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From the Editor’s desk... by John White

VOLUmE 19, ISSUE 02 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 • Ben Proudley Scott Casey • Mel McConaghy Ed Murdoch • Colin Black Tamara Weston • Bill Weatherstone Lane Kranenburg PHOTOGRAPHY David Benjatschek wowtrucks.com Ben Proudley • Brad Demelo HEAD OFFICE Ph: 604-580-2092 Toll Free / Fax: 1-800-331-8127 Published eleven times a year by Pro-Trucker Magazine Inc.,

The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher. The advertiser agrees to protect the publisher against legal action based upon libelous or inaccurate statements; the unauthorized use of materials or photographs; and/or any other errors or omissions in connection with advertisements placed in Pro-Trucker Magazine. The publisher can and will refuse any advertising which in his opinion is misleading or in poor taste. The publisher does not endorse or make claim or guarantee the validity or accuracy of any advertisement herein contained. All materials submitted for publication are subject to editing at the publisher’s discretion. The act of mailing or e-mailing material shall be considered an expressed warranty by the contributor that the material is original and in no way an infringement on the rights of others.

PUBLIcATIONS mAIL AGrEEmENT #40033055 rETUrN UNDELIVErABLE cANADIAN ADDrESSES TO cIrcULATION DEPT. 9693 129th Street. SUrrEY, B.c. V3T 3G3 Email: tori@ptmag.ca

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Due to numerous requests from drivers, event sponsors and Alberta Large Cars, we are very excited to announce that this year’s Alberta Big Rig Weekend, after 14 years absence from the area, will be held July 14-16 at Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku Alberta. The 1st Annual Alberta Big Rig Weekend was held at what was then Budweiser Race Track and since that time we have had many requests to return to Nisku. One thing that has been a concern over the years is that, even though the people have been fantastic and the grounds are immaculate at Westerner Park, when we only rent the parking lot it lacks many of the facilities that would enhance the show. At Blackjacks there is ample on-site camping, a 24 hour restaurant, a hotel right next door within very easy walking distance and of course the pub in Blackjacks Roadhouse which features live music. We will also soon announce both truck and tow truck competitions that we are currently working on. To continue our unwavering support of our Canadian veterans, partial proceeds will go to Military Minds Inc, a non-profit association that assists our veterans with combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Keep checking our Facebook page and website for exciting updates and changes on both the BC and Alberta Big Rig Weekends Everyone is always proud to see someone in the industry who gives so much of their time to the community. Especially those who do it low key with no alternative motives other than to help those in need. Scott Casey is just one of those guys whose dedication and fund raising is known only to the groups that he works with. That group is currently Military Minds Inc. One of the projects that he, as the unpaid President of Military Minds Inc, is working on is, “The Rolling Barrage”. Scott explains, “This year is the 150th Birthday of our nation and the 100th anniversary of the taking of Vimy Ridge in what was called, at the time, “The Great War.” Success at Vimy was realized, not just because of the tenacity of its soldiers but because it employed techniques developed by Canadians, like its brilliant use of artillery fire. That rolling barrage of fire allowed the attackers to walk up the hill under its cover and take control within a short time frame. “The Rolling Barrage is a rolling fundraiser presented by Military Minds Inc, in support of veterans and serving members as a show of strength, and unity to conquer the stigma of combat PTSD. Canada was settled from the East to the West and our motorcycle ride will symbolically cover that path with the step off point in Newfoundland to its Rally Point in Victoria, BC. Coast to Coast in 15 days from August 5th to 20th with many opportunities to join in for partial portions of the ride. This will be an epic motorcycle journey, a metal horse, akin to those who traveled across this land with living horses 150 years ago. “This fundraiser is more than just about raising money - although that is our primary goal. It is also about brotherhood which is significant in any healing and this will show the spirit across the nation. However, this ride is open to ALL riders and not just military in nature. In fact, we openly invite civilian riders, as a way to show resounding support for our troops. “As mentioned riders can join any section of the ride or join us from coast to coast in what will be a memorable adventure. For more information go to www.rollingbarrage.com .” 

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

PrO-TrUcKEr mAGAZINEe

e Whit e John agazin

ker M Truc Prote

John Whi r Magazine Pro-Trucke

Hello John, About 6 yrs. ago I found myself in the employ of Ashton Transport out of Ft. Saskatchewan Alberta. I had gone with the truck when they bought JPT. At the time I was concerned that the company was a bit big for my liking but I thought I would give it a try. Two weeks into the job I met the boss, Maurice Ringuette, he was approachable but also hands off until needed. Shortly after that I met the real boss. I was talking to the dispatcher one day when Maurice’s wife, Angelika Ringuette, came around the corner. Her eyes locked on me and she asked, “And who are you?” I told her my name was Brian and that I was a new driver. With that she went about her business and I left. Fast forward – Today I often go into the back corners of the office where I can pour a coffee and sit with Angie and talk about any issues at work and even personal problems. She always has time to listen and has always given good advice. I have to say that I have rarely felt as

welcome in a company as I do here. I have lost count of the number of times she has “ been there” for me not because I take it for granted but because I can’t count that high. I remember every time she has helped me over the years but she conveniently forgets those conversations - that’s Angie the person. As my boss she was quick to acknowledge and reward my efforts. I received raises without asking and I got a very nice rig to drive. Once in a while, if my timing was right, her and Maurice would even take me for lunch – now that’s a real nice touch that does not often happen. Although in June 2016 ATL was sold and some decisions are no longer Angie’s to make, her generosity is just as strong. Angelika Ringuette is simply a beautiful person from deep inside her being and I don’t know if I would have been here 6 yrs., and counting, if not for her – she is one of a kind. In an industry so full of negativity I thought a little recognition of good deeds needs to be out there as well. Thank you for the opportunity to recognize her. Brian Martin Alberta Editor’s note: You are right Brian, there is too much negativity thank you for lightening the mood with a feel good story. I’m sure there are many other stories like yours out there and we are always happy to hear them.

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Hi John, I look forward to every issue of Pro-Trucker, I enjoy the biography of your Rig of the Month person, the human interest stories, the adventures your writers get into and especially the injections of humor. I would like to voice my support (in writing) to the trucking industry. I’ve been in the Customs Brokerage industry as long as most of your writers have been driving. With very (very) rare exceptions my experiences with the driver has been quite positive. Even those unfortunate souls that have “issues” with Customs. I have a brother that does a cross the border trip every day and I hear about his delays and frustration. It’s not always the Brokers fault, but if a Driver needs to come over to our office they will always be treated with respect, offered a warm comfortable place to have a coffee, free Wi-Fi, E-power station, washrooms (WC for your overseas writers), and a friendly person willing to assist. The articles provide an insight into the challenges and changes the industry is facing now and in the future, please keep up the good work. Wayne Smith Surrey, BC.

letter above there is too much negativity in the industry and much of it is directed at drivers so letters like yours are very much appreciated. When the general public hears of an accident involving a big truck they automatically feel the trucker is to blame which we in the industry know is seldom the truth. Even when the truck is found at fault it is often because one, two, and even three, cars have suddenly pulled in front of a truck while in heavy traffic and taken away the safety zone as well as any chance for the trucker to stop in time. Truck drivers are still the safest people on the road. The average truck driver puts on more miles in a year than many four wheelers will in a lifetime and many of these truckers have millions of accident free miles. Not many four wheelers go a life time without at least one fender bender. Yes some accidents are the full responsibility of the driver but that is what they are – accidents. And as we all know most companies only hire drivers who have a clean driving record meaning many of the habitually bad drivers are eventually taken off the road. As I have mentioned in the past this is one of the most over-regulated professions that I know of. Some of the regulations are good but unfortunately some are politically motivated by politicians who lack knowledge of the industry and only want to garner votes by giving the public what they want to hear. Much like Donald Editor’s note: Thank you Wayne as mentioned in the Trump. 

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TYRES ACROSS THE POND Colin Black lives in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland and has been driving truck for over 40 years. His story shows us once again that the problems drivers face are universal.

Foot and Mouth I just read an article in a magazine that reminded me it’s been 15 years since the foot and mouth outbreak started in the UK. The article was about a man who bought a livestock moving business, truck and all, just a month before there was a total ban on all livestock

The

movement in the UK - no luck eh? (Whoa - One trip to Canada and I’m adding “eh” to the end of my sentences…) But truckers are resilient. Unlike the farmers who still had the means to make money, he only had one truck. He did however manage to get his truck on doing supermarket deliveries to keep some cash coming in. Back then I was working for Express Cargo Forwarding which was the UK side of an Irish haulage company based in Dublin. When I was working dayshift the deliveries were a mixture of home addresses and commercial premises. Before the real extent of the problem came to light and the disinfecting regime kicked in, if I was delivering to a farm, the farmer might ask if I’d been to any other farms that day. He would

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then ask me to wash my boots in a cut down 5-gallon drum with a few inches of disinfectant in it. But in the early days the trucks themselves were pretty much ignored. I sometimes did holiday cover on the nightshift run over to Belfast and then down to our head office in Dublin. As the disease spread rapidly across the UK the Irish tried their best to keep it out of Southern Ireland. At a town called Dundalk, on the border between north and south Ireland, on a small A road that passed for one of the main roads to Dublin, they set up a big drive through truck wash in a lay-by, or turn out, as you guys call them. You were asked what type of freight you were carrying and we were ok because it was always mixed groupage. Then you were instructed to drive slowly through the spray. Unlike a normal truck wash it only sprayed upwards so it got the wheels, chassis, under the wings, and hopefully, any infected mud that might’ve been hanging there. As there was only one lane going south and one going north, there was a lot of tailback when the busy daytime traffic started queuing to get through the wash. The road was especially busy due to the fact that back in the days before the Euro, people from the north came into the south where fuel and groceries were cheaper. They changed their Pounds into Punts, stocked up for the week and then headed back home.

As the disease spread it wasn’t long until the piles of burning animals started to appear in fields at the side of the roads. Not right beside the roads, but sitting in the truck you could look over the hedges and see them in the distance. If the wind was right, you could smell the stench of the smoke. As hard as it was on some trucking companies, at least they still had the trucks. I can’t imagine how the farmers felt to have the ministry men come in and wipe out their whole livelihood in one day. Herds of cattle that had taken, maybe generations of the same family to build up, shot and burned in the same fields that they had grazed in. It would be enough to send some men over the edge, I know the effect it had on my Father’s brother David, he had a big patch of land on his smallholding commandeered by compulsory purchase order to make a bypass road. He didn’t lose any animals as he just grew crops in the field, but he was devastated all the same. He fought it all the way, even digging out a big spike he found in the field when my Father told him it was a darting point for taking measurements to build the road. But in the end, he inevitably lost, then he seemed to go into a depression and wandered off into the woods with his shotgun a couple of times. Not long after that he had a stroke, and then another stroke. I suppose the stress from losing his land really killed him. Maybe the shotgun would’ve been quicker. 

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REFLECTIONS THRU MY WINDSHIELD By Dave Madill Dave was Pro-Trucker Magazine’s Rig of the Month in June of 2001 Arrested This happened quite a few years ago but I was reminded about it by something I saw on TV. It happened when I was way down in Louisiana at a truck stop. I had just unloaded nearby then drove to the truck stop where I fueled, showered and had supper. I was walking across the lot towards my truck, which was parked near the back, when I heard sirens. I looked around but could see no smoke or anything so I figured I was not in danger and it had nothing to do with me so I just kept walking. The sirens kept getting louder and louder but I figured the Police were after a speeder or something. This truck stop was not too far from a residential district and I had heard sirens in the area at other times when I had been there so I was not too concerned. The sirens kept getting louder and louder and were getting real close so I sped up just a little so I could get back to my truck - just in case. By now the sirens were real loud and I could tell they were in the truck stop. Just as I came up to the front of my

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truck I hear the squeal of brakes and a second later hear someone hollering stop. I turned around and about thirty feet away is a marked Sheriff’s car and a Sheriff’s deputy with his gun out, pointed in my direction. While I am still trying to figure out what is going on another marked car slides to a stop and another Deputy jumps out, points his handgun at me and yells at me to drop my bag and get my hands up. Now I can’t do both at the same time so I slowly turned towards my truck, (R Model Mack), put my bag up on the fender, turn back around and raise my hands. By now the deputies are yelling at me to get down on the ground. I am still wondering what is going on and I am NOT about to get down on this greasy, dirty piece of pavement with my clean clothes on. That was about the time I heard another car pull in and seconds later I was tackled from behind on my left and bodily thrown to the pavement and told to, “STOP RESTSTING” and “GET YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK.” When I was tackled I knew I was going down hard so I had put my hands out to protect myself from the fall. So my hands were now stuck under me, a deputy was on top of me and the two that had been pointing guns at me were grabbing at my arms screaming at me to, “STOP RESISTING.” Very quickly I was handcuffed, hoisted to my feet, slammed against a cop car and told to spread my feet. They asked what I had on me and I told them I had a pocket knife in my left front pocket. When that was removed I was patted down and all my pockets were emptied while one deputy

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started reading me my rights. When asked if I understood what I had been read I asked what was going on and what was I being charged with. About that time another deputy who had my wallet comes up and says, “we got the money, it was in his wallet”. Another deputy who is rifling through my ID yells out, “his ID says he is a dxxx Canadian.” Still not knowing what I am charged with I was hustled into the back of a car, the door was slammed, they grabbed my bag and all my gear and away we went to the Sheriff’s Office. When we got there I finally found out that I was charged with armed robbery, (with a knife), of a local Mom and Pop store just three blocks away from the truck stop. I was fingerprinted and photographed then thrown into a cell and left alone for quite a while. I was finally taken out of the cell, in handcuffs, and taken to an interview room where I was met by a detective who actually seemed to know what was going on. He actually listened to me as I explained my story. I told him about my time stamped fuel receipt and that my name would be on the truck stop shower list. After hearing my story I was escorted to another cell and the Detective said he would do some checking. Well the Detective did his checking and I must admit he was thorough but it was not until morning that I was let out of my cell , given back all my gear and one of the Deputies drove me back to my truck. Thankfully my truck was untouched and after another shower and another change of clothes I had a decent breakfast and checked

with my dispatcher who found me a load twenty miles away that was going back to Canada. Apparently my name was put into the system as later I learned that every time I got checked at the border my “arrest” kept popping up. I never did go back to that truck stop and for a few years I declined even going into Louisiana. *****

OOPS!

One Saturday morning a married couple were having a nice breakfast on their sundeck when the wife turned to her husband and asked, “If I were to die would you get married again?” Shocked the husband said, “Here we are having a nice breakfast at the start of a beautiful day and you bring up a subject like that? Can’t we discuss that sort of thing at a different time?” That evening the wife asked the same question and again the husband, did not want to discuss it. This went on for a few days until the husband finally said, “Yes I probably would. You would not want me to spend the rest of my life alone would you?” “Well no” she went on, “but would you sell our house?” “No I love our house, why would I sell it?” he replied “Would you sell our bed?” she asked. “It is a good bed there is no reason to sell that either.” “Well would you let her use my golf clubs?” “No, she is left handed…”

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DRIVING THROUGH MY MEMORIES

By Ed Murdoch

Ed has held a commercial drivers license for 65 years and has spent the better part of 50 years on the road. You can get Ed’s new book at www.drivingthroughmymemories.ca Do American truck drivers carry heat? Does water run downhill? Here are the stats: only 33% of truckers polled have a license to carry a concealed weapon; 76% felt they were in danger while parked, delivering or driving; 73% said they there were occasions when they wished they had been armed but weren’t; 24% admitted to being victims of a robbery event or an attempt to cause bodily harm while trucking. Sixty percent of all truckers polled carried a tire thumper or bat, ostensibly for checking tire inflation; 54% toted knives; 27% a gun; 9% had mace; 8% a dog; 11% nothing and 12% carried other means of protection … whatever that means ... maybe a mother-in-law! BJ had a chimpanzee, do you remember the BJ and the Bear TV show? BJ was an independent trucker who, while driving his late red and white ‘70s KW-100 with his chimpanzee companion Bear, always got caught up in some crime of corruption or other skullduggery. It always ended with him coming to the rescue of usually a beautiful woman in each episode. It seems funny that I never ran into those things on the highway… The problem with carrying a concealed weapon for truckers in the USA is that there is no federal law which gives permission to those involved in Interstate Commerce to carry in all jurisdictions. Each state has its own laws governing such situations although there are advocacy groups including the NRA that are pushing for a federal permit that would allow truckers to carry across state lines. Twenty-three of the 49 continental states do not issue non-resident permits to carry a concealed firearm. Many carriers also have a no-carry policy due to the risk of liability. Whether these companies can be brought on board with a federal regulation is part of the divided question and if a carrier does not allow a driver to carry does that company accept responsibility for protection of its drivers and/or owner-operators from harm? So many questions – so few answers! Despite the above there are a goodly number of truck operators that ‘bite the bullet’ as it were and ignore local laws in order to ‘stick to their guns’. In Alabama, a state that does not allow non-residents to carry, two drivers got into an argument recently and one pulled a gun and shot the other in the stomach. A few years ago in Texas when one semi was thought to be taking too long to pass another on the freeway the driver being passed fired his gun into the passenger side of the vehicle injuring the mArch 2017

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co-driver. A Winnipeg driver in 2014 heard “something like hammering on my cab” as he drove east on I-94. Stopping he found that his semi was riddled with 10 bullet holes, one penetrating the reefer fuel tank. It is believed the shots were fired from a car full of teenagers. The trucker was not injured. There was even a Pro-Trucker Rig of the Month driver a few years back, John Peluso, who told of being shot at while in the states. In his story he even showed the passenger door of his truck, complete with bullet holes, that he had kept as a souvenir. As a Canadian driver not permitted to carry anywhere in my home country, I personally never carried a weapon of self defense other than the mandatory tire thumper or maybe a screwdriver and I had my faithful canine traveling companion Woody with me toward the end. He was the best and his growl alerted me to impending danger a couple of times but the situations never escalated into violence. Only peace officers, armoured car guards and certain folk who work in remote areas have permits to carry in Canada. It has only been since 2007 that Canada Customs officers have been issued sidearms. There were occasions when it was necessary for me to nervously enter inner city industrial areas in both countries to deliver or pick up a load and a few times I witnessed activity that was suspicious but was never personally threatened. The three locations where most

2017 Big Rig Weekends Dates: BC-July 7-9 / Alberta-July 14-16

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truckers feel equally vulnerable are unsupervised rest areas, metro truck stops that are lacking security, and remote roadside parking areas. Obviously avoiding these places is the best policy. Privatizing rest areas is an option that has been considered but then there would inevitably be minimal fees charged for a stay of say over one or two hours but probably worth every penny. When destined for one of those municipal industrial areas that were not deemed safe I always called the customer to see if it was secure. If not I would find a safe haven, pay the 10 bucks or so for overnight security and proceed to my destination in the morning. My only experience with a firearm in the USA was on a trip north, back in 1998, when I stopped at the Duty Free shop for my mandatory 40 pounder before reentering Canada at the Eastport, ID/ Kingsgate BC border crossing. Inside the store was a gentleman from Oregon who took me aside and asked if I were the trucker who stopped by the bridge. I acknowledged that indeed I was and he proceeded to request that I hide his handgun in my truck and take it across for him because of the ban on firearms in Canada. Stunned I looked at him in amazement that he would even consider such a proposition and I told him in no uncertain terms that not only would I not do as he asked but I would tell the Canada Customs authorities about his outrageous proposal. I also told him there was no need to bring a weapon into our safe

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country and the best thing he could do would be to leave his gun at the Duty Free or a customs broker’s office and pick it up on his way back home. I was livid and he knew it. One of the salesladies overheard part of the conversation and was also quite vocal in her disagreement with his behaviour too. I told him that if I were caught I would not only end up in jail but my truck, trailer and cargo would be impounded and there would be hell to pay. Sheeeesh!! Safe trucking y’all … 10-4! *****

Protesters and Pipelines

Transporting crude oil has a few methods, trucks, trains, and pipelines, I have found that trucks are probably the most expensive and impractical way to move oil long distances and spills and derailments have proven that trains are not practical and too expensive as well. Pipelines are the most practical safe and inexpensive way to move oil once the pipe is in the ground. However, we have a group of tree huggers that think that they can stop the progress of laying pipe so that the oil can be moved to refineries. A lot of these so-called protesters are paid to protest by groups that are part of the climate change agenda. A couple of observations: Who are the people manning the protest line? (1) a minority group of special interest people some

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currently in the ground with very few incidents, and those that did occur were cleaned up by the companies responsible. With modern technology, the pipe being laid is much safer and spills would be minimized. We must think about the reason that there are pipelines, it is the most efficient method of getting our natural resources to market, we have the product in the ground while we are importing oil from countries that are dangerous. They treat their people in a horrible fashion and are in fact an enemy of the democratic. We must get our natural resources to market and we must create the thousands of jobs that would be available through the continuance pipelines. Why is Canada buying oil from Saudi Arabia, where the extremely rich control not only oil prices but they also treat their own people very poorly. The vast majority of terrorists have come out of Saudi Arabia and it is well known that oil production in the middle east finances them. This is a perfect example of the vocal minority dictating to the masses and they are getting the press to report only the side of the ill informed and not reporting the practical side of this issue. Oil is a vital commodity to our society and the construction of pipelines gets our oil to market where it can be refined thereby creating many jobs in a market where unemployment is extremely high. The protesters must realize the importance of oil to our society, the fuel to move people and goods, the plas-

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tics which are plentiful in the products that consumers require, and a multitude of uses that allow our society to exist. They talk about the few hundred ducks that died in the oil sands, a problem that has been addressed and successfully solved. We never hear about the thousands and thousands of birds and bats that are killed by the limitedly used, and inefficient windmills. Western Canada sits on a huge amount of natural gas, so much so that we should be sending it to world markets by pipeline to our west coast. Natural gas which is readily available and much less expensive and environmentally safe is a much better way to provide the electricity that our society cannot function without. I think that the protesters should stay at home and enjoy the heat and power and products around their house that the oil industry so efficiently provides. After all they would save a lot of money on the gas and oil they buy to get to these protests. I would also feel better if all protesters shunned any product or product produced through the oil industry and refuse employment by any company that uses those products. After all they are asking everyone in the oil industry to give up their jobs. But all protesters have a double standard and through a lack of knowledge and information feel they are doing good when in fact they are hypocrites and therefore a useless nuisance. 

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.

Stock Cars and Caution Flags

The Daytona 500, America’s most famous NASCAR race ended with almost three quarters of the field out of the race by the final lap. It was a spectacle to behold. All of that racing technology, horse power, colours, and the crowds going wild. The drivers are moving at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour on a couple of the stretches. To ensure theirs and the safety of everyone attending, strict safety measures are in place. Some of which include the flaps that you see pop up on the roof of the cars when they spin backwards out of control. This keeps the car on the ground by not allowing the car to lift, whereby not allowing wind to get underneath the car and flip it end over end. Seats almost completely wrap around the driver like a body cast. This keeps them from being severely jolted in the event of an impact. Their helmets and suits have been designed to allow airflow to keep them cool and a water line is built in to provide liquid in the 500 mile endurance race. A lot of the technology that goes into these race cars and others on the Grand Prix circuit go into the

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average automobile. The standard features we find in most automobiles today have been developed over time using feedback from drivers, passengers, engineers, insurance companies and law enforcement. Tinted shatterproof glass, crumple zones, air bags, one touch function buttons on the steering wheel, ABS brakes and little things right down to USB locations and so on. Even where the throttle, brake and clutch pedals are located and their spacing apart has been carefully selected. They’ve been located the way they are for maximum safety and ergonomic value. In fact, many car makers have even developed steering wheels that have gear selector paddles affixed into the wheel so the driver has more control during operation, technology developed on the race track. Yes, many updates are found in Class 8 rigs nowadays too, but you drivers already know that. Seats that heat or cool, and have over twenty different comfort positions to make even the most unsatisfied of drivers happy, can also be found in many cars, pickups, SUV’s, crossovers, minivans and sport cars. The upgrades even include GPS, AM/FM stereos/satellite radio, DVD players with TV’s built into the back of every seat, audio systems that tell you that you’re falling asleep, and (like Top Guns, Maverick, feeling the need for speed and flipping that Russian Mig 29 the bird, all the while monitoring his speed and elevation in his) HUD “Heads Up Display” drivers can see their highway speed, rpm, and fuel level on the windshield in front. Oh, the wonderment of it all. My parents thought they had it all when power steering first became available back in the late 60’s. Mind you, so did I, when I popped that Smokey and the Bandit 8 track into the built in dash player. With all of these amazing advances in automobiles and the extreme differences from the race stock cars it baffles me as to why so many four wheelers have not been outfitted with a lever inside the cockpit to activate the signal lights. I guess that’s where the caution flag comes out. *****

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Ron Chester, 49 years of age, was stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and was asked where he was going at that time of night. Ron replied, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse, smoking and staying out late and the effects it has on the human body.” The officer asked, “Really? Who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?” Ron replied, “That would be my wife.” PAGE 18

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Rig of the Month

by John White

My name is Randy Bye and I was born and raised in father was a truck driver and equipment operator and my Hixon, BC, a small town 50kms south of Prince George. dad’s parents were also truck drivers. My grandfather I became interested in trucking at a very early age as my had a trucking company and owned 23 trucks down

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in the States during the 1940’s. They immigrated to Canada, moving to Red Rock, BC, when my dad was just 2 years old. Red Rock is just 30 km south of Prince George. My grandfather continued trucking there and for many years we had one of the last working 1946 Internationals around. After my grandfather died it was sold to a guy from Quesnel who I have been told did a full restoration on it. I rode with my dad in the truck as much as possible when I was a kid. At the age of 8 he put me on his lap with an off highway load of logs and by the age of 13 I was shifting gears. When I turned 17 I was expelled from school. My parents weren’t about to let me sit at home so off to work I went with my dad who was low bedding at the time. He knew where my future was headed at this point and like most dad’s he was a hard ass and didn’t want me to become a trucker. The mistakes I made were all a learning curve. Like the time I loaded my first skidder and almost tipped it over off the goose neck. I had to be winched back up during which I almost fell out because I wasn’t wearing a seat belt - my dad just laughed at me. I washed trucks during break up which in turn helped me get my licence as the guy I washed trucks for gave me a truck to take my driver’s test. Once I got my licence I got a job driving a local 5 tonne water truck then a P & D truck and I also did some tow truck driving. When I

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stories, too many of which are tragic. I have held people in my hands until death and been the first on the scene on too many occasions. I’ve lost a steering tire at highway speed and once lost a set of duels, from over torqueing, which in turn hit another truck and put him in the ditch. Another time I was run off the road and put upside down in a logging truck from a pickup not calling his miles on a logging road. I was taught by my dad to help people on the side of the road. He never passed a car or a truck that was in trouble and I am the same. I stop because often up north we were the only ones out there and at that time there was not much for cell service. One day I was sleeper teaming our way to Whitehorse when we were in a line of cars on the east pine hill outside of Chetwynd. The roads were a sheet of glass and we were creeping along at 50kms when the lead car, who was pulling a U-Haul trailer, started to go sideways and everyone stopped. I tried my best to keep the trailer straight but couldn’t. My trailer came out and a lady hit it at the front axle. She was driving a Rav 4 and she was hurt really bad. I sat holding her in her car for what felt an hour as she bled all over me. She was a big lady and I remember holding her hand and her squeezing mine. I wept and said I was sorry while we were taking her up the bank. I had to stay the night in Chetwynd as the axle she hit had been pushed back about 4 feet. I called my

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turned 18 I got a job driving a 1983 Freightliner gravel truck with a silver 92 series Detroit. It wasn’t much of a truck, the interior had been gutted and there was sheet metal for the cab corners as it had previously been rolled. It was an ex-Trimac truck that was spray bombed Ford blue...a real beauty... As soon as I turned 19 I hauled logs for a season out of Terrace BC where it was unbelievably steep. I remember pulling away from the landing one day and as I dropped over the edge onto the road the whole load of logs slid forward. The momentum pushed the truck forward and I almost didn’t get stopped as the truck ended up resting on the snow bank overlooking the valley. After one season of that I moved back to Prince George where I had other logging jobs and I also drove the highway hauling fish from Prince Rupert to Vancouver. At one point I tried sleeper teaming on a run from Prince George to Whitehorse 3 times a week but I had to go through three drivers before I found one I trusted. His name was Tom and it was just his first winter driving so I only let him drive on the good parts. One day when I was sleeping Tom hit some black ice. We ended up doing a 180 and he backed it perfectly straight into the ditch on the opposite side of the road. We got pulled out and the only damage was the fairing on the back of the sleeper - I drove next… Like everyone who has driven truck I have many

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Show ‘n Shine, Trade Show and Truck Rodeo will be held at at: Blackjacks Roadhouse in Nisku, Alberta on July 14th to 16th We have teamed up with some great people and are excited to be back in Edmonton! Stay tuned for more details on our website and Facebook pages! mArch 2017

2017 Big Rig Weekends Dates: BC-July 7-9 / Alberta-July 14-16

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dad to come for me but he refused. He said, “No Randy, if you don’t get back into that truck today you never will again.” So I did. A month later the ladies daughter called my mom and said to tell me her mom was still in a coma, and that it wasn’t my fault. I still feel to this day that I could have done something different but that’s something I have to live with. This happened only a couple years after I had held a dude in my hands till he died after he and his friend had a head on with another truck. It too was horrific. His buddy was spread all over the road. I cried that day. On another trip coming back from Whitehorse close to Watson Lake, Yukon, there is a wooden trestle bridge which has a corner and a hill on both sides, it was dark and snowing as I approached the bridge and noticed shadows on the other side that I thought was a moose or buffalo. I backed out of it and came onto the bridge and there was a car smashed on the bridge sideways with a little old lady and her two grandchildren standing there. I was empty and hit the brakes as I swerved into the other lane and got stopped just past the car. Before I could get out I saw lights coming over the hill towards us. I began flashing my lights flipped on my four way flashers but he blew into the front of my truck busting the moose catcher in half and completely took out the passenger side fender and pushed my steering axle back. It was a 3/4 tonne school bus van with 16 kids in it. They

bounced off my truck and proceeded to mow over the little old lady. A few cars began stopping as the road was blocked and low and behold the little old lady gets up and I immediately threw her and her grandchildren into my truck. One of the cars that stopped was driven by a DOT inspector and I said she needs to get to the hospital immediately. We agreed it would be quicker in my truck as there was no cell service and the roads were bad. The steering was way off because of the impact but we got her to the hospital and unbelievably she ended up without a scratch. Luckily none of the kids in the van were injured either. Next day we fixed the steering and axle and returned to Prince George. I was in my twenties when this happened and after a couple years I received a subpoena to appear in court in Whitehorse. The insurance company wanted to sue me for the accident saying if I wasn’t in the other lane it wouldn’t have happened but if I had stayed in my lane I would have hit the car and killed the people standing there. After three days of getting grilled the little old lady apparently had had enough because she stood up and with tears in her eyes and looked at me and said, “I thank you so much for helping me and my grandsons and I’m very upset the way these people are treating you.” It ended up that the insurance companies didn’t charge me instead they charged the guy driving the van because he had almost a minute to react and didn’t, as stated in

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the police report. I lived in Vancouver for a bit after that and did highway through a couple states and most of Canada before moving to Ft St John where I began lowbedding and pipelining. I also did some ice road trucking as most roads up north are built with water or on muskeg. Everyone up north that drives a truck or pickup in the oil patch is an ice road trucker and it’s no big deal but it was some of the best money and trucking I’ve ever done. The town and people I worked with were awesome. I lived there for 17 years until my dad got cancer and I moved back to PG. I then worked with my brother at a logging camp on Vancouver Island driving a 1984 Kenworth self-loader hauling on 27% grades. I visited with my Dad for a week before he died but then I had to go back to work. I found out that he had died on Facebook as my mom couldn’t get a hold of me. After that I moved back to Ft. St. John and back to the oil patch. I was a bit of a party animal when younger but I finally quit drinking and got rid of all the things that were affecting my life. Basically I grew up. I’m glad my father was still around to see that change in me. After my father died I lost touch with my mother and brother, aunt’s and uncle’s due to past issues and spoken words that can’t be taken back, I realize now that I miss my family very much. I needed a change and a new life at that time so I

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talked with my old boss, Doug Roamer. He has been like a father to me since I moved back to Ft St John and I have always gone to him for advice. I told him I was thinking about going to Australia and he said go for it, so four years ago I sold everything I owned and moved to WaggaWagga, New South Wales, which is 4 hours south of Sydney. I thought at the time I would be able the bring my dog with me but because of pit bull rules here in Australia I had to give her up. She’s now living with my good friend Tom. Three weeks after I got here I began driving truck at an earthmoving company, I drove a Sterling for a while and a month later I started a night run hauling groceries on the highway from WaggaWagga, to Sydney. It was a bit of a challenge trying to learn and get used to their road rules. All trucks are governed at 100 kph with no exception! Not even running the hills. You are only allowed to work 12 hours a day in any 24 hour period and the rules are extremely enforced. The cops here are allowed to plug your truck into their lab top at any time to see what you’ve been doing. The money is great though, you get paid .42 cents a kilometre at most places and the truck stops are amazing. They are safe and secure with cameras everywhere. They have hot, fresh, food like roast beef and roast pork etc. at all the truck stops and gas stations along the full 900 km highway from Melbourne to Sydney.

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finally able to stay and work here. I currently drive a K200 cabover and a SAR, as they are called, hauling equipment, mostly lifts from 25 to 185 footers as well as excavators and such. It is amazing driving truck here. It is like a truck show every day as the “truckies,” as they’re called, are very proud of their trucks. You’ll often see a truck 20 years old that looks brand new. Every highway truck is polished and even has tire shine on the truck and trailers. Some of the things they do here is different from home and it’s been a bit of a learning curve for me as hauling equipment in the city is a lot different than in the bush. Through all these events there are some things I wish had never happened, but I still love my job and what I do. I’ve learned many things and am still learning today. I’ve never said that I can’t do something or was satisfied with just staying in my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have come across the world and just jumped in a truck like I did if I didn’t like to take a chance. I do wish that trucking was like it was up north in the small towns when we all waved at each other or travelled with one another, or even helped a brother unload. We seemed to have lost that brotherhood and I think it’s time we get it back. Thank you for listening to my story, I have many as most of us do, it’s what makes us who we are. We are professional drivers and guardian angels of the road. Let’s not lose that. As they say here… G’day

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Hiring Company Drivers for: Flatdeck & Super B Flats Phone: 778-478-9540 Fax: 778-478-9544 Email: russc@essentialtransport.ca 760 Vaughan Avenue, Kelowna BC mate’s!! I would like to end this story with a poem my father wrote. Advice from Ron: I’ve traveled by truck & traveled by car, I’ve peddled & hitch-hiked near and far. I’ve traveled on horseback and at times by rail, sundowns might find me walking a lonely trail. Searching further down the road, to find that elusive pot of gold. Performing various tasks to get a grub-stake, doing the jobs other men wouldn’t take. Staying long enough to get some pay, to help me further on my way. That pot of gold was my obsession, each day closer to my possession. The hills by now were getting so much steeper, in the winter the snow seemed much deeper. The roads it seemed had far more bends, lots of beginnings but never any ends. Even more distance from my loved ones I strayed, that pot of gold was all I craved. I made a lot of friends, some of them were close, by now though it was my family I missed the most. My best friend the devil said don’t you dare turn back, we must stay focused keep your mind on track. The pot of gold is right over there, can’t you smell it in the air? Finally at long last some reality would set in, I sat and I pondered all the places I had been. Where and when had I been loved in such a way, as I was at my home so very far away. I guess I’ll just leave it for someone else to find, that pot of gold that was almost mine. Welcome home honey you’re looking a little old, both your boys are grown to be big and bold. They’ve gone into the world and I wished them the very best, in meeting all their goals and passing every test. I guess I should have stopped to look at the proof, all the gold in the world was there under my roof. So all you young men with dreams and aspirations, facing the world with that great anticipation.

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Don’t over-look the obvious things in life, like a home, and a family, and a loving wife. Ronald Ray Bye. February 6, 1950 - August 16, 2011. I now fully understand the pot of gold poem my father wrote, because I feel like I have found it - there’s nothing like being here with my family. *****

MY LIFE THROUGH A BROKEN WINDSHIELD By Mel McConaghy

Old Prejudices Old truck drivers are always living in the past, we take comfort in what we have accomplished and what we did or what thought we had accomplished or did. In our minds we drove up and down the roads like knights of the highway in our Iron Steeds. But in all honesty we weren’t all that gallant and we had our prejudices and closed mindedness. I remember back in the sixties, when Bill Geiger hired a wisp of a girl to drive one of his logging trucks. When word got out that this girl would be on the road a lot of the drivers on that road said, “What a woman driving a logging truck, well I for one don’t want to be on the same road as

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her.” This Prejudice wasn’t contained to the drivers, some wives complained. Maybe they saw her as a threat to their marriages as she was a pretty young thing. Well Val Enders did drive Logging truck and she did it well, she hauled load for load with less trouble and less expense than some of the old timers on the road. Val, to my knowledge was one of the first women to drive a logging truck professionally. She was a petite little thing that looked 100% better than most pot bellied truckers in tight jeans, cowboy boots and a leather jacket. Val’s career ended when she was killed riding her motor cycle in the early 2000’s. A van ran a stop sign and collided with her after many years driving for Greg Zorb, at Target Transport. Our country, Canada is a country made up of many nationalities and we had people from all walks of life of all description. Some are white, some are brown, we have Aboriginals, Europeans, Indians and Asians. Some came with occupation learned in their country of origin. During this period a lot of the new drivers coming to Canada had learned to drive, on primitive roads in mountainous terrain, similar to our roads in the early thirties and forties, it was tough trucking. They knew the basics, but had to learn a new set of rules and regulations and sometimes the people who administer these rule and regulations were not that clear in their instructions. The truck driving fraternity was very tight so when the Government deregulated the industry people took advantage of the loop holes created by deregulation. People of all races and religions, some honest and some unscrupulous, started up businesses. Many did not survive and this created havoc within the industry. The one big demise to our trucking was a word almost unheard of prior to deregulation and that is Back Haul! This word became common amongst shippers, trying to make a name for themselves and it was a word that almost brought the industry to its knees. During this period of deregulation rates and the quality of service dropped followed by the quality of the equipment all due to the lack of structure and regulations. I like to think of myself as a multi cultured guy. My family tree has branches that are Aboriginal, Irish, Scots, British and it has branches that stray off into China, Europe, India and the Middle East. When we have a family dinner, it looks very much like a United Nations meeting, yet we are

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all strongly, and proudly, Canadian. The one thing I am not, is politically correct, so don’t be upset if I misuse a term when referring to other nationalities because it is not done with malice. No matter what your racial heritage is, I still see everyone as a fellow Canadians. Over the years, since those dark days, I have made friends with many people and in doing so have met many great, honest truckers, who run good honest businesses and great equipment. It’s like the old trucker once told me, “If you don’t learn something new every day, what’s the sense in putting your jeans on, with the fly in the front?”

Gotcha!

*****

A bored old Trucker decided to open a holistic medical clinic. He put a sign up that read, “Dr. Geezer’s clinic. Get your treatment for $500, if not cured, get back $1,000.” Doctor Young, knew this old trucker knew nothing about medicine, so he went to his clinic. Dr. Young: “I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you help me?” Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, put 3 drops of medicine from box 22 in his mouth.” Dr. Young: “Aaagh !! This is Gasoline!” Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You got your taste back! That will be $500.” Annoyed Dr. Young goes back after a couple of days to

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CANYON CABLE 1988 LTD. 930-6th Ave., hope, Bc 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 recover his money. Dr. Young: “I have lost my memory, I can’t remember anything.” Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, put 3 drops of medicine from box 22 in his mouth.” Dr. Young: “Oh no you don’t - that’s Gasoline!” Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your memory back! That will be $500.” Dr. Young leaves angrily. And once again returns after several days. Dr. Young: “My eyesight has become weak - I can hardly see!” Dr. Geezer: “I can’t help you - here’s your $1000 back.” (giving him a $10 bill) Dr. Young: “But this is only $10!” Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You can see! That will be $500.” 

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Winning Combination

Margaret was an experienced business woman who had been working as a Business Consultant for the last 5 years. She lived in the lower mainland and worked with companies in Washington State putting together business plans and teaching managers and owners how to make their companies more successful. Darral grew up on the farm and at a young age bought his own land and farmed. When farming ran into severe drought for a number of years in a row, he changed to becoming a truck owner and worked as an owner operator ending up with Kleysen Transport. Like most boys on the farm he drove equipment at an early age and is very knowledgeable about working on equipment. One day in the spring of 1998 Darral turned to Margaret and said, “We must be crazy. You are very good at making money for other people and I am making money for the company I work for. There is no reason why we can’t be making money for ourselves.” Margaret agreed and in June of 1998 they incorporated Spady Transport. Business is business and the principals of how to be successful is transferable from one to another no matter what product or service you provide. That being said Margaret had absolutely no prior PAGE 36

Margaret & Darral Spady knowledge of the trucking industry so the next few months were a real learning curve. They started out with just one truck and trailer and to keep money flowing in, Margaret kept doing some consulting work for the first two years. Darral was the first owner operator and the Spadys grew the Company one truck and trailer at a time. Throughout this time Margaret did interviews, freight sales, compliance, bookkeeping and billing, all while figuring out the business and how to make it work. At the same time Darral did the road tests, upkeep on the trailers and still drove full time. During the recession in the 80’s Margaret had enough experience with banks to know that they would be watching them closely so over the years the Spady’s had left their profits in the company. As she says you have to pay yourself last - not first. In doing so she gained the respect and support of the bank and they stuck with her through the tough times.

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She commented that starting a trucking business has some good points and some bad points. The good point is that it is very easy to do. The bad point is that it is very easy to do. She explained that statement by saying that some people, with very good intentions, start a business without researching it enough, not having a good business plan and not really knowing enough about business in general to make it succeed. One of the decisions she made early on was to not compete with herself by having both company trucks and owner operators. She says that when things slowdown in the industry it is too tempting to give the work to the company trucks and cut back the work for your owner operators. She believes strongly that a company’s strength and future lies in its front line which is the drivers. They are the ones who make the first impression on the customer. She looks at her drivers as business partners and strives to treat them with the respect they deserve. The company philosophy is

march 2017

to constantly strive for honesty, integrity, good ethics and morals and especially to have respect for all individuals no matter what their personal beliefs or backgrounds are. This philosophy has proven to be very successful as Spady Transport has many long term customers and owner operators. In 2011 they hired a dispatcher, who grew into the operations manager at the end of 2015, which she says allows her to spend more time on the business instead of in it. Today they have a fleet of about 35 owner operators and 58 trailers. Margaret is the CEO and in 2016 was recognized as one of the “Top Canadian Women Entrepreneurs� by Canadian Business Magazine. Darral does the drive testing some of the training the log reviews and upkeep of all the equipment and Margaret runs the business. They pride themselves on having a great team of both employees and owners. Together they are the ideal team. They both like what they do and they are both experts in their jobs. ------------------- * * * * * * * * -------------------

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She Cries He’s ready to leave again and she gives a little sigh She waves as he drives away, then she has a little cry He will phone home later and she’ll be waiting for the call, After she hears from him, another tear will fall. She will tuck the children in, at the ending of the day She will stop and think of him, and as she cries she’ll pray She prays to keep him safe from harm And to bring him safely home, She cries because she misses him and feels so all alone. Still, she has some friends to call, to help do what is right Still, she sheds a little tear, in the long and lonely night.

by Dave Madill Dave Madill was Pro-Trucker Magazine’s Rig of the Month in June of 2001 and he has been entertaining us with his poetry ever since. Dave has published three books of poems that are available by special order through Chapters Book Stores or amazon.com PAGE 38

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