turned up looked like he’d been an extra in a cowboy movie. With his shoulderlength hair and long black leather coat right down almost to his ankles, he could’ve been a gunslinger from Dodge city. He showed no interest in helping with loading the trailer he would be taking. When he went out to do his pre-trip on the truck that was hooked to the trailer, the gearbox was unfamiliar to him, so he asked Kenny, the usual night driver, how it worked. Kenny explained the gearbox and then tried to give him directions to the English depot they’d both be going to. He dismissed him with, oh, you don’t need to worry about me. I’ve been up and down that highway lots of times. He got lost. When he tried to turn around in a farmer’s field, he got bogged down and the wrecker that dragged him out backwards damaged the trailer in the process. When I worked for Lep transport, I saw another well-dressed driver, but he had plenty of experience. He was Italian and came into our depot to get loaded for home; he opened the flap at the back of the trailer and backed into a loading door. When he walked into

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

the warehouse to check the trailer was in the right position for loading, we all thought he was an extra from the John Travolta movie Night Fever. With his white suit, black silk shirt and fancy shoes, he certainly wasn’t dressed for loading a trailer. John Thompson was the guy who loaded the surface freight trucks. He had been the yard foreman at the East Kilbride depot where I had started with the company. When that depot was closed down, he transferred to the depot at Glasgow airport. John was a man of few words, most of them Anglo-Saxon. He told the Italian driver to jump into the trailer, and he would start to load him. “Oh no,” said the Italian in his broken English, “I am international driver, no load trailer.” “Well,” said John, “if you’re not going to load your trailer, you can go away.” At least that was the gist of his message. In reality, he used a different term that is a well-recognized multinational trucker-speak. The driver jumped back into his cab and parked off to the side of our yard. The phone in the warehouse rang a few times, and then some office staff was brave enough to come down the metal staircase to speak to John face to face. They were quickly dispatched back to their desks with the same colourful language used on the Italian driver. I would’ve happily loaded the Italian trailer. It was part of my job at East Kilbride when I wasn’t out on the road, but I was air freight now

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.

a separate part of the same company. After a couple of days of a GlasgowItaly stand-off, the Italian probably realized if he wanted to get home with a loaded trailer, he would need to bite the bullet and load it himself. It was certainly a strange sight watching this man dressed as if he were going on a night out on the town loading his trailer. Before he was promoted to yard foreman, John had been a driver, so he probably should’ve had a little more consideration for the Italian driver. After all, the man was thousands of miles from home driving a truck with the steering wheel on the wrong side. Working from that depot near Glasgow airport, I was used to seeing the signs reminding tourists to drive on the left. When I flew into Vancouver airport for the Big Rig Weekend in Chilliwack, it was the first time I had been abroad. As an experienced driver, I thought I had the ability and concentration to cope with driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. But I forgot about 40 odd years of habitually driving on the left. Going straight was ok, but I had to remind myself what side I needed to be on when making right or left turns. It made me wish I had been a little more forgiving to some drivers I’d come across in my driving life and thought of as inconsiderate or less experienced than me. MARCH / APRIL 2022


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Refer a driver and earn $2000 per hire

HIRING Drivers & Owner Operators WE OFFER: Competitive Salary Late Model Equipment New Pay Package Extra Drops and Pickups Paid Paid Layovers Discounted Fuel $27 per hour for Drivers Medical Benefits No Start Up Fees

www.reliancelogisticsinc.com MARCH / APRIL 2022

SINGLE DRIVERS BC - CA - BC BC - CA - AB - BC BC - AB - BC

TEAM BC - CA BC - Toronto BC - CA - Toronto

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1-800-257-8599 604-590-6000 dispatch@reliancelogisticsinc.com 9575 - 180 Street, Surrey, BC V4N 3V6 Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine


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Murphies Laws? I

figured the month of March is a great time to talk about luck as we all know it’s the month of St Patrick’s Day. I feel like there are three types of luck. There is the obvious bad luck, there’s good luck, and then there’s the luck that we can make ourselves. A lot of times I joke and say that “if it weren’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all!” A prime example of this was an incident on a Friday night in February. I was trucking along in the dark south of Fargo, ND, and I saw two vehicles parked along the right shoulder. There was a car in the left lane beside me, so I backed off and tried to get in behind them in the left lane so that I didn’t run right up beside those vehicles on the shoulder. Well, just before I could move to the left, BANG!!! I ran over something in the right lane. I couldn’t tell what it was, so I immediately moved over to the right shoulder, and that’s when I realized why those other two vehicles were on the shoulder. I got out to look at my truck and trailer to see if there was damage. It only took about two seconds to realize that whatever it was that I hit sliced up my DEF tank. One of the other two vehicles drove up behind me and said it was a ladder I had hit. Someone must have had it fall off of their vehicle. Needless to say, I was beyond upset, but I did manage to get turned around and back to Fargo before all of the DEF fluid leaked out. To make matters worse, there were no replacement tanks available in town. And even if I could find one, the whole city was out of DEF. None at the pumps and no jugs in the store. WELCOME TO WINTER!! I did end up with a little bit of good luck, though, as a fellow driver was able to bring me a replacement tank and DEF fluid from Canada, and the Fargo Peterbilt squeezed me in on Monday to replace

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

it. This was fantastic because we all know that you don’t always get your truck in for repair within a day or two in the very coldest of winters. Often it’s a week or better before you can get booked in. It’s bad luck times like these that I lose all focus on the good things that life has brought. I think I’ve mentioned it a time or two or three before, but sometimes it’s so much easier to focus on the negatives rather han the positives. Montgomery Gentry sang, “I have moments when I curse the rain Then complain when the sun’s too hot I look around at what everyone has And I forget about all I’ve got But I know I’m a lucky man God’s given me a pretty fair hand” Now to talk about luck that we make ourselves. Do you wait for good things to happen to you, or do you go out and make them happen? I feel like that’s how my trucking career has evolved. People say, “Oh, you’re so lucky you get to drive a cool truck!” In part, yes, I feel lucky that I’ve gotten the opportunity to drive three custom trucks so far. I think that I also put myself out there and tried to represent my company in such a way that they knew I would cherish these trucks and treat them like they were my own. Plus, I’ve spent a lot of my own hard-earned money adding little extras to the truck and getting it polished for shows and events. I try to take opportunities to better myself and my career whenever I can. I often feel that I am lucky to get to travel, explore, and meet new people. I’m also lucky that I found a trucking company that is a good fit for me. I didn’t know anything

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

about Portage Transport other than my brother worked here, and he suggested that I apply. Almost 13 years have passed by, and I don’t see myself picking up and leaving any time soon. I often make comments about how if I won the lottery, I would go here, or I would buy this. I don’t even buy lottery tickets. I don’t know why I expect ever to get handed millions of dollars if I don’t even try to win them. I’m very happy with the life I’ve been given. Sure, there’s always room for improvement, but if I don’t let bad luck situations consume me, I really have many blessings to count. One of the many blessings that I have lately is good health. I’ve been known to look at other people and think how lucky they are to have the body they have, or it doesn’t seem like they have to struggle as much as I do. I had to do my driver’s medical last month, and I was pretty confident I would get a good report. I hadn’t had my blood pressure checked since I started my wellness journey back in the fall, but I’m pleased to report that with the changes that I’ve made, I was able to get my blood pressure back into the normal range finally rather than the high range. I’m fortunate to have a great support group and access to resources to aid me in my journey. Final thought for the day, “sometimes it’s luck, but often it’s just hard work and commitment to progress!” MARCH / APRIL 2022


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INDEX Acme Transport Ltd. ........................................................................................ 55

TRUCKING SERVICES

Berry & Smith ..................................................................................................... 31 Centurion Trucking Inc. .................................................................................. 04 Coastal Pacific Xpress ..................................................................................... 05

APNA Truck Show .............................................................................. 28

Dhillon & Dhillon Transport .................................................................... 53

Big Rig Power ....................................................................................... 26

Dhesi Enterprises ............................................................................................. 15

B & W Insurance ............................................................................. 02 & 06

Friends & Friends Trucking Ltd. ................................................................... 35

Cool Heat Truck Parts .......................................................................... 39

Geyser Transport ............................................................................................. 25 Gold Freight Trucking ................................................................................. 16

Howes Lubricator ......................................................................... 32 & 33

Golden Express Trucking Inc. ..................................................................... 19 Grant Transport Inc. ......................................................................................... 30

Hutch Systems ......................................................................................... 48

Hap Transportation ......................................................................................... 29

Hydra Steer .............................................................................................. 27

Key West Express Ltd. ..................................................................................... 45 Light Speed Logistics Inc. .......................................................................... 21

Mobalign Services Inc. ........................................................................ 16

Moh Trucking .................................................................................................. 54

Norris & Co. .............................................................................................. 41

Natt Enterprises .............................................................................................. 09

Ocean Trailer ............................................................................................ 43

North Coast Trucking Ltd. ............................................................................. 23

Trucking App .......................................................................................... 40

Pahal Transport Inc. ........................................................................................ 20 Preferred Carriers Inc. ..................................................................................... 36

Trucker’s Pages ........................................................................................ 42

Rai Express Lines ............................................................................................... 03 Reliance Logistics ........................................................................................... 49

Trucker’s Together Fuel Services ................................................... 46

Select Classic Carriers ..................................................................................... 51

Truck West Collision .............................................................................. 35

SGL Trucking Ltd. .............................................................................................. 17

Westland Insurance ............................................................................. 37

Total Logistics Trucking ................................................................................. 24 Transam Carriers Inc. .................................................................................... 47

18

34

50

Glen Millard

Greg Evasiuk

Myrna Chartrand

WHERE WERE YOU?

22

IN THE BEGINNING PART 1 Frank Milne

FED UP

38

TRUCKER’S NIGHTMARE! James Cooper

MURPHIES LAWS?

10

44

SNAKE BIT

30

YOU HAVE NO IDEA Scott Casey

Dave Madill

48

EXPERIENCE AND CONSIDERATION

RIG OF THE MONTH PAT ROBERTSON

Colin Black

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HIRING

WE OFFER:

On Site Maintenance Facility New Pay Package Extra Drops and Pickups Paid Flexible Time Off Paid Layovers & Tolls Guaranteed Miles Per Month Fuel Cards Satellite Communications Fuel Program Motels Paid

WE REQUIRE:

1 Year Experience Late Model equipment Clean Current Abstract Mountain Driving Experience Ability to Cross Border Positive, Professional Attitude Excellent Safety Records Criminal Record Search

Company Driver: 0.55 - 0.60 Cents per mile Owner Operator: In Canada - $2 per mile In USA - $1.90 per mile CONTACT:

604-813-5911 I 604-866-8767 I dhillontransportltd@hotmail.com I F: 604-593-1547

MARCH / APRIL 2022

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www.driverschoice.ca

& Drivers

Flatbed, Step Deck & Super B

BC-ON-QC-NB-NS BC-AB-SK-MB ON-QC-NB Hiring the US Trucks Top Rates Freight Paid by Revenue Dedicated Runs Year Around Work 24/7 Dispatch Direct Deposit Extra Drops and Pickups Paid Flexible Time Off

$2500 Sign on Bonus CONTACT: Ray

604-856-2879 I 514-945-4422 I ray@mohltd.com CONTACT FOR HIRING: Uday Singh

514-449-2879 I accounts@mohltd.com

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LOOKING FOR Owner Operators and Drivers

Owner Operators $1.95/Mile(Dry Van) Fuel Discount: 40 Cents Per Gallon Pre Loaded Trailers Medical Benefits Paid Every Two Weeks

1-855-888-2263

info@acmetransport.ca MARCH / APRIL 2022

Drivers $0.65 Cents Per Mile Stat Pay Pre Loaded Trailers Medical Benefits Paid Every Two Weeks Dry Van Work

604-593-5409 www.acmetransport.ca

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BC-AB

NOW HIRING! OWNER OPERATORS

Additional opportunities for long haul routes within USA and Canada.

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