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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

Proudly

Alberta

Big Rig

June 2018

PM #40033055

Weekend July 7/8, 2018 See page 23

Rig of The Month Featuring Cynthia Tobin Starting on Page 20

JUNE 2018

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From the Editor’s desk... By John White VOLUME 20, ISSUE 05 OF 11

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

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I did my job. I play on a men’s ball team and about 15 years ago, after losing a ball game, mainly because our batting went south, one player who had an unusually good day at bat, walked out of the dugout loudly proclaiming, “Well, I did my job…” He then got in his car and drove away. The rest of us looked at each other in disbelief and then carried on to the parking lot to lick our wounds and indulge in the ceremonial refreshments common to the beer leagues of the day. What has this got to do with trucking? After that tragic accident involving the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Team there was an tremendous amount of chatter on the internet and talk at any and every place that truckers met and/or those in the industry worked. The most common comment by everyone involved was that this time something has to be done to ensure better training for Class 1 drivers. But what now? Do you drop out and say that you did your job just because you voiced your opinion about the state of the industry? Or will you help hold the politicians feet to the fire? The highway is your workplace and those whose job it is to make it safe are wringing their hands saying there is nothing that they can do. Or worse yet offering crumbs to the industry. If it is true that there is nothing they can do then we have the wrong people in those positions. Truck driver is still the most common vocation listed on the National Census. So we put them there and we can take them out. Votes are the only thing that gets the attention of politicians. Once elected their main concern is keeping their head down until it is time to spew promises to get re-elected. Is it time for some heads to roll? You be the judge. A young person applying for a Class 5 licenses enters a graduated licensing program that lasts 3 years! What is wrong with this picture? If it takes 3 years to learn how to drive a car why does the government feel that in two weeks the same person can learn to drive a rig with a fully loaded set of trailers across the rock in the winter? I am not suggesting joining a group – we are a group. It is time that each of us asked our Prime Minister, Federal Transportation Minister and Provincial Premiers, Transportation Ministers and other department heads what they are going to do to make your workplace safer. The days that anyone could drive a truck are long gone. It is a skilled trade now and should be recognized as such with an apprenticeship program that includes a graduated licensing system and culminates with a red seal certificate. I have listed the email addresses of the Federal and Western Canadian politicians who can make this happen. Your families deserve to know that the government is doing something to make sure you are safe in your workplace – our roads and highways. You also deserve to know that your friends and families can safely travel those same roads and highways.

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FEDERAL • Prime Minister The Honourable Justin Trudeau justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca • Minister of Transport The Honourable Marc Garneau mintc@tc.gc.ca • Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour The Honourable Patricia A. Hajdu Patty.Hajdu@parl.gc.ca BRITISH COLUMBIA • Premier The Honourable John Horgan premier@gov.bc.ca • Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure The Honourable Claire Trevena Minister.Transportation@gov.bc.ca • Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology The Honourable Bruce Ralston JTT.Minister@gov.bc.ca ALBERTA • Premier The Honourable Rachel Notley premier@gov.ab.ca • Minister of Transportation The Honourable Brian Mason transportation.minister@gov.ab.ca

• Advanced Education The Honourable Marlin Schmidt ae.minister@gov.ab.ca SASKATCHEWAN • Premier The Honourable Scott Moe premier@gov.sk.ca • Advanced Education The Honourable Tina Beaudry-Mellor minister.ae@gov.sk.ca • Minister responsible for SGI The Honourable Joe Hargrave cic.minister@gov.sk.ca MANITOBA • Premier The Honourable Brian Pallister premier@leg.gov.mb.ca • Education and Training The Honourable Ian Wishart dmedu@leg.gov.mb.ca • Minister of Crown Services (Manitoba Public Insurance) The Honourable Cliff Cullen mincrown@leg.gov.mb.ca “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” ― Mark Twain

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Alberta Big Rig Weekend July 7/8, 2018 at Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku, Alberta

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

e Whit John gazine

a ker M Truc o r P ite

John Wh Magazine Pro-Trucker

To the Editor, In a recent letter to the editor there was a concern over the new pilot car guidelines. I would love a follow up story on it. I’m of the opinion there is still a lot to be addressed. Example in the logging industry they get anyone with a driver’s license to pilot. The Cariboo is a terrible place to meet an oversize load. It’s really western there. Half the pilots don’t know what they’re doing or signs don’t work. In fact trucking in general in that area of the province is a disgrace. But back to the pilot car guidelines I’d like to see a follow-up story. Thanks, Darrin Martindale Editor’s note: We will do a follow up article on the pilot car situation as more information comes available. Concerning your comment that you find trucking “in general” in the Cariboo area of the province a disgrace tells me that you are not a professional driver yourself. I have found that “generalities” are most often used when specifics don’t hold water. I have logged in the Cariboo and some of the best drivers I know work there. Here are some facts that I hope will change your outlook. First, Trucks are involved in only 1% of all the accidents in BC. – 4 wheelers alone are involved in the other 99% of the accidents. Second, of the 1% of crashes that involve trucks, truck drivers are found to be fully or partially at fault only 25% of the time. Think about that a moment. Only ¼ of 1% of all the accidents in BC are found to be fully or partially the fault of the truck driver. Third, most highway drivers put on more miles in 1 year than the average 4-wheeler puts on in a lifetime and there are very many truck drivers who have run millions of miles without an accident. Or to put that into perspective a JUNE 2018

million miles is over 10 lifetimes for a 4-wheeler. Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for improvement but there will always be a certain amount of human error. In conclusion, you have a 99% better chance of being involved in an accident in BC with another 4-wheeler than you do with a truck. So if you find the roads to be too dangerous around the Cariboo you should write your MLA, the Transportation Minister and the Premier asking for better enforcement concerning 4-wheelers. Truckers will thank you for making their workplace safer. If you read the following letter you will see professional drivers are trying to make a difference in that ¼ of 1%. Why are you and other 4 wheelers not doing the same for 99.75% of the crashes that endanger us all? John, The following is a letter that I’m sending to Kelly Block, PM Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May: Currently Canada is facing a shortage of professional truck drivers which is projected to reach 48,000 drivers by 2024. Unfortunately, there is an even larger shortage of properly trained drivers, which is resulting in numerous accidents and incidents on Canadian highways. It is for this reason that I am requesting both Federal and provincial government recognize truck driving as a trade in Canada. Through an apprenticeship to journeyperson program a driver would be required to safely complete a set number of hours before moving on to larger, and more difficult, tractor-trailer configurations. This will help prevent the numerous accidents, injuries and fatalities on our highways caused by inexperienced drivers operating equipment which is beyond their abilities. The apprenticeship program would need to work with the provinces to integrate the program with a graduated driver license program to show a driver’s level of training and experience. The apprenticeship program should also include training and certification before a driver may haul any specific type of cargo or commodity on Canadian highways. Once achieved the certification would be added to the driver’s license as an endorsement.

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I

T

The purpose of the apprenticeship to journeyperson dle ime program should never be punitive, but rather it should be a framework for people to safely build successful careers in By Scott Casey Scott, our Rig of The Month for May the Canadian trucking industry. 2003 has written “Ghostkeepers” It is for the above stated purpose that I am asking you, a book about his years as a gun as an elected representative, to work with truck drivers, the toting truck driver while serving as a trucking industry, as well as other elected representatives Canadian Peacekeeper in the former from all political parties, both federal and provincial, to Yugoslavia. make truck driving a recognized trade in Canada. The Rolling Barrage is a rolling fundraiser presented by Thank you. Military Minds Inc, in support of veterans, serving members Kim Wylie and first responders, as a show of strength, and unity to Y-Lee Trucking conquer the stigma of PTSD. Vimy is commonly recognized as Canada’s birthplace Editor’s note: Your letter says it all Kim and it is a good start but there is much to be done. For instance on the world stage as our four divisions fought together for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) came out the first time during the Great War. Success at Vimy was with a knee jerk reaction after the Humboldt Broncos realized, not just because of the tenacity of its soldiers but accident that does absolutely nothing towards ensuring because it employed techniques developed by Canadians, like proper training. According to their carefully worded letter, its brilliant use of artillery fire. That rolling barrage of fire somewhere in 2019 Saskatchewan will make it mandatory allowed the attackers to walk up the hill under its cover and that a person must have a minimum of 70 hours of training take control within a short time frame. The Rolling Barrage fundraiser is more than just about in order to get their Class 1. This is less than 2 weeks and includes air-brake, in class, in yard and behind the wheel raising money. Although it is our primary goal, so that training. In my opinion it is no better than many of the we may launch and maintain programs under the Military quickie courses that are available now and is just a good Minds Inc banner, it also encourages veterans, serving CAF photo op for them to try to convince the public that they are members and first responders to get together and confirm our really serious about doing something this time. Take your sheepdog society. Brotherhood is significant in any healing 12 hour air brake course away from the 70 hours and you and this will show the spirit across the nation. However, this are left with 58 hours. Now take your in yard work, pre-trip ride is open to ALL riders and not just military in nature. instruction, load securement, chaining up, log books and In fact, we openly invite civilian riders, as a way to show a multitude of other things that today’s truckers have to resounding support for our troops. 2018 marks The Rolling Barrage second run across the know. How much actual time does that leave for a driver country, and we hope to surpass the outstanding turnout to be proficient behind the wheel? How about challenging those politicians and bureaucrats we had last year. From folks in Saskatchewan putting on to hop in the jump seat of a truck hauling a fully loaded impromptu BBQ’s to raise donations, to Julian Austin Super B over the Rockies in the middle of the winter. performing in Edmonton, and a lone piper in Victoria Piloted by a driver who has had 70 hours of training welcoming us home, it was truly amazing to be part of it all. Canada was settled from the East to the West and The – training that they suggest will produce safe and fully capable truck drivers that can drive any truck pulling any Rolling Barrage ride will symbolically cover that path with the step off point in Halifax Nova Scotia to its Rally Point in combination of trailers on any road in Canada. We have to face the fact that nothing will be accomplished Victoria, BC. Coast to Coast in 17 days. An epic motorcycle until these politicians and bureaucrats are called out journey, a metal horse, akin to those who traveled across this individually. An unsigned letter from a “department” in land with living horses 151 years ago. Riders and supporters may join in at any point along the SGI is merely a way to hide the decision makers. route and show a nationwide strength and unity that our ***** Veterans, serving CAF members and first responders deserve. Vroom Vroom It is with this rolling community that we shall endeavor to A businessman in the first class cabin decided to chat up conquer the stigma that surrounds PTSD and to provide care the gorgeous flight attendant: to those who need it through the service to our nation. Businessman: “What is your name?” Please join us, this will surely be an unforgettable journey. Flight Attendant: “Angela Benz, sir” ***** Businessman: “Lovely name.....any relation to Mercedes My wife just stopped and said, “You weren’t even listening Benz?” were you?” Flight Attendant: “Yes, sir, very close” I thought… “That’s a pretty weird way to start a Businessman: “How close?” r conversation…” Flight Attendant: “Same price.” PAGE 8

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Alberta Big Rig Weekend July 7/8, 2018 at Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku, Alberta

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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.

Follow the Money

This space is normally reserved for my old school trucking stories and sharing the lessons I’ve learned in the hopes that it helps someone not have to make those same mistakes. I love writing those stories, it helps me wrap my head around why things happen. Just relating it back to you all gives me the perspective to figure out why I did the things I did. So in the interest of trying to figure out why another group of people are doing things, I am going to go down a different road. I’ll stop being cryptic now. The group of people I am trying to figure out is those BC politicians and their supporters who oppose the expansion of the Transmountain pipeline. Let me start by saying I have a bias, I am from Canada, and I am tired of my natural resource being sold at a huge discount because it is landlocked in Alberta. The oil is coming out of the ground and we deserve the best compensation we can get for it. As a Canadian I am also

appalled at having huge amounts of foreign investment chased away by our elected officials with the uncertainty they create with ever-changing approval processes and tax structures. Yes I am Albertan and yes I have made a living from the oil and gas industry before, this is however a Canadian issue not a provincial one. If you live in any part of our once great country you are affected by the fate of this pipeline and should be concerned by the reasons it is being held up. Premier Horgan is the easy one to blame for this federally approved line being stalled indefinitely. Elizabeth May would be another easy target when it comes to the blame game as she promises to block essentially all pipelines from ever getting built in BC. Their culpability isn’t in question, and if the KM expansion fails to be built they will claim the victory for themselves and the environment. Well if environmental concerns are big on the list why have neither one of them been arrested protesting the dumping of raw sewage into their coastal waters off Victoria? If Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver cares so much about BC’s “green” image why does he allow Mount Polly Mine to dump nearly untreated effluent into Quesnel Lake? Why did he, an environmental scientist, approve of a refinery for Canadian dilbit in Kitimat to ship to Asian markets? The water supply of the interior towns of Quesnel, Williams Lake and others that have already been compromised by Mount Polley in 2014 is apparently not an issue to this BC

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government, in fact the government approved dumping more effluent into it. Contrarily a pipeline that has operated for over 60 years without spill should not be allowed to expand due to environmental concerns even after being through the most stringent approval process the NEB has ever delivered. It would seem to me that the “greenest” city in the world would also not want to be the biggest exporter of dirty coal in the world. Nothing is made of the downstream carbon emissions of said coal either. What are we missing here? It is the trail of money - if you want answers just follow the money. It’s when I started to look into who is funding all of the “environmental” groups who are leading the anti-pipeline charge that I began to understand what is going on. In 2008, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Tides Foundation sponsored the Tar Sands Campaign to curtail Alberta oil. The 17-page strategy paper by Corporate Ethics International is still available. These are all big US interests that are directly opposed to allowing Canadian oil to reach international markets. They speak with their wallets and donate to the organizations that support this agenda. Horgan and the Greens are just puppets doing the bidding of these giant corporations, I have no hard evidence to suggest that they’re in collusion to help ruin our economy. Regardless of the intent the fact of the matter is having 90+ percent of our oil landlocked and bound for the US is not in Canada’s best interest. It is simple supply and

demand and our supply outstrips our demand within Canada so we basically have to take what price the US will give us because we have no one else to sell to in volume. The U.S. in turn sells their oil at world prices and refines the discount Canadian oil for domestic use. I’ve heard the argument that we should just build our own refineries and sell the finished product and that would create jobs and value added but from conception to build time we’re looking at probably 10-15 years and then we still have to pipe the finished product to port. The biggest problem again supply and demand. We already have unused refinery capacity; in eastern Canada they use middle east oil to try fill their lines (that’s a completely separate article!), and here in Alberta we run between 89-92% capacity when the U.S. average is higher. It’s simple really there’s not much of a market for our gas and diesel because it’s expensive to produce relative to other places but there is a market for the raw material. We are currently selling at roughly a $20 per barrel discount which will cost the Canadian economy roughly $15.6 billion dollars this year alone. That is what makes this a Canadian problem, the money doesn’t belong to Alberta or Saskatchewan it gets spread throughout the whole country. It helps build schools hospitals and infrastructure, it creates spin off jobs in other provinces too. We have the best regulated most environmentally conscious Oil and Gas industry in the world and yet our politicians are pushing people into buying oil from less

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scrupulous producers. Switching from a carbon economy is inevitable but it won’t happen overnight. Even after switching to alternative fuels it will be years before we see the demise of petroleum products. Many of the largest oil companies in the world are also at the forefront of alternatives and we are telling those companies that Canada is going to make it very difficult to do business. That’s not the reputation our country needs. We can’t have companies worrying that after pouring over a billion dollars into an approved project it will be halted. We have to stop standing idly by watching foreign interests being served under the guise of the environment. All of the facts I presented are easily found just a little deeper than the headlines, check them out. The loss of this line will affect all Canadians and we all deserve to be heard. With the deadline looming it may be a moot point by the time you read this but have good look at who is driving this bus. Follow the money. *****

Food for Thought

• Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die. • Even duct tape can’t fix stupid – but it can muffle the sound. • Bad decisions make good stories. • My goal for 2018 was to lose just 10 pounds. I only have 15 to go.

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.

Slow and Steady

So there I was in Columbus Georgia having just unloaded a load of very high tech machinery at a manufacturing facility when I got a call to phone the office. Now I was hoping for a few days off as it was January and it was cold back home but duty called so I phoned in. It seemed they had an interesting load waiting for me just a few miles away at Fort Benning and wanted to know if I wanted it. Seeing as it paid well I decided that it would be a good deal and headed over to Benning. The poor young MP on guard duty was shocked when a Canadian truck showed up but after a few calls they decided it wasn’t an invasion and did a quick look through my rig before giving me an escort over to the Armour School. Ever load at a big Military base? They have all their ducks in a row and everything goes by the numbers. There was an old Jeep, a 3 inch Anti-tank gun and an old Bren carrier lined up. I had a step deck so I had them put the Jeep up top, the Bren Carrier right behind the step and the howitzer on

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the rear with the barrel facing the back. It was no problem for these guys as they picked them up with a crane, swung them around and placed them right where I wanted them. About six guys helped me tie everything down and I was loaded and gone in short order. Morning came and after breakfast I hit the road. It was real strange out on the road as it seems no one wanted to ride too close behind that 3 inch gun barrel. I also got a lot of comments on the C.B. about heading off to war, etc.,etc. Anyway it started getting colder as I went north so I was in no big rush as it was colder than a witches heart up there and I knew Camp Borden wasn’t going anywhere. The next morning at about 8 AM I arrived at the Detroit border crossing and the snow was falling sideways , the temp was minus 20 F and the wind chill was off the charts. Customs didn’t bother anything – I don’t think they wanted to go outside - they just stamped my papers and told me to have fun so I headed for Toronto. The highway was a mess and I don’t think I ever got above 6th gear or went above 30mph the whole trip but I did manage to make it into the Husky. The lot was packed but I finally found an empty parking spot and anchored for the night. Next morning the weather was even worse and I debated on heading out but decided I could make it. The 401 was not too bad but once I hit the 400 headed north it got horrible. White outs were normal and snow was drifting on the road so bad they finally pulled the plows. Somehow nine hours

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later I found my way to the back gates of Camp Borden, was checked through and directed over to the Armored Section. By the time I got there my whole load was simply three big blocks of ice and snow so they opened up the big maintenance bay and pulled my whole unit inside and closed the doors. The Sargent in charge took me up to the Captain and I found myself driven over to the Officers Mess and then to the Transient Officers Quarters and issued a room. I spent the night safe and warm and then headed over to the Officers Mess for breakfast and then back to the Armor maintenance bays. By the time I got there they had 3 guys with pressure washers just finishing washing down my complete unit, all the chains had been removed and hung on my rack and all my binders had been stowed. (You got to love the military) Next an overhead crane picked the units up one at a time and in thirty minutes I was unloaded, my bills were signed, the doors were opened and I drove away. I slipped and slid my way into Barrie and phoned some old friends and ended up staying at my buddy Kens place for a day before they found me a load out of Ontario headed for California. I would have preferred to go home but at least I was going back where it was warm. Further info on the Bren Carrier that I picked up in Georgia – It was built in England by Vickers- Armstrong in 1938 and was sent to the British Forces in North Africa where it was captured by German forces near Tobruk, Libya. The Germans used it as a troop transport and for hauling a light anti-tank gun. It was recaptured by Canadian forces at Ortona, Italy. It was damaged so they shipped it to the rear where it was repaired and ended up as a troop transport and hauler by the American Army. It was shipped back to the USA after the war and went to Fort Benning as a training aid and an example of foreign machinery. It was shipped up to Camp Borden either to be used as a Museum piece or to be scrapped and the pieces used to repair one that the Canadian Army had on hand. It travelled a lot of miles and saw many things and I only wish it could have talked. *****

A Gifted Portrait Artist.

Ole, while not a brilliant scholar, was a gifted portrait artist. His fame grew...... and soon people from all over the country were coming to Minnesota to have portraits done. One day, a stretch limo pulled up to his house. Inside was a beautiful woman, and she asked Ole if he would paint her in the nude. This was the first time anyone had made this request of Ole. The woman said money was no object; she was willing to pay $50,000. Not wanting to get into trouble with his wife, Ole asked the woman to wait while he went in the house and conferred with Lena , his missus. In a few minutes, he return and said to the lady, “Ya, shoor, you betcha. I’ll paint ya in da nude, but I’ll haff ta leave my socks on so I’ll have a place to wipe my brushes.”

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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

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It is not often, in fact I cannot remember when last I OWNERSHIP shed a tear, but with my background of policeman, truck NEW driver, fleet owner and in charge of ATISA (Alberta OWNERSHIP NEW Trucking Industry Safety Association) the tragic event in OWNERSHIP Saskatchewan brought me to tears. I do not claim to know what happened but I feel for the many, many, people that suffer the sorrow of losing one of the sixteen that died, and for the many remaining injured have had their lives changed COMPANY DRIVERS OPPORTUNITIES forever. COMPANY DRIVERS TERMINALS OPPORTUNITIES TERMINALS (Local, Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) OPPORTUNITIESOPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE (Local, Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) AVAILABLE The bus driver paid the ultimate price at this terrible SINGLES and TEAMS Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, AVAILABLE OWNER-OPERATORS SINGLES and TEAMS Kingston, Toronto, Montreal, COMPANY DRIVERS AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITIES OWNER-OPERATORS TERMINALS OPPORTUNITIES (Long Haul and Cross Runs) (Local, Long Haul andBorder Cross Border (Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) Runs) AVAILABLE incident, and while thinking that the truck driver was likely Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, CROSS OWNER-OPERATORS Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, COMPANY DRIVERS CROSSBORDER BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS OPPORTUNITIES TERMINALS OPPORTUNITIES SINGLES and TEAMS Kingston, Toronto, Montreal, AVAILABLE AVAILABLE OWNER-OPERATORS Vancouver1.855.564.8029 and at fault, it is possible that the bus driver wasn’t paying total AND DRIVERS andBedford Bedford ANDCOMPANY COMPANY DRIVERS slh.ca slhrecruiting@slh.ca 1.855.564.8029 (Long Haul and Cross Border Runs) SINGLES slhrecruiting@slh.ca and TEAMSVancouver Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, COMPANY DRIVERS slh.ca AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITIES OWNER-OPERATORS TERMINALS COMPANYOPPORTUNITIES AND OWNER-OPERATORS Toronto, Kingston, Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS AVAILABLE attention either knowing that this intersection was one that CROSS Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, CROSS BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS SINGLES and TEAMS Kingston, Toronto, Montreal, AVAILABLE OWNER-OPERATORS Vancouver and Bedford • SINGLE CROSS BORDER Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, slh.ca AND COMPANY DRIVERS slhrecruiting@slh.ca claimed people at another time. Anyway the facts may never Vancouver1.855.564.8029 and1.855.564.8029 Bedford slh.ca AND COMPANY DRIVERS slhrecruiting@slh.ca Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, CROSS BORDER OWNER-OPERATORS • TEAMS DOMESTICVancouver Vancouver and Bedford be revealed or even known, that task is being conducted by and Bedford slh.ca AND COMPANY DRIVERS slhrecruiting@slh.ca 1.855.564.8029 the RCMP and their findings will likely be known much later. We do know that the truck driver had very little training but we know not what his training consisted of because there are no regulations setting out requirements for obtaining a upgrades or courses would be mandatory. An apprenticeship model would send drivers to the commercial vehicle drivers licence. As the Executive Director of ATISA, I tried to have the classroom for a specific period and then like plumbers and vocation of commercial driver be changed from its present electricians graduate to driver assisted in cab training in “unskilled” to the required “skilled” designation but this smaller trucks and then larger trucks as trading standards endeavour failed in the 1990’s. Meetings with Transport are met. Finally receiving a class one licence that assures Canada were futile as I was told this issue is addressed every that the individual is well trained and then further training five years and there was no mechanism to address this issue would be required by the company hiring this driver to the on a Federal basis. When I met with Alberta Transportation ways of that specific company. Oh well, one can dream! I do hope however that standards I was told it was a Federal decision. Here it is 2018 nearly thirty years later and no progress whatsoever, these highly for commercial drivers are developed and delivered in a skilled drivers are still classed as “unskilled” by Ottawa. My professional manner. ***** efforts to have training issues addressed fell on deaf ears at Alberta Transportation and there was no effort by industry Keen Observations By Sports Greats to look at training standards. • Vic Braden, tennis instructor: “My theory is that if you The AMTA, Alberta Motor Transport Association with buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can the help of Red Deer College developed a training program learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your for drivers and after this program was introduced there was chances aren’t as good.” no interest in making it mandatory and therefore we used it • Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if to let drivers who took this course have a special designation Tom Landry ever smiles: “I don’t know. I only played there put on their licences. This program currently sits on a shelf. for nine years.” We took this program to the office of the Director of • Paul Horning, Green Bay Packers running back on why Apprenticeship program for Alberta, and were promptly his marriage ceremony was before noon: “Because if it told that he was not interested in even looking at driver didn’t work out, I didn’t want to blow the whole day.” training for an apprenticeship program. Even today I feel it • Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers: “I learned a long would make a perfect sense to have professional commercial time ago that ‘minor surgery’ is when they do the operation drivers trained in an apprenticeship fashion where annual on someone else, not you.” r

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rig of the m o n t h

Rig of the Month and Photo’s by: Cynthia Tobin

In the middle of a March snowstorm I entered this world married her after we were born. It was somewhere outside in the bunk of an early 60’s Peterbilt. Born to a trucker who Toronto I made my entrance into this world following my picked up a young pregnant teen about to burst, and then twin brother. So I don’t know if this early root in trucking is

PAGE 20

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what sealed the fate of this gypsy soul, or not. Throughout my childhood I had a love for trucks. Trucks came and went as fast as the stepfathers, but the two things consistent were the bikes and the trucks. I loved the smell of the diesel. At an early age we had fields of upon fields of hay. My first memory of being in a truck was sitting on my Grampa Bennett’s knee and steering that big old GMC, rather erratically, around the fields. Grampa worked the pedals and sticks - I just steered. Oh the freedom! The beginning of a lifelong love affair. Through the years I perfected the twin sticks and was soon able to work the fields on my own. I would spend every spare moment in the seat and was teased because I was a girl and girls don’t drive trucks. Well here I am, thirty four years later, happily employed, and proudly driving for a Winnipeg based company. Looking back over an almost 35 year career, I reflect upon the road that has brought me here. It’s been a long one with no shortage of hills to climb and overcome. Growing up in an highly racial era I was mulatto. At that time, by almost anyone’s account, I was a freak. A cross breed, and a few other rather discriminatory names. I was never quite white enough and never quite black enough to be accepted. Instead I was teased mercilessly by my peers. At times I literally feared for my life. All the while learning the life lessons I would one day need - they unknowingly gave me strength. One of life’s repeated lessons. Perhaps It was the

Cynthia Tobin skin thickening teachings that I would need later in life, or the lesson on just how it feels to be the underdog. I will never know any one of a thousand reasons fate put me through this but it’s more than likely why I have zero tolerance for bully behaviour.

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After having left home at fifteen. I took odds and end jobs, mostly around trucks, to support myself while I finished school. Staying put in one place just wasn’t me. So, l replaced the hobo stick and hankie for a backpack and set out to see the world, hitching a ride anywhere I could. I never accepted rides from anyone in a car, I just knew I was safe with a trucker. Those knights of the highway were a safe haven. I travelled every state and province from the passenger seat of one semi or another all the time wanting to be just like them. Out there rolling through town after town in the still of night, while the world slept. I wanted to be that safe haven for lost souls, I wanted to become the very best trucker I could be....I wanted to be the inspiration to others that these unsung heroes were to me. Every one of those fellas taught me something as I watched the way each had their own groove. The way they clutched, the way they shifted. I listened to the sounds each engine made as they crept along the highways. These rough and tough highway cowboys rolling along on the adrenaline rush of dedication. Most of all I heard their stories. Watched the way their eyes lit as they spoke of their journeys. Good and bad they all taught me something. Little did I know it then just how much those bits and pieces would become my story. I stepped out of a truck on Christmas eve some thirty six years ago. The roads were closed and I stood in the stillness surrounded by the beauty only fresh fallen snow can give and

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as I gazed in awe at the mountains against the moonlight, I felt at home. I quickly obtained a residence and settled in but the itch to drive was burning deep within me. So, knowing I could drive, and having family in the business, I headed to Kelowna where I looked up a lost relative and then never looked back. That is where I started my driving career. Although for family, getting my license was no easy task but 3 attempts later I proudly had my licence in hand and was handed the keys to brand new 1983 GMC General with a 9 speed Fuller Roadranger Transmission. Looking back now, that truck was my stepping stone and I knew that if I could navigate the Rocky mountains in that baby, I could eventually drive anything. Being of small build but five foot eleven inches tall, I had the legs to reach the clutch, and an attitude to ignore the heckling. Yes, heads turned when out of the truck stepped a girl but I never was one to use my feminine wiles to get things done. From tossing a tarp to chaining locking houses, oversize loads and heavy haul work, if I couldn’t do it, I kept at it until I got it done. There were times that I asked for help but that was not very often. Stubborn pride? Perhaps. My Uncle had plans for me and rolling the hills was not in the cards right away. It started out as a yard jockey at first. Looking back, I see this was perfecting my backing up. I used to laugh and ask if I was going to be the backwards hauler? Little did I know just how useful those skills would become. My uncle took the time to make sure I was good and ready to roll the mountains. So until then, I did local. Round and round I went hauling everything from swing meat to houses. Learning the way each trailer felt with varying weights and load types. After a year of running local, oil changes and brake adjustments on all of our nineteen trucks, I was officially (by Uncle’s standards) ready to step up to doing regional. Spending most of the next year running the Kootenay mountains and chaining up, I almost threw in the keys. Yet those words of Gramps kept echoing in my head. Pushing me on. Eventually I moved into Long haul where I remain. Today I specialize in the Expedited Perishable Reefer sector. I consider myself a definite professional in my choice of trucking. I love the challenges thrown my way, like weather, alpine highways and other unforeseen elements. Meeting delivery times with a 100% success rate to date. Something I am very proud to have maintained all these years. Throughout my career I have been honored to have seen the world through many a windshield. From the German autobahn to the mines of Canberra. With stops in Asia, The Netherlands, Mexico and the good old U.S. of A. With each place I drove I was like a sponge learning the differences from one country to the next. Seeing how commerce ran. The cultural challenges faced with being a foreigner in a strange land were lessons well taught. Lessons that gave me, unknowingly at those times, some of the most valuable tools I would need throughout my career.

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Back in the day, as I sat on Gramps knee and we roared around the fields, He used to gently whisper “that’s right, you can do this” other times he would tell me “There’s nothing you can’t do sparrow, work a little harder” words from the greatest influence in my life. Words I have never and will never forget. Sometimes, when life requires that extra little push, I hear those words again. Don’t misunderstand me, my life’s not been an easy one out here. Sacrifices had to be made and few outsiders understand what it takes to be a trucker, yet here I was killing it with my kids in the bunk, living a life full of riches no money could buy. What a road it was in getting here. After several tragedies in my family I struggled to find a place where I belonged. I didn’t know it then, but I was running away. Away from a world, my world forever changed. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Trucking left a hole in my heart as my worlds collided in personal tragedy. So I set out to find myself. Once overcoming the language barrier of Germany, I took notice of the incredible differences between trucking the autobahn and our mighty Trans Canada. The quality of life for a trucker there is so very different. There they put more focus on family and a truck stop meal would be considered a four star restaurant here. All on all, I made some great friends but despite the very different trucks, it was a challenge I quickly grew bored with. While waiting to load one afternoon a couple of the fellas

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Canyon Cable 1988 Ltd. 930-6th Ave., Hope, BC 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 were talking about China. I had always fascinated with Asia ever since reading, “The Oriental Dreamer.” So 4 days later I was sitting in Xìan ready to drive the rice trucks. It was an experience I was in no way ready for. The top speed on that old Dongfeng was 35 miles an hour. What year was it? I had no clue. It had an open box much like a dump truck without a gate and every shift ground and every joint creaked as they had no idea what grease was. Each morning I would fire up this dinosaur that I had named Clinger, as it felt like it belonged in an episode of M.A.S.H. and we would head down to the water spout where we loaded thirty two inches of the dirtiest water I had ever seen. Then we headed out to the mines, up some of the narrowest donkey trails laden with switch backs and hair pin loops covered in clay and gravel. All the while passing hordes of workers in the rice banks all hunched over in a foot of water. It truly was picture perfect in those fleeting moments of stolen glances, while trying to navigate and swat away the dinga gnats before they feasted on the sunrise smorgasbord I was providing them. We drove for what seemed like an eternity to the mine where we were directed to a loading tunnel. We would proceed in the dark unlit tunnels to the loading shafts and then back in and wait. The first thing that hits you is the overwhelming smell of garlic. The very hot and glowing Arsenopyrite bits and pieces would drop down the shaft into the salted water of our trucks where the steam released would give us a very garlic smelling sweat bath. After about two hours of this assault on the senses we were ready to leave. Every time I left the mines I asked myself “What on god’s good green earth made me do this?” - the answer never came. They were long days, sixteen to twenty hours of round trips to the ship yards. Then came the day they sent a couple of us to the Pyrite mines. Again the over powering stench of the mine made me question my sanity. Once loaded, our lead, who’s only apparent job was to get us to the loading depot, lost us. I am not sure if anyone ever recovered that truck and load, but after four hours I made my way back to town, gathered my belongings and literally jumped ship. I hitched a ride on the Meong Truong cargo ship. I had no idea where it was headed but it had shipping cans on it and to me, that meant trucks. So for a few days I

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got to earn my keep logging temps and fuels. If nothing else on that barge stunt I realized I was no sailor. I touched land next in Port Hedland, Australia and I was so excited to be there. After speaking to many of the locals I headed to the Canberra region landing a job driving for the iron ore mines. They were kinda skeptical of this waif of a girl claiming she could drive a truck. I felt their laughter. Yet time and time again I proved them wrong as I never missed a shift in any one of their several types of lorries. After 3 weeks of being tested and hit on, I had had enough of being the joke. I spoke with Abe, a big rather intimidating fella and instead of heading home I signed on with a company out of Noonamah driving a truckee train, also known as a road train. These trains are huge units, consisting of a truck and four to twelve trailers. The trailers are hooked up by what’s called converter dollies. There are many forms of combinations, the most common being the three trailer or two trailer combination. A road train can be up to 53 metres in length and up to 80-120 tonnes in weight. When looking back in the mirror, well, let’s just say it’s a long way to look back. On a normal road, if there is such a thing, special permits are needed to run a train. Roads in the Outback are mostly one lane. There are no freeways or super highways here. I have to commend Western Star trucks as the pulling power was truly phenomenal in these. That started my love hate

relationship with Western Stars. The road trains are a crucial link in the Outback. They are the only possible way to get the freight through to small outback towns. I was surprised to find that very remote Aboriginal communities rely totally on the road trains. In some places, if it weren’t for the trains, it could be months before a truck can get back to them so a normal semi-trailer load just isn’t big enough. Another thing I was totally not prepared for was the vastness of the Australian outback. The Outback is huge so the importance of the road trains and the knowledge and skill of the drivers is very important. It can fool a lot of tourists, which I still considered myself, who look at a map of Australia and think it does not look very big. They can get themselves into all sorts of trouble if they are not prepared. The Outback of Australia is also a beautiful place but it can quickly turn deadly too. This I learned after being thrown into the seat of a lorry with my first train of eight cars behind me. There were many hazards driving such a huge truck on rugged roads that are in many cases just a track. With all those wheels rolling and rumbling on the rugged terrain I needed to get used to changing tires. As you can well imagine that is very hard work in the blazing heat! The animals, in the Outback, roam freely and graze on the side of the road. They are big animals and there’s always at least one that will stand in front of your truck. If you try and stop a road train quickly - it’s just not going to happen.

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That’s why you see the big bullbars or as we call them, moose bumpers, on the front of Aussie trucks - they keep the animal from crushing the grill and rad if you hit one. When people think of ‘road trains’, they usually think of livestock and trailers full of cattle. But they haul everything - fuel, machinery, cattle, sheep, food and everything else a community needs. They also haul tons and tons of product out of the big mines in their ‘side tippers’. This was the area I quickly adapted to. At that time there was no communication with the trucks so I pretty much had to be a ‘bush mechanic‘ and be able to get myself out of trouble as best as I could! I couldn’t imagine what it would be like in the outback if it were not for the road trains and their drivers. They truly are an essential and very intricate part of life. Overall it’s a dangerous lifestyle but, as a certified road train driver, I can tell you, ‘By crikey, it’s great fun!’ Reflecting back on some of the stranger things I have been through out here on the road, I have to smile. Yet nothing taught me more patience than a trip I took where I had to pick up a load of cucumbers at a hothouse location. They didn’t have an address, just directions. They were, “take the left at the fork in the road” which I did. Up, up and over the mountain I went. As I passed the last shack on the left the road eerily began to narrow as it turned to gravel. Still, upwards I went. As I reached the summit where a greenhouse should have stood, there all alone was a tree. With a rather steep decline just behind it. As the sun set, looking around

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Call Al 604-882-7623 at my predicament, I had only one option. So using that stubborn determination, and with Gramps words loud in my head, I threw her in reverse and inched my way backwards. The forty five minute uphill climb seemed to take an eternity to back down from. In all the miles throughout my career, over the tundra and through any kind of weather, no amount of hairpin turns or ice slicked highways left me sweating more than this backward adventure did. As I looked back in the bunk at the two children sound asleep, I praised my Uncle who took the time to teach me right, and my gramps for giving me the strength to believe in myself. Never have I been more certain of the gifts they bestowed me than I was seeing my two kids drooling in the bunk as they slept. After completing the ground kissing ritual and self-back patting I proceeded - taking the right fork. Not far up the road I came upon another fork but this time I called the greenhouse who advised me to take the left fork. Yeah, I have been down many roads. Not all of them good ones. But all valuable. Not in cargo - in lessons. With every road I see new things. I meet new people and when I can, I try to help those around me. As this job offers plenty of opportunities to help. It’s been a great run. Having been an Owner Operator, an independent operator and am now moved into the seat of a company driver. I have sat for miles with 4 permanent seat positions, but have hauled everything and anything from diamonds to dirt, and almost everything man made. I thoroughly enjoy the company I work for. They have my 110% dedication. A fantastic group of people, who work hard and are without doubt the very embodiment of professionalism within the industry. I have been fortunate enough to have come into what I would call “The greatest era of trucking.” People often ask me “why don’t you get into hauling something else?” Fact is, After having hauled almost everything, Expedited Perishables is what I do best. I have met so many wonderful people along the way like Mikey. I would bump the dock and this was the one place my kids were greeted with a midnight snack. It was the only place they would stay awake for. Mikey, and those like him and I have remained friends throughout the years.

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My greatest treasures are my wonderful children who accompanied me many of the miles I travelled. Mostly homeschooled in the truck, they had an education that only time could afford to teach as we rolled on. No they didn’t have all the designer clothes and latest fads. But we had what so many kids of their era didn’t - good solid family time. From the People to the wide open spaces, I have kept coming back as my gypsy soul cannot sit still too long. Would I change a thing about my lifestyle? Not at all. In a truck.... I am home.

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.

Double Manning

A comment I read on the international window on the world, Facebook, got me thinking, I wonder if e-logs will bring on a rise in double manning, or team driving as you call it across the pond. With the vast distances to be covered in Canada and the States, it might be the only sensible way to get some jobs done. This might be ok with a husband and wife team, but if you’re going to spend what is usually, in the UK anyway, a double shift in a cab with another driver, you

need to get along. Of course, over there it could be a couple of days or more. I’ve only had one double manning experience, and I don’t want to repeat it, the guy I got paired up with was a smoker. I could’ve told him not to smoke in the cab but that would only have made the shift longer stopping every time he needed a fix. And if I’d complained to the boss he would’ve got sacked. All the smokers in the company knew it was an instant dismissal if they were caught smoking in the cab but they all still did it. Eventually my double manning buddy was spotted from across the highway by the boss. The boss phoned the depot, and he was suspended immediately - after due process he was sacked. When he was driving and I was in the bunk, he usually rolled the driver’s window down so he could blow the smoke out the window but all that did was cause a draught and send the smoke around the back of the cab where I was trying to sleep. What was worse was the fact that he rolled his own. He didn’t like to smoke “shop bought” cigarettes so before he lit up out came the machine, then the paper went in and then the tobacco, one edge of the paper was licked and the machine rolled out a cigarette. All this was done as we trucked down the road at 90km per hour on cruise control with him steering with his elbows. At the time I was the new boy with the company so didn’t want to say too much. Luckily our pairing only lasted a week or so and I got put on another job where I was alone in the cab.

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Smoking was the least of the worries for a buddy of mine who left the company we both worked for to take a better paying job. When I met him a while later he told me of his near-death experience. He was double manning on an overnight run for a parcel company with a guy who told him he’d not had his licence very long. My buddy had guessed as much watching him damaging numerous trailers in the depots as he tried and failed to back his trailer in between other trailers. They used to run from Edinburgh down to Birmingham and the route was mostly good broad highway except for the section from Edinburgh over to the M74, which was narrow country roads. One winters night when they were on the northbound leg of the journey, it had been snowing heavily and my buddy told his co-driver not to take their usual route across country but to go further north and take a better road. His instructions were ignored and he was rudely awakened from his slumbers in the bunk when the truck left the road and landed upside down in a field. Strangely my pal left that big money job shortly after and moved on... With all this talk of self-driving electric trucks that only need a driver there for emergency situations, I suppose double manning will be a thing of the past. Maybe in the distant future the driver will take the truck onto the highway then retire to the sleeper until the computer wakes him up to take it in the last couple of miles. Who knows, I just hope I’m here to see it.

my lIfe ThRough a BRoKen WIndshIeld By Mel McConaghy

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

My Swan Song

The first article, John ever published of mine, was in the March, 2005 issue of Pro-Trucker Magazine. That almost makes it ancient history and I have been writing for him on a monthly basis ever since. He was instrumental in prodding me on to write more stories! He was the first person that gave me the confidence to write my first book and to him and every one at Pro- Trucker I’m thankful. Now I have been off the road, professionally, for the last eleven years and have been dragging a lot of these stories out of the archives in my mind. In that period and with these archives getting dimmer it’s getting harder and harder to drag them out, it’s like trying to pull a spun out super train up a hill with a team of horses. Not only that, how many times and how ways can you write about spinning out on a icy mountain road and sliding down backwards? How many times can you write about chaining up or running through a blizzard? There are only so many ways you can do this until it becomes either repetitious or just plain old B.S. I loved trucking and don’t ask me why, because it is a question I have asked myself on many occasions and I still can’t give you an honest answer. Why would any man leave his wife’s, soft warm bed to go out in a snow storm, to deliver a load to someone who is going to snap and curse you for being late, not once considering the fact that you got it there in inclement weather in one piece. Could it be the sense of independence or freedom you get when you are trucking down the road on a nice beautiful sun shiny day, while your outfit is purring like a contented cat? As I watch a big chrome encrusted truck go rolling by I sometime think I would still like to be out there. I still miss the trucks I have driven, I miss the old gasoline powered engines with square cut gears in the transmission, as much as I miss the newer ones and I still reminisce about them. But now I can do it while sitting in my warm home in front of my computer and I can go to bed and get up whenever the mood moves me. I only hope that John will contact me if he really gets hard pressed for a story or needs one for a special occasion, because you never know, I just might be able to rise to the occasion, because next to trucking, I love to write. So until then thank you for reading my stories, be safe out there, and if you see me in a truck stop in Prince George I’ll never turn down a cup of coffee or get tired of hearing stories about your adventures. 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.

My Good Friend Murphy.

One day last winter started out with a snow plow fanning the shoulders, only his spray was hitting the trucks parked for the night. This I found out as I stepped outta my truck and received a nice snow wash. What a wonderful wake up. I was suffering some severe camera separation anxiety as it was a beautiful day and my cameras were not with me. So, after dodging about 3 trucks in my lane and passing the by now customary truck in the snowbank, I stopped for fuel only to step down from the truck and wipe out in a diesel slick. So there I was covered in diesel in -26 weather with a -35 wind chill while fighting back the tears as pain ripped through my knee. I struggled to complete my fueling task while reminding myself that everything was fine, I have clean clothes and my shower bag lives on the passenger’s seat. After fueling, off I went to the shower. I left my truck right there in the fuel Isle with the doors locked as there was no way I was going to climb into the

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Stay up-to-date with Pro-Trucker news and events on our Facebook page & group! Cool truck pictures, jokes, contests and live chat with Pro-Trucker Magazine’s contributing writers! www.facebook.com/groups/7374383222/ and www.facebook.com/Protruckermagazine JUNE 2018

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ole girl gob soaked in slimy diesel. Once I showered it was time to carry on and for the most part, oh my, what a beautiful day. Marshmallow clouds, blue skies, and with very few highway doddlers, onward I went. Just me and my thoughts into the blinding sunlight. As I was cruising along, mile after mile, Murphy was still wreaking havoc on my life. Unbeknownst to me, my fridge had decided to go kaput. So when I stepped into my bunk I did so into a puddle of water on my water logged carpet. As the cold water squished between my toes I realized my fridge had left me stuck. I wasn’t sure if I needed to laugh or cry, so I scourged out a few rather maniacal self-aimed utterances and asked myself, “Is it worth doing this every day?” I figured that after a good night’s sleep I would see if Murphy had moved on. Life on the road. Always a challenge, never dull. I have concluded that if it ever does get dull and the challenge wears off - then I’m doing it wrong! Stay safe.... Tomorrow’s another day!!!

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wonderful. It produced lots of milk every day and everyone was happy. They bought a bull to mate with the cow to get more cows, so they’d never have to worry about their milk supply again. They put the bull in the pasture with the cow but whenever the bull tried to mount the cow, the cow would move away. No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull, and he was never able to do the deed… The people were very upset ***** and decided to go to the local veterinarian, Dr. Santucchi, who was very wise, to tell him what was happening and to Hmmm.... The only cow in a small town in Northern Italy stopped ask his advice. “Whenever the bull tries to mount our cow, she moves giving milk. The town folk found they could buy a cow in away. If he approaches from the back, she moves forward. Sicily quite cheaply, so, they brought one. It was absolutely

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When he approaches her from the front, she backs off… If he attempts it from the one side, she walks away to the other side.” The veterinarian rubbed his chin thoughtfully and pondered this before asking, “Did you by chance, buy this cow in Sicily?” The people were dumbfounded, since no one had ever mentioned that they had brought the cow over from Sicily. “You are truly a wise veterinarian,” they said, “How did you know that we got the cow from Sicily?” The Vet replied with a distant look in his eyes, “My wife is from Sicily.”

fRom

The

dRIveRs seaT

By Ben Proudley Ben has been a Class 1 driver for 20 years. He started out driving wreckers and currently heavy hauls for Hertz Equipment Rentals. Ben was our Rig of the Month in March of 2008

Given the recent incidents involving drivers as of late, I figure now is as good a time as any to put my 2 cents out there. These are my opinions and mine alone. After the recent tragedy in Humboldt there has been an ongoing outcry for better driver training for Class 1 drivers coming from the public but more importantly coming from drivers themselves, who give more informed reasons why there needs to be more training. I think that is a great idea, but I also think we as a whole are missing the root of the problem. Good driving does not start with a Class 1, it in fact starts many years before that. One could argue that it starts when you are a young child, watching and learning from your parents and other adults that you ride with. I do think there is something to this but it also starts with good habits when you get your learners for your Class 5. If you have good habits taught to you at the start of your driving career, as you choose to upgrade to a higher license, you carry those good habits with you which automatically makes you a better diver. Not saying that we do not need to improve the Class 1 training. I feel that every Class of

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licence needs improvement. Class 1 being the most crucial since with a Class 1 we can drive anything on the road including buses. Let that sink in for a sec. So we feel we need to be a red seal trade? Would that help? Many opinions on that, mine being that yes it would. So we pressure the provincial and federal governments to make it happen. The big question is how? Rallies, protests, petitions, letter writing campaigns, email campaigns, not just from drivers but from the public as well. And not only for Class 1 drivers, but for all classes of licences. Those are great ideas and let’s say the government listens and says ok let’s do it. Great now what? We had better have a plan to present to them. The biggest problem I feel in the past is that people

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JUNE 2018


have tried to do this and not had enough information written down, and supported by big companies, to make it happen. Here is my 2 cents on how to make it happen. Red seal trades are a 4 year program with hands on and classroom time. In the first year you have 6 weeks of classroom time. In that time you receive your learners, spend time getting your air brake course done, learning log books and pretrips. Then you spend time with a government certified instructor pulling a 53 foot dry van with a 244 inch wheelbase tractor. You travel around the city and do some longer runs on the highways and learn how to handle a truck and trailer of the size you will be allowed to operate in the first year of your license. A comprehensive chaining up course should also be offered resulting in an endorsement attached to your license. Without this endorsement you are not permitted to operate in the provinces where chains are required. At the end of 6 weeks you have a written test as well as a practical test in one of the two official languages in Canada, English or French. Bam you passed and now have a Class 1 with a “D” endorsement. You now spend the next year ONLY allowed to pull a 53 foot dry van. Off you go. Year 2 you return for your next 6 weeks of training. Again, classroom and practical, but now you learn how to pull a 53 foot step deck and high boy. Still using that 244 inch wheel base tractor. Included in this is load securement using chains and straps. At the end of the 6 weeks, road test and classrooms test again in the official languages of Canada. Now you have a Class 1 with a “C” endorsement which now means you can pull a 53 foot dry van tandem or tridem and a tandem or tridem flat deck. Off and running for another year. Year 3 you return for more schooling and training. Time for bigger and badder trailers. You now learn the ways of the Super B. 6 weeks of training and practical and more tests at the end. Pass that and now you have a Class 1 “B” endorsement and can pull Super B’s and everything else you have been trained on. Away you go for one more year. It has now been three years of your life. You are entering the home stretch. Back for year 4. You will now be taught how to handle LCV (Long Combination Units) both triples and doubles. During this you are also taught how to

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this is a snap shot of things we have talked about. I must also say that training is key but it will never get rid of the one element that only each driver can control. The human element. We have all done things like roll through a stop sign, speed, made a bad lane change, well you get the point. We would be naive to think that doing this would fix all our problems. Truth is it will not but it will go a long way to improving things for everyone who is on the road.

Bad Days

*****

Upon arriving home, a husband was met at the door by his sobbing wife. Tearfully she explained, “It’s the pharmacist. He insulted me terribly this morning on the phone. I had to call multiple times before he would even answer the phone.” Immediately, the husband drove down town to confront the pharmacist, and demand an apology. Before he could say more than a word or two, the pharmacist told him, “Now, just a minute, listen to my side of it. This morning the alarm failed to go off, so I was late getting up. I went without breakfast and hurried out to the car, just to realize that I’d locked the house with both house and car keys inside and had to break a window to get my keys. Then, driving a little too fast, I got a speeding ticket. Later, when I was about three blocks from the store, I had a flat tire. When I finally got to the store a bunch of people were waiting for me to open up. I got the store opened and started waiting on these people, all the time the darn phone

was ringing.” He continued, “Then I had to break a roll of coins against the cash register drawer to make change, and they spilled all over the floor. I had to get down on my hands and knees to pick up the coins and the phone was still ringing. When I came up I cracked my head on the open cash drawer, which made me stagger back against a showcase with a bunch of perfume bottles on it. Half of them hit the floor and broke. Meanwhile, the phone is still ringing with no let up, and I finally got back to answer it. It was your wife. She wanted to know how to use a rectal thermometer.” “And believe me Mr., as God is my witness, all I did was tell her.” r

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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

Faith Another lonely truck stop, another lonely night Just got off the telephone; my family is alright. The waitress pours me coffee and I tell her a little joke I sit there at the counter with a coffee and a smoke. I hear the drivers talking about families and home And the life that we are living on the highways all alone. But something keeps me going and helps me pay the price: My faith in God Almighty and our Saviour Jesus Christ. I know they will protect me and help the ones I love, Until the day they take me to that truck stop up above.

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Pro-Trucker Magazine / June issue 2018  

Pro-Trucker Magazine / June issue 2018 Rig of The Month Featuring Cynthia Tobin starting on page 20

Pro-Trucker Magazine / June issue 2018  

Pro-Trucker Magazine / June issue 2018 Rig of The Month Featuring Cynthia Tobin starting on page 20