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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

PM #40033055

February 2019

Proudly

fEbruAry 2019

Rig of The Month Featuring Fred Lowe Starting on Page 16 do you hAvE somEthinG to sAy? EmAil john@PtmAG.cA

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february 2019


PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK... BY JOHN WHITE

VOLUME 21, ISSUE 01 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 Phone: 604-580-2092 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.

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A logbook review found the truck driver of the Humboldt accident violated 51 federal regulations and 19 Saskatchewan regulations between March 26 and April 6. The review said that had he been stopped and inspected he would have been under a 72-hour out-ofservice declaration at the time of the accident. It is well known that the main idea behind Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) is to reduce non-compliance with Hours of Service regulations and the result of the above review is that many provinces, led by Alberta, are calling on the Federal Government to expedite the implementation of mandatory ELD’s. While the drivers and companies who currently use ELD’s are, for the most part, very happy with them, there are some concerns that hit at the very heart of Hours Of Service that should be taken into consideration before implementation. If not, studies have shown that they may actually increase the number of accidents from sleep deprivation not decrease them. A very informative article written by Dean Croke from Freightways, a U.S. based website, supports something we have been talking about since the implementation of the Hours of Service regulations. The title of the article says it all, “Should Hours of Service Really be Hours of Sleep?” He writes “Most people are completely missing the point of the process, which is to keep tired drivers off the road. A commercial truck driver can be 100 percent compliant with the HOS regulations, yet sound asleep at the wheel. One study shows drivers on paper logs recorded a 30 percent lower U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) Recordable Accident rate compared to drivers using electronic logs.” The difference is paper logs afforded drivers a degree of flexibility that allowed them to schedule work and rest periods around their preferred sleep preference and sleep personality (but record something different in the log). Many safety experts say that this non-compliance is unsafe when in reality it’s the opposite from a driver’s perspective (because they actually sleep when they are tired). The reverse is true today with electronic logging devices (ELDs). Time is recorded digitally, forcing drivers to often drive when tired and then attempt to sleep at times of the day when it’s impossible to do so (such as during daylight hours). Exacerbating the problem are prescriptive rules including the “14-hour clock,” which prohibits driving beyond the 14th hour of work regardless of sleep and rest breaks within that time frame. Since research shows a 30-minute nap can give a driver a four-hour boost in alertness, not allowing naps to extend the workday seems illogical at best.” You can read the full article at: https://www. freightwaves.com/news/driver-issues/hours-of-service-should-be-hours-of-sleep On another note, although it may not seem like it, Spring is on the way followed by Show and Shine season. Alberta Big Rig Weekend will be held this year July 6-7 at Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku Alberta. Hope to see you there! r

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L ETTERS to the EDITOR

e Whit John azine

g r Ma ucke r T o Pr

John White Magazine Pro-Trucker

Dear John I would like to nominate Fred Lowe from Merritt B.C. for Rig of the Month. Fred turned 76 this year and is still one of the most productive drivers in the log hauling industry. Fred has a memory for detail on the many aspects of our industry to stay safe and productive. His family was on him to retire at age 65 as he had Colin cancer in 1997 and finally he called them together and told them when he wasn’t healthy and wasn’t having fun he would retire. When I first got to know him and work with him 5 1/2 years ago he had a 2010 Kenworth pulling a Super B log trailer. He said that when it hit 400,000 km he would retire. When it hit 389,000 his boss bought him a new Kenworth Tri-drive with a quad axle trailer. The challenge was too much to retire so he got that one rigged out properly and this summer he got his third new one. He has all the patience and experience to pass on to new drivers if they want to learn and very upset

with any drivers that do not respect their equipment or job and don’t realize the hard trail it took to get where we are at. When Fred got off the 2010 the brakes on the truck and trailer were at 60-70%. I followed Fred for 4 years and very rarely did I see his brake lights come on when coming up to a hill or corner. Whenever we got loaded before leaving the landing he would test his trailer brakes by pulling his hand valve as we always had a steep hill on the road to the mill He is a pleasure to work with as he enjoys his work and has a great sense of humour. He has a very supportive wife and a close family. Two years ago his grandson Ty Pozzobon, Canadian bull riding champion took his life because of concussion injury’s so his daughter and wife have been helping spread concussion awareness in Canada and the United States as Ty was well known in the rodeo world. Fred and his family in typical fashion have carried on and put the adversity behind them and used it for positive good. When he retires he will be missed and the trucking world will be short one more truly dedicated individual that has embraced the challenges of our industry in a positive way and enjoyed it as a challenging way to make a living and is leaving it better with his contribution. He came to Merritt from Hedley BC in his uncles single axle gas truck with hydravac brakes in the middle of the night to haul logs and stayed ever since getting married raising a family buying his own truck starting his own logging outfit selling the logging outfit to Nadina logging then a few years later

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selling his truck to them and has driven for Nadina since then. Thank you for considering this. Myles Forman Editor’s note: Thank you for the nomination Myles. I spoke to Fred and he truly is an inspiration to us all. As I am sure you have seen by the picture on the cover Fred is this issues Rig of the Month driver. Dear John, There seems to be a lot of differences of opinion on the legal use of VHF and other radios we use in the trucking industry so I looked into it. I went straight to the source and found some things that I thought drivers should know especially if travelling south to the U.S. First, according to Industry Canada to operate a VHF radio you must have a license and follow the restrictions set on that license. Once you have a license “Ladd” radio channels are to be used for inter-truck safety and mobile use only. This includes warning other drivers about road conditions and or hazards and they can also be used by pilot cars to communicate with the truck driver and other pilot cars involved in the move. Canadian Federal officers say if you get caught using them without a license, not following the restrictions on the license, or outside the approved areas of “Western

and Northern Canada” penalties can be as high as $5000, and/or one year in jail for an individual and up to $25000 for a corporation. The director of a corporation can also be held responsible for the actions of lease, owner-operators, staff and employees. The license is inexpensive and easy to get and much cheaper than paying the penalties. What is even more interesting is the use of VHF Ladd channels when going south of the border... I received an official reply from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington DC, who kindly pointed out the use of Canadian Ladd radio channels in the USA falls under the Homeland Security Act. They went on to say, with a bit of humour but still deadly serious, that you can win an all-expense paid vacation to the military prison in Guantanamo Bay Cuba if you are caught. The Americans were very clear in saying one of their Ladd channels is used by a US Federal agency with a three letter acronym not starting with “F”. (FBI) Based on the FCC comments it can only be one of two other agencies and either one would be “worse than bad news” for any trucker stopped and facing charges under U.S. law. Subsequently, the only radio that can effectively be used on both sides of the border is a CB. Sincerely, James, The Trucker...

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Editor’s note: Thank you, James, that is good information. With the political soap opera that is going on down south, you never know what may happen but one thing is for certain, pleading ignorance of the law will definitely not help. In most instances they have never given much leeway to Canadians and messing with Homeland Security, even if you could avoid imprisonment, would automatically disqualify a driver from ever entering the U.S. again. *****

Woman Stops Alligator Attack Using a Small Beretta Pistol Here’s her story in her own words: “While out walking along the edge of a pond just outside my house in The Villages with my soon to be ex-husband, discussing property settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12-ft. alligator which suddenly emerged from the murky water. It began charging us with its large jaws wide open. She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta .22 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today! Just one shot to my estranged husband’s knee cap was all it took. The gator got him easily, and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. The amount I saved in lawyer’s fees was really incredible and his life insurance was a big bonus! ~ Sent in by Dean Nagy february 2019

Psyche Scars and Lessons Learned By David Rusk

David started his career in 1989 with Trans-X. He has run team, hauled reefers, general freight, logs and chips. He currently hauls B Train tankers both on and off road out of Fort Mac. It is always good to remember things that we have learned along the way. Many of those memories are unpleasant but often they are the important ones. Close calls, accidents and demonstrations of idiot people doing insane things. Everything from the discomfort of not enough layers on a cool morning to a mind-numbing fright or terror. I’ve always been told how we as operators must train our minds to see the dangers and constantly update our escape plans. Well, one summer morning early in my career as I was learning the tricks to keep focused, to keep my tired eyes open and my worn out brain working, the monster jumped in front of my truck and in an instant I became a murderer. Moonbeam Ontario is a small far northern town along the highway 11 route of the TransCanada system. Some say strange flashing lights in the dark night skies of 1909 is where the town garnered its name, and just like back then,

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the road doubled as the main street. The speed limit drops from 80 to 50 kph in this once forgotten town but rarely does anyone, including truckers, ever slow down enough. Letting the engine brake drag my 46,000 kg transport through the posted limit, I watched a small group of youngsters on the left sidewalk rough house each other, laughing and squealing as kids will. As the Jakes barked out one last time while slowing my approach, their ears caught another sound and as a group, they paused to look across the highway. Condition yellow switched to red as I realized the brakes were my only possible escape plan and following their look to the right, I knew it was time to escape. Training took over and my feet covered the clutch and brake pedals as I saw him break free, ahead of his mates. Oh God, he had roller blades on. Caught up in his interest of friends beckoning him over, that little boy put his head down and began skating unsteadily but for all he was worth. He was going across the street to see his buddies, except I was going to kill him before he got there. Feet already prepared, my reaction was fast, stabbing both to the floorboards as hard as I could. With my heart in my throat, I tried to will that still moving Pete 379 to a stop. Finally, he saw me but I knew it was too late. Impossible to stop, he fell trying to backpedal and as that innocent 10-year-old boy with feet and arms flailing uselessly in the air disappeared in front of that trucks extended hood - I

NEW Extended Hours Mon-Fri 8 am- Midnight • Sat 8 am- 5pm screamed. Stopping in the same instant I jumped out as horrible thoughts filled me. The front and no kid. Oh my god, he’s underneath! Beyond frantic, I leapt to the passenger side wheel well where a high pitched keening sound greeted me. He’s alive! I almost broke down as I saw the steer tire resting against his midsection. A few more inches, a speed of 55 instead of 45, any one of the countless bad habits we see every day on the roads, and that little boy would be dead - his insides spread on the asphalt. That would have been the end for me. Honestly, I don’t think I could have dealt with it.

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That was almost three decades ago and I still see the absolute horror in that kid’s eyes as he found mine, the eyes of his killer, just before vanishing beneath my truck. To be so young and understand that death was upon you, that is my psyche scar. I keep it close to the surface and raw, the understanding of death in the terror-filled eyes of a boy. Helping me to remain vigilant, this and so many other experiences have moulded me into who I am and how I approach something so drastic and possibly life-altering. By sharing my own memories and lessons learned, which is all one really has, I hope to stir your mind and let you discover what is held inside. Maybe it was that left-turning car in your path or a deer at night. Was it speed and inexperience? Loose gravel on a grey afternoon grips a dark corner of more than one of your souls. Did you scar your mind - or worse? Maybe like so many of us a much deeper wound lurks inside. A husband and father gone without a goodbye or a daughter broken and afraid, who whispers the last words she ever will from a cold ditch. It’s these ones that we need to keep fresh because they remind us how fragile and small we are, how easily we break. The power we wield over the lives that surround us is a grave responsibility and those lives demand our dedication to learning, in real time or from the past. We owe it to them. It’s minus 40 tonight and my eighteen wheeled lover

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waits patiently as I sift through reams of memories, letting vivid ones lead me deeper to the almost forgotten. Tonight think of your loved ones and think of your life, of the lessons you have learned. Your eighteen wheeled fantastical escape craft waits for you but remember, in an instant of inattention it can destroy.

Driving Through my Memories

By Dale Howard Dale Howard has been a Truck Driver, Armoured Truck Driver, and Alberta CVSE. He returned to driving truck and now drives, “The Great Pumpkin.”

Well happy new year, I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and got some time in with family and friends and here’s too 2019 If you’re looking for a New Years resolution how about resolving to make our industry a better place to work in and leave it a better place than when we found it. A good place to start is slow down and smell the coffee - don’t sweat the small stuff. If you see a driver struggling to get into a dock, rather than grabbing your phone to post the carnage that is about to happen on Facebook, why not jump out and help him out. Let’s not forget we all started someplace. Cut dispatch some slack and I am writing this one for me, I have no idea what is going on in Ryan’s world all I get is a text and I have all day to stew on what I think he meant by that message or I can just brush it off and move on, we have all day to sit and reflect so why not be positive. (And I don’t mean I’m positive he is screwing me over…lol) We all bitch and complain about the 4 wheelers but at the end of the day who is the professional driver? Screaming at them and pulling the horn cord out of the roof will do nothing to improve their driving habits. How about offering some time and your truck to a driving school to help educate the new upcoming drivers? Reach out to your provincial Trucking Association they can use all the help they can get to help educate the motoring public. And finally resolve to be a better and more respectful driver yourself, we can only change one driver at a time so we have to start somewhere. How about taking this new year to get into audiobooks to fill that free time and further our education, think of all the free time we have, why not turn that into time to learn and further our own knowledge. If this is the year for a job change don’t just jump for the sake of changing companies. Sit down and draw up your perfect job on paper, two columns things that are a must have, and things that are a nice to have. Now is the time to do the hard work. Once you have your list, narrow down the list of carriers that fit your profile. Now the fun starts. Draw up a list of questions that you have and write them out leaving fEbruAry 2019

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Call Al 604-882-7623 room for answers. Now it’s time for you to interview your prospective employers, this really freaks them out because nobody does this but it really pays off in the long run. You can write down their answers and after the interview, you can compare notes and make an informed decision. Show up with a package, a current resume, (if you don’t have one go online there are lots of free fill in the blanks) or pay somebody to draw one up for you. This helps set you apart. As an owner operator take a good picture of your truck and start a binder, it should contain the picture, a scale ticket, a copy of your registration, a copy of your current CVIP and your resume as well as any information you feel a prospective employer would need to hire you. You really need to go through the process as a job change costs between $5,000 to $8,000 after downtime. It’s never a smooth transition so you only need to move once. Following these steps really set you apart from the rest of the applicants “Sometimes, not saying anything is the Best answer. Because Silence can never be misquoted.” Stay safe and next month we will talk cargo securement.

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.

Twenty-Four-Hour Pay This internet thing is wonderful, I can sit in the comfort of my living room and see what truckers all over the world are up to. A headline to an article took my attention. It was about an Arkansas Federal judge who had ruled that sleeping truckers are still on the job. The judge ruled against the trucking company PAM in a class- action lawsuit involving 3000 drivers who argued they should be paid even when sleeping in their trucks. Drivers who want to be paid for sleeping in their truck? When I read that I had to utter the famous Glasgow phrase

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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

made up of two positive words with a negative meaning, “Aye Right”. What company is going to pay a driver for sleeping in his truck at the end of his shift? But then I started to think, if you’re a company driver as soon as you take that truck and trailer out of the depot, be it for two days, or two weeks, you are responsible for that truck and its load. You must operate legally and safely, plan your route and where you’re going to park up for the night. I don’t know about across the pond, but over here there’s a chance when you park in a truck stop for the night while pulling a curtain-sided trailer you might wake up to the curtain neatly sliced open with a box cutter, and most of your load gone. If you’re not on the clock does it matter to you that the load is being pilfered, would you be brave or stupid enough to tackle a gang of thieves in the dark? That’s always assuming you can find a space to park, most of our truck stops are so small that they are not fit for purpose. Which is why industrial estates and lay-bys, or pull-outs as you call them, are full of sleeping truckers every night. But that’s a completely different topic, in regard to safety and toilet/showering facilities. In days gone by, when I was a young trucker and away for three days, back on the third day to unload and reload, then away for another three days, we got overnight money. It was usually cash in hand and tax-free, it was meant to pay for meals and accommodation. As this was well before sleeper cabs became common, you booked a bed in your

favourite driver’s digs in the area you knew you would end up in at the end of the day. They were all usually cafés with the beds above, and it was paid for on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis. As with all things, some were better than others, I still remember a big house in the north of Scotland where I slept on a tubular metal bed with a thin mattress. I was so cold through the night I put all my clothes back on, including my overalls and boots, and got back into bed. It was so long ago I can’t remember how much the overnight money was back then. But just like everything, as the years passed and the money increased the income tax people decided the working man couldn’t be allowed all this tax-free cash. So they set a limit on how much the drivers would be allowed before tax. The internet has come to my rescue again and told me how much modern day drivers are paid while away from home. To say I was shocked is an understatement. In the unlikely event of a driver without a sleeper cab, the allowance is £34.90 per day. ($59.86 Canadian.) Where would you get a bed for the night for that money? If all the old driver’s digs were still around you could possibly get into one of them for that amount, but ironically, sleeper cabs killed them off and almost all are now defunct. The allowance for a driver with a sleeper cab is seventy-five percent of that, £26.20,(44.94) that’s not a lot of money over here to feed yourself for the day. So, while I’d like to see all drivers rewarded fairly for their efforts and time away from home, we all know that if that company has to pay 3000 drivers more money, there will be consequences in other areas.

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.

National Kneejerk Montreal: “The country’s transportation ministers have agreed to develop an entry-level training standard for semitruck drivers nationwide. Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau says the minimum bar to get behind the wheel of a semi-truck will ensure drivers have the necessary skills, and will be in place by January 2020.” On the heels of a petition, containing only a couple thousand signatures, and the tragic outcome of the bus crash north of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, calling for highway safety and commercial truck driving standards, the Government of Canada wades into an arena they quite visibly have no solid concept of. This lack of knowledge, in their proposed government implementation of a national commercial driver accreditation PAGE 12

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process, is readily apparent based on how quickly they are rushing to implement it. Before any program can be launched, research and understanding of how other facets of the industry will be impacted, both negatively and positively, needs to be conducted. Many questions have to be answered. But in the proverbial, cart before the horse adage, those answers have not been collected before the announcement was made. What about those drivers who are already out there? Do they continue, grandfathered by their experience? Who conducts, oversees, and follows up on training? Is there a criteria list for accredited schools? The list of questions unanswered goes beyond the trucking industry itself. Who decides whether a shipper must use an accredited school graduate or not? How will the economy survive while this monumental crisis of qualified drivers takes place? While the proposed training occurs, will drivers who are not trained, but still driving, be operating illegally? What are the penalties for violating? What are the penalties for companies that refuse to comply? What are the penalties to shippers who use untrained operators? Will there be a National registry for approved companies. Will there be a tax credit for companies getting on board? In the past provinces have been responsible for the level of driver standards. How does the federal government propose to remove that liberty from the provinces in only one aspect

of licensing drivers in each province? I ask that because you can’t very well train one level of drivers and expect the other drivers to know how to interact with each other. That occurs even today with the lack of driver training which currently exists at ALL levels on our roadways. Which leads us into the statistics side of the equation, because you know (cynically), that statistics are a driving force in the fair and equitable implementation of standards. There is a rash of horrific truck crashes, I acknowledge that. When you deal with immense weights and speed, you are definitely going to have larger scale damage. But trucks are not the biggest offenders on the road, in fact, they are the safest. I’ll make it clear before some of you ask for my head on a spike, I’m an advocate for a high level of commercial driver training, but if we use statistics to solely make decisions on who gets trained, and not the emotional impact by the few tragic events, then those who currently hold a passenger vehicle licence should be the first ones to feel the crunch. I can guarantee that the federal government is not going to touch that with a ten-foot pole. So for them to come out with the saviour of all highway safety plans without addressing the questions and the hard truths of life on the highway, then come 2020 we will see the combination flurries of kneejerk reactions to a process that was implemented with only the thought of how pretty they think they will look come election day. r

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Just Yesterday

“Probably the Largest Collection of Model-T’s in the World” While on a road trip through Yuma Arizona in October I had breakfast with Claude Denning, a truck driver from Ontario. He asked if I liked antique trucks and then told me about the Cloud Museum. Next morning Donna and I headed over and we found a real gem in the desert. The Cloud Museum is owned by Johnny Cloud a long time Bard California resident who began the collection in 1989. The sign out front boasts that it is, “Probably the Largest Collection of Model-T’s in the World” and it very well could be. There are over 120 vehicles in the yard including a treasure trove of beautifully restored ones in the sheds. The collection is well organized and incredibly impressive. The Museum is located 10 miles North of Yuma, Arizona at 1398 York Road Bard, California and is open 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm - except for the hottest summer months. The cost of admission is only $5 and well worth it. For more information call Johnny at 928-919-5508. He is a wealth of information and will be more than happy to talk to you. If you have some extra time it is a great spot to check out. PAGE 14

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398 York Road Bard, California open 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm - except for the hottest summer months. Admission is only $5. For more information call Johnny at 928-919-5508. february 2019

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Rig of the Month

By John White Fred Lowe lives in Merritt BC and is very well known and respected in the logging industry. He has hauled logs in some of the toughest areas of BC. It is probably safe to say that he

has done this with the widest variety of equipment over the longest period of time of anyone who is currently still throwing wrappers on a logging truck. This is his story:

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I was born on June 22, 1942, in Princeton, BC. My parents lived in Hedley at the time but the closest hospital was in Princeton. Today you can travel from Hedley to Princeton in about half an hour but back then it was not much more than a windy gravel trail that ran on the other side of the river and took hours to travel. My Dad was wounded in WW2 and subsequently reported missing in action. My mother and the whole town anxiously waited for word from him. The post office even stayed open Christmas day in hope of getting a telegram about him. He was finally found in a hospital in England and brought home on the Queen Mary which had been converted to a hospital ship. When my Dad came home he ran a grader for the Ministry of Highways and helped build the new road from Hedley to Princeton. He never talked about the war but every so often he would have to make the long trip to Vancouver so they could dig more shrapnel out of him. In 1948, when I was 6 years old, our family moved to Penticton, BC. My three Uncles, Art, Fred and Ike Harris lived in the Similkameen Valley when I was going to school Uncle Art and Uncle Fred had a taxi business in Hedley. When the Mascot Mine shutdown in 1949 business got real slow so they started hauling logs to the three sawmills in Keremeos. They had a 3 Ton GMC with hydraulic brakes and a single axle trailer with vacuum brakes. I used to ride with them every chance I got on the weekends and holidays and then when I was back at school during the

Fred Lowe and Family week I spent a lot of time drawing pictures of trucks and logging equipment. Later when a small sawmill opened up in Hedley my Uncle Art started his own logging show and hauled the logs to the new mill. Every weekend I would hitchhike from Penticton to Hedley so I could work with my Uncle. I worked hard and learned everything I could about trucks and hauling logs and then on Sunday nights my Uncle Art would drive me back to Penticton. He liked to take me home because they didn’t have TV in Hedley so it gave him a chance to watch Bonanza. As time went on and I took more and more of an interest in the trucks and after a while, he began to teach me how to drive.

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Every once in a while we would haul a load of lumber from Hedley to Vancouver which was a long trip. The trucks back then didn’t have much power and often when going up the steep hill leaving Princeton I would get out of the truck and run up the hill ahead of him. One time on the return trip he fell asleep and we were heading right for the rocks when I reached over and smacked him. He woke up just in time to stop us from hitting the rock face. Things were going along just fine in the industry until the Government issued a quota system for logging companies and all the sawmills in Keremeos and Hedley shut down. I was in grade 9 by this time and had just turned 16 years old when I left home and school to go to work with Uncle Art. We worked for Horvatin Logging in Greenwood where I did the bull work of hooking chokers while Uncle Art drove a D6 Cat. I remember one time Walter Palm let me drive his truck down Phoenix Mountain above Greenwood. After I reached the bottom he told me that I would never make it as a truck driver and he would never let me drive again. If he only knew… In 1960 my Uncle Art got a call from Merritt to go to work hauling logs in the Missezula Lake area North of Princeton so I packed up and away I went in a 1956 Mercury 800 with a tag along axle. It was October 1960 and I got there in the middle of the night so I headed straight into the bush where I met Ted Kadohama. He was staying in his camp trailer in the bush and he loaded me with the forklift one log at a time. I will never forget that first trip into Merritt. When I got to the top of Hamilton Hill I thought oh boy here I go. It was a trial by fire but I made it to the bottom in one piece I and have been driving ever since.

A few months later Uncle Art joined me in Merritt when he started logging for O’Neill & Devine. I continued on working for my Uncle until 1962 when I started working for Kadohama Logging, driving an old wore out blue Peterbilt. It was during this time that I met Carol Gordon in Merritt and we began dating. In late 1962 I bought my first truck, a 1952 Mercury with a single axle trailer and vacuum brakes and went back to hauling logs into Merritt for my Uncle Art. In 1963 my Uncle decided to quit logging so I sold the Mercury to Katona Bros. in Merritt. The Katona family had just arrived in Merritt after escaping from Russian controlled communist Hungary. Louis Katona and I are still friends to this day. After that I drove a brand new yellow and green Kenworth for Tommy Torrika and I can still remember being pretty proud of myself driving around in that rig. Carol and I married July 4, 1964, and about this time Tom decided to move the truck to Williams Lake so away we went. Carol worked for the Bank of Montreal at the time and as luck would have it there was an opening and she was able to transfer to that branch. It was a bitterly cold winter that year. So cold in fact that we used the trunk of our car for a freezer. The work in Williams Lake only lasted six months and I was only paid 22% of the truck’s gross. I remember getting paid $80.00 for a full month’s work and our car payment was $85. Like I said it was a tough winter - nobody made any money that year. Back to Merritt we went and luck was still with us as Carol was able to transfer back. I went to work for Ernie Wilkins driving a brand new blue Hayes HD, with a truck and pup. This

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was in 1967 when our first daughter Laura was born. On our 6th anniversary I was following Larry “Popeye” Smyth while coming back into Merritt with a load of logs. I was trying to keep up to him but the grader had left a windrow in middle of the road and as I swerved to go around it my tire caught and I rolled the truck - load and all. Popeye was a bit of a legend in the logging industry. He was often referred to as the Bull of the Woods. He fought hard for our rates and generally kept everyone on their toes. Management and drivers alike. Old Popeye was a good friend and he drank as hard as he worked. He would often show up in the middle of the night, not entirely sober, wanting to visit. Things were different back then as I’m sure some of you remember and others have heard. To give you an example, one time a bunch of us stopped between loads for lunch and a quick beer at the local hotel. An RCMP officer came in and headed right for our table asking who owned those logging trucks out front. We told him that we did and he said that we should probably finish our beer and get back to work. It is not something you would do today and definitely not the reaction you would get from the RCMP if you did. In 1968 my friend Gary Nicholson and I bought two trucks from ML Brown, a Hayes Clipper and an International V-Line. After a few months, we traded them in for two 1965 Kenworths and continued hauling for Brown’s in Merritt. We all have experiences that stick with us. Some good and some bad. One of the worst experiences I have ever had was when I was hauling logs for ML Brown. A young fellow from Quebec, who could hardly speak a word of English, had recently gone to work for them when one day he rolled his skidder.

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He didn’t have a chance. It landed on top of him, killing him instantly. When I got to the landing a couple of us had to crawl up into the bush and dig him out then carry his body down to the landing on a stretcher. Somethings you never forget. When the Southern Interior Loggers went on strike we followed Brown’s to Mackenzie but once we got up there Gary was in a bad truck accident. I kept hauling logs but once Gary recovered we dissolved our business. This is when our second daughter Leanne was born. In 1969 I bought the truck called the “Old West” from Uncle Art. We wrote the “official” sales contract out on a matchbook. It said, “West Coast International - $13,500 at $500 per month for truck and pup.” In 1970 I traded in the Old West for a new orange and white Mack with Brentwood long log rigging. In typical trucking fashion, things were going so bad that I bought two more trucks, another Mack and a Kenworth. We hauled logs from ML Brown into Merritt but I was soon flat ass broke. We were done. It was a fast ride in 1972. I had to keep food on the table so I went to work for Transall, running double with Tiny Jensen, from Vancouver to Montreal or Vancouver to Toronto. When the truck was put on for Inland Livestock and we pulled trailers for Lynden Transport from Sumas to Alaska. Tiny and I put on about 97,000 miles together and it was quite a ride. We ran across Canada and to Alaska and generally spent more money than we made. On one trip on the Alaska Highway, Tiny was driving while I was in the bunk when a truck that pulled camp shacks came around a corner empty. The road was heavy washboard and he was so light that his back end bounced around sideways right into our truck. I

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let out a bellow and looked out to see our hood had flown open and the force had pushed Tiny forward bending the steering wheel. Under normal instances the steering wheel would have survived but there was a very good reason why they called him Tiny – he was a big boy. I stopped one time to buy a pair of pants at a store and he asked me to pick up a pair for him too. I took a wild guess at his size but I had to go back to see if they had anything bigger – he needed a size 58 around the waist! Tiny and I had some good times together but it was time to be home with my family so for the next couple of years I went from trucker back to logger and worked in the bush for ML Brown and George Ware. In 1976, I went logging fulltime and started Ace Logging Ltd. We had a conventional logging side with cats and skidders as well as the first hi-lead logging operation in the Nicola Valley. Along with logging equipment, we had added a 1978 Western Star that hauled logs and low bedded. Family time was key for us and we camped out in the bush from the day the girls got out of school until the day they went back after the summer. Every Sunday people would come out in bush to visit and some drivers would come to pre-load. One Sunday my twelveyear-old future son-in-law, Lorne Christy jr. came out with John Mcbee. Now John was a driver who had been shot in a hunting accident a few years back and never fully recovered. He could still drive but he hired Lorne to throw wrappers and swamp for him. On this particular day John got into a bit too much alcohol and I ended up asking Lorne to drive the truck back to Merritt - which he did. Lorne’s mother was furious with me and as a matter of fact, I think she may still be mad at me for letting him drive that logging truck home. But it was

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worth it - I still have to smile when I remember the huge smile Lorne wore as he pulled off the landing in that truck. There were lots of good times along with tough times and when things got tough the Western Star, with me behind the wheel, is what pulled us through. In 1986 we added a green Kenworth with a jeep and a pull trailer to the business. (We said it was the colour of money – wishful thinking?) We joke about it now as Kenworth was having a deal at the time where if you bought a truck you got a free trip to Hawaii, so Carol and I enjoyed a week in Hawaii. In 1991 we updated the truck and bought a brand new Kenworth. One day I decided to take Laura with me for a round trip to the mill. It was really muddy in the bush so the loader gave us a push to get us off the landing. But when he pushed the back of the load a log came through the back window pinning me up against the steering wheel. Laura jumped on the radio and yelled to stop pushing. Luckily she had spent a lot of time in the bush and knew how to use the radio. We laugh about it now but it could have been much more serious. In 1994 I sold my logging quota to Nadina Logging Ltd. but I held on to the logging truck and kept on working it. As I was back in the driver’s seat fulltime life was getting better so we updated the truck to a 1995 Kenworth with a jeep and pull trailer. During this time I hauled logs for various contractors. My longest log haul was from the NWT to Prince George. In 2001 I updated again to a new Kenworth with a custom built Hayrack to haul short logs and went back to hauling logs for Nadina Logging in the Nicola Valley. In 2005 I sold the truck to Frank Etchart at Nadina’s and I became a Nadina company driver where I am still hauling logs to this day. Since being at Nadina’s I’ve rigged out and driven a lot of new Kenworths, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2017 & the truck I currently drive is a 2018 Tri-Drive with a quad trailer that hauls 3 bundles of short logs. I’ve seen a lot of different configurations over the years from short logs to long, back to short, triaxles, jeeps, quads, etc. I have also seen a lot of changes in our industry. When I started you bought a C Chauffeurs license that cost a dollar. For that dollar they gave you a badge that was worn on your belt telling the world that you were allowed to drive truck. The next license up cost another dollar but it was a round badge that you wore on your hat and allowed you not only to drive a truck but also to drive a taxi. In the early 70’s we all had to write an Air Ticket exam.

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I remember one day a bunch of us went down to the Merritt Secondary School to write the air exam. We were not sober and consequently we all failed. A few days later we all got to re-write and everyone passed. Not only were we all sober the second time but I had also written the questions on my hand during the first exam and shared them with the others drivers. We were not used to writing tests, and half of us had very little education, but we all knew how to drive. I love what I do, that’s why I am still doing it at age 76. I leave the house every day at midnight with a smile on my face. It has been a great life, I have met lots of friends along the way. I had great teachers and mentors in my life; Uncle Art Harris, Uncle Fred Harris, Al Durban, Roy Brown, Ernie Wilkins and of course Larry “Popeye” Smyth to name a few. Some of the greatest people set great examples for me and I hope I have passed that on to the next generation. The industry has changed and it’s disappointing that the young people today either haven’t had the opportunities that I had, or don’t see driving as a profession, so they don’t seek out the opportunities. It’s hard work but nothing comes easy in life. Over the past 60 years I’ve passed my knowledge on to anyone that was interested. Some of the things I have passed on are to love what you are doing, take pride in your work, don’t wear your hat backwards (drives me crazy), get your hands out of your pockets (it’s a sign of laziness), keep your dash clean of items and your truck serviced and looking neat. But most importantly, read the road and feel the load at all times. I am proud to say that my family is all in the trucking/ forestry business. My son in law Lorne Christy has 3 trucks; son in law Luke Pozzobon builds logging roads, my grandson

Jordie Christy loads logs and both my daughters Laura Christy & Leanne Pozzobon are office managers for trucking companies and most important my wife Carol has been by my side since 1964. I also have two beautiful granddaughters; Amy Pozzobon is an Xray Technician and Courtney Christy is at Brock University in Ontario. Our family was struck with tragedy in January 2017 with the loss of my grandson Ty Pozzobon, who was a professional bull rider. A couple of Ty’s accomplishments was being a 4 year qualifier to the Calgary Stampede and 4 year qualifier to the PBR world finals in Las Vegas. He made our country proud in 2016 by coming 4th in the world finals in Las Vegas. Ty was crowned the Canadian PBR Champion in 2016. He was extremely well liked and at the top of his game when he committed suicide. It was found that he suffered with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) which is a progressive degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated concussions and is prevalent in athletes who sustain hits to the head. Now our whole family works to spread awareness about, and how to recognize, the signs of CTE. Ty put Merritt on the Bull riding map and was instrumental in having bull riding events in Merritt where some of the best bull riders in the world competed. A lady from Medicine Hat Alberta carved a wood statue of Ty and the city of Merritt has already poured a pad where the statue will be placed this spring commemorating his achievements. When I came to Merritt in Oct 1960, at 17 years of age, I was the youngest driver in the valley, today, I am the oldest. All in all, it’s been a great ride and, other than the tragedy of losing Ty, I wouldn’t change a thing if I could.

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Editor’s note: Our careers have a profound effect on our children but we seldom get to hear exactly how they feel about it. The following is a speech written by Fred’s daughter Laura when, in Grade 9, she won the Merritt Secondary School Speech Competition. My Life As a Logger’s Daughter Good evening ladies and gentlemen, judges and fellow competitors. This evening I’m going to tell you what it’s like being a logger’s daughter. Let me tell you there is never a dull moment. Our normal morning starts when the alarm goes off at 4:00 am. The house isn’t too noisy when Mom gets up to put the coffee on and to make Dad’s lunch, but when Dad gets up and turns the Kamloops western music station on the whole house has to get up. While Dad has his morning coffee and cigarette we hope that the phone doesn’t ring because when it does it usually means that someone isn’t going to show up for work. The odd morning when we’ve all slept in and the phone rings it sure comes in handy to wake up. Then it’s a rush to get Dad away. After our neighbours and our family listen to a pickup or a logging truck warm up Dad is off to work. We can now get a couple of hours sleep before school starts. During the day when there is a minor breakdown Mom is usually the one to get the call. The message is usually something short like “bring us up some chokers or parts.” This call is made from our radio-telephone which is in the pickup. So out Mom goes in her little car to the bush. Finally, the day is coming to an end and we still haven’t eaten dinner. A lot of nights we have to eat without Dad because he’s still at

work. When he does get home the phone is always ringing no matter what the time. Other disadvantages are my Dad gets very little time off, we don’t have much of a family life away from work, and we run on a tight budget, especially during Spring Break Up. This is when the snow is melting and the bush is too wet to work in. Even though things might be a little tight sometimes we never seem to go without. When things are running smooth and there’s lots of work there is always a lot of extras around. I also have learned a whole new vocabulary being around loggers. There are many more advantages, meeting lots of fun people like men on Dad’s crew who aren’t even bad looking, other loggers, their families and salesmen who bring hats and t-shirts to my sister and me. Our summers are spent camping by Dad’s landing where we have great times. There are always vehicles available which are fully insured and they come with a gas key for the bulk plant. I’ve learned how to run equipment and to monkey wrench. Safety on the job and keeping the equipment in top condition is knowledge I’ve acquired by being a logger’s daughter. I now understand why people in all walks of life should take care of and respect our forests because they should be here forever. I also have the opportunity of being made aware of all the job careers available in the forest and related industries. I’m glad my Dad puts up with my lack of machinery knowledge but I still think that sometimes he would have liked to have had a son. Overall I’m glad my Dad is a logger because I’ve been exposed to many opportunities that some kids wouldn’t even dream of. If you think Loretta Lynn had it tough being a coal miner’s daughter, you should live at my house for a while. 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. Internet Expert The advent of the internet has made life infinitely easier, so much so that we call on it for nearly everything. We use it to navigate, to shop, to communicate and as the end all be all for answers. How many times in the past week has someone asked you a question where you picked up your smartphone and searched up the answer? If you’re like most people you can’t count the number and that is fine. You’re normal, gone are the days of trying to recall an answer from your memory. Gone are the days of getting back to someone after you look up the answer in a book. Same with making up the answer in the hopes you’ll never be proven wrong! I got to thinking about this the other day when I was online looking for advice on a project with my son’s pick-up. Now I was looking to simply find some examples of how people had wired up their driving lights on their Tacoma. Instead of just getting a few examples of what people had used for switches or where they hid the relays I ended up going down a two hour long internet rabbit hole. It was a vortex filled with right answers, wrong answers, straight up hate and several completely unrelated threads about the origin of a superhero??? Yup, I was lost in the world of the internet expert and of course the internet tough guy. It is obviously not my first time on the internet but I for some reason was more taken aback and disappointed with what I saw. I am very easily sidetracked and once I was jolted back on course I shut down the blog and wired the lights how I planned in the first place. A couple of days later I was at work looking to get some information on 13L truck engines. Back in the day, I would’ve just asked around to some of the fleet managers I know and see what kind of luck they were having but of course, I just went on the web. Now when you search up DD13 Detroit or Paccar MX or Mack MP8, or any of them, what you get is very little about actual experiences. Of course the top results will be from the manufacturers themselves telling you how great their ‘new’ engines and features are, and then it gets ugly. Whatever blog you hit will have a post saying that has a driver for company X who has 240,000 miles on whatever motor and it works great and pulls good and the company is very happy with all 40 trucks they have like that. Apparently though this driver has no right to speak on the issue because he is a company driver and doesn’t know anything – at least according to owner-operator ‘A’. This guy also says he’s heard of a guy who had this motor and it blew up 5 miles out of the dealership! PAGE 26

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Canyon Cable 1988 Ltd. 930-6th Ave., Hope, BC 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 Driver ‘B’ chimes in that both other guys are idiots because the only good engines were made before 1986 and if you run anything else you deserve what you get. Engineer ‘C’ chimes in that all of these trucks are already obsolete and they should be talking about the advent of the electric-nuclear- hydrogen-solar-wind powered truck which he’s seen tested and it will have no external mirrors and drive itself. This is all a little tongue in cheek but not far off the real thread I followed, suffice to say I called a few people to try to get an answer. In the process of talking to “real” people, I was able to gain a lot more knowledge from what they told me. I still heard a few horror stories and I heard stories that were way out there but talking with the person in real time gives the stories context. That’s what I find is lost in online communications - context and reality. A week later I was looking to find some information on a workout I was planning, hmm, of course, pull out the phone hit the Google. Wow! It turns out people may be more opinionated about what I do with my body than almost anything else on the net! While I was only looking to check the range of motion for a certain exercise I learned so much more; I need a certain supplement, I shouldn’t use any supplements, bodyweight exercises are the only way, free weights are the only way, machines and Bowflex are the only way… I think I’ll go read Pumping Iron! My point is that when you are looking for an answer to any subjective question, have a good look at the source. That’s a tall order when you are researching on the net because you need zero actual credentials to provide advice online, even less to criticize that advice, yet we all go on there to try to find answers to our questions! This little experiment/epiphany has provided me with some laughs for sure but it also caused me to pick up a few more books. ***** “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.” – Winston Churchill Breaking News: Trudeau has just nominated Canada for the “Bucket Challenge.”

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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.

Cold Weather This story takes me way back when to the year that I turned 14. It was the middle of January and all the old timers said it was the coldest winter they had ever seen. In some places we had snow drifts that went all the way to the top of the telephone poles. Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning and it was COLD, even in my room. It was a longjohns, two pair of socks, lined jeans and a heavy shirt type of morning. The kitchen was nice and warm though and after a quick bowl of porridge, I headed for the barn while Dad headed for the garage to get the R Model running and head out to do the snow plowing for the township. I checked the thermometer on the side of the woodshed and it read 34 below Fahrenheit, which is about -36.6 Celsius, and that was out of the wind. On the walk to the barn you could feel the wind pushing our backs (we found out later it was 40mph with gusts to 60) and we just knew that heading back to the house would be brutal. I fed the cattle and the horses and made sure to put in a little extra hay as we had three white-tailed does mixed in with the herd. This was about the time I was thanking my lucky stars that we had gone straight to raising beef and phased out the dairy and hogs. When we were finished we headed back to the house. It was about 100 yards between the barn and the house and we had to stop three times to turn our backs to the wind and catch our breath. We went back into the kitchen, took off our heavy coats and edged close up to the big kitchen stove to sip a cup of hot chocolate and warm up. Dad had headed out and stopped next door to pick up Len as his wingman and we figured everything was going fine when the phone rang and it was Len. Apparently after Dad picked him up they headed up the road and had hit a drift that Len said was at least 12 feet deep. Dad hit the drift, buried the plow and was now stuck. Len had walked back to his place to phone me so I could take the 960 Loader up to pull Dad free and open the road. Back on with all the heavy outdoor gear and out to the garage I went which was fairly warm by now as Dad had made sure the big stove was loaded. The loader fired up with a shot of ether and I backed it outside before going back into the house for some extra gear as that loader had a heater that was not worth the powder to blow it up. Up the road I went and it was COLD, so cold that the snow squealed under the wheels and the chains hardly left any marks. I made it up to Dads truck, turned around, february 2019

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www.sunrisetransport.com hooked on to him and promptly snapped a 3/8 steel chain like it was a piece of string. I ended up doubling up a ½ inch chain and finally got him out of the snowbank. A quick inspection showed he had broken a couple braces on the plow so he headed back to the garage for repair and I started digging out with the loader. Yes I know Dad, pile the snow on the south side of the road so it will not cause bigger drifts. I guess I had been working for about 30 minutes or so when I somehow sensed someone was trying to get me out of the loader. Sort of half woke up and Len helped me into the cab of Dads ½ Ton and poured a thermos of coffee down me. That’s when I really came awake and really started to shiver and shake. Len left me in the truck while he finished opening the road - guess I had almost made it before I passed out - and then he took me home. Len and Dad went back and got the loader and Dad drove it home, parked it in the shop then came in and checked on me, shook his head and he and Len headed back out to plow the roads. I spent all the rest of the day and the next day in the house and didn’t lose any toes, fingers or anything else but to this day I cannot stand cold weather on my left little finger. I don’t think I remember any colder weather until I started to run Alaska and never did I ever work through a blizzard like we had but that was what trucking was like back then and we made it through the winter with just a few minor glitches. 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.

This is not my story. While I have permission to use it, I was asked not to use the writer’s name so we will just call him Freddie. It is a story that makes me thankful for the smaller things in trucking that most of us take for granted. Freddy was crammed alongside three Russians in a truck just big enough for two, trundling along a frozen Siberian river when he heard breaking glass. The 25-ton truck lurched to one side and Freddy realized it wasn’t glass, but ice. “I was thinking, ‘This is it,’” he says. “I was scrabbling like a panicked dog to get out.” It was not the end, it was only the topmost layer of the Indigirka River giving way. The ice below held firm and the truck continued creeping forward to the sound of Russians laughing at the rookie. “The guys thought it was the funniest thing ever,” Freddy says. He can laugh now, but he found little humour during the two weeks he spent making the run from the Siberian city of Yakutsk to the tiny fishing village of Belaya Gora inside the Arctic Circle. He’s no stranger to bitter cold and unforgiving terrain, having documented radioactive reindeer in Norway and woolly mammoth tusk hunters in Siberia, but nothing prepared him for this remarkable journey. “In the stillness of winter, you could feel how rugged and wild it was,” he says. “It’s not a game—this is really dangerous.” Freddie grew fascinated by Russia’s ice road truckers after reading about them online. The photographer, who lives in Prague and shoots for Radio Free Europe, flew to Yakutsk, where he convinced Ruslan, a driver, to let him tag along with two comrades and a drone. “They’re real sweethearts with visitors,” he says. A crew loaded the truck with 12 tons of groceries, including pasta, Coca-Cola, chocolate croissants, and other essentials. That done, Freddie hit the road with two Russians, who picked up a friend along the way. Belaya Gora lies just 650 miles to the north as the crow flies, but it takes a loaded truck a full week to make the trip, a trek that includes four days on the frozen Indigirka River. Temperatures can hit 30 below zero Fahrenheit, forcing the driver to get creative with a blowtorch while thawing diesel fuel. With three days on Kolyma Highway, a road that gulag prisoners built during Stalin’s rule, behind them, Freddie and his companions turned onto the Indigirka, its ice between 3 and 6 feet thick. After passing a pair of truck-shaped holes in the ice, Freddie spent the night cramped in the sweltering truck cab. He was far too wound up to sleep until he saw a soft, green glow on the horizon: the aurora borealis. His fear melted away. “I had this sense of absolute calm,” he says. “That sense of dread just lifted immediately.” The four men left the cramped confines of the truck PAGE 28

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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. only when absolutely necessary, blasting the heater and Russian hip-hop full blast and wearing the same clothes all week. (Who wants to change clothes at 30 below?) They’d occasionally pull over and cook noodles or calamari over a gas stove in the truck, which only added to the overbearing heat of the cab. “They hate the cold, so it’s a sign of hospitality to have this ferociously hot truck cab,” says Freddy. “It’s like a sauna inside — plus, you’re sweating from fear.” After stopping at a trucker chapel in Zashiversk, a town decimated by smallpox in the 1800s, the crew reached Belaya Gora, where the driver delivered groceries to stores around the town. Drivers—Freddy estimates there are around 1,000—earn $600 per trip, a hefty paycheck for a Siberian who might otherwise do construction or work at the airport. After safely returning to Yakutsk, the driver prepared to make one last trip before the ice thawed. Freddie politely declined the offer of a second ride. “There was real drama there that I couldn’t pass up,” he says. “But it felt like I was rolling the dice, and I wouldn’t want to roll them again. It’s best not to push your luck. Or the ice.” I read this and it really makes me thankful for our ways... our customs and our style. I live comfortably in my truck most of the year. With bed and fridge and every amenity unimaginable for most. Yet many around the world have far worse to set their butts in and call it a wage. Granted, sometimes living in Manitoba can feel like Siberia. So in many ways I can relate. So I give thanks.

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As I roll along...Mile after Mile ... I think of Freddie and on some highways we have seen here in BC also might how horrible the inside of that cab must have smelled. Give play a part in the overall picture. Authorities are aware thanks for what we do have folks. Drive safe. that safety was compromised and in some cases and have reverted to the previous limits – the Coquihalla is a good example. With ICBC here in BC being in debt up to a billion loonies, the motoring public, which includes the By Ed Murdoch professionals, must be held at least partly accountable. In Ed has held a commercial drivers most cases, it isn’t the government’s fault when someone license for 65 years and has spent the has a fender bender. If people would slow down 5 or 10kph better part of 50 years on the road. when conditions are not optimum, there would be fewer You can get Ed’s new book at crashes. To a large degree we set our own rates as exhibited www.drivingthroughmymemories.ca by our driving behaviours which can, and do, sometimes It is February and that the outside ambient temperature end in preventable expenses. ELDs, which are coming to Canada might help but the here is the coldest it’s been all season so far as I know. Yes I know it’s still balmy when compared to the barren date for mandatory compliance seems to change as often as wastelands to the east and I have experienced temperatures the weather. And speaking of ELDs … stop fussing! Any as low as -65°F in my career but I was younger then, driver I have spoken to who uses one and every carrier I bolder, and of course invincible. A life spent leaping down know that has gone to electronic logging devices absolutely from a COE tractor or off the trailer deck and exposure to loves them. They reduce paperwork and that extra time may the elements while making minor repairs such as changing be utilized in getting a bit further toward one’s destination. a headlight or fixing broken wiring has taken its toll on my They are legible, a bonus for interpreters, and ultimately they may raise driver wages as there is an accurate record body. But enough of the “Oh, poor me.” What causes truck accidents? Is it the JIT (Just In of the time a driver spends in a day executing his/her duties Time) concept of delivery, where many corporations use a which the authorities and the carriers are unable to ignore. carrier’s trailer as a mobile warehouse and demand delivery In cases of emergency or adverse driving conditions when just before running out of stock, that is at the root of so a driver is almost home but runs out of hours, the device many big rigs crashing? Dispatchers have a responsibility under certain conditions may be overridden with an to allow adequate time for delivery of products especially explanation. To find out more go to https://eldfacts.com/ in winter where weather plays such an integral part but get-the-facts-the-canadian-eld-mandate/. Finally, like it or not, we who are most visible in the that can be difficult when a receiver has little or no storage industry have a huge role to play. It is no secret that the space and wants the new product on the loading dock as the last one goes out the front door. Drivers are caught in the trucking industry has suffered years of criticism largely middle but their ultimate responsibility is to operate their based on what individuals see & experience every day. vehicles in a manner that will allow them to arrive safely at Some shout loud obscenities to show others how outraged the destination. As captains of their ships, drivers are still they are. Some react with road rage that usually backfires 100% accountable for all decisions they make where safety on them. Others express their disdain on social media, add comments, write letters, and some citizens will call the is concerned. In most cases when I had a load that, “just had to be carrier in question or an enforcement agency with their there,” I would take everything into consideration and then version of the incident. Regardless of all of the above we, call the receiver to let them know when I would arrive. If the players in the game must be not only doing what’s right for any reason that changed I would immediately call the at every turn of the road but also must be seen to be doing receiver to let them know. Ultimately it is the customer the right thing. The integrity of our vocation is judged by that needs to be satisfied and communication is the key to the real or imagined perception of the public which can influence his or her thinking for a lifetime. Also, keep in reducing the pressure on everyone. There is a school of thought that subscribes to the idea mind that some of the personal vehicles with which one that modern truck-tractors are so plush and comfy that shares the road in close proximity might be a nervous many operators, especially newbies, have not acquired mother with young children on board or just someone who the “feel of the road” yet and so are not fully cognizant of is not comfortable with such a large unit so up close and hazards lurking around every corner that might develop personal. Company drivers, lease and owner-operators are into an emergency in a flash. Unlike the big box design the players on the field and the reality is that our behaviours of the past, these new engineering wonders are extremely are indicative of how the entire industry is perceived. That aerodynamic with hardly an external fixture that hasn’t being said you can drive safely with pride knowing that been wind-tunnel tested and so, on some trucks, speeds are today’s truck drivers and trucks in North America are sometimes difficult to estimate without visual confirmation without argument the safest drivers and vehicles in the from the speedometer. I think the increase in speed limits history of the sport … 10-4! r

Driving Through my Memories

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