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Dec 2017 / Jan 2018


PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINEe From the Editor’s desk... by John White

VOLUME 19, ISSUE 11 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 Ben Proudley • Mel McConaghy Ed Murdoch • Colin Black • Cyn Tobin Bill Weatherstone • Lane Kranenburg PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Proudley • Brad Demelo 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

2018 – Wow. It really hasn’t sunk in yet. I, which I think is like most people, always stop and reflect on the past year wondering where and how it went so fast. This is the time of year to celebrate with family and friends. But it is also a good time to mend fences that should never have been built. We all have relatives John White and or friends that we were once close to but for one reason or another, we may not have always seen eye to eye with in the past. In the grand scheme of things the disagreement is usually over some trivial matter and then our pride takes over. We lose contact and as time goes by the fences get higher and higher until they seem almost too high to climb. The use of the saying, “walk a mile in their shoes,” has almost been beat to death it has been used so often but in this instance I think it is something each of us should do at times. As we get older we seem to go to more funerals than weddings so there is no better time to call that old friend or relative than now. You will be glad you did and quite possibly surprised at who may be sitting there thinking of you this Christmas. Most of you will be able to make it home for Christmas but as we know the wheels don’t stop turning for some drivers. Warehousing has changed a lot over the years and many companies that once kept a large stock of parts etc. now keep the bare minimum. Instead they rely on just in time service where the next day’s stock is taken off the truck and put directly on the shelf. They no longer have the expense of carrying a large inventory and for the most part they can thank the trucking industry for that because it has become so efficient and reliable. That brings us back to those who will be working through a good part of the holidays. Be safe out there. On a per mile driven basis truck drivers are by far the safest people on the road but as you know you have to be even more vigilant at this time of year. There will be a large number of travellers on the road and many of them may not be used to winter driving. On top of that others will have been indulging in Christmas cheer. Let’s everyone make it home safe. To all our friends, old, new and those we have not made yet, the ProTrucker Family wishes you a very Merry Christmas and all the best to you and yours in the New Year.

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L ETTERS to the EDITOR

e Whit John zine

ga r Ma e k c Tru Pro-

John White Magazine Pro-Trucker

Note: As you can see by the 2 emails below we will print letters and withhold the authour’s name if requested. The writer may have various reasons for wanting to remain anonymous such as fearing repercussions from their employer, co-workers or the public and some just don’t want the attention. When we withhold a writer’s name we always ensure their identity before printing the letter. Dear John I am just reading the “Letters to the Editor” section in the Pro-Trucker Magazine and really enjoyed reading the one from Tim Blakey on E-logs. I am a safety and compliance officer. I have never sat behind the wheel of a truck and I can’t even imagine what it’s like so I bring a different perspective to the topic.

I am a woman working in a man’s world but I take the time to go out with the drivers and crawl under a truck and trailer or climb up into a set of Supers. I get covered in snow and mud but it doesn’t bother me, dirt on clothes, faces, hands and hair all wash out. The respect I have gained from my drivers by asking questions, doing my homework or getting dirty with them has garnered me a lot of respect both from them and for them. For that reason I can get these guys to do things or try things that my counter parts sometimes can’t. Now back to my original thought. We are currently introducing new E-logs and I have spent a lot of time working one on one with most of my drivers teaching them how to use them. In frustration I have been sworn at, called names and been told, “I am not using them.” But what a wonderful feeling it is when these same drivers call me, usually in a week’s time, to ask very sheepishly if they could please go off paper logs? E-logs also make my job easier, I am no longer trying to read chicken scratch logs, nor trying to figure out exactly how many miles were in each state or province. With a few clicks of my trusty mouse I have all the information I need. It also makes my drivers safer and in the end that’s all I really care about. I just want my drivers to make it home healthy and in one piece. I just wanted you to receive another positive email

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about E-logs and how much I and my drivers like them. Even if they won’t admit it at the local truck stop, I know deep down they do otherwise they’d still be swearing at me. Have a wonderful and safe day‼ Name withheld by request.

imply guilt on your part for any and all errors and or omissions before they occurred. Therefore why are commercial transport drivers required to do so without protection of law? JC (name withheld by request)

Editor’s note: The following letter was written by one Be Like You?? Trump’s new Ambassador to Canada didn’t win of our readers and sent on November 26th to Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport and copied to Prime friends when she implied that Canadians need to improve to be like Americans. Here is a response, Minister, Justin Trudeau. printed in a Canadian newspaper. Subject: Drivers logbooks and EDL certifying Canada’s doing just fine, thanks. Hon Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport “U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft, in her first Canadian I write in question as to why commercial drivers are required to certify their drivers logbooks and EDL doc- print interview, stated, “The golden rule is we want uments as true and correct before the daily events occur. Canadians to be as successful as Americans.” I doubt Canadians want to be “as successful as This has remained a requirement of Transport Canada and the provinces which is used regularly to imply guilt Americans.” In February, Scott Gilmore, writing in before an event has occurred or a duty cycle completed. MacLean’s magazine, provided some statistics that show The certification of a document before completion Canadians are already more successful than Americans. has a dispute in law, whereas the government and We live 2.5 years longer than Americans. Americans inspection authorities expect drivers to declare guilt are six times more likely to be incarcerated. The World Economic Forum ranks Canadians as the sixth happiest even before events occur. I would like to put it to the Hon Minister, that you people in the world. Americans are 13th. Fifty-nine per cent of Canadians have college degrees do not, nor does your office certify any documents as true and correct before completion, as this would clearly versus 46 per cent in the U.S. Home ownership rates

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are five per cent higher in Canada than in the U.S. Canadians are twice as likely as Americans to move from the poorest quintile of the population to the wealthiest. And perhaps most telling for the citizens of the “Land of the Free,” the Cato Institute’s Human Freedom Index considers Canadians to be the sixth freest people in the world. Americans are way behind, in 23rd place. So Ambassador Craft, I suggest to you revisit your The Bear’s View Constable Tim Schewe (Retired) Golden Rule. Instead, during your appointment as Ambassador to Canada, you should try to help your It’s Still Driveable! I saw many things over the two decades that I spent in citizens be as successful as Canadians. As helpful Canadians, we would be happy to show full time traffic law enforcement. Some of those things left me shaking my head wondering why the driver ever you how.”

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chose to leave the driveway! If you don’t value the life of other road users, surely you value your own. During an evening shift I was met by a car whose driver failed to dim the headlights. A glance in the mirror as I passed by also revealed a lack of rear lights. After stopping the driver and examining the vehicle I determined that the headlights only worked on high beam and none of the rear lights worked at all. The car had been involved in a rear end collision and the driver was waiting for ICBC to fix it. It was their only vehicle and the family was returning from a non-essential trip that involved a 4 hour drive each way. At that time of year there were about 8 hours of daylight, so the outing could not have been conducted exclusively during the daylight. I would often meet the commercial vehicle inspector and we would work together at a brake check location. An examination of a farm truck determined that only one it’s air brakes was properly adjusted. The driver was ticketed and ordered to adjust his brakes properly before proceeding. He stomped away but soon returned. He did not have the necessary wrench to adjust the brakes with. Would one of the truckers who had stopped to check their brakes loan one to him? After another ten minutes or so had passed, the driver

was back again. Which way do you turn the brake adjuster was the question this time. The trucker who loaned him the wrench rolled his eyes, took him in hand and showed him how to adjust his brakes too. Speeding on its own can be bad enough, but throw in willful blindness and the results could be tragic. One such driver earned a tow truck ride home. When he was producing his documents to me a scan of the vehicle interior revealed that he had covered the brake warning light on his dash with black electrical tape. The light was too bright when he drove at night he explained to me. Checking the tire tread when approaching a vehicle became almost a reflex action for me. The tread wear bars that tires are equipped with these days mean that I don’t even have to use a tread depth gauge when winter tires are not required. If they are showing in two adjacent grooves, the tire is considered to be worn out. Occasionally I would discover a vehicle with a wheel alignment problem. The majority of the tire tread looked just fine, but one shoulder of the tire would be worn so badly that the cords were showing through the rubber. That’s definitely an out of service condition. I actually met a graduate from the Red Green School of Mechanics one day. His windshield wipers had stopped working so he had tied a thin rope to the driver’s wiper, passed it through both vent windows to lay on the dash C

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like ine run nd g n e r you arou makes logy works event r e c n o a r n h Oil En or fluid tech our engine. P ture, i y ra r Howes f e e o e life he sup g temp new. T to extend th wer operatin changes with ck il lo the clo breakdown, ween o in reverse. t e b e l m … therma ch out the ti e clockwork t k i e l r t s s work and ttle. It o b y r e ev

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and then tied the other end to the passenger’s wiper. If it ever rained, he just had his passenger pull the rope to operate the wipers. Do we even want to know what happened when it rained and he was alone? My preferred method of dealing with drivers like these was the Notice & Order. There were three levels of action that could be chosen, depending on the severity of the defects found. A #3 was the least intrusive. It simply asked that you repair the noted defects and advise the police you had done so. The #2 had more teeth. The driver was required to take the vehicle to a Designated Inspection Facility promptly and pass inspection within 30 days. If the pass was not obtained within that time, the vehicle could no longer be driven or parked on a highway. A #1 was for the vehicles that were truly dangerous. From the moment it was issued until inspection was passed, the vehicle could not be driven or parked on a highway and had to be moved by tow truck or on a trailer.

my life Through A BroKen WinDshielD By Mel McConaghy

Mel is a retired veteran driver who has spent 40 years on the road.

As another year is fast slipping by and Christmas is just about upon us it has me thinking about it. I know Christmas means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and I’m not what you would call a religious person, but Christmas, for me creates a lot of different thoughts and emotions. In my travels around the world, I have seen different religions and the people who believe in them and I respect them for their beliefs, but no one has ever convinced me that their beliefs are for me. I look around and see all the atrocities that have been and still are being committed in the name of religion and I shudder. I think I’m a Christian, but I have some doubts about ***** being one. I have trouble understanding how people Idle Thoughts - Marriages are made in heaven. Then again, so are thun- can read the same book and come up with different interpretations. The one belief I’m sure of is ‘The Love der, lightning, tornadoes and hail. - The most effective way to remember your wife’s birth- of Family.’ I believe that the love of family is the most imporday is to forget it once.

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tant part of anyone’s life or religion. It is the love in a family that is the catalyst that hold us together. Without this love, how would we get through the depression and the stress of ever day life? What is more important than a letter, a phone call or a visit from a loved one? It’s not a large bank account, a big house or a new car in the driveway that will help you through an illness or losing a loved one. It is my belief it is the love of your family. I have lost my son Michael and my wife Barbara and while we were mourning their passing, a friend of our daughters said, “I have never such a strong, caring family, it must be the love with in it.” The other day our daughter-in-law, daughter and I went to where Mike and my wife were resting and placed a wreath. It was a sad occasion, but with our love for Mike, his Mother and each other, it was also an inspirational occasion. I don’t know where I’m going when I pass on, I only know I will be going, but where ever I go, I will be happy because I know my family loved me - this will be my salvation. Then maybe I’ll be able to get the answers. But in the meantime, I would like to wish each and every one a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from my family and me. Keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down, not only for your sake, but also for your family’s!

Operating within the 160km

By Randy Wasstrom, President of Coastal Training Consultants Ltd. For many years, drivers and some carriers were under the illusion that Hours of Service records were not important if a log book was not required. Nothing is further from the truth. The same hours have to be kept and complied with either by the driver or by the carrier. However, if drivers are operating outside of a 160 km radius, the driver must keep a log book to indicate starting times, rest times, and finishing times. There are four possible statuses that a driver can use when traveling outside of the 160 km radius: • off duty • sleeper berth • on duty driving • on duty not driving When operating within the 160 km radius, the same hours have to be kept for each status. “Sleeper berth” is not a status to be used because the driver will return back to the terminal within sixteen hours for eight consecutive off-duty hours. The carrier is required to maintain all the hours for the driver and in each status. The carrier has to know

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when the driver starts each day, when the pre-trip inspection is conducted, the hours driven (not to exceed thirteen hours), and the hours on duty not driving. A driver cannot drive after being on duty for fourteen consecutive hours. The day may be sixteen hours long, but the driver can only be on duty for a maximum of fourteen of those hours unless using their deferral. A driver could also be required to use the Adverse Weather Provision when unexpected weather has made the trip last longer, even within the 160 km radius. The driving time can be extended by up to two hours, providing that the trip could have been completed within the fourteen hours (including on-duty-not-driving time) under normal driving conditions. If a carrier understands the basic rules of the National Safety Code Hours of Service, they should be able to understand the importance of recording each status. All carriers must remember that the same hours over 160 km radius apply and recording the hours and the individual’s status is also mandatory. Drivers must report every day and their hours must be calculated to ensure that they are not over their hours for that cycle, that day, and for the mandatory twenty-four hours off every fourteen days. If the carrier realizes that the driver has not had twenty-four consecutive hours off

in the last fourteen days, then the driver must take those twenty-four hours off on the fifteenth day with no exceptions. The carrier can use either 70 hours in seven days or 120 hours in fourteen days. Good record-keeping practices must be maintained by the carrier for all drivers of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 11,795 kgs or more. Also remember that if a driver only drives this truck once per week, but does other work for the carrier during that time the work, other than driving, is still considered onduty-not-driving time. The driver can even be driving a smaller vehicle that does not have to comply with the Hours of Service, but when required to drive the compliant vehicle, all the hours on duty driving the smaller vehicle apply. An Excel spread sheet can be a huge help for maintaining the hours, but the hours must be updated daily to ensure compliance for the day, the shift, and the cycle. Having drivers complete a daily time sheet with the required information is also a huge help. Many drivers have always worked within the 160 km radius and do not understand the Hours of Service rules or regulations. On-going education for all drivers and Hours of Service recording staff are always the best course of action. r

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refleCTions Thru my WinDshielD

PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINEe

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.

Christmas Sales Our gravel pit back home was surrounded by a Christmas tree farm of about thirty acres and we were doing pretty well selling trees to the big dealers but Dad had a better idea. He got hold of his brother Joe in Toronto and set up a deal where we rented a lot and sold our own trees. We sent the first load down about December 10th and hired a couple guys to look after things but it didn’t seem to be making much money. Christmas holidays came around and we loaded a second load on our old B61 and dump trailer and Dad and I headed for Toronto. Uncle Joe had married into an Italian family way back when and they and he were connected. Now anyone who ever went to Woodbine race course will remember Joe the Book, that was Uncle Joe, so of course our lot was in the Italian section of the city. Back then in the late 50’s, this was a pretty rough section of town. It was pretty much run by Paul Volope and Pops Papalia but since we

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racing forms and by the end of the day he would have lost all the money I made the day before. Well since the “employees” we had before had been skimming, I did the same and started keeping quite a bit of the cash hidden. December 24th came around and it was snowing like crazy. We still had a few trees left so we stayed open and they were selling pretty well but all the local “wise guys” were stopping by and Dad just had to have a drink with every one of them. About 4 pm I decided enough was enough and gave away the last few trees to some of the local poorer people then started packing up. Joe showed up about then and after having another drink with Dad came up with the idea that we should go to his place and spend the night and go home Christmas Day as Dad was in no shape to drive. Now I had talked to Mom by phone the day before and had promised her we would be home for Christmas so I was having no part of this. I poured Dad into the jump seat of the old Mack and headed out. There I was a kid of about 15, driving a semi without a driver’s licence, in the middle of one of the worst snow storms I had ever seen. I headed north and luckily there was little to no traffic due to the conditions and six long hours later Dad woke up as I backed the rig into the barn. Dad made it to the house, had a Christmas drink with Mom and hit the sack. That

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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 was when Mom who was going through the cash box Dad had thrown on the table found out that for a month’s work we had only brought home about $400.00. I never said a word but just handed Mom a wrapped box with $2200.00 in it and wished her a Merry Christmas. Christmas morning was fine and Len and Muriel, Dads sister, showed up for Christmas dinner and aside from being a little tired everything went well. I will say that was the last time we sold trees in Toronto but we still ended up ahead of the game and did have a good year. To all the staff at Pro-Trucker and all our readers I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. r

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CommuniCATion By Greg Evasiuk Greg is a third generation trucker with over a million miles and 20 plus years in trucking. He now sells trucks for Nortrux.

What Matters the Most I titled this article before I wrote it. I never do that. For some reason though I was compelled to right these words at the top of the paper: what matters most. In trying to come up with a holiday theme that’s what jumped into my head and quite frankly it’s what this season is all about. When I was 8 to 10 I thought what mattered most was the contents of the Christmas wish book. Now I know I’m not dating myself by saying this because it still existed until last year. In my teen years it was snowmobiling and friends (possibly beer…) It actually took being on the road during some other very meaningful dates/events for me to realize for me what matters the most. Just about anyone in North America can tell you where they were on September 11, 2001. I’m sure many of you weren’t much different from me, I was in a truck. I still remember my Mom calling me when the first tower fell and the sheer panic I felt when she said the second plane

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heading north to the Territories. Anyone who has hauled up there knows it’s not exactly the best place on earth for communication. It is however a beautiful and quiet place to contemplate life and I’ve always appreciated that. It seems as though we are supposed to make a big deal of our “milestone” birthdays, 18th, 20th, 30th, 40Th … as if we change somehow the instant our odometer ticks past on more year. The road is great place to consider such things especially when you have the bonus of not having a phone to ring and bother you or traffic to distract you. I never entirely knew what was planned for my birthday but I had it planned perfectly to be home the day before so I could see what epic things were in store for me. The trucking gods had other plans as they usually do. On my way up I parked to go to sleep and my tires were hot so when I woke up they were not. Froze down to the ground… now I’ve had frozen brakes that’s an easy fix provided you have a big enough hammer but a whole super train frozen an inch down in the ice I was gonna need Thor’s hammer. Now I’ll make a long story short and give you the ingredients to get out, if you want the directions step by step you’ll have to wait for the book. What it took was 2 jugs of windshield washer antifreeze, 2 sets of chains, one sore shoulder from cranking cold dollies, four bumps with the truck and three hours! Suffice to say I was tired and behind schedule when I got rolling. Oh well if I put the hammer down and kept the log books secret, I would still make it in time. Almost in to Enterprise, I stopped to water the foliage and give it the once over before the scales, when I notice some not so nice colored snow near the front diff, not good. As I limped it into town not wanting to chance heating up a diff that was obviously low on oil it dawned on me that I may not make it back in time for my epic birthday. Suspicions were confirmed when I hit town and cleared the snow away from the diff to find a hole in the filter. Now Enterprise doesn’t have a lot of things like a diff filter for an RT46-160 but at least they have phone service which was nice when I had to call my wife. I explained the situation and that anything planned would have to be called off. She surprisingly didn’t sound concerned. Hmmm, what were all of those people going to do at a surprise party without a guest of honor? What if they’d travelled far? Obviously she was keeping calm to spare me any more stress, what a great woman! Well after getting another truck to bring me the required filter and some 75-90 up from High Level I continued on up to my destination. I didn’t make it into Yellowknife until afternoon on Saturday the 19th one day before my birthday. I called home after decking off and reloading, no answer. Nothing else to do but turn south and hope people would maybe stick around for Sunday. dec 2017 / Jan 2018

As I drove south into the night I wondered if maybe no one cared enough to come and that’s why my wife had been quiet about it. The funny thing was when I laid down that night, alone and isolated under the northern lights, I suddenly knew that it didn’t matter who had been there for one night to help me celebrate. All that mattered were the people that helped me get to this point. I woke up in the morning and drove back towards civilization and as I got towards civilization my phone started dinging. Notifications from Facebook one after the other so I pulled in at High Level and checked it out. Before I got to that I read a text from my mom that said “Happy Birthday, loved the video” then some hearts and an emoticon with a single tear. What video? I never posted anything, couldn’t have I’d had no service! So I checked and sure enough there on my Facebook page was posting from my wife, flipagram. I clicked on it and watched 40 years go by. I saw all of the people who had come and gone from my life. It choked me up, it still does. Karen has given me some amazing gifts including two great kids but what this left me with was possibly the greatest. What I realized from watching those faces flip by, seeing myself and my kids grow up to a tune by Locash, is that it’s the experiences we have every day that matter. A person shouldn’t feel bad for not being there on any one specific day to celebrate but celebrate every single day you have. Pay attention to right now, be present whenever

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you have the time to spend with your friends and loved ones. This is message I wanted to impart on you during the holidays. No matter how commercialized Christmas gets, it’s about being present not presents. Don’t fret if you’re caught out on the road for any specific date, when you get home safe and sound celebrate that day. Happy Holidays!

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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 How will New Technology Affect Current Drivers Driverless and Electric Trucks First a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of the truckers on and off the road. It is a very special time for drivers and their families but there are the drivers that are not with their families as they are far from home with a load of freight that is required somewhere. It is a very demanding career and having been in the business I know that it can be rewarding as well so to all truckers, dispatchers, and managers and mechanics

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Merry and Happy! There has been a lot of press about the new technology in truck transport with the press saying that by 2030 all trucks will be driverless and battery powered. No more diesel smoke and gas-powered vehicles. Well as usual the press is simply expressing opinions nothing more, and I believe that that technology is still far off. Remember that an executive of Tesla car was killed because his car computer misread the signal as a truck crossed his path and the computer read the sunlight from the side of the truck as just that and the car continued, killing the occupant. There are issues with battery powered trucks as well, weight, distance, recharging stations, and how long will it take to recharge a truck? I see that Loblaws ordered 25 and Wall Mart ordered 15 and this technology is getting closer but those trucks will still require a driver. California has just given the OK to driverless trucks and I received a call from a California resident who was scared stiff over sharing the road with trucks with no drivers. The person also questioned if these trucks should be allowed on the highways as there are still many hurdles to cross. If we look at the traffic on the highway in and around the large cities in California it will be a major challenge to have the populace accept large trucks with no driver. With regards to battery powered trucks they apparently are for real but how does that work with the hours of service? Does a driver with hours of driving left just put “truck charging” on his logbook and then, depending how long a charge takes, is he or her then able to continue their trip? How would battery powered trucks operate in our Northern climate? Batteries are known to deteriorate in cold weather faster than in California weather. It would also be interesting to see how the driverless truck responds to ice and snow and how it will react to the limited visibility in a snow storm. These are all issues that have to be worked. I always gave my drivers the option to pull over if he or she felt that conditions were DEc 2017 / JAn 2018

too dangerous. Will or can a computer be programmed for such action? I drove highway 43 in the seventies and know the conditions which I’m sure have improved since then, but have the improvements reduced the danger? The hills are still as steep and winter conditions still render them dangerous. Will the trucks without a driver be programmed to chain up when condition require it? Like anything else I believe it will take some time before this becomes a reality. The problem is working by trial and error is dangerous. Just ask the family of the Telsa executive. *****

Latrine Duty

A U.S. Air Force plane was scheduled to leave Greenland, at midnight during a winter month. During the pilot’s pre-flight check, he discovered that the latrine holding tank was still full from the last flight. So a message was sent to the base and an off duty airman was called out to take care of it. The young man finally got to the air base and made his way to the aircraft only to find that the latrine pumptruck had been left outdoors and was frozen solid, so he got one from the hangar - taking even more time. He returned to the aircraft and went about the pumping job deliberately and carefully (and slowly) so as not to risk criticism later. As he was leaving the plane, the pilot stopped him and said, “Son, your performance has caused this flight to be late and I’m going to personally see to it that you are not just reprimanded, but punished.” Shivering in the cold, he took a deep breath, stood tall and said, “Sir, with all due respect, I’m not your son; I’m an Airman in the United States Air Force. I’ve been cooped up here in Thule , Greenland, for more than 11 months now, without any leave. I have one stripe; it’s 2:30 in the morning, the temperature is minus 40° F, and my job is to pump the latrine out of an aircraft.” “Now, just exactly what form of @#%$ punishment did you have in mind, Sir?”

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By John White Somewhere on the I-90 between Buffalo and Erie, been over 35 years and I can still hear my Dad guiding Pennsylvania I heard, “Ok, ease off on the clutch, now me through the gears the first time I drove his truck. I keep her straight, shift, shift. That’s it, you got it!” It’s was 16 at the time and had skipped school to join my

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Dad on the maiden voyage of his first brand new 79 Kenworth K100 single bunk Kenworth. My name is Toby Doyle and I was born and raised in West Hill, a suburb of Toronto. There must have been something in the water in West Hill because I ran into a bunch of guys from the neighbourhood when I went to work for Trans Canada Truck Lines. We had all grown up within a few blocks of each other, had never met, all became truck drivers and then ended up working for the same company. One guy’s father even worked with my father. It goes to show you how small the trucking world is. When I was real young I would to go on runs with my Dad and Grandfather back when they both drove straight trucks. I would start out in the morning with my Dad and then we would meet up part way through the day and I would switch up and go with Grandpa. I enjoyed the different trucks, the destinations, the deliveries, the people. I was born into a trucking family and I was hooked! When I was 9 years old Grandpa took me out in my Uncles field in his 66 Chev 5 ton. I could barely reach the clutch and I can clearly remember, as I was going through a gate, my grandfather yelling, “Straighten it out! Straighten it out! You’re going to take the mirror off my truck!” When we got back to the house I ran inside

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Toby Doyle and excitedly told my Aunt Kaye that Grandpa let me drive his truck. She turned to him and said, “For God’s sake father don’t infect the boy with the disease.” Back in the late 50’s and early 60’s my Grandpa Jim Doyle owned Doyle Cartage and he had about 30 trucks on the road. To say that Grandpa was a resourceful old guy was a bit of an understatement. Apparently he would go to the wreckers and pick out 5 wrecks and then using the good parts from each truck he would build 2 working trucks. He was crafty too. My Dad, Jim Doyle Jr.,

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laughs when he tells the story about Grandpa waking him up one morning when he was about 26 years old. Grandpa was all excited and asked him if he wanted a trucking company. Dad asked why and grandpa told him the Mounties were pounding on the door for tax evasion. Dad quickly said, “No I don’t want it. That’s your problem – you deal with it.” When I was sixteen I would go with Dad every chance I got. Dad would get clear of the border then it was my turn to drive. Off to New York, Pittsburgh or Chicago. He hauled general freight which mostly consisted of foam and plastic cups. There I was 16 - 17 years old driving 400 to 500 miles all night while he slept and then I would wake him up and he would deliver the load. One time, when I was still way too young to be driving, I realized too late that the scales were open and I had no choice but to quickly pull in. In a panic I woke up dad and told him I was pulling into the scales. Still in his underwear, he jumped behind the wheel as I slid over into the jump seat. I thought it was pretty funny but he strongly suggested in no uncertain terms that I pay attention and wake him up when I see the lights next time. I have never had any problems with the DOT or the Police mainly because I follow what I like to call a 10 second rule. I believe that the way you present yourself

in the first 10 seconds will determine if you will get a ticket or not. It is pretty simple – we all have a job to do and if you respect the other person and the job they do then chances are you will get be respected and even given a break now and then. Often it can be the difference between a warning and a ticket. One night, as I was rolling across Michigan, traffic was light and I hit the dimmer switch on the floor to put on my high beams and poof - FIRE! Flames were leaping up from the floor! Oh gosh now what am I gonna do? Dad was sleeping in the bunk and I didn’t want to wake him up thinking I messed up so I stomped out the fire and carried on. At about 6 am we rolled into the old Cross Roads Truck Stop outside of Gary, Indiana and as Dad rolled out of the bunk he asked, “How was your ride son?” “Good,” I said, “But I’m thinking we need a new dimmer switch and some wires...” He looked at the mess on the floor and laughed “Yup, that’s a common problem with these. I slept well though!” The Cross Roads was a very popular old school truck stop in the day. It was a grungy place with a dirt parking lot and the first place I ever saw hookers walking around. Which was pretty shocking for a young kid. I got food poisoning one time just as we left Canada and I was throwing up into any container I could find in the

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truck. The old man took me into the truck stop there and I was covered in puke. He made me undress and I sat in a booth in my underwear while he washed my clothes. A short time later a family came in and a kid said, “look mommy a naked man.” I said, “That’s it - I’m out of here” and I grabbed my still wet clothes out of the dryer and headed out to the truck. My dad followed me out laughing all the way. One night while racing across the Pennsylvania turnpike I was driving in the left lane thinking that I was looking like a rock star when Dad stuck his head out of the bunk and said, “Ya best get outa the Monfort lane or you’re gonna get run over.” “But Dad,” I said, “I’m doing 75mph.” Reluctantly I did as I was told and just as I moved over three Monfort trucks out of Colorado went by like I was parked! Yup - that’s why the left lane was referred to as the Monfort lane. Apparently Monfort Truck Lines guaranteed delivery from Greely, Colorado to anywhere in the USA within 48 hours and they paid the drivers speeding tickets. Personally I have never owned a truck that would do less than 95 mph. One of them a 88 Kenworth with a 425 3406 cat engine and a 15 double over tranny with 355’s would do well over 100mph and I used her. I made many trips with the old fella sleeping in the

back and I got more confident with each trip. Who would have known that six years later I had $25,000 saved from delivering pizzas and auto parts and could afford to buy that very same truck from my Dad to start my trucking career. I was 22 years old and although the company wouldn’t hire me as a co-driver before that because of my age, as soon as I owned a truck they just said, “Toronto is that way and Winnipeg is that way. Go for it.” It turned out I was the youngest owner operator they had ever hired. It was all good! That was my first job as an owner operator and it was with Trans Canada Truck Lines running to Winnipeg and all through the United States. What an education that was, learning how to keep an old Kenworth on the road and out of the repair shop. I carried spare alternators, fuel filters, oil, tire patch kits etc. Most of which, I still carry to this day. Not a lot of guys know how to work on their trucks anymore and back in the day some companies, like Liberty Line, would not hire a city boy – they would only hire farm boys. It was because farm boys already knew how to back up a hay wagon and they also knew how to work on their trucks. Those Liberty boys could back a trailer into spots I wouldn’t think of trying and they respected their equipment because they were from the farm and knew that if they broke it they had to fix it. There are still a lot of drivers who come

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from trucking families today and grew up working on their dad’s trucks but unfortunately a lot of the family farms have disappeared so there aren’t as many farm boys coming into the industry anymore. At this point, I was now carrying on the family tradition that included my Grandfather, my Dad, a few Uncles and several cousins who all drove trucks. Now you can imagine every family gathering ended up with everyone in the kitchen telling their stories from the road. My Mom, Jean, always said, “There were more miles driven around that kitchen table than were ever done on the road.” Later on, I purchased my first new truck , a 1988 T600 Aerodyne Kenworth financed over five years. My younger sister, Luanne, did a great job of designing the stripes on my truck. She also designed the ones on my Dad’s truck. The company said we could do whatever we wanted with the design of the stripes as long as the truck was black and the stripes were in the company’s colours. After three years, I was tired of making payments so I walked into Paccar, asked how much I owed, and I wrote a cheque for $62,000. They looked at me like I had three heads. There isn’t nearly as much money in trucking today as there once was so I doubt that happens much these days. With a newer truck and a lot of experience with

general freight, I decided to make a move to Dunford Tank Lines. That was where I learned the value of clean equipment and the prestige that goes along with it. They were a premier company to work for. They even used de-ionized water to wash the trucks so that you would not have water marks. After they lost a contract to a U.S. carrier, I found myself at Forbes Hewlett. It was here that I found my niche, doing LTL freight from Toronto to California. While running California a lot of us guys stayed at the same motel in Los Angeles, The Travel Lodge in Buena Park. You were always made to feel at home and we would all race to get our drops off and then head there. Some nights there would be 14 trucks shoe-horned into the tiny lot - most of them from Canada. We were all from different trucking companies; BLM, Service Star, Pace Marathon, Forbes Hewlett, Paramount. Many a night you would roll in and the barbecues were going and the steaks cooking. If someone was running late there was always a plate of food waiting when they arrived. Everyone looked after each other and there was always a hot meal and good friends. It didn’t matter who you worked for every one helped each other. Guys would give directions for pickups to others who were not familiar with the area. There were even times when guys would do a pickup for someone

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then meet him in Ontario, California on a Friday night and swing it onto their trailer. So many friendships were made there and still exist to this day, those were good times. It was during those good times that I learned how to load, pack and stack a trailer for maximum revenue. From there, a friend and I decided that we could do this all on our own. And we did! Our fleet of six trucks was doing 100mph plus with a steady contract to California. I got to sit on the other end of the business, hiring drivers, securing loads, preparing custom papers, trouble shooting when drivers called in, and then taking the odd load myself. What a ride! But, the economy changed, plants closed, prices were undercut and that put an end to our little trucking company that promoted “Service with Style.” My friend went on to become a pilot and I resumed as an owner operator currently with an LTL reefer carrier running across Canada and the states with a 1996 Kenworth. One of the coolest things I ever hauled was not a load, but a person. A young lady needed a ride from Calgary to Fannystelle Manitoba to meet up with her horse. She was an awesome young girl who had a horse in Montreal and could not afford to transport it home to Kelowna so she decided to ride it all the way. The first year she got as far as Fannystelle in harvest season. She got a job there

cooking on a farm for the harvesters and in return they stabled her horse for the winter. I knew the hairdressers at the road king in Calgary from being there so often and they asked me if I wanted to give this girl a ride. They knew how much I liked horses as I used to breed Percheron draft horses and pulled big wagons, like the Budweiser wagon, in parades and then for weddings we would often pull stage coach type carriages. My ex-wife also did plowing competitions with the horses. Wanting some company I agreed to take her so, with her bags and saddle in tow, away we went. As we travelled she told me her story of “One Girl, One Horse, One Country.” It turned out that my backroad route was taking me right by the very farm where her horse was stabled. She called ahead and a woman met us at the end of the long driveway to take her into the farm. When I dropped her off I told her I’d probably see her again and sure enough, since we both travelled the same country roads across the prairies we met up several times. I would bring snacks for her and her horse each time we met and as for her, she completed her journey that fall arriving safe and sound in Kelowna BC. Knowing that I had helped in some small way, allowing this young lady achieve a goal, was the best feeling for me. One night in 2013, I was coming home from the

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West and I hit an adult bull moose in northern Ontario. Needless to say the whole front end of my truck was scattered along the highway. I had owned the 1996 Kenworth since new and I wasn’t about to buy a new truck so this incident was the start of the, “Great Truck Rebuild.” I have always loved the truck from my Dad’s favourite show, the 1970’s TV show Movin’ On, and other trucks from that era, so I decided we could build one. I got a custom built hood and battery boxes made to look like ones from the 70’s and used the 1973 factory ‘Apache’ stripe design used on the Movin’ On TV show. I also added hardwood floors, new seats and a new bunk. Four months later and with the help of friends and coworkers, the old girl was ready for the road once again. Today when I drive I have my hand on a very special gearshift knob. It is the one from my Dad’s truck, the same gearshift knob that Dad had in the truck that I learned to drive in. It was given to him from a friend when he got his first Kenworth and he passed it on to me. Having it is a great reminder of a great man and it is comforting to say the least. The old girl has been given a couple of nicknames, over the years, Nessie and The Gimpy Goat, the last one because she is getting a wee bit tired with over three million miles on her. I am honoured that there is an appreciation for old school trucks and when I show her at

Western Canada’s Trailer Specialist

the Clifford truck show many of the people are amazed that she is still a working truck. The Clifford show is a lot of fun. They do let some ‘Tupperware’ trucks in but for the most part it is made up of older trucks. The standing joke is you have to have 2 air cleaners and 2 stacks to attend. I was lucky to come from a trucking family who were true professionals. When I was young and had set my sights on a career in trucking, my grandfather told me, “You will not get rich driving a truck, but good truck drivers will always be in demand and be able to put food on the table.” Dad always said that customers appreciate a driver who shows up onsite with a clean vehicle. I always wear a dress shirt when working - I was just brought up that way. My Dad always wore a uniform and instilled in me the importance of looking good when representing my company. He always said, shave, wear nice clothes, have clean shoes and always keep a clean truck. I have taught a few people how to drive trucks by remembering all the things my father had taught me. It feels good to be able to pass on the knowledge of 4 generations of rolling across the highways and interstates of Canada and the USA. My Dad passed away a few years ago but I’ll never forget the many things he taught me. He was my hero. This year I felt very honoured to be asked by David Benjatschek if I would agree to be featured in the 2018 Wowtrucks Calendar. I agreed and I dedicated my page to my father with the tag line, “A true gentleman truck driver.”

Driving Through my Memories

By Ed Murdoch

Ed has held a commercial drivers license for 65 years and has spent the better part of 50 years on the road. You can get Ed’s new book at www.drivingthroughmymemories.ca

www.oceantrailer.com WINNIPEG, MB CALGARY, AB 866.397.5524 877.720.7171 EDMONTON, AB DELTA, BC NANAIMO, BC 800.610.1019 800.891.8858 877.878.5979 PAGE 30

It was probably 45 years ago my oldest boy, an aspiring musician/trucker like his daddy, was about 10 years old and he wanted a drum set for Christmas. It just so happened that on a trip to the Windy City, Chicago, prior to the Big Day and there happened to be a music store near where I unloaded copy paper at a mom and pop print shop in Cicero. I stopped in and lo and behold there it was … a beautiful ‘red’ beginners set of traps suitable for a budding Ringo Starr. So I bought it and stuffed it in the bunk forgetting that a Canada Customs inspection when returning to my country of residence was a distinct and probable possibility especially considering the time of year and that truckers then were generally seen as a sneaky bunch of low-life characters, not the elevated

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stature in which they are regarded today! It was an uneventful trip to the border having reloaded at a paper mill in Little Falls, Minnesota and as I approached the inquisition at the bridge in Sault Ste. Marie it dawned on me that if discovered, I might have to cough up some added tariff in order to keep the treasure in my possession ... so I just kept them in a corner of the bunk with the curtains closed and adopting my most innocent and honest facial expression presented myself to the commercial authorities. Yes a secondary inspection was apparently justified and a thorough search of the trailer and jockey boxes was carried out with my cooperation but the inside of the cabin of my 1967 K-100 cabover - go figure - was totally ignored much to my relief. It must have been that child-like look of virtue on my face or the officers just didn’t wish to climb up into my private space. I didn’t ask. My son went on to become both a professional musician and trucker, professional meaning he acquired a bit of jingle in his jeans for his efforts and he later merged the two vocations when he provided his services to an entertainment production company. Sometimes he drove the semis with all the equipment and sometimes he endured navigating the luxury bus with the band. Although behaviour within the group was the responsibility of the road manager on occasion Chris, using

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his impressive size and demeanor, was called upon to restore order. One of the ‘highlights’ of Chris’ OTR career occurred as the lead driver of seven semis carrying all the stage equipment and accessories for the Broadway show Miss Saigon. The crew was charged with delivering the lot to the next venue in Miami, FL - in 5 days - and since they were in Anchorage, Alaska at the time that meant 5 days of rigorous asphalt wrangling, it being a 5,000 mile trek. Above the 60th parallel in Alaska and Yukon one is permitted 15 hours driving daily yes, but still there must have been some very creative logging in order to at least show compliance. In another month in the Excited States with the onset of ELDs the feat would be a tad more difficult to accomplish I would think. Fortunately I don’t have to! While on the subject and since it is that time of year when one tends to dwell on family ties please allow me to divulge a bit more of Chris’ meanderings. As a bass trombonist Chris toured Europe with the Ontario Youth Concert Band and also around North America with the Glenn Miller Orchestra out of New York City. He also played briefly with the National Ballet Orchestra of Canada. For reasons his father doesn’t quite understand Chris sold his instruments, plays a little bass guitar mostly for his own amazement, but today is the yard-

master at one of the road maintenance yards in York County in Ontario and occasionally drives one of the big-ass snowplows when required … look out! Other highlights of Chris motoring career include tours with Our Lady Peace, Bare Naked Ladies, Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip, Rita McNeil, The Rankin Family, Sharon, Lois and Bram Elephant Show, Riverdance and many more. One of the more memorable of his safaris involved a US and Canadian cross-country run with Bachman-Turner Overdrive featuring Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings. Randy & Chris were virtual look-a-likes and at several venues the hosts mixed them up. Randy thought it was a hoot and never let on. By the way the Overdrive in the BTO name is a reference to our American competitor Overdrive Magazine, a copy of which was lying on a table in the Colonial Steak House in Windsor where the old band Brave Heart was having dinner following a gig in TO. Looking for a more identifiable name for the band they thought it was a good fit so along with the names of the two founders Bachman-Turner Overdrive was born becoming one of the most successful rock ‘n’ roll bands ever. Because my son Chris was also a certified sound engineer on the odd occasion while on tour when a group’s soundman was indisposed Chris was commandeered to step in to assist and more often than not the

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! John, Donna, Tori and Ben PAGE 32

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musicians declared that they, “never sounded so good”. Nice! If all this sounds like shameless boasting by an aging patriarch suffering the pain of nostalgia … then I’m guilty ... just Driving Through My Memories folks. One of these months I shall regale you with the accomplishments of Chris’ siblings, a brother one year younger who is the National Technical Consultant for Mazda Canada and the lead guitarist of the burgeoning rock group Brooklyn & the Cause for Alarm from Newmarket, Ontario. There is also a younger sister who is a payroll accountant in Hamilton, Ontario and a bad-ass HarleyDavidson rider on the weekends. Can you hardly wait? Nonetheless enjoy a safe and happy holiday season with your friends and loved ones in the manner of your choosing and the very best wishes from The Birddawg and family for a prosperous and stress-free 2018 … 10-4! ***** More Idle Thoughts - “ You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ~Winston Churchill - Growing old is hard work… The mind says, “yes” but the body says, “What the heck are you thinking?”they will start using it.

DEc 2017 / JAn 2018

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-Comers We Scots have a long history of moving to other countries trying to find a better life for ourselves and our families, a large part of my Mother’s side of our family, the Campbell’s, took advantage of the £10 assisted passage scheme to move to Australia. They, like a lot of other Scots, with their hard working ethic, flourished in these foreign lands like Australia and Canada. I was sad to read of the death of Officer John Davidson in Abbotsford who was shot in the line of duty, not only because he was a Scot, but also, to me, it typified the lack of respect and low regard the Police are held in by some of modern day society. John Davidson was no rookie, he had served in the UK for 24 years before leaving his home town of Hawick in the Scottish borders, and moving his family to Canada. His passing was reported in our popular national newspaper, the Daily Record. Just like the outstanding

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show of respect and admiration from thousands of his colleagues at his funeral in Canada, the Daily Record reported anyone who knew Officer Davidson here in the UK had nothing but praise for him. It would seem he was a man who gave one hundred per cent to his job, no matter what country he was in. But from things I’ve read, some people think the values the early in-comers brought with them to the country, i.e. the willingness to work hard and fit in, is missing in some of the latest in-comers to Canada. The influx of these, “New Canadians” seems to be annoying a section of the older Canadians, but isn’t everybody a, New Canadian? Apart from the indigenous tribes, the whole country is populated by people who, even if they were born there, only need to go back one or two generations to find parents or grandparents came from some other country, Scots, Irish, German, Chinese, etc. Every new influx of immigrants to a country seem to go through the same push back by those that consider themselves, for some reason, more qualified to be citizens. As a new’ish country you’ll always have in-comers, some will get along with everybody else and some won’t, and it’s just the same with trucks. Years ago, when I started out in this trucking game, we were running about in some basic old cabovers, noisy, draughty,

some with no power assisted steering or decent cab heater. Then the in-comers started to appear, at first it was Volvo, then Daf, Fiat and Man got into the game, any driver who got out of an ERF, Foden or Atkinson into a Volvo F86 thought they’d died and gone to heaven. They had a small car sized steering wheel, you could even get heat blowing out the vents, and they were quiet enough to hear the radio they came fitted with. Not to mention a comfortable suspended seat for the driver, you had to be quite a weird shaped driver if you couldn’t get that seat into a position to suit you. When I came across to Canada for the Pro-Trucker Big Rig shows last year and this year. The first thing I noticed as I was driving on the Canadian roads were the amount of Volvo trucks I saw, some drivers on social media don’t have a lot of nice things to say about them. But, at least you still have a choice between home grown products and these seductive in-comers, over here we’re almost at the stage where you need to go to a vintage truck show to see what were once common place vehicles on our roads. But if you want my opinion, the UK truck manufacturers brought it on themselves, they were still producing trucks with non-suspended seats and steering wheels the size of the trucks wheels. A case of Nero fiddling as Rome burned. r

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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.

With Christmas just around the corner the world seems too full of hustle and bustle. Everyone full of holiday rushing about in search of the perfect holiday gifts and trinkets. Everyone seeking to tie up loose ends and free up some holiday time to spend with loved ones. Oh what a favorite festive season lays before us. It’s the same almost each year, snowmen and glittering lights adorn the towns as they shimmer upon much fresh fallen snow. So much to see as we creep through like Santa in the night, bringing fresh goodies to line the store shelves. We go and we go, stopping only for rest until that big day. Yet as I write this, I think back to when I didn’t have so many miles beneath my seat. Back to my greenhorn days. In the dead of night on a Christmas eve in the millennium Falcon (well it felt like it the way the toonie sized snowflakes were swirling about me) trying to plow my way through a foot deep of powdered snow across the Crowsnest Pass. Back when there were no

side barriers, no markers, no traction control and there sure wasn’t anything other than a mountain on one side and a 3000 meter drop off on the other side. What a night, my first Christmas eve on the road. I was utterly alone climbing up and down the rock piles. No time to worry about the “what ifs” nope, had to get her there. Then I saw it...A sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer?! Nah just kidding - it was a forty foot trailer resting not so happily against the rock pile. Never thought twice as she was covered in snow - it was empty. So downward I continued. About 3 more miles. I stopped to pick up a snow laden fella walking. Turns out his name was Claud. An old guy. We talked and shared a few smiles. He gave me a few driving tips that I tested out as we rolled along, he never grabbed the “oh crap” handle once all the way into Cranbrook. By now it was early Christmas morning and while we waited on his son to pick him up...the snow had stopped... he looked at me and said, “I can tell you haven’t been driving long, but you got more skill in your lack of experience than I could ever hope for in these old hands.” I just nodded as I thanked him. He continued...”You are a rare one girlie, your strong enough to get it done, your smart enough to do it but your humble enough to accept this old man’s advice and for that, I thank you.” I must have had this confused look on my face for as he shook

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my hand he said, “I came home from the wars to an empty house, my family died back there on that rock where you picked me up. Until tonight I was in a hurry to be with them. You showed this old vet that I am still good for something. Even if it’s helping you youngin’ learn to shift” he winked, he smiled. I wished him a Merry Christmas, as I headed off to my truck. I watched him walk away to his waiting ride. I smiled. As I drove off into the sunrise all I could think was that no matter how busy life becomes, there’s no greater gift we can give to another human than time. Mile after mile I drove on, feeling warmed by the heartfelt knowledge, that I had just given the greatest gift of all to a Military Vet who once gave everything he had, so we all could enjoy these holiday seasons. So while we’re busy and hustling about, give some thought to those alone this season. The truckers stopped for the day, the orphaned kids, the elderly, the homeless, and our vets. After all...Santa is watching! *****

More Idle Thoughts - Women like silent men - they think they’re listening. - Maybe if we tell people that the brain is an app they will start using it.

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Phantom 1209 Midnight on the prairies: you can hear coyotes howl, Somewhere on the interstate, a big rig’s on the prowl, The thunder of his engine sends a shiver through the night, Darkness is ripped asunder by an eerie ghostly light. I was out there on the highway, dog-tired and running late, A load that had to be on time – sleep would have to wait. From nowhere that rig passed me, and I blinked him back in line, The name upon the back door was Phantom 1209. I punched down on the throttle, to keep this rig in sight, Someone that I could talk to, to help me through the night, I heard over the radio, “I know you’re short on time, Hang on to my taillights; we will both get there on time.” All at once around me, I felt a kind of chill; My rig was picking up some speed while going up a hill. We talked to each other through the night on families and home, And being on the highway, dog-tired and all alone, And then I heard him tell me, “Your stop’s a mile away.” And in the coming daylight, that rig faded away. “If you’re ever running late,” I heard him give a call, “Just ask for Phantom 1209; I’ll help you make the haul.” Another lonely truck stop a few months down the line, I told this tale about him; that Phantom 1209. Some said I had been dreaming as we drove those miles away, But several older drivers nodded; and they smiled – Then out there on the super slab, we heard the air horns blow, And a big old diesel thundered by, with an eerie kind of glow… I know that he is out there, helping drivers down the line, He’s out there on the Interstate, that Phantom 1209.

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 amazon.com PAGE 38

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Pro-Trucker Magazine December 2017/January 2018  

December 2017/January 2018 Rig of the Month Featuring Toby Doyle Starting on page 22

Pro-Trucker Magazine December 2017/January 2018  

December 2017/January 2018 Rig of the Month Featuring Toby Doyle Starting on page 22