Pro-Trucker Driver's Choice - May June 2022 ( Find Your Trucking Jobs)

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK BY JOHN WHITE

Good News The good news is that trade shows and truck shows are starting up again. The APNA show is back again June 18/19 at the Tradex in Abbotsford. There is a Truck Show that does not have an entry fee, and is for Tractors only but space is limited and you must register or you will not be able to show your truck. This year the show will also include a Job Fair which is a great opportunity to talk face to face with potential employers. Come check them out, and do your own comparison. All companies do not offer the same things but there is bound to be a company that fulfills most if not all your requirements. I will be at the Pro-Trucker/Drivers Choice booth and I hope to see all my old friends there! My Rant… In typical political fashion, the Ontario Government has promised over $25 billion in new highways and upgrades to existing highway infrastructure over the next ten years. Unfortunately, this announcement comes just before the June election, putting it under the guise of election promises which immediately nullifies it. Politicians have a long history of making promises they have no intention, or no reasonable chance of keeping. Some are kept but some are only worked on enough make announcements and cut ribbons then they are swept under the rug never to be heard of again - until the next election. But many are randomly thrown out there with the sole purpose of targeting a specific group to influence their vote. Legalizing marijuana is an example of a promise supported by most Canadians in all polls, and it was kept. Personally, I find it extremely disturbing to see how little it takes for a part-time snowboarding high school drama teacher to become the Prime Minister of Canada. I do not mean to demean the profession, and I truly believe that Trudeau might have gotten hired full-time if he had stuck with it. Shortening medical wait times and increasing pensions are excellent examples of promises directed at Canadians in need that were not kept. In 2015 leading up to the Federal Election, Justin Trudeau repeatedly criticized the Conservative party’s policy of fighting our veterans in court, promising to end the practice if elected. Trudeau’s statement of “They are asking for more than we can give them at this time” still burns in the memory of every one of our veterans. His also promised that first responders and veterans with PTSD would get the support they need. They still have wait times of over two years for this desperately needed help. The result of this unfulfilled promise, and moral obligation, has been the suicide of many good people waiting for that promise to be kept. MAY / JUNE 2022

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

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Politicians are great ones for jumping on the hot topic of the day. Politicians across the country indignantly jumped on the Humboldt tragedy, outraged that nothing had been done earlier to prevent it from happening. Yet they only have to look as far as their own mirror to find those responsible for letting it exist through every political administration, both federally and provincially, for many years. Then their bandaid fix of MELT programs, was only to appease the ignorant voting public and did little to address the root of the problem. So what is the answer to the problems of over-regulation, low wages, high fuel costs, rip-off fly-by-night companies, poor to non-existent parking and rest stops, inadequate training, and a multitude of other grievances? In my opinion, as I have often said, it is trade certification. For the naysayers - of course it would have to consider a fair system of grandfathering in existing drivers. This could easily be done with license endorsements. But more importantly, it would ensure that all new drivers are fully qualified and would improve wages and rates for everyone. Trade certification would also offer another viable option to young Canadians looking for a respected certified career. No more $15 and

hour fly by night outfits who keep rates down for the career professionals. Back-hauls are straight hauls for someone. Without change, all current grievances will continue to be ignored. Bitching and complaining on social media and at truck stops does absolutely nothing towards change. Remember that old saying about the definition of insanity? Do you really want to continue to leave it up to the goodness of a politician’s heart to make real changes to our industry? I have always said that next to pensioners, truck drivers are the largest voting block in Canada. It is cut and dried each politician is either for or against you. Get a commitment from yours. If you are looking to better your industry then it is time to fish or cut bait or, as they say, get off that proverbial pot. I hope to see you at the show.

John White john@ptmag.ca

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RIG OF THE MONTH by John White

I was looking for a female logger for Rig of The Month this issue because women are definitely in the minority when it comes to logging. However, I have also found the ones who do the job are very passionate about it, and the men who work with them have a lot of respect for the job they do. I called Chester De Raspe because he has a good handle on the industry and those working in it. He is a great guy who I trust implicitly. He immediately suggested I call Kaylee Roberts. She turned out to be a great example of a driver who has tried many jobs within the industry and has settled on logging. A bonus is that Kaylee is quite the accomplished photographer, as you can see by the pictures in her story. It all started in a suburb south shore of Montreal (Yes, Montreal is an island) called Greenfield Park. I had a pretty normal childhood for the 21st century. My parents are divorced, and I lived with my dad, a machinist, for a few years, and then I went to live with my mom, a secretary. Later we moved to Montreal.

would take me with him. I remember how cool it was driving beside that giant snowblower while it loaded us. It would only take a couple of minutes to fill our truck, and then we would go to the snow dump. The dump itself was huuuuuge. We would make numerous trips back and forth in a day. It was such a cool thing to see as a kid.

I was never interested in trucking until I was 10 or 11 years old. My mom’s partner was a truck driver, and on my days off from school, I would ride with him. In the winter, he worked for a snow removal company, and on the weekends and snow days, he

We would deliver produce to different grocery stores in the spring and summer months. We delivered to several stores every day, and I really enjoyed being on the road. I felt like a giant. I liked the feeling it gave me being in a big truck alongside the little

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Kaylee Roberts

cars. He told me stories about being on the road and going to places like California and Florida and bringing back oranges or bananas. I hoped that one day I could do the same. Then life happened, and it was a struggle for me as I felt lost and confused. High school was hard for me, and on the day of my 16th birthday, I quit school and went to work at a grocery store. That lasted for a while, but eventually, I decided to go back to school to get my diploma. When I was 17, my friend and I hitchhiked from Montreal to Oliver, MAY / JUNE 2022


www.driverschoice.ca BC, which was about a 5000km adventure. We had heard about picking fruit in the Okanagan Valley, and that was exactly what I needed at the time - to just getaway. When we arrived in the valley, we found thousands of more Quebecers picking fruit. It was like a mini Quebec…lol! I stayed for a few years doing everything from picking fruit and farm work to driving a tractor and pruning trees. From there, I went travelling. My sister and I travelled to France with my mother when we were younger, and I loved meeting people and seeing new places. After that, I went to Australia twice and stayed there for six months. While there, I went to New Zealand and then on to a two-month backpack adventure in Thailand and Laos. When I got back from travelling, I wanted a bit more to my life and decided I needed to change my career! I was interested in making money, but I hated school. Then trucking came to mind, and there it was. So during the summer that I turned 25, I started trucking school. It was at the school that I met my awesome friend Krista. It was great to have another female doing the course with me as there were 12 people in the class, and we were the only women. I got my license after my 5th week of school, and by my 7th week, the school had found me a job. The job was hauling lumber from the interior to the Port of Vancouver and bringing back steel. My first truck ever assigned to me was an old Freightliner, and on my very first day, I learned about pee jugs! The truck they gave me was so filthy I almost threw up! I used about 50 Lysol wipes before even moving it! There was mouldy food in the fridge, the truck reeked like an ashtray, and to top it off, I found some pee bottles in the cab! Sadly, in this industry, you sometimes are assigned a tractor that hasn’t been cleaned. And some of the people are just pigs. MAY / JUNE 2022

I hated the job, so I quit after my first week. Tarping isn’t for everyone, and if you’re small and you’re doing it by yourself, it can be pretty scary. Also, tarps are heavy and dirty, and if the wind picks them up, they are like a parachute. So I decided it wasn’t for me. At least the next driver had a clean truck waiting. My second job was doing LTL in Kelowna. That was good for practicing my backup skills as I would do between 10 and 20 pick-ups or deliveries a day. Then my friend Krista told me that if I went to Fort St. John, I could make big bucks in the oil patch. So I loaded my car and went up north, only to face the same issues with every company I approached. No one wanted to give me a seat because I was too green and had no experience with mountain and bush roads, and (they said) any GOOD company will never hire and send an inexperienced driver into the bush by themselves. So I headed back south, ending up in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan working for an owner operator hauling grain. I never saw a paycheck from that guy for over a month, so I left! Still, to this day, I haven’t seen any money. It was a hard lesson to learn. After a month and being broke, I had nowhere to go, so I called my sister in

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Quebec and went to her place. I found a job the next day doing long haul! I was driving one of those condo trucks with a bunk bed, microwave, fridge and TV! Over the next nine months, I hauled freight across 45 of the lower 48 states. At first, I loved everything about it. But then I realized that in 9 months, I had about five nights outside the truck, and it slowly started to become a jail. Doing resets in a truck stop and living from parking lot to parking lot got depressing for me. Long haul isn’t for everyone, and I realized it wasn’t for me. It’s a very lonely job. I originally wanted to see the country, but you are very limited to where you can go, and once you’ve been going down the same interstate a few times, you’ve seen it all. I guess I was a little nieve but one thing I did learn about while on the road was “lot lizzards.” One night I was in my bunk when I heard a knock on my door. I crawled out of the bunk and opened the window to find a girl there. She looked startled. She obviously did not expect a girl to be driving the truck and it produced a bit of an awkward moment before she mumbled something and walked away. Not everything that about being on the road was funny. One day, I got stopped at the border and told they suspected me of bringing drugs across. They brought the dogs out, and

This is me with my 160 000 pounds 9 axle 2019 Kenworth T800 tridrive. Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine


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apparently, they said the dogs could smell narcotics. They went through ALL of my belongings, dumping everything on the floor, having no respect for me whatsoever. I was interrogated for 7 hours and then strip-searched, and that was the end of long hauling for me. They even had the audacity to x-ray my two kitties suspecting I concealed drugs in them.

It was about that time that my friend Krista, who by then had moved to the oil patch, called and said she’d found me a job. So I called her boss, and he said I could have the job and a place to live if I got up there asap! So once again, I packed up my car in Quebec, and three days later, I pulled back into Fort St. John. I started this amazing job hauling potable water to rigs and camps across Northern British Columbia. I drove this body job to some of the most remote locations. Sometimes 100km one way on bush roads. It took lots of courage and tears, but I pushed thru the anxiety of being all chained up even with steer chains and still going sideways down the road. It was such a fantastic life experience, with the bonus being all scenery you get to see when you’re in the bush! I was driving what I call a real truck for the first time. No plastic parts, hood mirrors, or automatic transmission. It was a Kenworth tridrive T800 07 pre-emissions, and it had a C15 in it, and God, it was loooud and meeeean!!! I even had a cow bumper!! I fell in love with that truck! Working in the oilfield and seeing all those heavy-duty trucks and rig moves was amazing. It’s a part of the industry that few people get to see. My dream truck now is a Kenworth C500 with the butterfly hood!! I was in the patch for three years and worked anywhere between 300 to 450 hours a month! It was pretty Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

exhausting, and after three years, I just burnt out. I needed some stability in my life and needed my weekends back. I had started my Instagram page (“@awesumkaylee”), and over the internet, I got in touch with Chester De Raspe - Mr. Nacho himself. I eventually left Fort St. John and moved to Prince George, where I met with Nacho to see what logging was all about! I loved it! I love everything about logging except a couple of things. Chains in the mud and looong hours that are not accounted for. I was very fortunate to have Nacho train me. I rode along with him for two weeks, and then he rode with me for another two weeks. Nacho is a great trainer, and I learned so much about hauling logs in such a small amount of time. I have lots of respect for the bush, those big trucks, and, of course, Nacho. I eventually got a seat, but sadly I couldn’t handle it. Realistically I was still burnt out from the patch and 14 hours a day was just too much for me. So I eventually quit and went hauling wood Fibre, which I also hated. The company I was working for is quite big. And I concluded that I didn’t want to work for a union job with over 100 drivers. If you know, you know. Then I saw an ad from Malla trucking for reload work and only one tripper! It was too good to be true. It is the dream job for me. I get to drive a logging truck, and it’s a short 9-hour day with highway work. I love driving

a logging truck and the cool factor it gives me. It’s rewarding doing a job that you’re proud of. I love the smell of wood, the machinery in the logging industry, and seeing all the cool logging trucks. Over the years, I realized that as much as I love trucking. Only about 5 to 10% of the whole industry interests me. As a single mom, I have many obligations. I have to be home every night. I can’t be away for extended periods. Twelve hours is the very max I’m willing to go out. I also only want to be trucking if I’m paid an hourly wage—no pay by the mile, by the trip, by a percentage or piece work. I need a manual truck, not an automatic and no hood mirrors. Preferably a Kenworth. One of my

dreams is to drive a road train in Australia. Some say I’m picky and demanding. I say I know what I want to be happy, and being happy at work is everything to me. MAY / JUNE 2022


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Letters to the Editor Hi John I’ve just received the March/April issue of the magazine, and as usual a great read. In answer to your question under my wee letter, apart from trade unions, I don’t think drivers are well organised over here. It’s just the same as Canada, truck drivers are basic labour with an HGV class1 licence. I suppose a lot of people like joiners and plumbers would say, to be recognised as a trade a truck driver would need to serve an apprenticeship for four or five years. To take the comment from your editorial, plumbers don’t pass a test and get told, ok, go learn how to solder a pipe. Maybe the time to have had the job recognised as a trade was in the years before the government brought in the HGV licence. That was when you might’ve started as a trailer boy and worked your way up learning your craft as you waited until you were 21 years of age and could drive a truck over three tons unladen weight. I don’t know what the thinking was behind the government bringing in the legislation that all HGV divers had to sit through 35 hours of training to gain a CPC Licence. They said it was to make sure all drivers were at the same level even drivers coming to live in the UK from foreign countries. But, just like a lot of things from the government, they didn’t think it through. The CPC, Certificate of Professional Competence, was always a transport manager’s qualification. The driver’s version is a watered down, non-comparable, look-a-like. The 35 hours of training can be split up into five seven-hour modules, most large transport companies have their own trainers to put the drivers through the training. But it’s not a standardised course, in fact some drivers I know have sat through the same seven-hour module five times, and some other drivers have paid a company to say that they sat the course and never attended one module. I hope this educates your ignorance John, ha ha ha, but that’s what being a truck driver is eh? You learn something new every day, the apprenticeship goes on until you retire. Take care Colin Black, Editor’s note: There are still some drivers out there who do not agree with trucking being a trade. They don’t seem to realize the power that a trade certification would give them when it comes to wages and make it more Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

cker azine Pro-Tru Choice Mag s Driver’

appealing to C anadian kids as they come out of school. I realize the importance of immigration but importing drivers, nurses and Doctors just takes potential jobs away from Canadians. We need a government who sees the importance of reducing the unemployment level by investing in our youth. John. A very good statement by you from the Editor’s desk. I too had some pushback from non-trucking folks as my magazine published several related articles by Robert Scheper of Making Your Miles Count. Robert attended the protest in Ottawa and reported his observations. Living in Ottawa, I heard and saw a lot first hand. The term ‘fake news’ kept resonating with me day after day. Only now, as the last protester was released from jail (on March 22nd) are some of the ‘other’ stories coming out. Here is a good example. On about the second week of the Freedom Convoy, a news story was reported on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen that truckers had set a fire in the lobby of an apartment building and then locked the doors to prevent people from exiting. Ottawa’s mayor, Jim Watson said “the arson attempt highlighted the malicious intent of these protesters occupying our city.” One of the building’s residents said it was an act of ‘terror.’ So it’s notable that Ottawa Police have just charged the man allegedly responsible for the attempted arson, and he had nothing to do with the convoy whatsoever. Also, in recent weeks, the CBC has retracted two claims about the protest that originally appeared in its reporting. The first was that it was a likely product of Russian disinformation. The second was that the Freedom Convoy’s donations were primarily the product of foreign money. GoFundMe’s CEO recently told a parliamentary public safety committee, that more than 90% of the more than $10 million raised for Freedom Convoy came from Canada. You are quite correct – when it comes to your opinions and writing, ‘stay true to yourself’. Best regards, Peter Charboneau Publisher (Over The Road Magazine)

Editor’s note: I ignored all the hype about things that “truckers” were doing in Ottawa and at the Coutts border MAY / JUNE 2022


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mobalign.com LASER WHEEL ALIGNMENT • AXLE REPAIR TRAILER KING PIN REPAIR • MORE crossing because I have come to realize that Canadian news is no better than CNN or FOX in the U.S. It is all about sensationalism and money. The truckers that I know have no problem policing themselves and would be the first to put a stop to any nonsense by outsiders. Unfortunately it was recognized around the world as a trucker’s convoy implying that the vast majority who showed up were truckers which is a long way from the truth. Hi John, I just read your editorial in PT march-april issue, and want to commend you for it. I totally agree with your position on the convoy protest, and commend you for what you have done and continue to do for the industry that I’ve been a part of for over 50 years. Thanks, Stan Armeneau John, How does a bureaucrat or senior civil servant crack a Christmas walnut? First it takes several months of preparation, multiple studies, hundreds of pages of review. Followed by recommendations for engineers to draft a manual after they have made recommendations in the form of reports to be debated. A draft recommendation is then sent to lesser MAY / JUNE 2022

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staff members to write several proposals on legislation authorizing the cracking of walnuts. That is officially the “First draft”. Pending results of the first draft and the outcome a “Second draft” is published. By the third year a solution may be reached allowing the “Final draft“ to be released. The following year a practical solution will be implicated, written into law, receive Royal Accent and be released. If you want your Christmas walnut any faster, give a five year old child a nut cracker and you’ll have your nut in less than 5 minutes, given that’s usually how long a child will take to understand the technology of the nut cracker and actually put it to use. If you need it opened any faster - give it to the family dog. J.Cooper Editor’s note: Do I detect a slight sense of frustration at how slow politicians and public servants move to get anything done? You forgot the part where the politician says if they are re-elected they will give you an approved way of opening the walnut, new roads, cheaper fuel, higher pay and, and, and...

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In The Beginning Part 3 (continued) A

s I said in part 2, I told Jerry Brock, my first trucking boss, that I had an offer to drive a highway truck, and he said to go for it as it would be a good experience for me. So I drove my big red Hayes from Fort St. John to Port Alberni, shook hands with Jerry, and said thank you for everything you have done for me. We parted as friends, not as boss and employee. So I jumped in my Volkswagen and drove to Edmonton to start my new adventure. I had met my two new bosses at the job in Fort St. John, so we were not total strangers. They had two trucks, a 1958 International 184 and a 1958 International V Liner. They were driving the 184 hauling lumber, and I was given the keys to the bigger V Liner. It was a single axle with Dayton wheels, a small gas engine, one transmission with a 2-speed axle, no power steering and a bench seat. I had really downsized from my Hayes, but I would be a highway driver!! I had never driven a semi in my life, but being a farm boy, I knew how to back them up (a farm tractor and a one axle trailer). Other than that, I was green. My first haul was to Toronto, and my second one to Whitehorse up the Alaska Highway. From then on, my regular runs were two trips to Toronto a month and 1 to Whitehorse. This all started in November, so it was cold weather and winter driving. I soon learned on my first trip that other drivers did not try to educate me as we were all strangers; they assumed I would know what I was doing. I learned that the most important things about highway driving were road conditions, road knowledge, weather and traffic. Going up the Alaska Highway, traffic was not a problem, but

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

the other three were. For the Toronto trips, I was loaded both ways, but the Whitehorse trip was home empty, and that was the one I hated. That road was very different in the winter when empty. In the beginning, I set a goal for myself, drive 6 hours and sleep 2 hours, drive 6 hours and sleep 2 hours until I got to my destination – get unloaded and loaded and repeat until I got home. Yes, I spent some time fueling and eating etc. My sleeping accommodations were the bench seat and a heavy jacket. Whenever I was on the road, I never slept in a bed, just my bench seat, “sleeper” unit. Would I do it again? You bet I would! Then they got another V Liner and they wanted me to have it, but I refused because it had bucket seats, and I would have lost my “sleeper” unit. Besides, I had customized my truck – I had painted my front bumper with red and white stripes, hung two mud flaps from the front bumper in front of the front wheels and put two red reflectors on the bottom outside corners of my rear mud flaps. I now drove a custom red truck. Don’t you guys laugh – I know what you do to trucks today. But I was proud of my V Liner. In December, I loaned them $2500 to help get the new V Liner (my 1958 Volkswagen car cost $1800). Then disaster struck. I hadn’t cashed my mid-March cheque yet, and when I went to cash it along with my monthend cheque, they both bounced. The company said they would pay me, but I had to give them some time. Well, I quit, and that was 63 years ago - I’m still waiting! Lesson learned! However, I came out of it with some highway driving experience – you have to look at

By Frank Milne Retired Driver, Lease operator and company owner

the positive side. On the way home, I stopped in Revelstoke to say “hello” to the people who owned the motel I had stayed in the past summer. They said, “Guess what? Jerry is here with your truck working on a small project.” So I waited for Jerry, and I told him what had happened since I had left him. Then he got this grin on his face – end result, he drove my car to Port Alberni, and I was driving “my” truck again. That job was over in about three weeks, after which I went back to Port Alberni and barged the Hayes into an iron ore mine. There were no roads into the mine, so you had to fly in by floatplane. I stayed in that camp for six months until Christmas 1959. I worked six days a week and came out with a couple of dollars in my back pocket. And that’s how I learned to drive a truck. I’ve had other jobs for the rest of my working life but always seemed to come back to driving. So for the last 13 years of my working life, I had my own little trucking company and then sold it and retired. P.S. They say you should never burn your bridges as you may have to cross them again. But I say burn your bridges and then build a bigger and better one next time. MAY / JUNE 2022


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Tires and Unions T

his story is from 1985 or 1986. I was new to car hauling even though I had about 25 years of other experience on the road. I had not worked in a union environment before but was taught that you worked hard and did your best no matter what. I was at the bottom of the seniority list, so I got the trucks and trips that the senior drivers didn’t want. The truck was a 1970 Conventional Cab Chevrolet. It was a company truck that had been driven like a rental. It had a 671 six cylinder Detroit engine, a 5 speed transmission with a 2 speed axle and a pusher axle. The truck had only 1 axle but they had added an axle in front of the original one so it looked like a tandem and could haul more weight. It was gutless and harder to drive but it payed the same as the other drivers.

was well until I heard a “Boom” that you might have heard in WW2. I pulled over only to find one of the tires had the warranty expire. A blow out! I had a box of tools but no jack. Just then a truck pulled and it was a driver I knew so I borrowed his jack. It was an inside tire, so we took both tires off and put the good tire back on to carry the axle.

When I got to the yard I told the terminal manager what happened and he was a real jerk about it. He said I was not allowed to work on any unit because it was a union shop. I asked him what I was supposed to do in this situation. He said that the Tac o graph tells management when you are driving and when you are off duty. He It was in the middle of summer and said I should pull over and put a mark I was sent to Lethbridge from Calgary. on the Tac o graph to show you were I always carried my own tools, in on duty. Then you are paid by the case I needed them. I loaded a full hour until everything is fixed. After load of vehicles in Calgary and went making the mark, I was told to phone to Lethbridge early in the morning. I him for instructions. When it is fixed left Lethbridge after reloading and all you make another mark on the tach and continue in your trip. I thanked him and put my tool box back in my Drivers 70-80 CENTS PER MILE! pick up. I didn’t understand the ways of the unions but why in the Super B & tridem step world would I 2 yrs exp & acceptable abstract question this? Western Canada & USA Some dedicated runs About two months later,

Hiring Qualified O/Ops & Drivers

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Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

By Glen Millard

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

I was in Edmonton on a Friday, planning to be back in Calgary at 9:00 pm and home for the weekend. At 6:00pm in Nisku, I heard that familiar loud explosion. I looked in the mirror and saw a wall of rubber pieces flying. I thought to myself okay I’ll do it your way. I got out my pen and marked the Tac o graph and phoned the manager’s home from a gas station in Nisku. He answered and I asked for further instructions. He said, “Get the closest repair shop to come out and when it is fixed, go back to where the tire blew out and pick up all the rubber pieces because I’m going to get warranty for this tire.” The gas attendant said the nearest shop was in Beaumont but he said the guy is really expensive and doesn’t like truck drivers. All of a sudden there was a complete change in my attitude. I phoned this guy and told him I was in Nisku. He said he would come and look at it but there was a $100 cash charge for after hours. I said that was no problem, I was in no hurry. While I was waiting for this clown, who also was in no hurry, I was still getting paid by the hour. About an hour later he showed up and said he needed $180 cash before he started. He said $100 was for the afterhours call out and $80 to do the job. I peeled out $180 cash. He was there about 45 minutes then he left MAY / JUNE 2022


www.driverschoice.ca 31 without a word. I got in, made my mark on the Tac card and went back to where the blow out occurred. What a mess! I parked on the shoulder and picked up all the shrapnel from the road and then left for Calgary. I drove about 5 miles when I had a born again moment! There on the road was a rubber alligator. I jammed on the brakes and pulled over and parked. The manager said to pick up all of the rubber and this was rubber, so I dragged it to the trailer and threw it on top of the

shrapnel of ours. I spent all night stopping to pick up chunks of blown tires, all shapes and sizes, as long as they were rubber. By the time I got to Calgary there was a pile of rubber about 3 feet high. For some reason I was tired but happy. When I got to the yard he was already there. The look on his face, when he saw the rubber, was worth the whole trip. He blew a gasket! I said I was sorry if I did not understand what he meant and reminded him he told me to bring back all the rubber because he

was going to get warranty. I wanted to be sure to get enough and the right rubber. I then gave him the receipt from the tire shop and I thought that he was going to need a Nitro tablet under his tongue. He said that he wasn’t going to pay it. I reminded him that the tire guy was the closest, like he said, and I paid him cash. So all you need to do is add it onto my next pay statement and I’ll trade you for this receipt. I also reminded him that he did say this company was a union shop!

All through dinner my wife’s best friend’s four year old daughter stared at me as I sat opposite her. The girl could hardly eat her food for staring. I checked my shirt for spots, felt my face for food, and patted my hair in place, but nothing stopped her from staring at me. Finally I asked her, “Why are you staring at me?” Everyone at the table had noticed her behavior and went quiet, waiting for her response. Finally the little girl said, “I’m just waiting to see how you drink like a fish.”

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Stay Safe J

ust a shorty from The Birddawg this issue. I have been isolated with Covid-19. I have received my vaccines and the booster which means I am only suffering moderate symptoms but I am here giving notice that even moderate symptoms are not much fun. Every part of my anatomy hurts … even my hair … lol. I am not running a high fever, if any, and have no need to go to the medical hotel, however I am completely severed from society for a period of time. I have been annoying peeps on Mother Earth for four score plus seven years and have no intention of letting up for another ten or fifteen. My purpose in telling you this is that this coronavirus pandemic is NO JOKE! It is real, it is everywhere and it is persistent. One cannot see, hear, smell, taste or touch it. It took some time to get me but even with the precautions I have taken it finally did. And here I thought I was invincible. It is sneaky, very, very sneaky. The source from where I believe I caught the enemy had no idea that she was

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infected and a carrier either. We were in close proximity in rehearsal for a play we put on every year as a fundraiser to send underprivileged kids to a summer camp experience for two weeks. I am not the only member of the group to contract the dread malady. Fortunately all of us have had our shots but during rehearsal none of us were wearing masks … tsk, tsk! Let me emphasize that wearing personal protection and maintaining a safe distance in public does impede the progress of this prolific virus. These are two of the most effective means of avoiding the inconvenience. The most effective way to stay out of the ER and live to see one’s grandchildren, of course is still vaccination. I cannot emphasize that enough. Protests to the contrary are an enormous waste of time, money, resources and human

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

activity which could all go to a higher purpose such as relieving homelessness and poverty or assisting the people of Ukraine or just going about one’s daily commitment to society. In my almost nine decades on this the 3rd planet from the sun I have learned a few things. I spent over half that time traversing North America from corner to corner and “sea to shining sea” in a semi such as many of you are doing. I twice toured Europe as a professional musician and please trust me I speak from the heart and do not echo anyone else’s opinions but my own. I’ve been there, done it! Take care, my friends. Be well and be safe … 10-4!

MAY / JUNE 2022


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Errant Knight Like a warrior from some forgotten past he travels across the land His shiny steed of steel and glass answers to his command Across the land from sea to sea, the highway is his home North and south, east and west, always he must roam. His engine sings of freedom, love of an open road His tires tell of lonely miles beneath a heavy load His headlights burning brightly turn dark night into day The thunder of his passage echoes across the way. A hero from our forgotten past, or just another man A driver on the long highway who does the best he can Surrounded by humanity yet still he stands alone An errant Knight on a steed of steel, the highway is his home.

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How I Write S

everal people have asked me how I came up with the ideas for my poems, so I thought I might take a little time to explain and give you a non-trucker poem and how it came to pass. Trucking poetry, of course, comes from the things I have seen and done as I passed along the highways and byways of our two great nations. Poems about home come from the yearning to be home with those I love and care for and from time spent at home. Some of my work comes from my days in the service and my time spent outdoors. I was down on I-70 in Utah heading for Vancouver, BC, when I ran out of hours just passed the Green River. So I pulled in at the next truck stop and crawled into the sleeper, knowing I had a 34-hour reset in front of me. I woke up at about 9 am and still had about 24 hours to wait, so I went inside and had breakfast. And while I was there, I talked to a young Sheriff’s Deputy about the local area. After listening to his advice, I picked up some bottled water, grabbed a small pack from my truck, and headed off into the countryside. I picked up a good-sized stick along the way, just in case I ran into any rattlesnakes and went for a long hike. About 2 pm, I found myself on top of a mesa overlooking the highway, and I sat down and watched as truck after truck appeared in the distance and passed in front of me and then carried on until it was out of sight. I moved over a bit to get a better spot to sit and noticed a small arrowhead lying in the sand by the mesa’s edge. As I picked it up and looked around, it suddenly came to me that possibly

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

where I was standing, some brave had stood and watched as wagon trains headed west and wondered at his thoughts as he saw the progress that would overcome his way of life.

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.

In minutes I had my pad out and wrote a poem that seemed to me to come without thought, as if it was being told to me by someone else.

Last Stand Alone upon a mesa beneath a cloudless sky, A proud and noble warrior watches wagons rolling by. He sees the end of all he knows here on this rugged plain, The wagons forging westward, then next will come the train. In his mind he sees the fences where once he used to roam, The sad end of the buffalo and the strangling of his home. Visions of a four lane blacktop and the roaring of a plane, He cries in quiet anguish, Great Spirit feel his pain. He sees his nations children fall before the gun, The ending of an era and yet he does not run. Here on this lonely hilltop he will make a final stand, If he dies, he dies in freedom with others of his band. A moment out of history that all must not forget, His honor and his virtue lies among us yet. The trip back to the truck stop was almost anti-climatic, but I went back, had supper and a shower, and next morning had breakfast and continued on my way. Was I being spoken to by

ghosts from the past, or was my active imagination all to blame...I will never know, but now you know how at least one poem came to pass.

MAY / JUNE 2022


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BC-AB

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Additional opportunities for long haul routes within USA and Canada.

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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

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

LED HEADLIGHTS ON PROMOTION

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HIRING

WE OFFER:

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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

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LOOKING FOR TRUCKING JOBS AVAILABLE NOW

Company Driver Owner Operator Team Driver Dispatcher Sales Warehouse Mechanic Safety Human Resources

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NEEDED IMMEDIATELY

LEASE OPERATORS & COMPANY DRIVERS Contact Bill: F: 604-539-1715

I

604-539-1700 E: bill@keywestexpress.ca

20795 Langley Bypass, Langley, BC V3A 5E8 MAY / JUNE 2022

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Unity A

s I plod on into my twilight years, I sometimes think I’ve seen most things transport-related in the quiet moments. Trucks have gone from basic draughty wooden framed cabs with no power steering to the all-singing, all-dancing, almost drive themselves homes on wheels of today. Unlike today’s driver shortage, jobs were plentiful in the early days. As you gained experience, you could move on to better companies with better trucks. Strikes were more common back then until Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher put an end to the trade unions’ stranglehold on the country. She was never my favourite politician, but she certainly got the job done. As well as local strikes, there were a few national drivers and miners strikes too, actions called for and organized by the relevant unions usually to get higher wages from the company. I remember when the miner’s union called a national strike, it was a time when most power stations were coal-fired. Coal boats with imported coal came into a quay near Hunterston on the Firth of Clyde, where there were two power stations. It would’ve been a great show of unity if the truckers had supported the miners, even though they were members of different unions. Most of them did, but a company called Yuill and Dodds, a

smallish outfit of about 50 trucks, came in to run the coal from Hunterston to the Ravenscraig steel mill in Motherwell to keep production going. They were probably paying the drivers a premium rate. They were given a police escort for some of the route, and as time went on, the drivers thought they were invincible. On the parts of the route without the police escort, the truck drivers seemed to think they were above the law, speed limits were ignored, and other road users, especially car drivers, were looked on as obstructions to be dealt with. Some drivers who didn’t get out of the way fast enough were surrounded by four trucks. Back then, most drivers had a CB in the cab, and while the Yuill and Dodds drivers used them to organize those four truck blockades, they also received a lot of abuse from other drivers on air. Comments like, your fathers must be turning in their graves, and, I hope you’re proud of yourselves, you scabs. I’ve never been a big fan of trade unions, although I’d have to join the union if I got a job in a union shop. I could never see the reasoning behind the strikes that were called for crazy things, just to show the union’s power.

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.

Like a guy on the night shift working for Rootes making the Hillman Imp cars, who got caught sleeping on the job, he was sacked, as you would expect. Oh no, the union couldn’t have that and called a strike, so all the guys who were able to stay awake and do their job lost wages while out on strike. So, with my experience of every man for himself, whether unionized or not, I never imagined I would see, in my lifetime, such a united front from Canadian truck drivers. Not to mention farmers and other people who came together in the massive trucker’s freedom convoy to Ottawa. What made a great impression on me was that a lot of these drivers were owneroperators, drivers who, if they aren’t working, don’t make money. So the vast amount of money donated to their cause was equally impressive. Thanks to the power of the internet and, of course, the news on TV, I could sit at home in bonnie Scotland, watching the spectacle unfold as people brought food and support to the trucks in the middle of the city.

With age comes wisdom An 81-year-old was walking by a stream when he heard a voice say, “Pick me up.” Not seeing anyone, he thought he was dreaming when he heard the voice again, “Pick me up.” He looked in the water, and there was a frog. The man said, “Was that you?” The frog said, “Kiss me, and I’ll turn into the most beautiful woman you have ever seen.” The man looked at the frog, reached over, and put it in his pocket. ”What, are you nuts?” said the frog, “I said kiss me, and I’ll turn into a beautiful woman!” He looked at the frog and said, “Nah, at my age, I’d rather have a talking frog.” Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

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The Weekend! G

eorge Jones said it best when he sang, “Finally Friday I got my motor running for a wild weekend It’s finally Friday Forget the workin’ blues And let the good times roll” Rarely does my work week ever end on a Friday. It’s often Thursdays, Saturday nights or Sundays. I feel like I miss out on many weekend activities because I’m usually too tired to do anything by the time I get home. My mind is going a mile a minute thinking about everything I need to do to prepare for the upcoming week. Last week I managed to get in by noon on Friday and didn’t need to leave until Sunday morning. I know many of you may think that’s hardly a weekend. I was thinking about how I finally get an evening and a day that coordinates with my friends’ time off. I had made a few plans already on my way home, so I pretty much had my whole time off planned down to the minute. It was all fun, though, with some practical errands thrown in for good measure. I went home that Friday afternoon, ran a few errands, and enjoyed some nice Chinese food with my roommate and her boyfriend. We had some good laughs, and I got my fix of doggie snuggles from her two dogs. Life is good!! I had also made plans with a friend to visit his family farm that Saturday. As I was driving out there, a tik tok video that I saw a while back made me think. It’s a video in which a person says, “Tell me you’re a such and such without telling me you’re a such and such.” I got to chuckling as I was driving because, in my mind, I was thinking, “Tell me you’re a trucker without telling me you’re a trucker.” The round trip to my friend’s

Pro-Trucker Driver’s Choice Magazine

farm was five and a quarter hours! I know many people who wouldn’t even leave the city limits to spend a whole weekend away! That’s a lot of driving on one’s day off, but I couldn’t be happier than to spend it watching baby cows and being lucky enough even to see one being born. I was lucky because no calves were born on Friday before I visited. Instead, three were born that Saturday, then none again the following Sunday. I guess they waited for my visit as a special guest! It’s really refreshing to get out of the truck once in a while, get some fresh air, and learn about new things. It was great to spend time in a different industry and how one spends their days tending to the cattle, etc. I stayed the better part of the day just watching all the goings-on and taking pictures of baby cows. I find they have a way of bringing a certain calmness to me. It makes me not think about all I have to do to prepare for the upcoming work week. I definitely need more days like this! I also enjoyed visiting with my friend’s dad that day as well. He’s a trucker that has travelled to Texas many times, so we had a lot in common to talk about. It’s nice to relate to the location when someone is telling a story or knowing how awful the traffic is or how easy it is to take a wrong route. When I was about to leave, I said goodbye and thank you for letting me spend the day and for providing meals, when my friend’s dad said to come back any time. I took that as a great compliment! I’ve always felt I get along with people of all ages. Part of that, I think, is because I am always willing to listen to their stories and share some of my own. I’ve gotten so much fabulous feedback on articles since I started writing a few years ago. Even when I think I just repeated myself or the

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

writing was a dud, I felt it wasn’t creative enough. That has been such a fantastic feeling knowing it has cheered someone up, brought a new perspective to life, or felt that people could relate to. I’ve had people message me privately, telling me stories of their lives that they thought they couldn’t share with others because they didn’t think others would understand. The opportunity to write this column has been therapeutic for me because it gives me an outlet for my thoughts and ideas. It’s also been therapeutic for others who would like to share their stories with me and somehow feel a sense of relief and happiness. When people ask why I got into trucking and what I would do if I weren’t trucking, I tell them I’d still be doing this. I can never explain enough how trucking has brought so much positivity into my life and let me get creative. Meeting new people, sharing stories, and having our little therapy sessions are so fulfilling. Visiting the farm was just the therapy session I needed the other day. It gave me a new focus to calm down, stop thinking for a minute, breathe and enjoy what nature offers us. We all need to step away from our workplaces and find the little things in life that bring us joy. I find I’m always chasing that all mighty dollar, and sometimes there are just more important things in life. Speaking of spending money, The Brain (my truck) will be getting some new and exciting additions and a spa treatment in the next month, so stay tuned for my full report on his little transformation! MAY / JUNE 2022


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T r uc k Wes t C ollisi on Head Office Langley 604-888-8788 9737-197B Street

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ICBC Repairs • Sandblasting • Full Truck Collision Services Frame Straightening • Custom Painting • Painting EMAIL: truckwest@shaw.ca | truckwestcollision.com

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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.

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INDEX Acme Transport Ltd. ........................................................................................ 05 Berry & Smith ..................................................................................................... 31 Centurion Trucking Inc. .................................................................................. 39 Challenger Motor Freight ............................................................................ 29 Coastal Pacific Xpress ..................................................................................... 03 Day & Ross ........................................................................................................ 56 DeckX ................................................................................................................... 54 Dhillon & Dhillon Transport .................................................................... 45 Dhesi Enterprises ............................................................................................. 16 Geyser Transport ............................................................................................. 37 Golden Express Trucking Inc. ..................................................................... 09 Grant Transport Inc. ......................................................................................... 30 Hap Transportation ......................................................................................... 21 Key West Express Ltd. ..................................................................................... 47 Light Speed Logistics Inc. .......................................................................... 55 MDR Transportation ....................................................................................... 13 Moh Trucking .................................................................................................. 53 Motion Logistics ................................................................................................ 08 Natt Enterprises .............................................................................................. 19 North Coast Trucking Ltd. ............................................................................ 41 Piston Transport Ltd. .................................................................................. 35 Rai Express Lines ............................................................................................... 17 Reliance Logistics ........................................................................................... 28 Rocket Transport Inc. .................................................................................... 27 Select Classic Carriers ..................................................................................... 49 Stryder Motorfreight .................................................................................... 42 Total Logistics Trucking ................................................................................. 20 Transam Carriers Inc. .................................................................................... 43 TransX ..................................................................................................................... 04 Via Logistics .......................................................................................................... 25

22

IN THE BEGINNING PART 3

TRUCKING SERVICES APNA Truck Show .............................................................................. 36 B & W Insurance ............................................................................. 02 & 06 Cool Heat Truck Parts .......................................................................... 44 Howes Lubricator ......................................................................... 32 & 33 Hydra Steer .............................................................................................. 34 Junction42 .............................................................................................. 23 Mobalign Services Inc. ........................................................................ 15 Norris & Co. .............................................................................................. 36 Ocean Trailer ............................................................................................ 38 Trucking App .......................................................................................... 46 Trucker’s Together Fuel Services ................................................... 24 Truck West Collision .............................................................................. 51 Westland Insurance ............................................................................. 51

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50

Dave Madill

Myrna Chartrand

ERRANT KNIGHT

THE WEEKEND!

Frank Milne

30

40

Glen Millard

Dave Madill

TIRES AND UNIONS

34

STAY SAFE Ed Murdoch

HOW I WRITE

10

48

UNITY

Colin Black

RIG OF THE MONTH Kaylee Roberts

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& Drivers

Flatbed, Step Deck & Super B

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

514-449-2879 I accounts@mohltd.com MAY / JUNE 2022

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@drivetransx

STRONG, SAFE AND GROWING

New Owner Operator Rates Let DeckX help drive your success! Apply at DriveTransX.ca or call 1-877-787-2679 for details

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Now Hiring Owner Operators

Company Drivers

US TEAM

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US TEAM

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US SINGLE

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US SINGLE

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$0.66

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ON/QC SINGLE TO MID-WEST

$0.72

(AB-BC) (BC-AB)

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