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July 2016

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From the Editor’s desk... It is time...

VOLuME 18, ISSuE 6 of 11 PUBLISHER/EDITOR John White PRODUCTION/CIRCULATION Tori Proudley ADMIN/SPECIAL EVENTS Donna White ADVERTISING/MARKETING John White Tori Proudley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dave Madill • Ben Proudley Scott Casey • Mel McConaghy Ed Murdoch • Colin Black Tamara Weston • Bill Weatherstone PHOTOGRAPHY David Benjatschek Brad Demelo HEAD OFFICE Ph: 604-580-2092 Toll Free: 1-800-331-8127 Published eleven times a year by Pro-Trucker Magazine Inc., The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher. The advertiser agrees to protect the publisher against legal action based upon libelous or inaccurate statements; the unauthorized use of materials or photographs; and/or any other errors or omissions in connection with advertisements placed in Pro-Trucker Magazine. The publisher can and will refuse any advertising which in his opinion is misleading or in poor taste. The publisher does not endorse or make claim or guarantee the validity or accuracy of any advertisement herein contained. All materials submitted for publication are subject to editing at the publisher’s discretion. The act of mailing or e-mailing material shall be considered an expressed warranty by the contributor that the material is original and in no way an infringement on the rights of others.



Actually it is well past the time that Professional Transport Driver became a certified trade in Canada. Gone are the days when you could get by with a map, a chauffeur’s license, some spare parts, a tool box and the knowledge to use them. Before my phone starts ringing and my email box is filled by irate old sticks - I’m not saying the “good old days” were easy, as anyone who has read articles written by the older drivers well know. The trucks were underpowered John White and needed constant pampering; the road system was much tougher and communication almost non-existent. The traffic was much lighter but that wasn’t always a blessing if you were stuck in the middle of nowhere with a major breakdown and had to wait hours and sometimes days to get help. The bottom line is that it was a different time and people with different skill sets were needed and readily available. Many of the older drivers came off the farm where they drove and worked on equipment from an early age. People grew up faster back then, often leaving home at an early age determined to strike out on their own. Even the urban drivers often worked on their own cars or pick-up trucks before computerized vehicles discouraged the average teenager from opening the hood. Many drivers came from trucking families where their daycare and pre-school was the jump seat of their dad’s truck. Often companies would take on a young guy in the shop starting them out on a broom and slowly bring them up through the system until they were fully trained in all aspects of the job. The wages at the time were decent and the job was appealing to a young person who wanted to start a career. Today many of the older drivers are retiring and many others are just calling it quits because of low wages. On top of that there are fewer and fewer young drivers showing an interest in getting into an overregulated and highly diversified job that, without a trade certification, often leaves you with a low income and questionable future. The industry is in serious trouble as can be seen by Lane Kranenburg’s article on page 10. In the 90’s a program developed by government and industry representatives was meant to be the national minimum standard for a Canadian truck driver. Unfortunately the Federal Government could not get the Provinces to agree on its implementation. At this time Ontario is the only province making headway on a minimum standard – Alberta has shelved their new program and BC is going backwards at an alarming rate. This is a country wide problem. Sitting back and complaining to each other is not the answer. Our Provincial Governments are only concerned with votes and up until just a few years ago “Truck Driver” was the most common answer for occupation in the national census so truck drivers have a powerful voice. Please read Andy Roberts article on page 13 and think about doing the same thing in your province. It is the only way to ensure your occupation will be classified as it should – a certified trade.

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e zine Whit John er Maga

k Truc Pro-

John White r Magazine Pro-Trucke

Good Day Sir. Hope all is well at your end. I have forwarded a PDF copy of a book, written by Bill Weatherstone from Ontario, about his life as a trucker. I have his permission to pass it along and I thought of you right away. Pro Trucker....truly is the truckers magazine. All the other publications seem to be shills for big corporations, and full of technical shite. No one has the human element, the humour, or the reader input, that your publication does. I can think of no finer place for the “diesel gypsy’s” Collection. Just a thought. Take care. James Churchill, Powel River, BC

Hey John, I just thought I’d follow up on my trip to Salem, Oregon for the ATHS show. I’m happy to report it was a great show with a an excellent turn out of antique trucks. (they said over 800) There was a vast array of different makes and models to appeal to almost any vintage truck enthusiast. And there was a pretty good turnout of Canadian classics too. From what I understood, Andy Zary sold his beloved B-61 to a fella from Australia who’ll be putting it in a Mack museum over there. I hope that is the case, since that truck is certainly worthy of being displayed in a museum. And it would be nice to see Andy’s masterpiece preserved and admired the way he wanted it. I had one minor issue on the way down on the first day out. The alternator gave up, down by Jumping Pound, just west of Calgary. That was holiday Monday, so nothing would be open. So I stroked it straight down to Cranbrook before dark and camped out (in 5th wheel) in Freightliner’s spare lot overnight. First thing Tuesday morning I was the first parts dept. customer. I had the new one on and we were rolling out at 9:45am. Gotta love how easy and accessible things are to fix on old trucks. Anyway, hope all is well with you, and maybe we’ll see you this summer. Trevor Cameron, Spruce Grove, AB

Editor’s note: Thank you James I contacted Bill and he is quite the guy. Great sense of humour and he doesn’t pull any punches. He has some great stories that we will be printing the first of which starts on page 18. Editor’s note: I spoke with Andy Zary and as can be

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imagined he has mixed feelings about selling his Mack. The one thing that gives him a bit of comfort is that it is going into a museum in Australia to be preserved in the pristine condition he has always kept it. He says that as far as he knows it will never enter a show and shine again. That also has to give a certain amount of comfort to more than a few other truck owners across North America who always seemed to resign themselves to 2nd or 3rd place trophies at truck shows when they saw Andy pull in. That doesn’t mean you won’t see Andy coming out to the shows though, he assured me he would be in Red Deer this year for Alberta Big Rig Weekend. John, In the past, we have rallied behind the “Mothers Against Drunk Drivers” and for a very good cause as many people are killed every year by the drinking driver, and I also feel that penalties are much too lenient for the guilty. Now however we have a new danger being introduced to our already dangerous roadways, “texting”. The reports are that texting is currently the most dangerous activity a driver can participate in while driving. We see it all the time as we negotiate our roads, people swerving out of their lanes, cars stopped for a light and when it turns green, they sit there until a horn is honked, and then usually a finger is given to the driver honking.

The other dangerous activity is cell phone use, way too many people are on their phones when they should be paying attention to the road. I see the cell phone on drivers ears all the time, and with traffic volumes today, all attention must be given to your surroundings. The penalties are much too light, they should be quadrupled and demerit points should be at least four, that may discourage the practice and make our roads safer. As well insurance companies should get involved with this initiative and increase rates one hundred percent for violators, and if it was proven that the cause of the collision was related to either texting or cell phone use then the costs covering the damage to their vehicle would become their responsibility. Texting and cell phone use have become the number one killer on our highways if immediate action is not taken against the violators, more fatalities will occur. When driving I now am not concerned by my ability, but by the infractions of others! Lane Kranenburg Editor’s note: The government never seems to have a sense of urgency when it comes to things like this. The laws have gotten tougher but if more people are now being killed by distracted drivers than drunk drivers, why are the penalties not the same or higher? You have to admire the innovation of the cops though when they put a


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blitz on distracted drivers. I like the one where a cop will dress like a homeless person and wash windows at red lights then call ahead to have the offending drivers pulled over. The latest one I saw, I believe it was on Vancouver Island, where the cop had a spotting scope on a camera and was catching drivers blocks away. ***** A Ukrainian immigrant went to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license. First, of course, he had to take an eye sight test. The optician showed him a card with the letters: ‘C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.’ “Can you read this?” the optician asked. “Read it?” the Ukrainian replied, “He’s my second cousin.

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By Ben Proudley Ben has been a Class 1 driver for 17 years. He started out driving wreckers and currently heavy hauls for Hertz Equipment Rentals. Ben was our Rig of the Month in March of 2008

The Little Truck

Let’s face it, as drivers we are a different breed. Truth is, not many people will do or even have the capability to do our job. Work long and often strange hours and spend long days away from the ones we love and who love us. Truckers are cut from a different cloth, and there are ‘different’ ones

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for sure. Some can handle the highway work, while others handle the switch jobs and short hauls and city work. Each one has its own set of challenges to say the least. But that is not really what I am referring to. It is more about what drivers do to keep themselves sane (some of us more than others.) You see a lot of long haul guys with bikes on their trucks as a good example. There are some with custom trucks to polish and shine while the driver waits to load or unload. (Some company guys are lucky enough to have rides that need this TLC as well.) But that is not what I mean either. I am talking about those of us cut from that special cloth. I am talking about the one that seems to put us in a league of our own. We are the ones who have regular customers who like to see us and enjoy working with us. Who ask about our lives and families, and life in general. It helps to make the day go faster. But that is still not exactly what I am referring to. I am talking about us strange ones who go the extra mile for our own twisted logic. We just hired a new driver at work, and he questioned me on why I do the strange things I do. Truth is I really don’t know why. Maybe I banged my head once to often as a child, or it could be any number of other things. Most likely it is because sometimes I like to stand out in a crowd. Could also be because I like being a bit of an ass sometimes. I know that’s hard to believe but anyone who has been out to Big Rig Weekends may or may not be able to confirm this.

By now you are about ready to put this article down, so I better explain what I am referring too. I am not the first to do it, and I will not be the last, but I like to play Tonka trucks at work. There I said it. I take my little toy dump truck with me everywhere I go. He is sometimes hidden on my trailer amongst my load or strapped down in plain view when I am empty. No big deal right. You have seen it a million times before, especially if you are a highway driver or are on Facebook. Fact of the matter is that many people in the city love seeing the truck. The whole reason I have always done it was to bring a smile to people’s faces. You just never know when someone will need a good laugh. The CVSE and the local Police forces love it - many of them have taken pictures of it. People on


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the street take pictures of it all the time and it gets lots of honks and waves from pedestrians and 4-wheelers alike. I have had one on the truck on and off for nearly 6 years now. The original was stolen off my trailer a couple years back. I was quite angry to say the least. I was not going to bother replacing it, but I remember one particular day when it was on the trailer and I pulled onto a jobsite to load. There was quite a group of people gathered at what I thought was the smoking area. They all stopped and looked as I rolled by. I spun around and started to load and as I was doing so one lady walked over and said hi and then

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said thank you. Confused, I stopped and asked why? She proceeded to tell me that one of their co-workers had just passed away, and they had just all heard the news. Seeing the little truck on my empty trailer put a smile on all of their faces she said. It brightened up what was a very dark day for them, even if just for a short while. I really did not know what to say except that I was glad to help.

I am happy to say that I replaced my little truck not all that long ago and I was surprised by how many of my regular customers were happy to see it back. I never realized how much it was loved. They all said the same thing. You are nuts Ben, but that little truck always makes us smile and laugh when we see it. As drivers many of us do things to help out worthy causes. We donate our trucks, trailers and time for parades, toy runs, and any number of charity and community events that escape me at the moment. But sometimes it is the simple daily things we do that make a difference in people’s lives, even if that was never the point. Have fun out there, remember that is why we started to do this job in the first place - to have fun. 

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DELIVERING THE GOODS, SAFELY By Lane KRANENBURG Lane is a former driver, fleet owner and former Executive Director of the AMTA

The Professional Commercial Driver

A recent report in the Calgary Herald was about a driver shortage, and that the average age at this time of the Commercial Driver is 47, and soon to be 49. The transport industry is not doing nearly enough to attract the younger generation to a career as a professional commercial driver. There is still a mentality that if you can flip burgers, you can drive a truck, but nothing can be further from the truth. The government has this important profession rated as unskilled, and it is imperative that it be changed to skilled. The current demands of a driver require a huge amount of skill, such as computer use, equipment specifications, dangerous goods movement, load securement, hours of service regulations in both the USA and Canada, traffic rules at all jurisdictions, just to name a few. The onus of the government should be to assure the training standards, the actual training required to achieve


the class one driver’s licence. Currently there are numerous driving schools offering classes for class one training, but very few are delivering adequate hands on and written material. It is rumoured that in Alberta you can get a class one licence for as little as five hundred dollars. One of the major issues is that training schools are not regulated by government, and that the examiners are private as well. This leads to a less than proper training and a result is a person that has acquired a class one has absolutely no real ability to operate a large commercial vehicle. Alberta has developed a thorough training program for class one drivers, but the industry did not support this standard and therefore it sits on a shelf at Alberta Transportation and the Alberta Motor Transport Association. The industry feels that if drivers are trained to standards required for the efficient and safe operation of trucks they will have to pay them more, when reality is that a fully trained driver will increase profits and reduce turnover. As a former driver, fleet owner, and former Executive Director of the AMTA, I have witnessed that the companies that take the time and effort to train their drivers on both regulations and safety are the most profitable ones. And remember that everything you consume, wear, drive, watch, listen to, everything has been on a truck at one time or other. Should the trucking industry shut down for as little as one week, our service stations will be out of fuel, our stores will be running out of food, and delivery all


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goods will come to a complete stop. On the positive side, both Ontario and Manitoba has started working on a training standard that would become mandatory once approved by the respective provincial governments. Other Provinces are becoming aware of the need to properly train commercial drivers and hopefully will follow this initiative.

From the Patch By Tamara Weston

Tamara and her husband Eric, were the Rig of the Month drivers in our October 2014 issue.

This past May Eric and I were able to go on yet another trip to Cuba. Our first trip was in January of 2014 and I loved everything about it. I have not traveled much and except for Cuba I have only left Canada 3 times. Once to Mexico, which I found very commercialized and being in a resort, we had no real connection with the people. Once to Vegas which was a trip for work and I was in conferences so I really didn’t get to see what it was really all about and once to Blaine, Washington to do some shopping when my kids were small. What I found with Cuba on our first trip, (it was right before the embargo was to be lifted), was these were real



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honest people who at that time were concerned with the Americans being allowed into Cuba. They were worried about being Americanized more than anything. It was just the two of us and we stayed mainly at the resort with one trip into Varadaro. We took a taxi into town, it was a soviet import and it was not new by any stretch. We walked the streets, watching people and really enjoying the old American made cars roll up and down the streets. Some of them were very well kept, while others were barely held together. On our trip back to the resort we took a 56 Cadillac convertible. It was such a sweet ride and the best part of my trip, besides the week of no responsibilities and no kid’s. This trip however, we traveled with Eric’s brother Roger and his wife André. We met them down there and decided that our one excursion should be to Havana. I’m not one for public transportation and would really like to see the real side of things, not the tourist traps, so hopping on a tour bus was not really sitting well with me at all. Our second day of lounging at the beach sipping rum brought us to Sir Alexander Rodriguez. He is a onetime school teacher, now cab driver, who was combing the beach trying to drum up business. All the resorts tell you to not deal with anyone outside for tours but we listened to his sales pitch. He had a beautiful late 50’s Belair, red and white with pristine white leather interior and he offered to take all four of us to Havana and be our private tour guide for 150 CUC ($190 CDN) - we were sold.

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The whole drive, 3 hrs each way, was a history of his Cuba. He was a father of 3 children, all of which have free education with complete school uniforms so everyone is equal as well as free health care. He was a highly educated man, and like I said he was a former school teacher but because it was a government job, the money he made at that job was not enough to support his family. So when his father retired, he got the family car and became a tour guide. Most individuals, once they have fulfilled their commitment to the government jobs, move on to the tourist trade to make more money some even do both. One thing I need to note is that these beautiful old American made cars that once roared with V-8 gasoline engines have all been swapped out for 4 cylinder Toyota diesel engines The one thing that really stuck out for me was how the Cubans got around. Most can not afford a car, and because of the special period 1989 when the Soviet Union collapsed and the trade of hydrocarbon energy resources stopped so did the majority of new vehicles coming into the country. It was a time of serious economic hardship and fuel shortage for Cuba and it affected everything. There was public transportation, very over crowded and during this time it fell apart, no fuel and no parts to fix the aging buses. Older American made trucks were converted into Camions, or privately owned truck-buses These run the main highways, transporting people to and from work. Alex said it is not uncommon to be hours Free Estimates • 30 years experience • Monday to Friday 7:30 AM to 7 PM

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late for work and it was all very acceptable due to the inability to get a ride. Besides these buses, there are taxis but they too are expensive for the average person. What astounded me were the people lining the road ways, hundreds of people all waiting for a ride, or hitch-hiking - a very common practice.

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The majority of the big rigs we saw were European or Asian imports, some newer and some quite old. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the import of the heavy trucks like the Zil and Kraz stopped so we saw many Volkswagen and Asian heavy trucks. A major struggle these people face is the lack of parts to keep their beloved cars and trucks rolling. The one thing with this trip was that I learned so much more about this amazing little gem of a country, not only is it full of beautiful beaches and sunny warm weather it is full of a people who are equally warm and welcoming. They are now more optimistic about their future with the United States and more welcoming to the changes they all face. 

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Professional Driver? By Andy Roberts

I have been involved in the trucking industry continuously since 1988 (28 years) in a number of different capacities but mostly as a driver, owner operator or instructor. I initially attended a driver training school to get my license and have been learning and improving my skills ever since. I take pride in what I do and how I do it with a focus on safety, efficiency and life long learning. As anyone in our industry knows there is more than one way to do things, some ways are right, others are wrong, but mostly they are just different approaches or view points. For those that don’t know me I started Mountain Transport Institute in Castlegar, BC, back in 1998 as I wanted to make a difference and provide opportunity for new drivers to enter our industry better prepared for the expectations and responsibility that they would be faced with. Training in Castlegar was logical to me as we have many different mountain passes to train on and Highway 3 to use to improve our students’ skills. Over the years I have worked with many different organizations and initiatives whose goals were to raise the profile of drivers and the trucking industry. The one common stumbling block that has always been in our way is the Federal Government’s National Occupational Classification code (NOC Code) which is a tiered system of classifying specific jobs as skilled,

intermediate or unskilled. Code 7511 is Transport Truck Drivers and it is a class “C” or intermediate skill level meaning drivers require some training but it is not a “trade” that requires an apprenticeship which would make it skilled as a class B. The other description of occupations that fit under class B is “Occupations with significant health and safety responsibilities” with examples of police / firemen given I would argue that as Professional Drivers we have significant “safety responsibilities”. Are you a “truck driver” or a “Professional Driver”? According to the Merriam - Webster dictionary the definition of Professional includes; 1) someone who does a job that requires special training, education or skill, 2) someone who has a lot of experience or skill in a particular job or activity, 3) having a particular profession as a permanent career. This rather long winded explanation brings me to share our latest challenge at MTI when dealing with governments. MTI has been the only driver training school in BC accredited with the Private Career Training Institutions Association (PCTIA) since 2003 and also hold our Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation from the Provincial government. MTI has always pushed for higher standards in our industry and developed courses and training techniques to turn out the best drivers possible for our carrier partners. As of September 1st, 2016,

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the PCTIA will be rolled into the Ministry of Advanced Education and become the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) and we will now be regulated under the Private Training ACT (PTA). This shouldn’t be a big deal but it is because we are being denied the continuation of our accreditation beyond its current expiry date and the reason why has me frustrated and every Professional Driver should be as well. We are currently not allowed to continue our accreditation because “These occupations are excluded from the definition of career occupation under the PTA and programs related to these occupations do not require approval.” MTI delivers Class 1 driver training (NOC 7511) as well as driving instructor training (NOC 4021) but we can no longer be accredited with the government and stand to lose our EQA designation along with access for our students to government student loans. Being registered or accredited with PCTIA has also long been a requirement for our students to have access to EI funding for retraining. This decision of the government has far reaching implications for our industry from firstly discouraging the development or raising of the bar to a higher level of training amongst the schools but more importantly the slap in the face to every professional driver and professional driving instructor. I didn’t realize for the last 28 years I wasn’t in a career occupation and as an industry how do you attract new drivers to a “non-career occupation”? The



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absolute disrespect for the skill and commitment required to do our jobs safely and efficiently by our leaders in government sickens me once again. The provincial and national trucking associations have been working over the years to get Transport Truck Drivers NOC Code skill level raised by the federal government but with no success so far. The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) worked tirelessly with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) in BC to get truck driver recognized as a trade but the process appears to be stalled. The Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) worked in Alberta to get a “special designation” on your license to show your level of competency as a professional driver with continuing education required. The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has a voluntary apprenticeship program in place and are close to completing a bid to have the government implement “minimum entry level driver training” (MELT) for class 1 (A) drivers. The MELT program is a great step forward but it won’t get us to “skilled trade” status and frankly I begin to wonder if some carriers don’t want Transport Truck Drivers to be a skilled trade? I know many do but are they the majority? My question to you is “As a Professional Driver does your job have significant safety responsibilities?” “As a Professional Driver do you consider yourself a trades person?” Will we ever as members of this industry dig in our

heels and demand the respect we deserve for the skill required to do the work we do? I would invite the members of the Legislative Assembly in Victoria and Parliament in Ottawa to come along for a trip through the mountains of BC during a winter storm in a fully loaded super train so we can have that discussion. If we want to gain the respect we deserve we must take action! The lack of action and commitment to the cause in the past has left us right where we are today. There is a petition circulating on Facebook (there is a link on the MTI Facebook page) to have the NOC Code changed, find it and sign it. Send this letter to your local MLA and MP and request a change to the NOC Code, invite them to come and job shadow you for a day. As a united group we can

APPLY NOW! Call: 604-530-6660 E: 20331 Duncan Way, Langley, BC

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create change but everyone needs to do their part. Stand up for what you believe in and support each other everyday!


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

Shh...The Blitz is on...

By the time you read this column I may only be moments away from completing the first year of my entry into the 9th decade of going around in circles on this earthly orb. That is, of course not because I think I am a big wheel, but because I assume the earth really is round. In all that time, almost two-thirds of it was spent on the road, with all the time in the world to mull over what it is that produces ‘different strokes for different folks’, I am still unable to satisfactorily reconcile the reasons why so many of us humans continue to shoot ourselves in the foot … metaphorically speaking, that is! What I am going on about is the fact that during June, the month normally set aside by the enforcement agencies for roadside safety inspections, the freight rates in certain

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high traffic corridors rise due to the lack of available equipment. The reason? The blitz locations, dates and times are publicly shouted from the rooftops, relayed from myriads of CB and UHF radios to every big rig that has its ‘ears on’ and printed in every newspaper, coffee crier or supermarket tabloid on the continent. Duh! If you’re a unrepentant kid that knowingly attracts the wrong attention from the authorities, and you know where they usually hang out, are you wittingly going to choose the route home from school that takes you right to them? Unless you enjoy pain, I wouldn’t think so. Well some carriers possess the same mentality for the same reasons when it comes to blitz locations. It isn’t right and it isn’t acceptable, but it’s a fact and a fact of which the Departments of Transport have been aware for years but little if any effort has been made to correct the situation. Perhaps the industry ought to do a little self-policing of its own in order to weed out these misfits and shame them into becoming more acceptable and to play the game with a modicum of sportsmanship. Trucks and truckers of every type and description have a tough enough time complying with the regulations and doing what is right without having to justify those that continue to give the brother/sisterhood a bad name. It isn’t enough to just do what is right these days; one must at all times be seen to be doing what is right! When the blitz is on, those companies who do not have great confidence in either their equipment or their commercial drivers run their units where there is little or no surveillance. Or they just keep them close to home terminal to avoid an inspection and possible compliance infraction or Out Of Service order. This type of activity, or lack of it, hurts the entire industry and all of us in it. Those carriers who are safe and compliant may temporarily benefit from the higher revenue to be earned but many shippers will continue to use these replacements as their preferred transporters because they were there when needed. In that case the fringe haulers may lose more than just a little time on the road. It is a very competitive market place in which the industry operates and it is always best to put your best, safest and most efficient foot forward in order to maintain your customer base. To ensure their load will get to its intended destination, more shippers and load brokers are now requesting a carrier’s safety and compliance record when bidding on available shipments. By the same token it behooves all of us commercial vehicle operators to do what is absolutely best for all the participants in the game whether we’re using paper logs or the newer and soon to be mandated electronic logging devices. By being honest and accountable in all things we will earn the respect and admiration most of us deserve. And perhaps then we will be able to command and receive the monetary benefits we would like to receive for all the work we do. Ours is a high profile occupation and it would serve us

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all well to be exemplary in our conduct and behaviour at all times and in all places where we are visible to others. Equate it to my mantra regarding the operation of daytime running lights: You’re safe to be seen and you’re seen to be safe! In other words: You’re good to be seen and you’re seen to be good! Enjoy a super safe summer whether you are in the large car or just enjoying a day at the beach with your family. Winter hazards have been replaced by summer hazards that are no less worthy of our attention and diligence. If it moves it has the potential of malfunctioning whether it’s on two or four legs, or wheels - expect the unexpected But through it all, enjoy and keep smiling ... 10-4!

THE DIESEL GYPSY By Bill Weatherstone This is an excerpt from Bill’s book, “The Life and Times of William John Weatherstone.”

Trucking - In The Beginning

It was more than 50 years ago that I started into trucking. Before that, I was thrown out of high school in Sarnia, Ontario, before my time. Never ever, found out why. They just told me, it would be better for both of us if we parted company. Who am I to question the school principal’s decision? I was gone in a flash. Fortunately, I was big for my age, and had no problem lying about it. Taking my driver’s license test was a snap. Since I was 13 years old, I used to ride with my stepfather, on weekend trips, hauling bread on overnight trips. After school on Friday nights, he had a trip up North, from Toronto to Peterborough, returning by noon on Saturday. I was helping to unload the bread, and learning to spot the trailer into some very tight laneways. One night he asked if I thought I could handle the truck on the highway. It was about 4:30 am, and deserted. OK, was my answer? He pulled over, and we switched seats. He promptly flaked out. It was a 1949-KB-8 Binder; (International) it was equipped with air brakes, instead of the old vacuum type. It was great advancement. He let me take it for about 50 miles. We never saw another vehicle all night. When we switched back, I was the biggest and best King Kong., of all truckers. This arrangement went on for over a year. One trip in particular, he had spent all day in the tavern, with the boys. By the time, he got home and ready for work, he was pretty baffed out. We loaded, and took off. At the city limits was the last coffee shop available. We stopped in, had a coffee and he almost passed out. It was an open road from there and no traffic. The sun was just setting in the west, when he asked if I would like to drive for 20 minutes to a half hour. PAGE 18

We switched seats and I drove on. He was out like a light before I even got it into gear. The load was going to Peterborough, ON. It was about 100 mi. away. I got her rolling and was having a ball (at 14 yrs. old). I was motoring along and wondering when he would tell me to pull over and change drivers. It never happened. I drove up through the hills, and into town. Fortunately, this warehouse had a back door in a through ally. It was narrow, and tight, but it was a straight through drive. The unloading was through the side door of the van. I got in without a scratch. I jumped out the driver’s door, ran around to the front door of the Canada Bread warehouse, and went inside. Jack, the night loader, asked where the old man was. I told him that I would help unload, as my stepfather was too tired, and was going to grab an hour’s sleep. He bought it, and we got to work. It was about an hour job for the two of us to unload, and reload the empty bingos. (Bread trays) We closed up and he stayed on to wait and load his city trucks. I jumped into the driver’s seat, drove out the ally, and headed for the highway. The old man was still dead to the world. I motored on down the road, happy as hell. The first crack of dawn was breaking through, and I was about 1/4 mi. from the starting point, at the coffee shop. The old man woke up and started screaming at me, what in Hell, are you doing on the wrong side of the road, going the wrong way? He threw a sh** fit. Pull back into the coffee shop and get out! Well we went in and he was really cranked up over me. He could not figure out, how, in a couple of minutes, I could get turned around, and then be headed back into town. During his fit of anger, the all-night waitress was putting on her coat to go home. She came over and lit right into him. She promptly told him that the trip had been done already, and the sun was not just going down, but it was just coming up. He had the most stupid look on his face, I had ever seen. He stomped out to the truck and opened the trailer door, looked in, saw it was unloaded, and then closed the door. He never bugged me again, after that trip. *****

Picture Perfect Timing... A New York attorney representing a wealthy art collector phoned and asked to speak to his client, “Saul, I have some good news and I have some bad news.” The art collector replied, “I’ve had an awful day, let’s hear the good news first.” The lawyer said, “Well, I met with your wife today, and she informed me that she invested $5,000 in two pictures that she thinks will bring a minimum of $1-2 million. I think she could be right.” Saul replied enthusiastically, “Well done! My wife is a brilliant businesswoman! You’ve just made my day. Now I know I can handle the bad news. What is it?” The lawyer replied, “The pictures are of you and your secretary.”

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By Scott Casey Scott, our Rig of The Month for May 2003 has written “In the Devil’s Courthouse” a book about his years as a gun toting truck driver while serving as a Canadian Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia

Schools Out

Oh, to be young again. That moment the bell rang and you could rush for the cloakroom, grab whatever it was your mom had packed for lunch and hit the playground. Or later in your educational youth you’d carry your binder to your locker, place it inside and spin the combination lock to clear it and head over to your sweethearts locker. Oh those were the days. At least for some. But for some of us, an education was a nuisance. We had the world figured out and didn’t need to waste anymore time learning about things we’d never use. Now, as I look back at the arrogance of youth, I can smile because I took the time later in life to finish my education. It took twenty years but I accomplished it. Which leads me into the reason I’m writing this. This is an article for those up and coming drivers. The teenagers that have been bitten by the diesel bug. Lots of us older truckers got our start holding down the jump

seat of our dad’s rig. Once it’s in your blood there are few who go on to different trades. But this job isn’t like it was years ago and neither is the world it resides in. We have to be educated. In fact for many of the higher paying driving jobs you need your grade 12 minimum. I left high school just near the end of grade 12, too few credits to graduate and a new job to occupy all my time. Months went by and I collected my paycheque. I was proving that an education was in fact not needed to make it in this world. Then I hit the big 4-0 and I realized I wasn’t getting any younger, my body wasn’t bouncing back as easily from all the miles I was putting on it. It was time to find a better job with less hours and maybe a sweet pension deal. Alas, you need a grade 12 education for those. So for the next two years I drove my Kenworth like I always did except now I was using my cab as a classroom as well as my office. I would drive my usual run, unload reload, and do school work before bed. At the end of the two year mark I had all the credits I required and a few more grey, no wait, a few less hairs, and took the final tests. I passed. I had officially achieved a high school diploma. An added downfall to graduating late was there were 85 people ahead of me in seniority. I missed out on better runs. The point is, stay in school. You’ll have plenty of time to count up the miles when schools out. *****

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An old miser, due to his terrible cheapness, had no friends nor family. Just before he died he called his doctor, his lawyer and a minister to come see him. They complied, and gathered together around his bed. “I always heard you can’t take it with you, but I am going to prove you can,” he said. “I have $90,000 cash hidden underneath my mattress. It’s in 3 envelopes of $30,000 each. I want each one of you to grab one envelope now and just before they throw the dirt on my grave, you throw the envelopes in.” Weeks later, the three attended the funeral, and true to their word, each threw in their envelope into the grave. On the way back from the cemetery, the minister said, “I don’t feel so good about this, I am going to confess, I desperately needed $10,000 for a new church we are building, so I took out $10,000 and threw only $20,000 in the grave.” The doctor said, “I, too, must confess. I am building a clinic and took $20,000 and threw in only $10,000.” He looked ashamed. The lawyer said, “Gentlemen, I’m surprised, shocked and ashamed of both of you. I don’t see how you could in good conscience hold on to that money. I threw in a personal check for the entire amount.” Sent in by Geroge Masters, Surrey BC

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Rig of the Month by John White

Hello trucker world! My name is Gordon VanLaerhoven. I was born to Tony and Debbi VanLaerhoven in I was asked to slam out a life story and how I got into Chilliwack BC and raised on a dairy farm just across the trucking and whatnot, so here goes! Fraser River in Agassiz. I have an older brother and sister,

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Gordon VanLaerhoven & Tara Hill ated their equipment bailing hay and spreading manure. Unlike a lot of drivers I did not have anyone in my family that was a driver. I do however have a friend, Lance Van Basten, who is a truck driver. One time, when I went for a ride along with him, he turned to me and asked if I would like to give it a try. I have to admit it was scary. I had driven cars and lots of farm machinery from a very early age but never a rig before. He was hauling a dry van with a tractor that was about 20 years old and I don’t even remember what kind of truck it was. So there I was with no learners or anything behind the wheel of his truck hop-



Steven, who is three years older than me and Angela, who is three years older than Steven. As a kid, I was always getting into mischief on our family farm. Whether it was me and my older brother “play” fighting on the trampoline, or just my trying to hide that I got in some sort of trouble at school, there was always something happening that tended to keep my parent’s full attention. They raised me and my older brother and sister like most other farm kids have been raised - in the barn helping with chores. We had about 65 cows but no chickens or horses or anything, although like any dairy farm, we did have cats. There was lots of room to play but of course those chores took up a lot of our time. As I got older I soon realized that I would much rather sit on a tractor, cutting, raking, or bailing hay, for eighteen hours a day than working in the milking parlour for just 4 hours. Early morning hours, long days, different unexpected situations popping up that would shorten or prolong your work day all happened on a regular basis while farming. When you look at it that way farming and trucking have a lot in common. I got my class 5 license as soon as I turned sixteen and I took all my schooling from pre-school right through grade 12 in Agassiz. When I got out of school I worked for a couple years on the family farm as well as for a company that had custom, oversized farming equipment, where I oper-


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ing not to crash and trying to keep it between the lines but something about it made me want more of it. So after that, truck driving was always in the back of my mind. This brings me to my first job, which eventually put me behind the wheel. I went to work for Paul Mayfield with Firestorm Monster Truck going to monster truck shows all across North America. Paul had a 48 foot car hauler that he pulled behind an older Freightliner. The trailer carried the monster truck as well as the spare tires, tools and other equipment needed to put on the shows. I started out working alongside my very close friend Braden Mare. We would help set up the shows and do mechanical work – something there was always plenty of. I eventually graduated to driving the monster truck myself. I guess in a way, Paul was the first person in my life to get me really interested in driving. He also had a highway truck that he drove when he wasn’t doing shows. One day he decided he wanted to spend more time driving it so he came to us and said, “One of you two should get your class 1 so I don’t have to come on the road with you anymore. That is how I started my driving career. I took the course through Valley Driving School out of Chilliwack BC where learned what I needed to know and I went out and passed my road test. In my eyes doing the shows with Braden was the best job I could possibly have had. I got to travel all over


STRAIGHT TRUCK 2nd Place: Brent Locke - Skelton Truck Line 2nd Place: John Lawley - YRC Freight 1st Place: Dean Grant - Agrifoods Coop SINGLE-SINGLE 2nd Place: Terry Loftus - YRC Freight 2nd Place: Tony Stana - Canadian Freightways 1st Place: Evan Hirst - Canadian Freightways SINGLE-TANDEM 2nd Place: Victor Hardeman - Bison Transport 2nd Place: Jason Nagy - TransX 1st Place: Dale Scott - Canadian Freightways


Canada and the US, food was paid for, hotel costs were covered, and you got to run over old cars and dirt hills just to make people smile. Not to mention all the attention that you got from the fans. What could be better than that? It was at this point that it turned from a job to more of a passion. Nothing beat being able to get into the truck and get on the road and just drive. No sitting in an office having someone from another desk or office boss you around. Just put it in gear and leave all your problems behind you. Unless of course you count the problems you sometimes encounter on the road. One time I was driving a tandem axle body job, on Highway 1, by Lickman Road in Chilliwack, when the outside tire on my rear axle just exploded. It tore off my mud flap and mud flap hanger and drove them through the grill of a Ford F150 that was following me. That almost caused a very serious accident as the driver slammed on his brakes and was almost rear ended by traffic behind him. The driver, a man, got out and was laughing at me but then the passenger, his wife, got out screaming at me. I’ve come to the realization over the years that women don’t always look at some situations the same way men do. When I left Paul I went to work for G&H Ventures, a gravel truck company in Chilliwack. For the first year or so I drove a Peterbilt gravel truck then he bought a Freightliner end dump. It was the first end dump the company had and he put a ton of money into the truck. He put



TANDEM-TANDEM 2nd Place: Will Froehlich - Martin Brower 2nd Place: Kyle McDonal - Comox Pacific 1st Place: Dan Wilson - Overland West B-TRAIN 2nd Place: Petko Ganachev - Ken Johnson Trucking 2nd Place:Dave Lighton - Air Liquide 1st Place: James Churchill - Incognito Express

GRAND CHAMPION - Dale Scott - Canadian Freightways ROOKEY OF THE YEAR - Kris Radke - Martin Brower SAFETY AWARD - Dave Lighton - Air Liquide TEAM - “CF Tigers” Rob Balan, Evan Hirst, Dale Scott, Tony Stana

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on led lights new wheels and lots of chrome. It was a great truck both to look at and to drive. I drove that beauty for about six months and then I had to make an important decision. My dad was at the point where he was starting to think about what he wanted to do in retirement and he asked if I wanted to take over the family farm. I said I wasn’t sure but I would come back and work it full time for a while to see if it would work for me. That ‘for a while’ stretched into 2 years and, although I gave it my best shot, I really missed driving. He was okay with me leaving and kept it going himself until he was ready to retire. He finally sold the cows and milk quota last year. From there I went to work for TWH Oilfield Services and that job has to be the most memorable job I’ve had. The branch I worked for was based out of Fort Nelson, BC and I’m sure that I learned more while there than on any other job I’ve had. I did miss being away from home but the money they paid was well worth it. I managed to get a friend a job there also and that made it a bit easier living there. Our busy time of the year was winter when they built up the ice roads. I have to say that nothing gets you puckered up more than rolling down onto a frozen river with a truck loaded with 60,000 liters of fluid. Sure..... No problem! I still remember being in the pickup with Shane Hall and Mike Bell and being scared completely stiff listening

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i n fo @ t i m s t r a i l e r re p a i r. c o m to them exchange stories of ice road trucking out of Fort Nelson. When I look back at it now I’m sure some of the stories they told were exaggerated just enough to shake up the rookie. I remember the first time I took the truck down onto the ice. It was also the first time I ever stood on the running board of a semi while it was in motion. If that truck was going under the ice I was determined not to be sinking with it. I don’t know if I actually ever told the guys I worked with, or the boss, that I did that but if not I’m sure they will get a kick out of it now. It was the scariest job I ever did. But I also learned the most. I leaned that the human body can still function after being awake for 2 or 3 days straight with no sleep. I


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learned that you have as much control driving a tri-drive body job with a wiggle wagon behind it as you did pulling a little red wagon with your tricycle. I learned that some camps in the bush serve better steaks than The Keg. I learned that the only real good thing about it getting light at 11am and dark again by 3pm is you have that much longer to see the amazing Northern Lights. And, I also learned that living in a crew house was a way to make a group of co-workers turn into a group of friends that couldn’t be replaced by anything. Working together and living together was a fun and amazing experience. I stayed in a house on the company property that had been converted into a 9 bedroom crew house. Sometimes there would only be one other person in the house and other times it was over full with one extra guy sleeping on the couch. All we had to pay for was our cell phone and our food which we cooked ourselves. When I say cooked I should explain that the barbecue and the deep fryer seldom got cold. You could leave the yard at 2 in the afternoon and not get back until 7 in the morning and someone who had not eaten since the night before would be deep frying french fries and barbecuing ribs. I’ve been told that you should change the oil in a deep fryer every week but we would go months. The oil just seemed to add too much flavour. Now that I think about it - it was pretty disgusting. I quit my job up north to come back home full time

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Makenna (Left), Brenyn (Back), Merrick (Front), Natalia (Right) and work out of Chilliwack. I wanted to be home in my own bed every night. And even though I have to share that bed, I’m happy it is with Tara Hill, my fiancée. We have a mixed family of ourselves and four children. My daughter Makenna, aged 11, and my son Brenyn, aged 10, have kept me on my toes their whole lives. When I met Tara and we knew what we had was real and so we decided to get a place together and merge our 2 families. This brought her daughter Natalia, aged 9 and son Merrick, aged 5, together with my 2 kids under the same roof. All I can say is WOW! In my eyes 4 kids are more than enough to keep excitement to the max. But that said, I wouldn’t change it for the world. After quitting TWH, I did about 6 months of work at a local dairy processing plant being a shipper/receiver and trailer shunter before quitting and coming on board with Bulldog and Sons Transport. Working for Brian, Farren, and Kelby Devers has been a learning experience once again. Learning about refrigerated trailers and city driving has expanded my knowledge of the industry. The truck I drive is a 1998 Peterbilt 379. It once had an extended California sleeper on it, but that has been removed and replaced with a checker plate deck. That, unless I’m mistaken, turned it into the longest wheel based day cab in the Chilliwack area, if not possibly the whole western half of British Columbia. I’m sure there are more like it out there, but I guarantee you won’t see them grabbing gears on the highway day in and day out. Being 2 feet longer than an average highway truck has its difficulties, but it hasn’t bothered me one bit. She rides smooth on the road and the flashed 3406 engine under the hood has more torque and pull than any driver could use. Between me and Bulldog, the truck is slowly getting customized and personalized. Needing a paint job, which is in the works to be done shortly, hasn’t slowed the truck down one bit in being a unique and reliable truck. Bulldog is a great company and they made it possible to be very successful in the ‘Chilliwack For Fort Mac’ donation drive this past May. When I heard about the fire and

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evacuation I approached them with the idea of collecting donations and then sending a truck load to those in need from the devastation of the Fort Mac fires. They never hesitated and gave me the go ahead to use one of their truck and trailers. Within less than 48 hours, Chilliwack came together as a community and helped fill not 1 but 4 semi’s full of donations. I drove one truck to Fort Mac accompanied by my good friend Paul Serdar who came along to help. Bull Dog donated a 2nd truck and trailer and it was driven one of our company managers/dispatcher, Kelby Devers. Van Dokkumburg Transport supplied the 3rd and 4th trucks and the trailers were donated by JD Transport and Ocean Trailer. Dustin Van Dokkumburg drove one unit and the other was driven by Dave Collie. This was truly a very humbling and amazing experience that wouldn’t have been possible without the strong support of the trucking industry and the community of Chilliwack pulling together to make it happen. I love my job. Driving truck has fed my family over and over. It has paid my bills. It has given me a new outlook on the way people live their everyday life. I enjoy being able to climb up into my truck and grab gears on the highway, or the challenge of trying to maneuver in and out of places the average person wouldn’t dream of getting a pickup truck into. Freedom, security, and a great family, it doesn’t get much better than that.

REFLECTIONS THRU MY WINDSHIELD By Dave Madill Dave was Pro-Trucker Magazine’s Rig of the Month in June of 2001

Missed Payments

Before you read this I want you know that this happened way back when – long before everyone went sue crazy. It was a time when we handled things our own way. They were sometimes not quite legal but they were effective. One day a company that I had been doing some pulling for called me and asked if I could relocate one of their larger backhoes a distance of about 100 miles. I reminded them that they were already way past due on their bill for previous hauls and I would like to see a bit of my money. They owed me around $1200.00 and I was a one man band so things were stretched to the limit. They assured me that they would look after things if I did them this one favour. I talked to Dad and he told me I had two choices I could decline to move it until things were up to date or I could load their backhoe and ‘lose’ it, so I told them I was on my way. I stopped and picked up my buddy Fred, who was able to drive anything that had tracks and away we

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Call Al 604-882-7623 would be on their way to my place with a cheque for all the bills that were due after 120 days. I told them not to bother coming unless all bills including the last move were paid in full. Two hours later two of the largest men I have ever seen arrived with a cheque in hand and demanded their equipment. After looking over their cheque I handed it to Dad and he looked it over and ripped it to shreds right in front of these two goons. He then walked back to his pickup and grabbed his shotgun and told them to depart and not to come back unless they had a cheque for the full amount and to make sure the cheque was certified. Early the next morning a semi with a float showed up at the yard along with one single little accountant in his car and they presented us with a cheque, (certified) for the




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went. Fred and I discussed the situation while driving to the pickup point and figured we had a plan. We loaded the backhoe just outside Toronto and headed for the job site in Algonquin Park. We timed it so that we would get to the park long after they had shut down on a Friday afternoon knowing full well that all the operators would be out of camp and on the road heading home right at quitting time. We pulled into the camp yard and the only person still in camp was the super and the cook. The super gave us directions to a job site about 15 miles away where he wanted us to drop the hoe. “Not a problem”, I commented, I told him I had my own operator and if he wanted to sign my bills we would drop it off and then head for home. Trusting person that he was, he signed my bills and then he headed for home himself. Fred and I never looked back as we hauled the hoe back to my dad’s place, unloaded it in the barnyard, walked it in to the hay barn, and closed the doors. Well of course first thing Monday morning the company could not find their hoe and all of a sudden the phone lines were lit up with them looking for it. Finally they had to call me and I informed them that first of all, I had their hoe, and secondly, they could have it back when all my bills were paid. Twenty minutes later I received a call from the Police and after finding out what the situation was they decided to not to get involved. Thirty minutes later I received a call that stated they






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full amount. Well the fun was not over as after we walked the hoe up to the road we found out the driver they had sent did not know squat about how to drive, load, or tie down the machine. After watching him struggle for over an hour we relented and loaded it for him BUT we let him tie it down. Apparently he didn’t do too good of a job as the hoe fell off the trailer just short of the job site and totally wrecking it - but at least I got paid.

TYRES ACROSS THE POND 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.

In or Out?

In a few days’ time the citizens of our great country will vote to either leave, or remain within the European Union. What effect this will have on our trucking industry is anybody’s guess. I would like to think if we leave, it will help the drivers going across the channel exporting and importing freight. Although the borders can’t be closed right away, the politicians don’t seem to be doing anything to help drivers stuck in the middle of the chaos at Calais, except impose fines on drivers and companies


for any stowaways found in their trailers. The pictures on the news of crowds of immigrants opening and climbing into moving trailers bound for the UK and heading for the ferries or the channel tunnel is horrendous. There are even reports of drivers being attacked by armed immigrants. Driving on the continent is hard enough with all the stress and the risk of being gassed in your sleep, only to wake up in the morning to find your cab open and empty of all valuables, including your passport. These modern day immigrants don’t seem to have a thought for the drivers and companies who are being fined thousands of pounds for all these stowaways, all they see is the UK a land of milk and honey at the end of the line. I don’t want you to think I’m against immigration, where would we be without all the Italians in Glasgow, where would our bus services be without all the people from India, Pakistan and the like. They did all the awkward shifts nobody else wanted, and the Italians kept my Fathers generation fed with great ice cream and, hoata pea specials. (a plate of boiled peas with vinegar) But it seems to me, an ordinary old truck driver, if you listen to our politicians we’re doomed if we stay and doomed if we leave. But I can’t see all those Chinese and Japanese who love our whisky going back to their rice wine if we leave. When I was a young trucker working for Archibald Brechin, all they did was whisky

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transport, the bulk of it was containers for abroad, but every now and again a boat would berth in Ayr harbour. It was usually a weekend, so it was a lucrative two days at double time, running from a distillery in Airdrie with tanker trailers till the boat was full. I always thought that they were shooting themselves in the foot just a wee bit, the bulk tanker went to China or Japan to get bottled over there, whereas I think they could’ve made more money bottling it here. And that’s only one product, we’ve also got the tweeds and tartans that the ex-pat Americans and Canadians love to buy, not to mention our technology. You might be thinking at this point that I’m for leaving and going it alone, but I’m undecided. I’m so old I can remember back in my young days when our driving hours were cut by the EU, and then the Germans discovered that they couldn’t get a good a day’s work done in the reduced hours. So the hours were put back to almost what they had been in the first place, that smacks of the blind leading the blind. We’ve got enough people of our own who think they know what’s best for drivers and other people’s jobs, they couldn’t do our jobs but they pass laws that affect us. So I’m thinking we’ve got enough faceless desk jockeys to contend with without more unelected law makers. But, as is always the case with the electorate voting, only time will tell. 


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expression of what we really feel for the profession of trucking? You Know, sort of an unspoken statement of opinion. by Rud Kendall I’m sure there’s a reason for this, but I have to confess I’m Last month I had to layover two weekends and while it’s at a loss to really understand the habit. nice to have clean sheets and a hot shower, I’ve finally figAnyhow, back to the hotel rooms. For years now I’ve tried ured out what it is I dislike about hotel rooms. to figure out the best way to order coffee from room service. It’s the preoccupation with cleanliness that seems to be If you order first then hit the shower your coffee will arrive common with most hotel chains. Do I really need to have my somewhere between the shampoo and the conditioner. drinking glasses wrapped in paper? (After all, my non-spillBut if you finish your morning wash down and then order, able, fully insulated two colour coffee cup courtesy of the it takes at least two-hours before the lukewarm java arrives all night doughnut shop, hasn’t at the door. They have the system been washed in the last 50,000 down pat. You can’t win either way. miles. It’s hard to tell its original Another hotel annoyance is the In Memory of Rud Kendall colours what with coffee stains check-in. Usually I need a shave, my August 1943-January 2010 and grease Marks.) clothes aren’t in the best shape and Almost every time I try to I’m actually pretty grubby all the way unwrap one of those paper-cov‘round. That’s when this gorgeous ered hotel glasses I end up droplooking lady is behind the hotel desk ping it into the sink where it and she’s busy staring down her nose shatters into hundreds of “saniat me. tized” pieces. They may be clean Later, after a shower, shampoo and but they’re hard as hell to drink shave, I put on a set of fancy threads from after that. and saunter past the desk to give her Another thing that bothers a good shot at a clean-shaven, well me is that thin band of paper groomed, fine looking trucker, What wrapped around the toilet lid. happens? Nothing. She’s gone, and It’s supposed to inform me that some prehistoric, pro-wrestler turned the porcelain has been scrubbed nightman is propped behind the counto perfection and now awaits the ter reading the latest edition of the majestic descent of my rear end. Canadian Body Builder. He’s usually But, on more than one occasion, I haven’t had to mount the chewing on a piece of galvanized pipe and has a railway tie throne until the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, tucked under his arm for use as a toothpick. when the still-strapped lid is lifted it takes the seat with it All in all, while some guys like layovers, I think I’ll stay too. in my sleeper from now on. Mind you, it is a nuisance crawlIs there anything as frigid as a cold toilet at 3 am? ing outta’ the bunk at 3 am to check tires. The only thing worse than a cold tank is being in a home ***** where the lady of the house has one of those “cute” toilet lid How to Install a Red Neck Home covers that consist of two-inches of thick, fluffy material. Those things are man killers. You no sooner get the lid Security System propped back and start your business than it decides to 1. Go to a second hand store and buy a pair of men’s work descend without warning. Not only is it hard on the nerves, boots, size 14-16 it’s tough on the pants to say nothing of crucial parts of the 2. Place them on your front porch with a copy of Guns & male anatomy Ammo Magazine. While I’m on the subject, although I’m not quite sure how 3. Put a few giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazine. I arrived at it, there’s something about us truckers that I’ve 4. Leave a note on your door that reads: never really understood. Perhaps some smart psychologist can give us the answer, but almost every trucker I’ve run Hey Bubba, Big Jim, Duke and Slim: I went for more across has the same habit. shotgun shells and to pick my check up from the slaughterWhy is it that a trucker will stop in the middle of nowhere, house. Back in an hour. Don’t mess with the pit bulls – don’t usually in the dead of night, without a car or truck in sight, know what got into them but they attacked the mailman this to make a pit stop? Privacy, of course, and that makes sense. morning and messed him up real bad. I don’t think Killer But what baffles me, is why do they then proceed to the took part in it but it was hard to tell from all the blood. passenger-side tires to relieve themselves? Why this fascina- Anyway I locked all four of them in the house. Better wait tion with doing our chores on the drive tires? Is it to keep out here on the porch until I get back. the treads clean for improved traction, or a subconscious “Cooter”

Enough is Enough

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Fire on the Mountain Fire on the mountain; flames reach for the sky Among the smoke and cinders, dreams and hopes have died. Homes destroyed in moments as a wall of flame goes by Memories and hopes and dreams are ashes in the sky. A forest turned to cinders, smoke shrouds the sun and moon, The sky takes on an eerie glow, darkness falls at noon. Water bombers drop their loads on a scene from Dante’s Hell Firefighters take a stand, yet still the monster swells. Fire on the mountain, flames reach for the sky Below them in the valley is a town that will not die. They will lose some houses; those they can build again This town now works together, thru its troubles and it’s pain Fire on the mountain, people pray and cry They will all fight together, their town it will not die.

Note from Donna: I read Dave’s poem and once again was painfully reminded of the horrific ordeal that our families and many friends are still experiencing in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Please know that our hearts and thoughts are with you and that a great number of people are trying in various ways to raise money and or help out in some way to speed up your recovery.

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 or PAGE 38

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