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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

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From the Editor’s desk... By John White VOLUME 20, ISSUE 03 OF 11

PUBLISHER/EDITOR John White john@ptmag.ca PRODUCTION/CIRCULATION Tori Proudley tori@ptmag.ca ADMINISTRATION Donna White donna@ptmag.ca ADVERTISING/MARKETING John White john@ptmag.ca Tori Proudley tori@ptmag.ca CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dave Madill • Scott Casey Greg Evasiuk • Mel McConaghy Ed Murdoch • Colin Black • Cyn Tobin Bill Weatherstone • Lane Kranenburg PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Proudley David Benjatschek wowtrucks.com HEAD OFFICE Ph: 604-580-2092 Toll Free / Fax: 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.

PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT #40033055 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPT. 9693 129th Street. SURREY, B.C. V3T 3G3 Email: tori@ptmag.ca

There has been a very active thread on our Facebook page lately concerning the use of hazard lights on slow moving trucks going up or down hills. There are many different opinions as to the speed they should be used at, or if they should be used at all. Some drivers have a set speed that they put them on and others use a formula such as 50% of the posted speed. Some say it is against the law to use them at all unless you are stopped and some say there is no law governing the use of hazard lights. Well the good news is everyone is right – depending on the province you are in. CVSE in BC informed me that there are no laws in BC governing the use of your hazard lights. It is up to the individual driver although enforcement generally looks upon it as a common courtesy and valuable habit as far as highway safety is concerned. There are some signs around the province concerning the use of hazard lights but if the sign is yellow and black it is not regulatory. If it is black and white however, it is regulatory and you can be ticketed. CVSA in Alberta on the other hand says that there is a law on the books that states hazard lights can only be used when your vehicle is stopped. That being said I have been informed that this law is very seldom enforced as they too recognize that it makes the highway safer. The only one who may issue a ticket would be a rookie but then that is not surprising as we often see obscure laws being enforced by rookies and not by experienced officers who are street wise and more often governed by common sense. I am writing this at the last moment and it was shortly after 4PM Saskatchewan time that I called 8 different weigh scales in Saskatchewan to see what the law was there but - good news they were all closed today! Or at least they all went to voice mail. It would be helpful if our readers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba would send a letter to the editor to let us know what the regulations are in those provinces and how stringently they are enforced. On another note I recently spoke with a truck driver who needs a knee replacement and is worried that, because of the pain, he may have to quit work and wait a year before he can have the surgery. The wait lists for most surgeries are fairly stable at this time but wouldn’t it more fitting if, instead of throwing millions of dollars away on a 3 day ice rink on parliament hill or on excessive foreign aid, the Federal Government used some of that money to remove the wait lists and then keep it steady from that point on? This is especially true for pensioners who have paid taxes their whole lives. They should be allowed to live their last years free of pain.

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

e Whit ine John Magaz

ker Truc ProJohn White

r Pro-Trucke

Magazine

John, Enclosed is a cheque for subscription to Pro-Trucker. After 45 years on the road I have retired for good. Finished up my career in the oil field and log hauling locally. Too many rules and regulations for us old types. All in all it was a grand journey. Mike Wilchynski, Lone Pine, AB. Editor’s note: Yes times are changing but there are a lot of up and coming young drivers that have been mentored by old sticks like yourself. The industry owes you and all the other old school drivers a huge debt of gratitude for the help that you have given the younger generation by teaching them how to do the job and instilling in them the pride the job deserves. Sir, I used to dispatch at a small company, operating Federally, until I was reassigned and replaced by a younger person. An expert, who had no concept of a 14 hour day. Log sheet that would have passed any audit are no longer reviewed. The belief that we are so small that the odds are in our favor, we

will not get stopped or audited and the extra revenue is more important. I believe in running legally. I thought that ELD’s might force dispatch to work in a 14 hour day. Our drivers would have to run legal, the company would be notified of drivers exceeding the 14 hr days. Oh but wait, management knows our drivers are exceeding the 14 hrs and does nothing now. The notification of exceeding 14hrs will be in the trash so fast. When this small company finally goes to ELD’s it t will not make a difference. Our drivers will still have to run illegally to get the dispatched work done. Thanks for a great Magazine. Editor’s note: E-logs are going to make a big difference in the industry. Some companies may still try to run illegally but their days will be numbered as it will not take long for someone to turn them in which will result in having their E-logs checked. Unfortunately it sounds like your company decided to go with someone who is willing to bend the regulations but that short term gain by some of the fly by night companies will soon turn to losses. When the e-logs come out they will have to play by the rules or not play at all. That will mean that a lot of the undercutting will disappear as the playing field is leveled. Those companies that have won contracts on the basis of skirting the rules may not be able to keep them. Hopefully in the long run that will mean increased rates for everyone. r

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REFLECTIONS THRU MY WINDSHIELD 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.

Dad Can’t Write. It was late August and Dad came out to the garage and asked my opinion on hauling a small tractor with a backhoe. We sat down and hashed it out and came up with a figure that we thought was fair due to the fact that the load had to be hauled on the weekend and we would have to put in a lot of empty miles.

Dad went and phoned the company but the guy he needed was out so Dad took a sheet of paper and wrote down the price and then told Mom that when Casey called back to give him that as a quote. Dad headed out on another job and Casey called later, Mom gave him the quote and he was ecstatic that we would haul it for such a low price and instantly accepted the deal. Dad showed up at supper time and Mom told him about Casey and how happy he was at our cost. Dad asked what she had quoted and she replied, “Just what you wrote down, $375.00”. Well the air turned blue and I cannot repeat what was said as it would be censored but Mom went and got the paper and showed it to him, (and me) and that’s what it said. Dad and I had figured it out at $575.00 but then again his scribble was so bad it could have been just about anything.

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I told them not to worry , that I would figure something out on the fly and headed out. Now I knew where the load was going and made a couple of calls up to the camp and before I hooked up to the trailer I threw two bags of new potatoes in the truck. I then took our drop deck and hammered down all the way to Windsor where I arrived bright and early Saturday morning and loaded the little Case on the trailer. I then went and saw the shipper to see what else was supposed to go up to the camp and ended up loading two air compressors and rock drills for the added low price of $300.00. The only problem was the Case had to be on site and unloaded by Monday start time. I had miles to make but before I left I had dispatch print up all my bills and managed to get him to add two bags of spuds on one bill. Well I went as far as I could before crawling into the bunk. I woke up Sunday morning and after breakfast I did a quick once over of the load and truck and then I started out. Despite holiday traffic I was making real good time for quite a while until all of a sudden I had OPP in my rear view with lights just a flashing. Now back then only produce haulers were allowed to truck on Sundays so Mr. Policeman figured he had me until I dragged out my bills and showed him the two bags of New Potatoes and the date on the bill for delivery. Well he did not like it but I was within the law, (barely), so he had to let me go. I managed to get stopped twice more before pulling into the job site Sunday evening. I unloaded everything by myself and then drove up to the camp where the cook and her daughter were more than happy to receive two 75 pound sacks of new spuds. I

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MARILYN TAYLOR IS OUR COMMERCIAL TRUCKING SPECIALIST! Marilyn has over 30 years experience in providing insurance for Owner Operators & fleet transport companies operating in Canada & the U.S.A. got myself a real good meal in appreciation. Now the daughter and I had dated a few times just before she had taken the camp job so I had a great time there that night and in the morning after a great breakfast I managed to score a broken shovel that had to be sent back to the Windsor yard so for a mere $650.00 I agreed to haul it back. When I pulled back in to our yard late Tuesday and Dad’s only comment on my whole rounder was, “I should screw up a little more often and maybe then we could really make a profit”. Mom piped up and suggested that he learn how to print numbers. That was when I left the house and went fishing for a couple hours. *****

Handicap Parking

Today I was dragged to Sears. As I approached the entrance, I noticed a driver looking for a parking space. I flagged the driver and pointed out a handicap parking space that was open and available. The driver looked puzzled, rolled down her window and said, “I’m not handicapped!” Well, as you can imagine, my face was red! “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said. “I saw your, “I voted for Rachel Notley and Justin Trudeau” bumper sticker and just assumed that you suffer from a mental disorder.” She gave me the finger and screamed some nasty names at me. Boy! Some people don’t appreciate help from a stranger. This joke was sent in by far too many Albertans to list them all… PAGE 8

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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.

Blocked Roads Scotland almost ground to a halt over the last three or four days, The Beast from the East, as the media called it, was a Siberian weather system that dumped a mega-load of snow on our roads. It was the first time in almost ten years that red alert warning, danger to life, was issued by the Met Office. They, and the police, advised people not to travel unless it was essential. Part of the M80 highway, heading north up past Stirling, turned into an eight-mile-long car and truck park for twelve hours or more after cars and trucks had skidded in the snow blocking the road. Some car drivers had then abandoned their vehicles on the hard shoulder, which meant the ploughs couldn’t get through to the front of the jam to salt and plough the road. The first minister of the Scottish government is obviously in the wrong job. The TV showed her addressing parliament where she said, looking at footage on the news, that she could tell by the brand name on the side of the trucks stuck in the jam, that some were not essential transport and shouldn’t have been out on the road. It’s easy to make assumptions

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like that sitting safe and warm watching TV at the tax payers expense, but I think her unsubstantiated opinions would’ve been better kept to herself. Well, that’s one political party not getting my vote in the next election, maybe it’s because I’m a truck driver, but I noticed she didn’t mention all of the private cars in the traffic jam causing just as much, if not more congestion. It doesn’t seem to take much to block roads nowadays. When I was a young trucker, and away from home for a three-day trip twice a week, I would sometimes wake up in various parts of the country to thick snow on the ground. But I never worried that I would be stuck on the road for twelve hours not moving. Were drivers better back then? Or was it because there were fewer private cars on the road or maybe modern trucks are just not suited to the wild weather. Certainly, there were no automatic trucks back then, unlike today where they’re in the majority. When I retired just over two years ago, the company fleet had been totally automatic for six or seven years. The truck I had for three years until I retired was great in the snow, it was MAN with 480 power. Even if I got stopped on a hill all I had to do was put it in manual mode in a low gear, then very gently press the accelerator and it would go. Although, I had many years to perfect my automatic truck driving skills, maybe the youngsters need a bit of training in winter automatic truck driving. I don’t know why UK trucks don’t carry chains for occa-

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sions just like this. We’re not guaranteed harsh winters, but if chains were only used once a year, or every couple of years, it would be worth the outlay. Especially when you hear how much it costs the economy when trucks don’t move for a day or two. This year is the only time I can remember where local shops and supermarkets have run out of bread and milk, both produced fairly locally to me. We had no newspapers for two days during which the postman was also missing. It’s not like we’ve never used chains in the UK. When I was 15 years old, my first job after leaving school was in the garage of a haulage company that supplied butchers shops with meat from the Glasgow slaughterhouse. One day I was in the storeroom I noticed a pile of chains sitting under the stairs. When they hadn’t moved for quite a while I asked what they were for. I was told they were chains to put on the lorries drive wheels to get traction in the snow. In the winter “auld Geordie” would come in for them, he did the shops up around the west coast. He had a long uphill climb in winter but auld Geordie never got stuck or missed a shift. ***** Just got off the phone with a friend who lives in Yellow Knife. She said since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling. The temperature is 30 below zero and the north wind is increasing. Wind chill is -51. Her husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare. She says if it gets much worse she may have to let the drunk in.

IDLE TIME

By Scott Casey Scott, our Rig of The Month for May 2003 has written “Ghostkeepers” a book about his years as a gun toting truck driver while serving as a Canadian Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia. Squeaking By In my experiences, I’ve seen some pretty harrowing, and even death defying events. My time as a Canadian soldier in the Balkans War, is but one of those fragments in time where many people who should have met an early demise, somehow managed to survive. In most of those cases, the soldiers were inadvertently made the lucky ones through someone else’s dastardly plot failure; escaping certain death with what would seem an angel on their shoulders or just plain old luck. No stranger to fast driving and quick decisions, I’m more likely now to be the one who thinks things through. Of course, I’ll admit, there are times when shaving off a few minutes here and there, or using less brakes and letting gravity work in your favour, will in fact, positively affect your bottom line, but…There are times when adding a few minutes, 30 minutes, maybe even an hour, could be the right choice. Would it be safe to say that some of us have driven

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down a “No Truck Route” before? Probably a good number of us have. My hand is up… I’m guilty of it for certain. However, it came with a very detailed look at options. Is there an opportunity to turn around and use another route? Is where I’m going, going to affect someone’s safety? How far will I have to travel on the designated no truck route? Is my delivery address on that street? And so on. Imagine, if you will, a rectangular sign with a big red circle and a line through it, placed over the dark silhouette of a truck. These signs pop up in the most inopportune places. If you’ve trucked in the lower mainland of BC in communities like Delta and Surrey, you are very familiar with them. Some of them actually serve a purpose other than to make our days longer or help those who live behind little white picket fences sleep sounder and barbeque in the tranquillity of the neighbors arguing or the hoots and hollers of screaming brats playing street hockey or tag, or whatever outside activity, if they even still do that nowadays. Ooops off on a separate rant there. The other day I witnessed a commercial vehicle parked in an industrial section of our community. No fault there. It was his actions after he put the truck in forward motion where the whole thing changed. The driver made the choice to turn right and drive directly onto a road not designated for commercial vehicles. At that point he could have stopped and made a route correction very easily, he could have backed up twice the length of his truck and

trailers and made another right, heading back the way he came, yet instead he continued. (see above paragraph for questions related to decision making) The Super-B train loaded with approx.. 60,000 litres of gasoline drove over a narrow bridge with a lower weight rating than his GVW, (major tributary flows directly into the Thompson river, which joins the Fraser river) past an elementary school, and through the center of the business district. Disclaimer: No one was harmed in the making of those decisions. Thankfully. We’ve all heard of these terms I’m sure, “If it doesn’t fit, use a bigger hammer, “truckers drive right in here all the time,” and of course my favourite, “Don’t worry that’ll buff right out.” These comments are directly attributed to some poor sap making the wrong decisions about how to correctly undertake his daily activities. They’re not necessarily Darwin Award nominees but depending on the outcome they may jump to the front of the line. Human beings never disappoint when it comes to taking or even making shortcuts where none exist. But don’t be hasty to judge as this is completely normal human behaviour. People in general, are lazy. Finding the path of least resistance. There are many times we’ve seen the average Joe cutting corners, just so he can scrape up five extra minutes of cuddle time with the remote. When it comes to making the right choices that could really have lasting effects, its always in everyone’s best interest to do it without just squeaking by. r

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Rig of the M o n t h

By Colin Black

Hi, my name is Arthur Barrie, I’m a 60 year old truck years and I’m the only driver I’ve come across who holds an driver, or as we used to say years ago, lorry driver, from HGV Class 1 P.H.D. licence. (Pot Hole Dodger) Glasgow in Bonnie Scotland. I’ve held my licence for 36 It all started when I was about to get married, I had been

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APril 2018


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working in a jewellers shop and realised my meagre wage would not stretch to renting and furnishing a house. The big removals (furniture movers) and heavy haulage firm, Pickfords, came to the rescue with a better paying job, and started me in the removals division. I only had a car licence to start with so they started me as a porter, (swamper) then, around Christmas time the company decided to lay off some staff. Unfortunately I was one of the unlucky ones, but the union fought against it and called a strike, Pickfords said I could get my job back if I had an HGV driver’s licence. As I had holiday money from my last job I used some of it to pay for a five day course. I only needed a class 3 for Pickfords, (2 axle 16 ton GVW), but my instructor said it was the same price, £162, to sit the class 1, and with that I could drive all classes. The law has since changed, and new drivers now need to start small and work their way up. I sat my test after the five days instruction and passed, and so began my life as a lorry driver. Pickfords was a good job, the trucks were mostly GM Bedford TK models with the in-house six cylinder diesel engine and a five speed gearbox. They were all cabovers with a double seat for the two porters and a very handy shelf behind the seats for jackets and all your gear. The early cabs didn’t tilt though, so all the engine checks had to be done through a hatch that lifted up, one on each side of the cab. As you can imagine for house removals they were all fitted with high volume box bodies, with what we call a

Arthur Barrie Luton extension sticking out over the crew cab. For most house removals the crew was the driver and two porters, working with the same two guys’ day in and day out you had to get along, and for the most part we did. There were plenty of practical jokes, anybody who knows me will know I like a laugh. If we were at a job I would sometimes hide in a wardrobe in an upstairs bedroom and wait until the guys

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came up to take it and load it into the truck. It was hard to keep from laughing as I listened to them as they carried it, and me, down the stairs, “Well Joe, they certainly made the old furniture to last eh? Aye Wullie, its solid, a ton weight”. The look on their faces when I jumped out at the truck was a picture. Or I would sometimes throw an old blanket over an electricity junction box that was screwed to the sidewalk near to where the truck was parked, then ask for a hand to lift this “sideboard” into the truck. It wasn’t all one sided though, when I wasn’t looking one of them would sometimes turn the windscreen washer nozzle to the nearside, so when we were driving through a town and I wanted to clear screen, the water would hose the people on the sidewalk, and as the driver I would get the blame. Years ago just about everybody was a smoker, not me though, and like a lot of drivers, I liked to keep my cab clean, it didn’t take much to give it a quick polish at the end of the shift. It was normal practice back then for the driver to drop the porters off at the pub when the shift was over, or take them home if they lived local. The driver then took the truck back to the depot, parked it up and clocked the crew off for the day, so I laid it on the line to the porters, if you want these perks to continue, there will be no smoking in my cab. And they never did. Another hilarious episode, for us anyway, was the time an old woman we were moving asked us to take her cat with us to her new house, it was in a cat box and she didn’t think

she could manage to carry it. We got the truck loaded and the old woman locked her house and went on her way to the new place, the boys decided to have a look at the cat and opened the box. The cat shot out of the box like a bullet and disappeared around the corner of the building, we spent ages looking for that cat, but it was gone, nowhere to be found. What would we do? We couldn’t go to the new house without a cat in the box! That was when a similar looking stray cat came down the street. We grabbed it, put in the box and drove to the new house. The cat box was left in the cab until all the furniture was in the house and the job was signed off, then we handed the cat over, she looked at this stray moggie and said, “He looks different.” “Well,” we said, “that’s because it’s very dusty in the cab, just give him a brush down and he’ll be good as new,” then we got out of there as quick as we could. One day I got a job to load laboratory equipment from a company called, Oganon. It was going to a town called Oss on the border between Holland and Germany. I got loaded and drove down to Hull on the English east coast. Because of a mix up in the paperwork I missed the ferry I was booked on and had to take the next available, this meant a day sitting waiting. This was my first time driving outside the UK so it was very strange driving on the, “wrong” side of the road, actually it was the first time I’d ever been outside the UK. But I got the job done and headed back to the docks for my return ferry, because unloading had taken longer than

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expected I also missed that ferry that I should’ve been on. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I had been booked on The Herald of Free enterprise out of Zeebrugge, and that ferry was now lying on its side on a sandbank not far from the harbour. It was reported in the news that there had been a problem closing the bow doors, and the Captain set sail before they were watertight. When I heard in the news there were 193 dead, I thought, there but for the grace of god go I. Or maybe the devil looks after his own, but whatever your beliefs, I was one lucky trucker that day. Pickfords had been good to me, but it was time for a change and I landed a job with Nippon Express at Glasgow airport. Their business was all airfreight, import export. They had a couple of big DAF 3600’s, a great truck, and like most tractors over here it was a two axle cabover. It was an easier job, no climbing stairs in other peoples’ houses carrying boxes and furniture in and out of the truck. There were some occasions though where I had to hand bomb cartons. One night I had to deliver 30 boxes to a company called, Sun Micro, in a small town on the outskirts of Edinburgh called, Linlithgow. My supervisor gave me a heads up as to the value of the shipment, it was £6,500,000. Maybe he thought he was doing me a favour as some of the trucks that the bad guys knew carried freight for the computer companies had been hi-jacked in the past. Criminals would stick a blue light on top of their cars to make drivers think they were cops. So

PAGE 20

NEW Extended Hours Mon-Fri 8 am- Midnight • Sat 8 am- 5pm some companies issued their drivers with a notice they could hold up to the cab window saying, “We will not stop even for blue lights, follow me to my depot or the nearest police station.” All the way to the delivery I couldn’t get that six and a half million-pound load out of my head. I was suspicious of every car that lingered too long behind me, but, I thought, if any bad guys cut me off I would just pick up my jacket and bag and walk away, they can have the truck. But I never ever got hi-jacked and I stayed there for five years or so before I got itchy feet again and moved to Express Cargo Forwarding. Express Cargo Forwarding was a great job, and the money was good for the time. They were the UK branch of an Irish company called, Irish Express, based in Blanchardstown, Dublin. I started there driving an old-ish Mercedes box van, a twelve ton gross truck with a six speed box and 180 bhp. It was ideal for the multi-drop work it did as there were barn doors on all sides, so if you couldn’t get the freight off from the back, or if a delivery was closed for lunch, you could just move on to the next delivery and unload from either side. It wasn’t a top weight truck for a four wheeler and it had smaller 20 inch wheels so that meant the body was lower which was a big plus point when you had to handbomb freight in and out of the truck. Unlike Pickfords, it was a small company with three drivers on permanent nightshift and myself and another three on dayshift. When it was really busy sub-contractors were brought in, usually the same ones all the time. They were people who had given good service and were trusted with the personal computers we were delivering. Computer manufacturers IBM and Dell were the main source of income for the company. The IBM loads were usually bulk loads for export and picked up on a daily basis from their plant in Greenock. Dell on the other hand came up from Liverpool overnight for delivery to schools, offices and homes. As well as the computer deliveries, I and the rest of the dayshift picked up general freight as we went about during the day. My normal route was Fife and central Scotland and sometimes the distances between drops and pick-ups ate into the available time to get things done. But you’re always better being busy, a busy truck is usually making money. Customers were very impressed by the service we could

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offer. If I, or any of the other dayshift drivers, picked up collections on our route, that freight would be in Dublin the next morning. As the night shift trailers got busier a position came up for a second permanent driver to go on the Warrington and Liverpool run. I fancied a change from the old Mercedes and as nobody in the company wanted to move off dayshift I got the job. I was glad to get off the old Mercedes, the air assistance on the clutch pedal hadn’t worked for a while and the dealer didn’t seem to be able to sort it, but once the truck was up and running you could change gear without using the clutch. The usual driver on the Warrington run, Kenny, was an old school driver, always ready to help and give another driver the heads up, so, with a few helpful hints from him it was like I had been doing the job for months. He loved his Volvo, it was an F12 360 bhp cabover that he’d had from new, not big power by modern day standards, but it didn’t matter how much he loaded into it, he always thought it pulled like a train. I got a new MAN diesel, a big change from the Mercedes with the heavy clutch, the manual side of the job wasn’t easier on the nightshift, in fact it was probably harder. The driver had to unload and reload the trailer at Warrington and Liverpool, but, it’s all part of the job we know and love as trucking. Warrington was the first port of call, the trailer was completely unloaded there and part loaded for Scotland with general deliveries, then it was up to Liverpool to load up with

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the Dell computers. Dell built their computers in Ireland and shipped them over by the container load to the Express Cargo hub in Liverpool docks, where they were made into orders for the whole of the UK. The Scottish freight, like the rest of the UK was all palletised and shrink wrapped, and if there was room on the trailer, it was an easy job to wheel them up the trailer with a pallet truck. But, if Dell was busy like they were at Christmas you had to break down some pallets and handbomb them on top of the other pallets as leaving freight behind just wasn’t an option. Kenny showed me how he made steps from the cartons to load the loose cartons on top of the wrapped pallets. Then of course they all had to be re-palletised when I got back to Scotland. Because we all got on so well it was a great place to work, but one day a new guy appeared. He’d been appointed as general manager for the whole of the UK by the big boss in Ireland. We found out he had a background in the cell phone business, so he was ideally suited to run a transport company - not! About once a month he appeared first thing in the morning and gathered all the drivers together in the office, nightshift, who had just completed a shift, and dayshift, who were itching to get on with their days work. He then projected a slide show from his laptop onto the wall to show how well the company was doing. We all wondered why the man at the top of the tree was driving up and down the country in his company car, staying in hotels

on expenses to do something a newsletter would’ve done cheaper and quicker. Then he thought it would be a great idea to make the name of the company the same in the UK as it was in Ireland, Irish Express Ltd. A couple of the English trucks were sign written, and the new headed notepaper arrived in the office, all well and good, that was until the boss of another company in England called Irish Express saw our trucks with his company name on them. For some strange reason we never saw that guy again, he was sadly missed, again - not! When one of the two drivers on the Irish run took a holiday, some of the other drivers got the chance to go across the water, the ferry left from Stranraer and docked in Belfast. The first drop was a local transport company that was sub-contracted to deliver the northern Irish freight, then down to Dublin where the truck was parked on a dock to be unloaded and reloaded. A company truck then took you to the home of an employee who rented a room to the company exclusively for the Scottish night drivers. As well as the bedroom, there was a toilet/shower and a TV lounge for your exclusive use downstairs. After a sleep and a very good home cooked meal made by Beryl, the employee’s wife, a cab took you back to the depot. I’d never had a job like it, good money and treated very well. When you left Scotland on a Friday and arrived in Dublin on Saturday morning, unlike the rest of the week, you didn’t leave until Sunday night and then you shipped out through

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Dublin over to Warrington. That gave you a weekend in Dublin, depending on how much sleep you needed. One Friday I took my girlfriend with me to show her the sights of Dublin town. The company room only had a single bed, but that didn’t matter, we thought we could cuddle up together but oh no we couldn’t. Beryl wasn’t about to allow unmarried couples to co-habit in her house. So we found a B&B for the Saturday night and still enjoyed the Dublin nightlife. But all good things must come to an end, the Irishman sold his company and all the drivers got a very good redundancy package. After that I spent a couple of years working for a small two truck company before getting my present job with B&Q. B&Q own a network of DIY stores across the UK, but the transport side is always contracted out, I’ve had fifteen ELIVERING HE OODS AFELY good years there working for several different transport companies, the latest one to win the contract XPO, is an By Lane Kranenburg American company I believe. Our very good terms and conditions always stay the same, and my old buddy, Kenny Lane is a former driver, fleet owner works there as well. and former Executive Director of But, to be honest, I can’t wait to retire, all the fun of the the AMTA old days of trucking have gone. Every minute of a drivers’ day is now electronically logged and as well as the driving licence a driver has to carry we now need a CPC card, Technology, Driverless Trucks, Battery Powered Trucks. A few months ago, the second in command Executive at Certificate of Professional Competence. If you’re stopped Tesla Cars was killed in a driverless car, his car computer misand you don’t have this card on your person, it’s an offence. read the side of a shining semi as sunlight and his car failed to Just another stick to beat the poor old trucker with. brake causing a collision in which he was killed. This week in Arizona a “driverless” car failed to stop for a pedestrian and ran her down killing her. Do we really think that this technology is even close to being in use? Big news, technology changes are on the way and trucks Mobile Polishing Services and drivers are about to make major changes. Don’t believe it!! There are about two dozen “electric” trucks sold to Walmart, and the panic button is pushed, lord we are going battery powered trucks, where will it end? Well people, please JUST SHINE IT is a mobile aluminum do not get your transmissions in a knot, the advent of the batpolishing service in Edmonton. We tery truck may be the way of the future, however it will not specialize in machine and hand occur in my lifetime. The logistics of such a move are just polishing aluminum wheels to too great. Untested electric trucks travelling in our climate mirror finish, while the rims are still have too many obstacles to overcome. We have enough on the truck, getting you back to problems keeping the diesel trucks operating during some of work as quickly as possible. We also our winter days. hand polish tanks, bumpers, stacks, And remember that our winters are about nine months long stepboxes, cleaners, checkerplate and the road conditions are another very important thing to and other aluminum or chrome keep in mind when the tech wizards tell us that battery powparts on your truck. Based in ered series eight trucks are the way of the immediate future. Edmonton, we service all Central Maybe with those feather brained, dope smoking, whack and Northern Alberta communities. jobs in California, who have never been north of San Francisco, think that all roads are well marked with white single and double lines that will assist the driver with keeping We now have our own shop in Edmonton! the truck on the road. AVAILABLE 7 DAYS PER WEEK TO FIT YOUR SCHEDULE. Well here in the real world the ice and snow covered roads Call (780) 289 -5878 to book your appointment are a completely different thing, and that leads me to talk www.justshineit.ca

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about the driverless trucks that we are told are going to be ready as early as next year. A driverless truck travelling on a single lane highway with no line markings due to the snow, ice and general wear, will in the very first mile, find it cannot navigate unless there are clear lines painted with a special white paint therefore it will be in the ditch with the trailer spilling its contents. Now we will talk about the fuel trucks, can you imagine sharing the road with a driverless truck hauling gasoline or worse yet, some extremely dangerous product that, when spilled, could cause danger to the public. I read in the paper as well as trucking magazines that battery powered trucks and driverless trucks are around the corner and that the future of the truck driver is such that they will not be needed and trucks will drive themselves. Well people, you professionals operating the trucks on our highways know different as you operate these huge units and are faced with very important decisions every day. Decisions such as chaining up, reacting when a four wheeler cuts you off, acting when an emergency forces you to act immediately. Sorry, the driverless truck cannot be programmed to react to these everyday things that the professional driver must deal with daily. Our “brilliant” minister of finance spoke recently in the House of Commons and stated that secretaries and truck drivers were jobs that will soon be eliminated. Well Mr. Brilliant that kind of talk certainly indicates what kind of fool you are. We vote these brain dead people into office and then realize

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Canyon Cable 1988 Ltd. 930-6th Ave., Hope, BC 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 why they are there, because prior to being elected they actually sounded sane and made promises that were never kept and now will do just about anything to get re-elected. While on the subject of politicians, I am wondering how long it will be before this country is totally bankrupt. Our Prime Minister is travelling abroad giving hundreds of million dollars away to countries that have very unstable leadership, and know that Canada now has a debt of over a trillion dollars. Let me put that into perspective, if we take simply a billion seconds we would be back to 1959, that is only a BILLION, remember that a trillion is one thousand billions, and a number that politicians are throwing around like it’s their money. Well it isn’t their money it is ours, yours and mine and we are currently in a situation that the debt our government has accumulated through extremely poor management is in fact our debt. The Canadians have also reached an all-time high in consumer debt, credit cards are at their maximum, mortgages are as high as they have been ever, and loans and other forms of debt are also at an all-time high. We all want everything, and with the ease of getting loans or using our credit cards we are unwilling to wait until we have saved for whatever we want. We should all take a few minutes and read our credit card agreement and understand that what we have signed for is a handy card that we can use and if we run a balance the interest rates range from 15 to 21 % and if a balance continues to be run, the payments made are to cover only the interest not the principle. I know that I started this column titled “technology driverless trucks and battery powered trucks” and I have again run well off of the subject, but debt is also a truckers issue. If there has not been a very accurate budget with regards to your truck operation you could soon run into trouble as well. If you think that nobody cares about you try missing a couple of payments, and suddenly there are some very aggressive people that care a lot about you. On subsequent and future columns I want to cover again the poor way that truckers are treated, with no functional truck stops to do required vehicle checks and rest, to the bad rap that they can get at loading docks and even at their own company with overworked dispatchers, and less than friendly approach to the people that are the cash flow producers for their respective companies. The driver! Keep On Trucking my friends! r

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THE DIESEL GYPSY By Bill Weatherstone

Hiring Qualified O/Ops & Drivers Drivers 70-80 CENTS PER MILE!

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

Stupidity Fire It was getting on in summer, and the nights were getting cooler and the 12 to 14 hour trip to Cochran was making the asphalt I was hauling cool off too fast. The asphalt turns very solid when cold so when unloading we had to use a steam hose for about an hour in order to thaw out the discharge valve at the rear of the trailer. I was becoming fed up with this slow procedure when I got a sudden brainstorm and thought, ‘There is one thing that is hotter and faster than this damn steam hose.’ It was about 3:00 am in the morning and I was the only one around when I remembered that on other jobs, in the winter, when it’s way below zero, we used to get a rag, soak it in diesel fuel, wrap it around a 2 X 4, light it and put it under the truck or bulldozer oil pan. The heat generated would have the oil flowing in a few minutes. I thought that it should also work on this valve, RIGHT? --- WRONG! I siphoned some fuel from my tanks and soaked an old

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Call Al 604-882-7623 rag. I wrapped it around the discharge valve, and set it on fire thinking this should not take more than a couple minutes. The flames came on fast and furious and the wind coming across the open gravel pit fanned the fire even more. The flames soon started to climb up the back of the trailer and I started to panic. There was no way to get the rag off the valve. I didn’t even have a stick to work with. I jumped into the cab, fired up the engine and headed up to the bunkhouse to look for help. It was about a ¼ mile away and I guess that it looked like a blazing comet coming in from the sky. The cook was just heading for the cookhouse to get his own fires going and I guess that I scared the hell out of him, with these huge flames chasing me. He was on the ball and wide-awake by the time I pulled up. He had run into the kitchen and grabbed a chemical fire extinguisher and by the time I stopped, jumped out, and ran around to the back of the trailer, he had it all under control. The trailer was all black in colour anyway so it was not really noticeable and I must say that, even with the blaze, it worked just fine because I rushed back down to the storage tank and that valve opened real easy. I had the load flowing long before the valve had a chance to cool off again. The cook never let on to anyone that there was a stupidity fire, and he whipped me up a big order of pancakes and steak. That being said it took me the rest of the morning to get myself cooled off and settled down from all the action.

MILE AFTER MILE By Cyn Tobin Cyn has been driving trucks for 34 years. She has hauled loads all across North America and specializes in expedited perishable freight. We as drivers watch life go by so very quickly through the looking glass Mile after Mile. Out here we see so very much and that is why some like to refer to it as paid tourism. I can recall so many beautiful memories, some not so great, but none greater than the memories involv-

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ing my children on the road. Each evening on Vancouver Island a group of us drivers would gather at the boat terminals to await the barges bringing us our wagons that were filled with anything and everything from life sustaining goods to the worthless trinkets so many value. We would gather and yak about almost anything. One such evening about 20 of us were huddled about and as NEW NEW NEW the breeze blew so did the stories. Each one of us taking OWNERSHIP OWNERSHIP OWNERSHIP our turn. Standing beside me was my then, four year old daughter. Looking and sounding like a lil trucker NEW in training she frequently joined us in our nightly gab OWNERSHIP NEW sessions. Well this particular evening, old man Gus was OWNERSHIP wired about something and as he grumped and groaned he let the cuss words fly. Suddenly he stopped his tirade, threw his hands to his mouth, with a look of horrid shock on his face, he dropped to his knees and said to my COMPANY DRIVERS OPPORTUNITIES COMPANY DRIVERS TERMINALS OPPORTUNITIES TERMINALS (Local, Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) OPPORTUNITIESOPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE (Local, Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) daughter, “Oh little one, please forgive me. I am so sorry. AVAILABLE SINGLES and TEAMS Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, AVAILABLE OWNER-OPERATORS SINGLES and TEAMS Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, COMPANY DRIVERS AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITIES OWNER-OPERATORS I should not swear like that.” With everyone in full attenTERMINALS OPPORTUNITIES (Long Haul and Cross Runs) (Local, Long Haul andBorder Cross Border (Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) Runs) AVAILABLE Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, CROSS OWNER-OPERATORS Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, COMPANY DRIVERS CROSSBORDER BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS OPPORTUNITIES TERMINALS tion mode by now, my lil four year old placed a hand on OPPORTUNITIES SINGLES and TEAMS Kingston, Toronto, Montreal, AVAILABLE AVAILABLE OWNER-OPERATORS Vancouver1.855.564.8029 and AND DRIVERS andBedford Bedford ANDCOMPANY COMPANY DRIVERS slh.ca slhrecruiting@slh.ca 1.855.564.8029 (Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) SINGLES slhrecruiting@slh.ca and TEAMSVancouver Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, COMPANY DRIVERS slh.ca AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITIES OWNER-OPERATORS each of Gus’s cheeks and looked him straight in the eyes CROSS BORDER TERMINALS COMPANYOPPORTUNITIES AND OWNER-OPERATORS Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, OWNER-OPERATORS AVAILABLE Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, CROSS BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS SINGLES and TEAMS Kingston, Toronto, Montreal, AVAILABLE and straight out of the mouth of babes, she very matter of OWNER-OPERATORS Vancouver and Bedford • SINGLE CROSS BORDER Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, slh.ca AND COMPANY DRIVERS slhrecruiting@slh.ca Vancouver1.855.564.8029 and1.855.564.8029 Bedford slh.ca AND COMPANY DRIVERS slhrecruiting@slh.ca Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, CROSS BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS fact like said, “That’s okay, my mom’s a trucker.” • TEAMS DOMESTIC Vancouver and Bedford Vancouver1.855.564.8029 and Bedford slh.ca AND COMPANY DRIVERS slhrecruiting@slh.ca ***** Quote: “My greatest fear is to be forgotten when I am gone.” – Some dead guy

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Sent in by SafetyDriven June 14, 2017 – canadianmenshealthweek.ca It’s time we start thinking seriously about the future of men’s health, the last critical piece of the health puzzle when it comes to family care. Have we become so accustomed to men dying earlier than women that it is just an accepted fact in our society? While we understand that this is largely due to behavioral differences, with only 30% of a man’s overall health being determined by his genetics. Behaviors are both challenging to influence and to change once they have been established. Traditional masculine characteristics—competitiveness, stoicism, stubbornness, denial, and self-reliance—are all also believed to contribute to men’s reluctance to seek help. So what is it going to take to make a significant change? For starters we need to change the societal lens on men’s health, and focus on helping men feel more empowered, engaged and confident to make the behavioral adjustments needed to start living healthier lives. 70% of chronic illnesses that effect men are preventable by changing lifestyles and habits. But even beyond the preventable, dialogue, awareness and education are essential elements of self-care. We should be empowering men

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to learn to recognize the signs of illness, and help their friends and family to as well. I have been in the health field for 40 years, and working in urology has given me a portal into the larger picture of men’s overall health. Sometimes in my work, men that came to me as patients had not seen a doctor in years-I realized that this was an opportunity for me to start conversations with them that they may not have had an opportunity to have in the past. I engaged them in conversations to get them thinking about their overall health, both physical and mental, and the link between their lifestyles and risks of developing illnesses such as diabetes and heart attacks. I want men, young and old, to know that simply being aware of your risks, and starting to think about how to make positive steps in regards to your health, is the first and most significant action you can take for your future health. I want men to know that you don’t need to change much, and small changes in behavior today can have big positive impacts on your overall health tomorrow. Caring about yourself is a reflection of your care for your family, friends and community. In order to achieve this, we need to look at men’s health in three ways: the precise, preventative and pre-emptive. The precise refers to the way that health professionals and communities communicate with men. We need to personalize the issue, speaking to each unique man in a

way that they can relate to, helping them feel empowered and ready to act. The preventative refers to how we need to teach men to better understand their own risk factors, for example by learning about their family history. It’s important that men ask their grandfathers and fathers, while they are still around, about family illnesses and health issues. We want men to become proactive rather than reactive in their behavior. By doing this, we will be able to pre-empt the development of so many different types of chronic illnesses. We want men to know it’s about the small changes, learning about your family’s medical history, simply getting your blood pressure checked at a local pharmacy if you’re uncomfortable going to a doctor, making minor adjustments to make a bigger impact on their health. There are self-assessment tools available online that can help with this, like the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation’s YouCheck tool (https://youcheck.ca/); a free and confidential health awareness tool built specifically for men. As I said earlier, it’s not just men, it’s their families, partners, friends and communities. We need to work together to help engage men- fathers, sons, brothers-law, in conversations around their overall health and wellbeing. Taking small steps together will ensure a strong future for men’s health. It’s time we complete the puzzle for everyone. r

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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

MONTANA APRIL APRIL IN MONTANA, THE RAIN IS WHITE AND COLD IS SPRING AROUND THE COMER· HAS IT BEEN PLACED ON HOLD? THE HIGHWAY IS TURNING WHITE; MY WINDSHIELD WIPERS FREEZE MOTHER NATURE SEEMS SO FICKLE, WHY IS SHE SUCH A TEASE? BUDS ARE ON THE WILLOW TREES; GEESE ARE HEADED NORTH PRAIRIE GRASS IS TURNING GREEN NEW GROWTH IS BURSTING FORTH. SPRING IN ALL HER SPLENDOR, STRUGGLES TO BE BORN; FARMERS WAITING PATIENTLY, TO PLANT THEIR WHEAT AND CORN. NATURE SENDS A REMINDER: SHE IS THE ONE IN CONTROL, WIND AND SNOW SWEEP ACROSS THE LAND AND THE TUMBLEWEEDS ROLL.

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 amazon.com PAGE 30

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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

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Profile for Pro-Trucker Magazine

Pro-Trucker Magazine / April issue 2018  

Rig of the Month Featuring Arthur Barrie

Pro-Trucker Magazine / April issue 2018  

Rig of the Month Featuring Arthur Barrie