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

VOLUME 21, 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 • Scott Casey • Cyn Tobin Greg Evasiuk • Dale Howard Ed Murdoch • Colin Black • David Rusk Bill Weatherstone • Lane Kranenburg PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Proudley David Benjatschek wowtrucks.com HEAD OFFICE Phone: 604-580-2092 Published eleven times a year by Pro-Trucker Magazine Inc., The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of the publisher. The advertiser agrees to protect the publisher against legal action based upon libelous or inaccurate statements; the unauthorized use of materials or photographs; and/or any other errors or omissions in connection with advertisements placed in Pro-Trucker Magazine. The publisher can and will refuse any advertising which in his opinion is misleading or in poor taste. The publisher does not endorse or make claim or guarantee the validity or accuracy of any advertisement herein contained. All materials submitted for publication are subject to editing at the publisher’s discretion. The act of mailing or e-mailing material shall be considered an expressed warranty by the contributor that the material is original and in no way an infringement on the rights of others.

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Coincidence: a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances that have no apparent causal connection with one another. Some coincidences are good and some are bad but it just so happens that this is a good one as it concerns something that should be brought out in the open and discussed more often and that is mental health. I don’t question coincidences but they can creep you out at times when you see how people, who do not communicate with each other, can suddenly be on the same page at the same time. This started when I received Greg Evasiuk’s very personal article which is on page 12. Then this morning as I sat down to write this I received Scott Casey’s article which is on page 14. And shortly after that I received a very personal letter from a driver responding to David Rusks last article which I believe, but do not know for sure, could possibly be what inspired Greg and Scott to write their articles. That being said this is a topic that Scott being the President of Military Minds is very well versed on and does a very commendable job as everyone does in that totally volunteer association. Too often we just brush off mental health issues when we or people around us have difficulties but all three of these people have very good messages that we can all learn from. On another note, Western Canada has been going through one of the coldest and in some provinces the coldest February on record. I am happy to say that one good thing has come about due to this cold snap. I found out about it through my brotherin-law, John Crosina, who is quite an amazing guy, if not a little crazy. At 70 years of age, John is still strapping on the snowshoes, like he has been doing since he was 16 years old, and working in the bush as a faller. John is currently working in the Hinton, Alberta, area doing fall, slash and burn where they are cleaning up the deadwood from the bug-kill infestation before fire season starts. The good news that I refer to is that because of the extended cold period it has been said that a very high percentage of the bug larvae has been killed off. This should, if not stop, at least drastically slow down their spread and the killing of our forests. On to politics. We no longer have to watch the “Donald Trump Reality Show” as we now have a home grown Canadian sequel of our own. Former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould’s testified that she received “sustained pressure” from the Prime Minister’s Office to give SNC-Lavalin special treatment in their fraud case. SNC-Lavalin by the way is in Quebec where Trudeau holds his seat. Trudeau strongly denies the allegation but that is going to be a hard sell because anyone who watched the testimony could see that Wilson-Raybould’s testimony was very believable. It seems others share my opinion as an on-line poll for the Vancouver Sun shows that 84% of voters believe Trudeau should resign. It is encouraging to see a politician that has nothing to gain and everything to lose (she was removed from her Attorney General’s position and resigned from Veteran’s Affairs in protest) stick by her principles. We need more politicians like her. Prime Minister sounds good to me.

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

e Whit John azine

Mag cker u r T Pro

John White Magazine Pro-Trucker

John, I have been reading Pro-Trucker when I could get it for many years now. I have just moved out west and it is a lot nicer to be able to pick it up at a truck stop than to try and have other drivers bring one home for me. I have been driving for years and have worked with a lot of young and not so young new drivers. Some have been very good and others you wonder how they got this far. Some know what they are doing and others haven’t a clue. There is no consistency. This is a problem that everyone has known about for years with licenses being sold or driving schools being allowed to test their own students where the place with the easiest test to pass gets the most business. The whole system is corrupt and a full overhaul is needed. The Humboldt tragedy has lit a fire under them and the crap has finally hit the fan. Let’s hope as Scott Casey indicated the Feds are getting into it for the right reason and it’s not just smoke and mirrors to get them through the election. But like he says they have a big job to do if they want to get it together by 2020. There is always a

chain reaction with any new rules that come out that affect other things down the line. A few old timers would be able to give them better advice than a bunch of politicians that already know what is best for us as shown by the way they screwed up the hours of service regulations. Tom Francis Editor’s note: Only time will tell but doing it in a normal year would be tough let alone during an election year when politicians are full of promises and spending all their time trying to get re-elected. If the latest developments in Ottawa over government interference in court cases are any indication then I can’t see it happening. They will have to put a lot of people to work on it and use the framework of successful courses like Mountain Transport’s version of Earning Your Wheels to pull it off. This is the chance to get things right. Anything less than an all-encompassing course is, like you say, just smoke and mirrors. They also have to give student loans for advanced courses. One of the biggest things holding drivers back now is the cost. You have to be an accredited school like a college to get a student loan. A driving school does not qualify under those rules but that can be changed with legislation. With a normal student, you are looking at years of schooling before the student is in a position to start repaying their loan. With a truck driver, after an extensive 3-month course, they can get a job almost anywhere and payments can start right away.

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John, I read your editorial about hours of service and sleep time and it really hit home. I am one of those guys who ran 2 log books. I didn’t do it to put in longer hours although it did help me make it home the odd time when I was out of hours and not too far from home. The main reason I ran 2 logs was to put in safer hours. I now use an electronic log but too many times I have had to drive when I would normally have pulled over for a nap. I can tell you that a lot of drivers depend on energy drinks and other things so that they can get their hours in and take home a full paycheck. I hope that when Canada finally makes e-logs mandatory they take that into consideration and give us enough leeway to be safe which was the reason for e-logs. Name withheld by request.

Pro-Trucker and to say it hit home and made me shiver is an understatement. 20 years ago I was 18 and in a hired ih 4300 for a day to help a good friend. I was on the main road in town when I was coming up to a bus stop where a young lady was standing which didn’t arouse any suspicion as that’s what people do. What happened next will stay with me for the rest of my life. As I got up to her she stepped out in front of me. I was so close there was nothing I could do and well the rest is a bad memory. Turns out she was a 16-yearold who had her reasons and I, unfortunately, was the means to the end. After the investigation, which turned up a note, I was cleared of all wrongdoing but it is still there to this day whether behind the wheel of my personal vehicle or the highway tractor I drive. When I see people standing by the road I get flashbacks and that severe case of the butt puckers you get when in danger. Reading that article helped as I Editor’s note: The idea of building nap time provisions into know I’m not the only one out there that has had close calls the hours of service is gaining momentum in the industry but or fatal incidents it’s nice to see some of the drivers aren’t the only way to ensure something is done is to email your so macho to keep it hidden and talking about it does help. MP and explain the problem. I can’t emphasize enough that Editor’s note: Thank you for your letter. Many of us go this should be done in a civil manner if you want results. Some politicians actually do listen and if your MP is one through life with those hidden scars. It just so happens that of those then there is a chance they will pass it on for Greg Evasiuk talks about the subject in his article on page 12. discussion. To Whom It May Concern, My name’s Ralph Schut. I live with my wife in the village Hello, I just read David Rusk’s article in the February issue of of Springford (southern) Ontario. We are both retired, I

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was never a big rig driver but always liked them. I could never understand why they quit building cabovers, so when I had the chance to buy one, I thought, why not? So I keep spending my hard earned money. I subscribe to Pro-Trucker and was wondering if there might be a chance of getting a picture in your excellent magazine? Hoping to hear back from you. Thanks in advance. Editor’s note: Thank you, Ralph, you have done a beautiful job. Cabovers are making a comeback at all the truck shows and this one would fit right in. I encourage you to take it to any of the truck shows in your area. You will have a great time and I know your truck will attract a lot of attention. r march 2019

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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.

“Enforcement to be enhanced for trucks in Ontario” So this was supposed to change the accident rates in Ontario? Yet...”October 26th, 2017, the OPP laid a slew of charges against three tractor-trailer drivers involved in three separate incidents during the last few months that resulted in deaths. The carnage goes on unabated along the 401, 17 and 11.” The OPP claim these drivers were distracted because they slammed into lines of stopped traffic resulting in deaths that could have been avoided. But is simply saying “it’s distracted driving” enough? Back in the day things like that seldom happened because all truckers had their CB turned on and were aware of potential problems miles before it becomes an emergency. They were only on one channel and there were no surprises. Now clearly most don’t even turn the CB on let alone use it to ward off emergencies. Emergencies can and do present themselves regularly and with incredible speed. It’s not a wonder why there are so many wrecks but instead, why there are not more wrecks and carnage? The simple fact is there aren’t more because qualified truckers are highly skilled despite government interference in their ability to run to road condition. First, many truckers have speed limiters and all must have them when running Ontario. Speed limiters were brought in on the promise of safer roads. Truckers have adapted their skill to having their trucks speed limited but with the lack of enforcement for speeding cars on roads like the 401, it’s a recipe for disaster. Enforcement is fairly consistent on nabbing those speeding vehicles far in excess of the legal limit but virtually no enforcement for that 20 kilometres per hour differential, especially on 4 wheelers. Let’s look at highway 17 as a parking lot. No sane human being would drive in a parking lot at a high rate of speed. In a parking lot, 20 or 30 kilometre an hour would be insane, yet because the parking lot has some vehicles doing the limit while others are well in excess, disaster is constantly imminent. Speed limiters are a menace. It’s taken away the ability to safely govern your trucks speed. After all...it can only do 105. So then that driver who must be speed regulated travels outside of Ontario where speeds are upwards of 100. Most are 110. Running down the highway in a dangerous game of leapfrog. (The foot to the floor maxed out at 105.6 takes out to pass another speed regulated truck, that it took him an hour to catch, who is also maxed out on speed doing 105.5) This creates not only frustration for all involved, but an added risk to those not understanding what’s going on. This often leads to making rash and often fatalistic decisions. Like PAGE 8

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Call or Email Don Today! 780-933-0037 don@carouselgroup.ca taking out to pass in unsafe areas. The higher the speed the more the risk of being caught but even so the police catch so few when there are so many. This puts the highly skilled truck driver constantly at risk. Now add to this, hours of service that demand a shift to be that nearly twice any other worker would be asked to accomplish and the demand for a specific number of miles to be covered in that shift. And you are only allowed two thirty minute breaks. Pay is based on productivity while hours of service are tightly controlled so, in far too many cases, drivers have to rest when they’re not tired, drive when they are. This increases not only risk to the truck driver... but to every person sharing the roadway. Often drivers are forced to run against the HOS just simply to locate a safe parking area. With onboard text messages constantly monitoring progress, pressure is being put on drivers to produce miles. Then the driver gets a message like, “No pressure but I need that load there in 13 hours or we will be forced to find you another reload. This may result in a day or two delay as we have minimal loads from that location.” This is normal, not the exception. But speed limiters make life safer they said. Electronic logging devices will make life safer they said. In the old days, we could and did choose our rest breaks to wait out rush hour traffic. We can only make miles at highway speed, so why waste hours sitting in traffic. We took ourselves off duty, went to bed and took a four-hour nap. Now you can’t

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NEW Extended Hours Mon-Fri 8 am- Midnight • Sat 8 am- 5pm take a nap until the government rules tell you that you can have a nap and then its only 30 minutes. In the old days we managed 650 or 700 miles in 24 legally, now you have to produce 650 or 700 miles in 14 but then you have to have a ten-hour rest. Nothing has been achieved except now many more trucks are forced into rush hour stop and go traffic and are often too tired to be driving. But these three drivers charged by the OPP October 26th, 2017 were distracted - 100% the driver’s fault. It couldn’t be exacerbated by rules, regulations, and technology forced upon the industry by thoughtless governments who don’t seem to understand the laws of unintended consequences. Well, these are the unintended consequences. Should these drivers be charged? Without a doubt, but it’s not like we drivers didn’t warn the powers that be of the problems created by such safety inspired rules. But what would a dumb ass trucker experienced in the real world know that a scientist with no real world experience couldn’t prove to be safe? It simply isn’t safe, get that through your educated mind. Book smarts are not practical smarts. No pencil pushing regulation maker can accurately see the challenges faced by a professional driver. The one thing that’s consistently failed our industry is the lack of understanding of it. The answer, of course, is autonomous technology because the human driver isn’t safe enough. A bunch of scientists and pencil pushers think they can turn the freight business into robots? We’ll see how that goes. Airplanes were used as an example. OK, you have pilots flying huge airplanes with computer assist, but the pilot is always there to override the computer when it becomes evident the computer isn’t handling things properly. The airplane doesn’t have to fly in close proximity to much less skilled operators. Furthermore, pilots are in charge during takeoff and landing. These scientists think they can have large trucks operate by the computer in situations constantly changing, constantly evolving. How is this autonomous truck going to avoid the moose that decides to cross the road right now with no warning? How is this autonomous truck going to figure out where the road is when it has two feet of snow on it and this load just has to get there? PAGE 10

How is this autonomous truck going to deal with the car driver that sneaks in front and slams on the brakes? Sure, computer-assisted flying is sophisticated and extremely helpful but we don’t get into airplanes completely pilotless. We don’t even have ships that can be operated autonomously. Although there is some noise about trying to make ocean shipping autonomous, Mother Nature has some nasty surprises for those who consider what she does as predictable. Yet they think it’s going to make life much safer by relying on a computer over the human brain when dealing with the variables that are thrown at a driver. All this with no input from those of us with decades of real-life knowledge and experience who have not only mastered safe and practical time management but common sense as well. Things no pencil or book can force you to learn. It’s hardly a wonder that everything people see, touch, taste, was at one time on a truck driven by a highly skilled operator. There are no railway tracks leading to your grocery store. There are no deep-sea ports with docks at your local big box store. There are no airports within close proximity to home. Without trucks and those highly skilled drivers driving them you would be naked, in an empty field beating wolves with a stick for a taste of that rabbit the wolf pack killed for your benefit. But you go ahead Mr. Legislator, you are producing the zombies of the trucking world, and when catastrophic events occur, remember, it’s on you. Me, like almost every other truck driver out here, will continue on Mile after Mile delivering the commodities society requires. All the while knowing we may never make it 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.

Friendly Bosses A letter in a past issue of Pro-Trucker really struck a chord with me. A driver wrote that his firm had been bought over by a bigger company and he had transferred over with his truck. Hopefully, if you work for a good firm you get what we call a TUPE transfer over to the new company, and all the terms and conditions you already have, go with you to the new firm. But until you settle in with a strange set of bosses and office staff you might be a little on edge. He seemed to have landed lucky when he met the boss they got on well, but the bosses wife was even better, they do say behind every great man is a good woman. She became a friend as well as an employer, someone who took an interest in the welfare of all the company employees. A lot of bosses don’t realize how helpful this can be to the company. Rather than beat the drivers with a big stick to

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get them to work harder, or drive faster. Treat them like the intelligent human beings they are, and most will respond as if they’ve got shares in the company. I’m sure all you old timers, like me, will have worked for all sorts of bosses, good, bad and indifferent, when you work for a good boss you tend to go the extra mile when the chips are down. A long time ago, when I was a young and inexperienced trucker, I got a job with a Glasgow firm called Archibald Brechin, it was run by a father and son. What I didn’t know when I signed on was, when their main source of income, the whisky business, slowed down, they had a surplus of drivers so they would pick and choose which drivers to keep. It just so happened this thinning out of the workforce was always at Christmas. What a time to lose your job with no warning, just when you think you’re having a few days off over the festive season, you’re told not to come back. It was never the long-term drivers that got the heave of course, although it just so happened I was one of the drivers with under 1 years’ service who were being kept on. Maybe part of the reason they were keeping me on was that, even as a novice trucker, I liked to keep my truck clean and tidy, in fact, the son, Robin, commented on it one day. We all know there are some jobs when you sit about for hours waiting to load or unload, so if you don’t want to work in a pig sty, and you like to look through clean windows and mirrors why not pick up a duster. It was sheer luck, but I had another job lined up with my

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Christmas, or when school clothes and shoes were needed. But driving jobs were plentiful back then, so maybe it’s not surprising some bosses treated the men the way some men treated the bosses.

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By Greg Evasiuk Greg is a third generation trucker with over a million miles and 20 plus years in trucking. I am terrible at being timely with my articles, by that I mean if it was remembrance day I’d be writing about labour day. It doesn’t bother me as I think of age as just a number and the only real time is right now so technically by the time anything I say gets to you it’s out of date. Ok, that’s a complicated way to explain that I always run a little behind and I have found ways to justify it to myself. I am rambling my way into how I got to the topic of this article because it’s a tough one for people to talk about and I don’t think talking should be limited to only a week or month of the year. The topic is mental health. Now being that John would like me to keep this article reasonably sized we won’t get into a debate about the mental stability of authors or this author in particular. Let’s just say I’ve been writing about myself in one form or another since the third grade so my instability is well chronicled! Actually, it was going back through some of my writing that prompted me to write this piece. I found a book from my mid to late twenties tucked in with some other magazines and trucking stuff from that time. Quite honestly when I first flipped it open and started reading I wasn’t sure whose book it was. There was a hopelessness and a sadness that just emanated from that book, I flipped forward a bit. Pages later there was questioning of how people could just go on living when life was such a drag… while this went on I realized they were my words. I had some dark and brooding times after a tough break-up where I was really not myself. I lived for my days off where I could party myself into a better place only to wake-up days later almost penniless with a huge headache. While I still like to have a good party now and then this was different. The partying was just an escape and the reality I was living was in my mind unbearable. That right there is the problem, it was the vision of me in my mind that was messed up and I, for some reason, was afraid to tell it. I wrote about the shame I felt because I came from great parents and I had good friends. It’s hard to say why we think the way we do but everything in me needed to talk to someone but there was no way I would let myself. When I look back now at the troubles of that twenty-something-year-old kid it all seems so trivial but that’s because I’ve lived through much worse now. I’d imagine I might have tougher tests to come but I won’t PAGE 12

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ever be as low again. Now I think I’m late for “suicide prevention month” and late for “speak up and speak out for mental health” but I think I’m early for “mental health week.” My timing is actually perfect because there is never a bad time to talk about this. The stats are staggering and we will all be affected in some way by mental illness in our lifetime. I didn’t find religion or pills or some new age self-help guru to make me better. No, I read my words and for some reason, I decided to talk to a friend. That friend never laughed or berated me they just listened and I believe that’s the key, listening. Listen to your friends, your family, and most importantly yourself. If you are talking with someone let them do the talking, ask questions about how they feel and be genuinely interested. As a recovering eavesdropper, I can’t believe how many conversations I overhear that have two people waiting for the other to finish only to say their own piece. You will never learn anything about the other person if all you want to do is tell them your thoughts. Guess what, if you wait to hear what they have to say they just might ask for your opinion! I think back to my Dale Carnegie training and our instructor Dave who is a master of conversation. He would lean in after I had answered one of his questions and say “Tell me more” which I would. Whether someone is suffering from a mental illness or just struggling with life’s ups and downs they deserve a sympathetic ear. The most important thing is to let people

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feel free to talk without judgement. I have lost friends to suicide and there will always be a part of me wondering if I could’ve done something or if someone hadn’t listened to me when I was down would I be telling this story? One friend in particular did the most heinous thing a couple years back. He took his two boys lives and then his own. He was my college roommate and I never suspected anything was wrong with him but I also never took the extra time to listen to his woes. While I know it’s not my fault there’s always that nagging voice that says make sure you do better with everyone else. I hope having this platform and a voice is just one way I can do that. Please remember there’s never a bad time to talk and definitely never a bad time to listen.

Idle Time By Scott Casey Scott, our Rig of The Month for May 2003 has written “Ghostkeepers” a book about his years as a gun toting truck driver while serving as a Canadian Peacekeeper in the former Yugoslavia.

Initial Response As a commercial driver, many put on thousands, and or in most cases, millions of miles on our highways. Those miles are often mind-numbing and are also often forgotten ones. Of course there are humorous miles where we get to run with an old friend or perhaps a new one, solving the world’s problems over the radio. We talk about life and its many hurdles. Kids, finances, the shipper or receiver at that last drop, some even brave politics in these conversations. We discuss that wreck we have intimate details of. How long the car skidded before it crashed and how you just watched this guy go sliding right past and over the embankment. But something that almost never comes up is how you dealt with the images in your head -- or haven’t dealt with them. This is a very real and often silent scene in the life of a truck driver. In my time on the highway, I was first on the scene of 6 fatal crashes and at least 2 dozen non-fatal collisions. We are, by default, the first responders to these often horrific events. It is the truck driver that makes the call to police, fire, and ambulance as we pull our rigs to the side of the road and run, clamber over jagged rocks, and scurry through the underbrush to get to the mangled hulks of vehicles. Almost never fully acknowledging the immediate dangers. The smell of fuel, raw earth, torn wood, combined with unstable ground or precarious conditions. Loss of life and innocence, pain and the memories all of this contributes to. Because when the emergency lights leave and you’re free to resume your delivery, the ordeal doesn’t go with the ambulance. It stays with you, and that is when you find that you’re truly alone with it. The emergency first responders all have debriefs to deal with the possible trauma of being a party to tragedy. But the trucker has nothing. Sure, they may PAGE 14

have handed you a victim’s services phone number to call, but for the hours ahead, it’s just you and the endless recounting of the incident. It’s important, if not critical, for us to be able to deal with these singular and or cumulative traumatic events. If we don’t, the trickle-down effects spill out onto our friends, our coworkers, and most importantly, our families. *****

No Call Too Small

At a retirement home, where the residents have small apartments and eat at a central cafeteria, one morning one of the residents didn’t show up for breakfast so the nurse went upstairs and knocked on his door. He said through the door that he was running late and would be down shortly. An hour later he still hadn’t arrived so she started back up and found him coming down the stairs but he was having a heck of time. He had a death grip on the hand rail and seemed to have trouble getting his legs to work right. She told him she was going to call an ambulance but he told her no, he wasn’t in any pain and just wanted to have his breakfast. She helped him the rest of the way down the stairs and after breakfast he tried to return to his room but was unable to even get up the first step so they called an ambulance. A couple hours later she called the hospital to see how he was doing. The receptionist there said he was fine, it seems he just had both of his legs in one leg of his boxer shorts.

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THE DIESEL GYPSY By Bill Weatherstone Bill is a true pioneer of the trucking industry. This is an excerpt from his book, “The Life and Times of William John Weatherstone” When I was young times were tough so my Mom & Dad got jobs working as chefs on freighter ships on the Great Lakes. During the time they were away, I would be boarded out with different families. This particular time I was on a small farm just outside the town of Petrolia, Ontario when one day it was decided that it was time to replenish the meat supply on the farm. A neighbour from the next farm came over and he and Alex, my guardian, went into the barn. Being curious, I followed them. They had a large pig separated in a smaller pen and the neighbour proceeded to try to catch the pig. He finally jumped on his back and wielding a large bayonet, quickly dispatched the animal. Between the squeal-ing and action, I was sort of paralyzed and could not take my eyes off the event. I can still visualize the incident clearly today. I learned quickly that you have to do unpleasant things to survive this life. A few days later I decided that it was time to learn how to hunt and live off the land. I picked up my trusty Red Ryder 1,000 shot BB Gun, called Jake (the dog) and headed out into the pasture, being very careful not to step on a landmine. (cow pie) We carried on to a very heavily wooded ravine where I envisioned all the huge animals lived. You know, the bears and moose as well as unknown monsters. Jake was on the move and I tried to keep up. He was soon barking up a storm having cornered a large skunk whose tail stood straight up all ready for combat. The skunk was partway down the ravine about 25 feet away. I pulled my trusty rifle into action, took aim and missed. I could see the copper BB in flight and then compensated for the range. My next 3 fast shots hit the animal, and that really got him riled because he shot back, first hitting Jake who was only about 2 feet away. As Jake quickly retreated, whelping like crazy and digging his nose into the ground trying to get relief from the skunk’s barrage. I took one more shot trying to finish him off and save my dog when the skunk charged at me and got me with a full blast of his secret weapon. We both retreated in great haste and never looked back. We crossed the open field on the run and as we climbed over the backyard fence we saw Violet, my other guardian, hanging the wash on the line. She suddenly stopped and got a good whiff of what was returning from the hunt. She let out an ear piercing scream and then yelled, “Stop right there you little buggar.” That included Jake as well who by this time was cowering at her voice which he knew better march 2019

than me. Boy did the crap hit the fan then. Back at the fence was a giant round (like a wooden barrel) water tank about 40 inches deep and 10 feet wide that was filled by a windmill pump. She told me to take off all my clothes and get in. I imme-diately responded in high gear. I brought the dog in with me but after swimming around a bit he want-ed out. Violet then called Alex and told him to get over to the general store and get as much tomato juice as he could. He responded quickly to the voice of authority and was back in a flash. The dog was first to receive the antidote. He got a thorough scrubbing and then put back in the tank for a rinse. He was then taken straight over and locked in the barn. I guess that was the dog jail. Quite terrified, shivering and expecting the same treatment, it was finally my turn. While Alex set fire to my clothes out in the field, Violet doused me with tomato juice, scrubbed me down and then threw me back into the water tank for a rinse. When the attack was over I was escorted back to the house, which was a relief because I was fully expecting to be locked in the barn with Jake. It was a quiet next couple days around the farm until things cooled off. Finally, Jake and I were set free from our prison and allowed to venture out to explore the universe again - but without my trusted (confiscated) Red Ryder BB Gun. Another day and another lesson learned by little Billy Weatherstone.

Only In Canada You Say…

Cannabis is legal in Canada but it is still illegal to take it across the U.S. border even if you use it for medicinal purposes. The quantity does not matter, it is still illegal, even if you are travelling to a state where it has been legalized like Washington State where it seems like there is a pot store on every corner. Also by now, I hope that everyone knows not to admit to ever having used marijuana when crossing the border or you could be banned. This seems like a preposterous position but you have to remember that the border crossing is covered by Federal Law not State Law and cannabis is not legal Federally. Also, remember that if you are a user and want to bring any amount back from a state where it is legal you have to declare it to Canada Customs. Not declaring it is a serious criminal offence that could get you arrested and prosecuted. The U.S. is very strict. If when entering the U.S. you declare that you have ever bought stocks, invested in or worked in the industry you can again be banned from entering - for life. A Vancouver investor received a ban on Nov. 14, 2019, as he travelled to Las Vegas to attend the Marijuana Business Conference & Expo. If you have been banned from the U.S. you can apply for a waiver but it can be very lengthy and costly. The cheapest way to get a waiver is to apply through the Commissionaires. r

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Rig of the Month

By John White It has become a ritual of sorts late on Friday night of Alberta Big Rig Weekend, after the lighted truck parade, to wander over to West Cole’s parking spot with a beverage in hand. It is

a popular spot where you can join in the fun of watching him, with a bucket of black paint, attacking the deck and frame of his deck truck. There is always a crowd there as people

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come and go and they all have more than enough “helpful” comments on how he should do the job and what he may be doing wrong at that particular moment. But don’t feel sorry for West - he has a great sense of humour and definitely gives as good as he gets. This is his story: My name is Westley Jamieson Cole (West) and I drive a tow deck truck. I was born December 3rd, 1967 on a chilly day in Winnipeg Manitoba. I guess that goes without saying because between October and March there aren’t many days in Winnipeg that aren’t chilly. After I was born I was sent to Surrey BC where I was raised in a loving foster home. Growing up in the deHaan family was great. There were 11 of us siblings and I was the baby. The deHaan’s had 4 boys and 3 girls of their own and they also took in 5 foster kids including me and my half-sister. Mom was a stay at home mom and she worked hard keeping us all clean and fed. Dad was a very strong Dutchman with Christian views and twice every Sunday he would pack us all off to the Canadian Reform Church on 124th and 96th Avenue in Surrey. He was a driving instructor who also taught others how to be instructors as well. Part of his job was to teach specialized driving for firemen, police and ambulance drivers. After Dad retired he went back as a driving instructor at Burnaby North High School. Interestingly enough, one day, one of his students came by for his driving lesson and it turned out to be the future Canadian rock star, Brian Adams.

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West Cole Dad taught of us kids to drive in the normal structured way - except for me that is. I learned in the Fraser Canyon. Before I get into that I want to explain that Dad had a big old red fourdoor Grande Marque with a 500 engine that he used to pull a 28-foot bumper travel trailer. If that sounds to you like a lot of trailer for that car in most cases you would be right but Dad didn’t want a pick-up so he had Vic at the Chevron do a lot of work on the car Air shocks, heavier springs, sway bars, he did everything he could in order to make it safe. Anyway, on one summer holiday, I was in the car with my Mom, Dad, three brothers and my sister. We were heading up the Fraser Canyon dragging that heavy old travel trailer behind us. When we got to the pull out at the bottom of Jackass Mountain Dad asked who wanted to drive. “I do, I do” I hollered over the back seat. So Dad told me to get up front beside him and he would let me drive as far as the pull out at the top of the hill. The old Marque had a bench seat and my mom was fast asleep on the passenger side. So I crawled over the seat while dad slid over close to mom. Of course I had been watching my dad drive for years and being given the opportunity to drive that car and trailer up the hill, even if it was for a very short distance, put me over the top. I was stoked and couldn’t wait to tell the kids at school what I had done. Well by the time we got to the top of the hill dad was fast asleep too and he didn’t wake up until we were in Cache Creek. Oops! I guess you could say that things were a lot different back then…. That trip was a turning point for me. Like any kid given that opportunity, I found that I loved driving and from that day on I always had my eyes glued to the car window, watching all the

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cars and trucks on the road. It got so that I could tell the make of any car or truck from what seemed like a mile away. Then one day while I was on the school bus I saw a big blue Kenworth LW and the name on the door said Tumbleweed Transport. That truck was huge and it really made an impression on me and I swore right then and there that I was gonna grow up to be like that driver. After that first sighting, I looked for that truck whenever I was out and I saw it many times after that. Then one day when I was about 16 years old I was sitting in Smitty’s in Langley when I finally had the chance to meet Al McMartin, the owner of Tumbleweed Transport. Smitty’s was kind of a local hangout for truckers and working guys at the time and I can’t remember exactly how it happened but somehow I ended up sitting at the cool table where Al was sitting. Little did I know back then how much Al would impact my life. When I got out of school I worked in a warehouse where I did all the regular warehouse work and a little welding but it wasn’t for me - I really wanted to be around trucks. In 1986 when I was 19 years old I went to Shawnee driving school to get my class one. Funny as it may seem the instructor at Shawnee, Ed Wiebe, was a man that my father had taught to drive. In 1988 my daughter Rachelle was born. Since then she has gone from a beautiful little girl to a very smart woman. She lives in Edmonton and has given me three beautiful little grandchildren. One day I was up in north Langley talking to a guy we called Stubby. Stubby was a tow truck driver and while I was there he got a call out to do a tow. He asked me if I wanted to go with him and I jumped at the chance. So away we went in his Western Star tow truck to pick up a broken down insulation truck. On our way to get it we had to go through a new subdivision. This subdivision was up above another one that the truck was in and when we looked down an embankment we could see it on a street down below. Stubby could easily have just drove down the street to get the truck but no way, he just cranked the wheel and took a bumpy short cut down the embankment. I thought, “Wow, this is great! I could do this job!” That week I applied at Clover Towing and got a job driving a 1-ton 350 Ford pull-truck with a Holmes 480 twin line twin boom. There wasn’t much training in those days, there were no wheel dollies, so you were told to either pick the car up from the front or from the back and were cut loose. I drove that ratty old thing for 6 months before they gave me another 350 this time with an electric wheel lift. All the while that I worked at Clover I still had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to drive truck. So one day when I was about 21 years old I went and talked to Al McMartin. Well, he took me under his wing and wanted to teach me everything about trucking. How a truck worked from the engine to the suspension, the transmission and the rear ends. He explained all the different combinations and how they worked together. He also told me that if you looked and listened your truck PAGE 18

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would talk to you, telling you when something was going wrong. He taught me to investigate things like new rattles no matter how faint, vibrations that were new and small cracks in the frame or body. Those lessons still help me daily as I hear, see, and feel things that I think a lot of people would never notice or would ignore until they became big problems. He taught me about loads and tying them down and some of the trips he had taken. To be totally honest I was a little intimidated by it all and so I decided to stay towing for a while longer. When I left Clover I went to work for Don Crabb at Bayview Towing and stayed there for 6 years. While there I trained the current owner of Bayview, Cory Rushinko, to be a tow truck driver. We got along great and I know I could go back there any time I like. One day while at Bayview I got what I like to call my “Don’t lie to the tow truck Gods” tow job. I was called down to the Peach Arch Border crossing near Blaine Washington where I was to pick up a Porsche 911 that had broken down. It was a pretty routine job, I put it up on the dolly and delivered it to the Porsche dealership in Vancouver for repairs. The guy seemed like a nice enough guy but the next day the owner of Bayview, Don Crabb, got a call from the guys saying that I had damaged a wheel. The problem was that it is virtually impossible to damage a wheel because you pick up the wheel and strap the tires down, you don’t go near or have anything to do with the wheels. But the boss bought him a new wheel anyway because he did not want to tarnish his name. The good part was that the

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next week I got another call to go get a Porsche 911 that had been totalled when it was rolled into a ditch on the 99. When I got there, sure enough, it was the same guy. I had a smile a mile long when I told him, “Next time don’t lie or Karma will get you again.” I bounced around and finally went to work for Bill Gibbs at Coastline Towing where I drove a picker truck. It was an old GMC C-60 flat deck with a gravity tilt deck and an Atlas Crane in front of the deck. I also worked for Rick Moroz at D&R Towing. Rick was a tough man to work for but while he worked us hard it was a fair trade as we made lots of money working for him. I left town after a while and worked for worked for Reny and Dean Johnson who owned Cariboo Towing at 150 Mile House just 10 miles south of Williams Lake. They were great to work for and it helped me by furthering my education in the trade. I never did do a lot of highway driving although I did some work for Nor-Am Enterprises out of Williams Lake. It was strange how it happened as I originally was applying for a job as a dispatcher but when I walked in they were too busy to talk to me and a lease operator asked me if I could take the Kamloops run for the day. I said I would and, for my maiden voyage, he put me in a 2000 Western Star pulling a b-train with 63500 kg of lumber. He told me to go south and then take Highway 24 south of Hundred Mile House over to Little Fort on Hwy 5 and then head south to Kamloops from there. Before I left he told me that there was a brake check on the big hill just

before little Fort and he warned me to make sure I pulled in and checked my brakes. As it happened when I got to the hill there was a blinding snowstorm and I missed the brake check. I did not realize it until I was over the hill and on the way down. It was too late to do anything by then and I lit all the brakes up on the way down. The only reason I survived was that I knew how to use the trailer spike brake. When I got to Kamloops I had to go in and have all the brakes on both the truck and the trailer replaced. When I got back to Williams Lake I decided I didn’t want to be a dispatcher so I applied for the driving job. The guy asked me what I did yesterday and I told him I drove the truck down to Kamloops. He said, ‘You cost me all my brakes didn’t you?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “Next time that happens you can just keep on going but I think you have learned your lesson so until then, go ahead, you’ve got a job.” While there I went through some real personal hard times and in 2009 I ended up in Edmonton with only a backpack of clothes and the will to start anew. I got a job right away with Cliff’s towing but it was an eye-opener as it turned out it wasn’t for me. It wasn’t Cliff’s towing that was the problem it was the fact that towing was so much different in Alberta than in BC. There was way too much paperwork and while I did okay I was spending too much time doing paperwork instead of towing so I wasn’t making the money that I was in BC. I was asked by Rob Dunn to come to work for Volvo Rents I agreed to work for him and he bought me a brand new Granite

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Mack deck truck. The Mack was a little too plain for me so I turned it into a show truck and took it to Alberta Big Rig Weekend in Red Deer. On August 31st 2013 Michele and I got married at her uncle’s farm and since everyone knew my truck I parked it in the ditch as a marker so that the guests would know where to turn to get to the farm. Ever since then Michelle’s daughters, my step-daughters, Jade, Amber and Robin have always helped me keep my trucks looking good. Jade is a red seal industrial painter and she does all my painting and pin-striping. Unfortunately a little later Volvo Rents was bought out by a larger corporation and closed its doors. I didn’t want to work for a big company so once again I looked for other work. I dropped in at Omega Towing to see if they needed another driver and they said that they had heard of me and offered me a job right away. I told them that I would work for them but have 2 weekends a year that I want off. One is for the Alberta Big Rig Weekend and the other is for the Lesco show. They said, “But the truck you will be driving is not a show truck” and I said, “It may not be one now but just watch me.” It was my own personal, “Here hold my beer” moment. Over the 3 or 4 months, I had it painted, put pin-striping on it and then went to work on the lights. I added extra strobe lights, put lights behind the grill, behind the cab and on the back to name a few. I followed that with light bars underneath, wheel nut covers and centre caps. The boss was really good about it and paid for everything but my labour. Which was just

fine with me. Of course, it is still a truck so there is always some work to do on it. They gave me the go ahead and I’ve been hitting the shows ever since. I’ve had a couple 2nd place finishes and a 1st in lights but I’m still chasing that elusive 1st place finish at Alberta Big Rig Weekend. I’ve been here at Omega for nearly three years now and have never looked back. I’ve never worked for anyone that I have enjoyed working for as much as these guys – it is the family I’ve been looking for. I drive the “Tow-Ma-Tow,” a 2015 Freightliner with a 30-ton deck. This industry has been good to me but it comes with some hardships even if they are only in my head. The things that we tow truck drivers see when attending wrecks are horrible and at times hard to get out of your mind. I’ve lifted cars out of ditches to recover bodies beneath them and have helped find body parts at some of the more severe wrecks. I was warned when I first started in the towing industry that I would see some horrific things and that you just have to try to bury some of them. That sounds good on paper but at times it can be very difficult to do. As I mentioned earlier I didn’t know back when I was a punk kid, staring out the back window of the school bus at that big blue Kenworth LW, just how much Al McMartin and Tumbleweed Transport would have an effect on my life. I learned a lot from him and like to think that, with his guidance, I have become a lot like him. He taught me to listen to and feel

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my truck as well as to be a conscientious driver. I am always on time and I have built a bit of a reputation for being a good experienced flat deck driver. I get all sorts of calls from guys who have been told that if they run into problems to give me a call because I will help them get their load on, or off, the truck. I take a lot of pride having built that reputation. My dispatcher also gets a lot of requests for me to pick up customers stuff and this too makes me proud. It’s good to be appreciated and have a spot in this world. In closing all I really have to say is that I love my job and have since day one – for that reason I can honestly say I have never worked a day in my life. Towing is not for everyone but, like any driving job, you have to like what you do and take pride in how you do it in order to be successful.

where the cargo transported in or on the vehicle is not contained, immobilized or secured in accordance with this Standard. (2) A driver shall not operate a vehicle where the cargo transported in or on the vehicle is not contained, immobilized or secured in accordance with this Standard. Cargo transported by a vehicle shall be contained, immobilized or secured so that it cannot (a) leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or (b) shift upon or within the vehicle to such an extent that the vehicle’s stability or manoeuvrability is adversely affected 5(1) The cargo securement system shall be capable of withstanding the forces that result if the vehicle is subjected to each of the following accelerations: rIVInG hroUGh my emorIes (a) 0.8 g deceleration in a forward direction; By Dale Howard (b) 0.5 g deceleration in a rearward direction; Dale Howard has been a Truck Driver, (c) 0.5 g acceleration in either sideways direction. Armoured Truck Driver, and Alberta CVSE. Just a little refresher on cargo securement for those who drive flat decks. Cargo securement is often defined as: “some He returned to driving truck and now drives, is good, more is better.” Or “You can over secure a hundred “The Great Pumpkin.” loads but you will only under secure one load.” Cargo Securement First make sure that whatever method you are using that Safety responsibility as laid out in the national Safety the working load limit is clearly marked on the straps or code “Standard 10” devices and the device is in good working condition. When (1) A carrier shall not permit a driver to operate a vehicle I was on the job I can’t tell you how many loads I checked

d

T

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Drivers can be located anywhere on the corridors: - Vancouver - Calgary - Winnipeg - Calgary to Edmonton - Kamloops southwards into the Okanagan Contact George: 1-866-484-8898 ext 221 or george.stewart@agri-trans.ca PAGE 22

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secured with straps where one would be damaged. I would point it out and the driver would go grab a new one out of a tool box and change it but by that time the violation had occurred. It made no sense to me. Why not change them out before enforcement brings it to your attention? Simple rule: When in doubt - throw it out. I am going to spend some time talking about securement in vans because out of sight is NOT out of mind. If you are live loading, this is the time to secure things properly using shoring bars, straps, friction mats and void fillers. Load locks can only be used for secondary securement and before everyone goes crazy I am just quoting the party line. Load locks are not load rated, so they are not a primary method of securement. I know we have all been checked and nobody said anything in the past but if you run into an officer that is following the letter of the law, they are not a primary securement device and we all know where that leaves you. If you pick up a Trailer and it is sealed and you have instructions not to break the seal you are off the hook until an

enforcement officer breaks the seal and inspects the load, and yes they can do that. The only seal they cannot break is a Canada Customs seal, That has to be broken by a customs officer or a member of the RCMP. If you wind up in an inspection and they break the seal you will have to secure it prior to heading out. Let’s not forget cargo must be checked prior to 80 Kms and then every change of duty status or 3 hours or 240 Kms of travel and flagged in your log book as a cargo check Until next time stay safe and compliant. “Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it”. r

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

I Met a Lady Shortly after I had left the service and started trucking I picked up a load of machinery going to the docks in New York. Like all loads to the docks I had a specific arrival time and despite being on time ended up wasting a whole day sitting, as usual, and just managed to get off the docks as supper time rolled around. I had asked around and was told about a good working man’s cafe a couple blocks away that had a vacant lot across the road where trucks sometimes parked and I was assured that both me and my truck would be safe in that area. I pulled into the lot and had just left the truck when I was met by an older lady who was selling apples and pears. Something about her made me stop and after looking at her wares I decided that I just had to get to know her better. I offered to buy her whole basket of fruit for twice the price she was asking but only if she would come and have supper with me across the road. She said she would love to but was afraid they would not serve her as her clothes were old

and dirty. I offered her a brush from my truck and grabbed my old military OD jacket, slipped it on and told her they would not dare kick us out. She brushed her clothes down and somehow seemed to grow straighter and stronger and when I offered her my arm believe you me, I walked into that cafe with a LADY. We took a back booth and ordered coffee and while I had a hot hamburg sandwich she had soup and a BLT. As we ate we began talking and while she found out more about me I also found out that at one time she had been a Navy Nurse on board the USS Solace at Iwo Jima and had served until the end of the war. We sat there for almost two hours talking and when she got up to go to the bathroom I paid our bill and then walked her outside. When we left I told her I needed to pay for her fruit and gave her $20.00 saying that was the smallest bill I had and we would meet up next time I came to town and she could keep the change. Despite her protests I made her keep the money and went back to my truck, had a great sleep and left early the next morning. (Oh ya I dumped the fruit in a garbage can as it was not that good). About two weeks later I was back at the same dock with the same type of load and ended up back at the cafe at about the same time. Looked around the area hoping to see the fruit lady but she was not to be found so I walked into the cafe alone. Same people there and the same waitress so I asked her about the older lady and was informed she

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had passed on three days after I had left. I left the cafe and decided that I needed to follow this through and phoned the Coroner’s Office. After much searching I found out she had been a Naval Lieutenant and they had been unable to find her family so they had buried her in a paupers grave. I asked if they had informed the Navy and when they said no I said I would take care of it. Next day and after about four hours on the phone I finally found the right man. and the right department, and gave him all the info I had and my home number. About a week later, after phoning home, my Mother told me the Navy had called and had left a number. One quick phone call later and I found out that not only had the Navy followed up but that they had found her brother and his family and that she was to be disinterred from the paupers grave she lay in and was to be interred at Arlington with full military honors. This was one funeral I would not miss and I managed to get a load that got me close and while I no longer had a dress uniform I still had a complete set of Combat Utilities and that would suffice. Never had TAPS sounded so sweet yet so sad and I must admit that even a grown man can shed a tear or two. After the service I met with her brother and his family and while they wanted me to have “Her Flag” I declined and insisted it stay with the family. Sometimes trucking is not about loads and miles, at times, it is about the people we meet along the way.

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Psyche Scars and Lessons Learned By David Rusk

David started his career in 1989 with Trans-X. He has run team, hauled reefers, general freight, logs and chips. He currently hauls B Train tankers both on and off road out of Fort Mac. The Feel We all have those breakthrough moments and if you’re a pro, you still have them and no matter how many years you’ve been out here, you look for them. My first one and in fact the most important happened while enrolled in my beginners Class 1 course and it was all about The Feel. Oh, I had some of it already, that natural sense of vehicle size and the space that is needed to maneuver. Enough to make my instructor question why I was taking his class in the first place but I knew why and one reason was that I definitely did not “feel” that truck’s transmission! Dammed if I could get that stick out of a hole and into neutral, it seemed welded in place. A dip into the clutch would work but it came with a stubborn hang up in gear before it lurched into neutral. I knew I was missing something important and as that truck protested with that terrible metallic, ringing and twisting clang of a driveline tortured to the breaking point, my teacher taught me something that I would end up applying to everything. “Let’s talk about transmissions,” he said, “and how the parts are loaded and unloaded.” I thought about that because I knew about loads on meshed gears from riding and racing motorcycles but somehow I was overlooking something when it came to the truck. The trainer continued, “So, this Binder’s gearbox is basically the same as a cars but bigger, the parts are heavier and the truck is also very heavy. Think about momentum.” I understood that he was dangling the answer in front of me but I can be quite dim sometimes. That trainer spelled it out, Jeopardy-style, but I was that guy who pressed the buzzer without having the answer. As I applied throttle he asked me to take it out of gear with no clutch and, like before, it was impossible. “Now keep pushing forward on that stick and now lift off the fuel.” Breakthrough! Thumb mashes button down. Buzz. “Alex, I’ll take Eaton transmissions for a thousand!” That stick literally fell out of gear and in that moment I understood how a trucks gears are locked tight by, not only the pull of an engine but the push of gravity and momentum as well. It took a while to sync the double dip of textbook clutching with the unloading done through the foot valve and to tell the truth, I have lost it now, from decades of clutchless shifts. I will use it on shifts that are loaded up, when damage waits for a mistake like missed timing and even then, usually just clutching it out of gear. But if you were to put me back in school and demand smooth double clutching well, best give me some practice time.

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As I rode (and crashed) motorcycles in search of speed I had the same epiphany when I realized that perfection comes from being smooth and smooth comes from having the feel. Early in my career, an old timer told me. “Us professional’s, we make mistakes too you know, but we make them quietly.” I’ve never forgotten that old and road worn driver, Al was his name. We stood in the Pass Lake, Ontario Petro Pass lot as snow swirled and his gleaming black Western Star purred. He was a total rock star to me. Can you tell whether that tickle on the shifter says your 50 rpm above the hole? Or the feathery skate of black ice at the moment before things get serious? I know I can assume you can or you wouldn’t be reading this magazine but there are the less experienced drivers out there and it’s troubling to think about ones with little or no Feel. I’ve heard drivers say that the old school was worked by tough and rough actions, I disagree. They may have had unrefined gears to work with but a feather touch on the controls was still required. I know because I’ve run team with a few of them. I remember the bark of a big cat’s engine brake on the downstroke side of a mountain and snow dumping as it does high in the Kootenays, and feeling tiny in the darkness. A speck of light wandering beneath towering peaks - all alone. The Jakes gave a hiccup as the drives tried to lock up and I watched George Kelly Sr. delicately pinch the Jake toggle like it was a infants finger. A soft caress at the edge of mayhem and George perfectly matched

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his braking foot to the now silent engine like it was nothing, as gravity tried to grab hold of us. Slow at being fast. Dam straight, those old boys are chocked full of the feel. Most of my 30 years behind the wheel I’ve spent in Canada and most of that was within BC. For the last 12, I’ve been bouncing through the open pit mines of the oil sands in Alberta. Mind you that’s when I’m not contemplating how to get chains on while standing in 2 feet of mud. Ah, screw it. I’m calling for a dozer… ***** My boyfriend was dying. I was by his bedside when he said in a weak voice, “There’s something I must confess.” “Sush” I said, “There’s nothing to confess. Everything is alright.” “No I must die in peace” he said, “I had sex with your sister, your best friend, and a co-worker.” “I know” I whispered, “That’s why I poisoned you…now close your eyes.” Sent in by Elias Wipf, Drumheller Colony.

Just Yesterday by Ray Kosiancic

Few material things have been as important to America as the automobile and they deserve to be preserved and remembered. I started driving at age of 13 and then I got my driver’s licence at 15 in 1948 when I purchased a 1928 ford model a pickup that I restored and installed a new engine. The truck that I drove around the farm was the first truck that my dad had bought, a 1927 Chevy one-ton. The next one I drove was my father’s 1950 GMC 2-ton flat deck dump model. But it took several years before my dad would let me drive his 1937 White 3-ton - this was his pride and joy. The following is a little story of the automotive history about trucking in the Slocan Valley, West Kootenay country, in south-central BC. 1937: Canadians were still struggling through The Great ***** Depression when my Dad, Val Kosiancic, ordered a new truck. At the time I don’t think he realized how he would It Only Takes One Spelling Mistake... A golfer wrote a romantic message to his wife while on his have to work 7 days a week for several years in order to pay golf tour and missed an “e” in the last word. Now he is seeking the $300.00 that it cost him. Dad had a great knowledge police protection to enter his own house… of vehicles and had successfully completed a course in He wrote, “Hi darling, I’m having the time of my life & I mechanical training at the modern automotive and tractor wish you were her!!” school in Vancouver in 1920. Sent in by Tom Lock, Vancouver BC My dad always liked well-made quality vehicles and chose

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to purchase a White truck that cost him more than other mass produced trucks. He ordered this vehicle from Smedley’s Garage on Vernon Street in Nelson, BC. The Smedley Garage was a single level building constructed with red bricks with little or no lights in the windowless storage area. Walter would do repairs off in one corner that would be done with a single light bulb on a long extension cord. On a mid-May sunny morning, the large hand-cranked oak telephone on our wall rang 2 short and one long – our ring. It was from the Smedley Garage telling dad that his truck had arrived and that he could come and accept delivery of it. This forest green White was a 3-ton, model 704, with a 14-foot steel deck and a hydraulic hoist. It had a 270 cubic inch L Heno engine, with a 3 9/16 in. bore and a 4 ½ in. stock producing 77 H.P @ 2600 R.P.M. The truck had a 5-speed transmission and the 1937 BC licence number was c074. That truck was one of the biggest trucks in the Kootenays at that time and dad would haul logs and lumber from his sawmill and do heavy hauling for his brothers Joe and Jack on the Kosiancic farm. Dad also had a contract with Bennet and White Construction Company to supply timbers and planks for wharves on Kootenay Lake and other lakes and

rivers in the area. Back then these wheeled giants of the day were the no-frills workhorses of the automotive world. A lot of people saw trucks as something to be used and when they were done they would just let them fall apart. Roads were rough and tumble back then and the trucks did not fare too well so there

aren’t too many around anymore Fortunately, people are starting to realize that we have to preserve and restore these old trucks so that folks can see how

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things have changed over the years. Enthusiasts restore these trucks for the love of them, not money, and I purchased this White truck from the estate after Dad passed away in 1989. It had 96,000 hardworking low gear miles on it and still had the original motor and leather seats. Dad took exceptional care of that truck keeping it in a garage its whole life. Whenever he got out of the truck he would look back at it, checking for lights out, low tires, loose wrapper chain or oil leaks. He always smoked a straight-stemmed pipe which gave him and his vehicle a special odour - one that is still there on a damp day. In 2000 I restored and painted this 1937 truck and it is now retired from all that hard work and heavy hauling. It is often seen in local parades or just down at the coffee shop. That is where my buddy’s give me the gears about taking up the whole parking lot. An old-timers line: Well guys I came down here with a load of fence post holes and I will go back with a load of sailboat fuel… ***** A married senior couple were traveling by car from Vancouver to Saskatoon and stopped to get a room. They only planned to sleep for a few hours before getting back on the road. When they checked out six hours later, the desk clerk handed them a bill for $350.00. The man exploded and demanded to know why the charge is so high. He said it was

a nice hotel but the rooms certainly aren’t worth $350.00. The clerk told him that $350.00 is the ‘standard rate’ so the man insisted on speaking to the Manager. The Manager explained that the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center that were available for us to use. “But we didn’t use them,” the husband said. ‘‘Well, they are here, and you could have,” explained the Manager. The Manager went on to explain that the couple could also have taken in one of the shows for which the hotel is famous. “We have the best entertainers perform here”, the Manager said. “But we didn’t go to any of those shows,” the husband replied. “Well, we have them, and you could have,” the Manager replied. No matter what amenity the Manager mentioned, the husband replied, “But we didn’t use it!” Eventually the husband gave up and agreed to pay. He didn’t have the check book so he asked his wife to write the check. She did and gave it to the Manager. The Manager was surprised when he looked at the check. “But ma’am, this is only made out for $50.00.” ‘’That’s correct. I charged you $300.00 for sleeping with me,” she replied. “But I didn’t!” exclaimed the Manager. “Well, too bad, I was here, and you could have.” Sent in by Elias Wipf, Drumheller Colony. r

Winter Next year I think I’ll hibernate In the middle of October Stay in bed till March 15th When winter should be over. Or maybe I could just fly south With all my feathered friends Not come back till April When winter is sure to end. No; I’ll just keep on driving Facing all of winter’s woes I could not appreciate summer Without facing winter’s snows. Dave Madill was Pro-Trucker Magazine’s Rig of the Month in June of 2001 and he has been entertaining us with his poetry ever since. Dave has published three books of poems that are available by special order through Chapters Book Stores or amazon.com PAGE 30

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Profile for Pro-Trucker Magazine

Pro-Trucker Magazine March 2019  

Pro-Trucker Magazine March 2019 Rig of the month Featuring West Cole

Pro-Trucker Magazine March 2019  

Pro-Trucker Magazine March 2019 Rig of the month Featuring West Cole