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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

October 2019 Rig of The Month Driver Brandon Muir

october 2019

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From the editor’s desK By John White

VOLUME 21, ISSUE 09 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 Ben Proudley • Greg Evasiuk Ed Murdoch • Colin Black Bill Weatherstone • Lane Kranenburg PHOTOGRAPHY Ben Proudley • Alicia Cornish 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. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT #40033055 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO CIRCULATION DEPT. 9693 129th Street. SURREY, B.C. V3T 3G3 Email: tori@ptmag.ca october 2019

Over 20 years ago the Federal Government along with industry worked on a MELT program that they shelved because they did not have the intestinal fortitude to implement it. Unfortunately, it took the Humboldt tragedy and the following public outcry to convince politicians that voters did not want more expressions of outrage and prayers and condolences for those affected – instead voters want action. Fast forward to October 2019. Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta now have provincial MELT programs up and running. (Although Saskatchewan is already talking about exemptions.) BC has done little or nothing other than to plan to, someday in the future, set a date, to start to discuss, a provincial MELT program. Ottawa, on the other hand, has said that they will impose a minimum Canadian standard by January 2020. This sounds suspiciously like most political promises that politicians make while on the campaign trail. Combine that with the millions of dollars each party says they plan to spend but in reality have no idea where the money will come from. It is well known that votes are the only thing that will make politicians sit up straight in their overstuffed lounge chairs and put out the effort to make real changes. Yes, the mere suggestion that they may have to live off the same working man’s Canada Pension, that the pensioners who built this country are forced to rely on, instead of the golden handshake that they have voted for themselves, is indeed reason to suddenly become the people we thought they were when we voted for them. If I sound more than a little jaded it is because I am. It is like that old country song says, “This ain’t my first rodeo”. That being said it is time to vote and vote you must. Many brave men and women have fought and died to give us

the right to determine our own destiny. You may not agree with how others vote but that is a democracy and there are many around the world who would love the opportunity that we have every four years. On another happier note as I was writing this rant I received this email. “Good afternoon. I am a parts person at Western Star Grande Prairie, Alberta. The other day this little man came into Western Star with his mother. He saw your magazine and asked if he could take one home. His mother sent this picture in to us today to show us, him sitting trying to read the magazine. Our General manager suggested we share this with you. His name is Deacon Heitrich and he is 3 1/2 years old. Ina Miles, Parts Technician.” I thought it fitting to add this since our October Rig of the Month also talks about reading Pro-Trucker when he too was not tall enough to reach the counter himself. I do hope our national MELT program is finally in place by the time this little fellow decides if he wants to become a driver.

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

e agazine Whit John Trucker M ProJohn White r Magazine Pro-Trucke

Greetings John & Pro Trucker Readers My name is Buck. I am a 39-year-old guy that has worked in the trucking industry for twenty years. I was an owner-operator, but five years ago lost my commercial driver’s licence due to epilepsy. This has affected my life in many ways, both good and bad. I do understand the need to restrict drivers with health conditions that would affect road safety. My epilepsy is and has been managed by medication. I have completed the five-year seizure-free requirement for reinstatement of my commercial driving status and I have my doctor’s full support. However, I am having a very difficult time getting a driver’s medical form sent to me to take to my doctor. My doctor has offered to request the form if I do not receive one from Road Safety. Getting answers from Road Safety has been very frustrating. Merely the process of calling

and getting through to speak to a person is time-consuming and tiring. I went to the Motor Vehicle Branch and was told I had to get a form issued to me through Road Safety BC. I work in a shop as a mechanic and welder and I have no intention of going back to driving full time but I cannot even test drive or deliver the trucks that I work on. This has greatly impacted my ability to make money but that does not seem to hold much weight with our government employees. I would like to hear from others that have gone through this process to get some information on how it has affected their life and how they got through the barrier - if they did. Sincerely, Buck Editor’s note: I managed to find a medical form for Buck to give to his Doctor. He replied that the form he needs is blue, not white like the one I sent him. I suggested that his doctor send it anyway because there is a section on it that deals with epilepsy and space for the doctor’s comments. The worst that can happen is that is rejected but if it is his doctor will hopefully get a reply and the correct form. A follow-up letter to the head of the department and a copy to your government representative is always a good idea in order to remind them that their job is to help people not hinder them. If you are forever waiting on hold for a government representative who does not return calls I

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suggest you go over their heads. Too often people suffer in attempts. Drivers with less than 12 months of Class 1 experience frustration instead of making others aware of the problem. must take MELT and successfully complete the Manitoba Class 1 knowledge and road test. John, There is no commercial licence reciprocity for drivers I am a relatively new driver and thinking about moving to Winnipeg. Would I have to take the new MELT program moving from anywhere outside of Canada and the U.S. they have implemented or would my BC license be Hi John, accepted? Finally found a copy of PT and read it over breakfast DJ while waiting for my RV to get serviced. I’ve been away Editor’s note: It depends on exactly how new a driver you from trucking so I’ve missed a few issues. I started reading are. Each province will have different regulations. Here your editorial and was thrilled to see that ‘entry-level training’ was being looked into! I have been an advocate are the rules for Manitoba: for this since 1990 when I got my class 1 and had trouble finding work because I had no experience. (Like it should Manitoba New Residents A driver who obtained a Class 1 licence in a MELT be!) So I started on dump trucks, (owned one briefly) until I jurisdiction (Ontario, Alberta or Saskatchewan) will be eligible to receive a Class 1 licence in Manitoba, subject to got a call for pt relief driving hospital laundry. 48’ and 53’ trailers into spots made for 5 tons... terrible pay ($15/hr) but meeting residency and other existing requirements. As of September 1, 2019, Class 1 drivers who move to great ‘training’. This led to pt at Van-Kam spotting trailers Manitoba from a province without MELT, or from the U.S.: and dropping A and B trains at the barge. Still terrible Drivers with a minimum of 24 months of Class 1 pay ($17/hr) but better experience. No opportunities for experience can receive a Manitoba Class 1 licence and do highway experience so I moved to Aquatrans to work highway. (still $17/hr) Old iron which I enjoyed but I don’t not require MELT. Drivers with 12 to 24 months (less one day) of Class like reefers or fish! I took my crane ticket and learned (from another driver) 1 experience do not require MELT if they successfully complete the Class 1 road test within 12 months and two how to strap a load which finally lead to a great job at IMT october 2019

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hauling jet engines. They ‘got it’, good pay for good drivers and very shiny iron. My point is that I took jobs to learn the ropes and was very appreciative of drivers who took the time when I asked. I learned to tarp from Ted Vanderveen (ultimate professional!) and it was more work but it looked sharp. The article from Ben Proudley was bang on, a simple CB call or a honk pointing to the trailer would have been easy. I always appreciated this when a door was open or a strap was loose. Every time I see a driver tailgating my BP goes up as I see a bully and no professionalism which gives truckers another black eye. My next surprise was seeing The Rolling Barrage story by Scott Casey! I was lucky enough to join this ride a year earlier on the leg to Victoria and host a Vet overnight in Langley. I followed them on IG this year and loved seeing the 18 wheel support. I have learned a lot from your publication over the years and wanted to send a shout out for it being the only voice of reason I’ve seen. (I once stopped at a scale house to ask a trucking question, won’t make THAT mistake again.) Sorry this is so long, I have bought into a partnership to supply fire gels to fight wildfires and had hoped to be back on the road with our 18 spd tanker ( tender) but with the rain and cool weather the Province dodged a bullet this year! Erik Vogel Fireforce Solutions Ltd

Dear Lord...

*****

A lady jumped out of her car and ran into the pharmacy. When she got back to her car she realized she was locked out. So she looked around and found an old wire hanger. As she was attempting to unlock her car a scruffy looking guy rode up on his motorcycle. “Can I help You ?” he asked. She said “Oh thank you , I was just asking God for some help.” In a flash he had the door unlocked. She said “Thank you Lord for sending this nice young man.” He said “Lady, I am not a nice man, I just got out of prison.” “What for? “ she asked. He replied “Grand theft auto.” She looked up and smiled, “Thank you Lord for sending me a professional.” PAGe 8

miLes oF smiLes By Myrna Chartrand Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba and was our April 2019 Rig of the Month driver. People often ask me why I go to truck shows or other truck events like convoys etc. They wonder why someone who spends 300 days a year in a truck for work would want to spend even more time in their truck on their time off. There is a meme on Facebook that almost explains this mentality. It simply reads, “I can’t wait to get home from trucking so I can sit at home and talk about trucks until it’s time to go trucking again.” Boom!! Nailed it!! I love going to as many truck events as I can get to every year. I enjoy attending the events because I get to see old friends that I may only see once a year and also the opportunity toTRUCK make many BODY new ones each year. One of the biggest reasons is putting faces to names and trucks. So manyLIFT times I recognize a truck on the road and I wave YOUR BUSINESS but have no idea the person’s name or what they look like. TO A NEW LEVEL! Truck events are perfect to get to know some of these people. A lot of times you have no more time than a quick hello or a wave on the road so a truck show is a perfect opportunity to take some time and shoot the breeze and

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get to know someone. My truck is fairly recognizable so most people just know “Pinky 2.0” but know nothing else about me. I also love doing the shows and convoys because I love seeing the smiling faces of the spectators. I soak up the attention when people are snapping pictures or want to come up to chat. Often times people come over to tell me a story of how they have been impacted by breast cancer. I’ve received numerous hugs and kind words and I will definitely be an ear to listen as I know how it feels to lose someone dear to your heart and it’s truly a blessing when I do get to hear survivor stories as well. I did a convoy a few years ago and people were lining the streets either standing or sitting in lawn chairs. I saw this elderly woman sitting in her chair waving at all the trucks but as I approached her, I saw her jump out of her seat like it was on fire!! She was smiling and waving and she couldn’t have been more excited. To see that excitement on her face made me smile from ear to ear and at that moment I felt this is why I do what I do. At last year’s Special Olympics convoy in Winnipeg, a good friend of mine was watching the convoy alongside a mother and a daughter. My friend texted me to say that the little girl wore pink framed glasses and so she showed the girl some pictures of my hair. The little girl thought it was so neat and when Pinky 2.0 went cruising by the little girl thought it was the coolest thing. Made my day to have my friend relay that message to me. So yet again, this is why I do what I do!! Most of the truck events are organized as a fundraiser. The funds raised can be for anything like for a family in need, for veterans, for Special Olympics, for the Breast Cancer Foundation, a toy drive, etc. This is the best idea ever!! If you’re going to organize a bunch of truckers, why not help out people at the same time. If everyone donated one toy, a couple bucks or just their time, think of how much progress can be made. In an industry where so much negativity surrounds it, let’s give people something good to talk about. I certainly appreciate all the support I get from my friends and family that come out to participate or sponsor me for such events. Also to my company for allowing me to get to these events. Recently I attended a truck show in Kasson, MN. There was a vendor there called SH Tube from Corbin, KY. They had a display set up of different styles of gear shifts. I was strolling past one day and a pink shifter caught my eye...naturally! So I walked over and asked the guy how much. He gave me the price and I thought, “Darn it, not quite in the budget at this time and I doubt I could get a purchase order number for it from the company either.” I walked away and yet talked about this shifter for the rest of the weekend. Come Saturday evening, I was standing around my truck with some friends and I got a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and there were two guys from SH Tube. They handed me the pink shifter and said I could have it. My eyes must have been as big as saucers! I couldn’t believe they were just giving it to me. october 2019

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EMAIL: truckwest@shaw.ca WEBSITE: truckwestcollision.com They said breast cancer awareness is a dear cause to their heart so they would be happy to see it in my truck. That was so unbelievable!! Their generosity had just made my weekend! I couldn’t wait to tell my friends about it. When I did, a few people asked what I had to do to get it for free. My quick wit kicked in and I replied, “More than what I had to do for a Klondike bar!!” My friends just about died in laughter. I went back and told that to the guys who gave me the shifter and the one guy laughed and gave me a big hug because he thought that was priceless. These events are all about making a difference and bringing awareness to a cause. If a couple of truckers can get together to make even the smallest difference for one person, I say sign me up because those people may never know the joy I get from it also. A simple smile and a wave can go a very long way and change the day for a single person. *****

Careful What You Wish For.

Two rednecks are out ice fishing at their favorite fishing hole, just fishing quietly and drinking beer. Almost silently, so as not to scare the fish, Mel says, “I think I’m going to divorce my wife - she hasn’t spoken to me in over 2 months.” Earl continues slowly sipping his beer, then thoughtfully says, “You better think it over - women like that are hard to find.”

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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.

Hole in One I was heading west with our old Mack with a good load of machinery for Winnipeg. It was late in September and a lovely fall day, the sun was shining, the air was crisp and clear and the old truck was humming right along. I had just passed through Hearst and was getting back up to highway speed when I heard a crash and saw glass splinters flying. I also heard a strange thunk, thunk. I looked over and my passenger’s side front windshield had a small hole in the upper right corner so I hammered on the brakes and pulled over to the side. I hopped over into the passenger’s seat to see what had happened and was just starting to investigate when I noticed smoke coming from the sleeper. I quickly pulled the curtain back and noticed that my nice new Hudson’s Bay blanket was smouldering and there was something shiny sitting on it. I grabbed the shiny thing and pulled it out, burning my fingers. I dropped it on the floor of the cab and smothered the smouldering part of the blanket to put out the fire. Once the fire was out I started to look around to see what had happened. There on the floor, (where I had tossed it ), was a bullet and in my windshield was a bullet hole. The hole also went through the back of my cab and my sleeper and there was an indentation in the padding on the back wall of the sleeper. It looked to me that the bullet had gone through my windshield, cab and sleeper (Hence the thunk, thunk.) and then did not have enough left to penetrate the back wall of the sleeper. It apparently had bounced off the wall onto my bed and being as hot as it was, had started to set my bed on fire. Right away I got on the CB and got hold of a base who contacted the OPP for me and had them headed in my direction. The bullet by now had cooled off enough that it could be handled so I picked it up and checked it out. Being a hunter I could see it was a perfect 30 calibre 180-grain soft point bullet that looked like a standard Winchester bullet or something similar. A little shaken I got out of the truck and was checking everything else when the Police arrived. The cop looked around at all the evidence and asked me what I expected him to do. He stated that some Moose hunter had probably taken a shot at a Moose and had missed and it was just bad luck that the bullet had hit my truck. I asked him to at least fill out a police report on this so I could contact my insurance company and get covered for a new windshield. He said he would, wrote a short report in his notebook and gave me a case number and a notice that my windshield had been broken by a bullet and he was authorizing me to keep driving until I got somewhere that had a new windshield and then he was PAGe 10

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CANYON CABLE 1988 LTD. 930-6th Ave., Hope, BC 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 on his way. What to do now… I put some tape over the hole in the back of my cab and also managed to get the sleeper hole plugged but what about the windshield. Well, I still carried a tire repair kit so on the outside of the windshield I put a small, 1 by 1-inch patch. I then stripped I/2 inch of rubber off the end on my windshield wiper so it would not snag the patch. On the inside I put a 4 by 4-inch patch to reinforce the windshield and then, after admiring my work, I headed out again. The next afternoon I pulled into the Falcon Lake scales and guess who got a red light. I was still collecting all my paperwork when Mr. DOT walked up to my truck and demanded to know what the hell was on my front window and why in the hell I was driving a truck with a big black patch on the window. It took probably about an hour with me explaining what had happened and showing him all my papers and his call back to the Hearst OPP before I was allowed to leave and I was told that the next scale I crossed I had better have a new windshield or I would be shut down and locked up. I delivered in the Peg the next morning and went right over to a glass company where I had new glass installed while I relaxed and unwound. Now both my Dad and Grandpa were ex-soldiers and they had taught me how to shoot but it was Len, one of our drivers and also our next farm neighbour, who had instilled in me the need to always know where your bullet was going, and if you missed, where the round would impact. Unknown to most people is the fact that a 30-06/308 round will travel 13 miles if fired at the right angle and a lowly 22 will carry 3 miles. I was lucky that the bullet had not hit my side of the truck as even after penetrating the windshield it still could have killed me. Guess you could call me “The one that got away”.

Interesting…

*****

A 2006 Federal Government study found that the average Canadian walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Canadians drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year. That means, on the average, Canadians get about 41 miles per gallon.

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a truck out on the road, he’s responsible for keeping that truck and its load legal and safe. In the dark and distant past, COMEwere, SEE US BOOTH #P-38 BOOTH #501 regulations shallATweTHE say, a little more relaxed than& THE they are now. Paper logs have been around in one form or another for about sixty years or so, then in 1982, we got the tachograph, that lasted until May 2006 when the E Logs, or as we call it, the digital tachograph was brought in. Drivers have always been held accountable for what happens during their working day, but working and driving hours have never been so closely monitored as they are Wilson WilsonQuad QuadFlats Flats Titan TitanSuper SuperBBWalking WalkingFloor FloorChip ChipHauler Hauler Tridem TridemCombo ComboC now with the electronic digital clock. To me, it seems like the powers that be are looking to penalize drivers for the slightest infringement. Company drivers get an infringement letter for things like a minute or two over Titan B Walking Chipwork Hauler Tridem Combo Chassis - Fontaine In Stock driving timeSuper or putting the clockFloor back onto a minute Super FontaineAll AllAluminum AluminumFlat Flat Fontaine FontaineDoubl Doub SuperBBFlats FlatsCall CallFor ForGreat GreatPricing! Pricing! early after a break. That letter shows the authorities that, as a responsible company, they’re doing their job and the driver has been reprimanded for not following the rules. Delta Nanaimo Prince Rupert Edmonton Calgary Winnipeg (800) 891-8858 (877) 878-5979 (250) 627-1981 (800) 610-1019 (877) 720-7171 (866) 397-5524 Right now, most of the British drivers are working to WWW.OCEANTRAILER.COM Wilson Flats New NewAll AllSteel SteelTr T EU regulations, and according to theQuad government website, Titan B Walking Floor Chip Hauler Tridem Combo - In*IN Stock Chip ChipSuper Trailers Trailers Wilson Wilson Tridem TridemChassis Step StepDeck Deck *IN STOCK STOCKNOW* NOW* on October 31st when we leave the EU these driving Wilson Quad Flats Titan Super B Walking Floor Chip Hauler regulations will still be law. Even if we leave without a Quad Flats TitanTitan Super B Walking Floor ChipChip Hauler Tridem Combo Chassis - In S Quad Flats deal. Also, the digital tachographWilson is Wilson here to stay for trucks Super B Walking Floor Hauler Tridem Combo Chassis Delta Delta Nanaimo Nanaimo Drop Prince PrinceRupert Rupert Edmonton Edmonton Calgary Calgary built after 2006, All but Aluminum that was only Fontaine Flatto be expected in this Fontaine Double ! (800) (800)891-8858 891-8858 (877) (877)878-5979 878-5979 (250) (250) 627-1981 627-1981 (800) (800)610-1019 610-1019 (877) (877)720-71 720-71 Fontaine All Aluminum Flat Fontaine B FlatsBCall ForSuper Great Pricing! Wilson Quad Flats Wilson Quad Flats Titan Super Walking Floor Chip Hauler Tridem Combo Chassis - In Stock Titan B Walking Floor ChipChip Hauler Tridem Combo Chassis -Double In -Stock Wilson Quad Flats Titan Super B Walking Floor Hauler Tridem Combo Chassis InDrop Stock electronically monitored world ofSuper truck driving. The UK domestic hours are still in place for drivers, WWW.OCEANTRAILER.COM WWW.OCEANTRAILER.COM s Titan Super BBWalking Floor Tridem Combo Chassis ats Walking FloorChip ChipHauler Hauler Tridem Chassis- -InInStock Stock and while they Titan are Super slightly different from EU rules in thatCombo Fontaine All Aluminum Flat Super B Flats Call For Great Pricing! drivers are allowed to drive ten instead of nine hours a day, Fontaine All Aluminum Flat Flat Fontaine Double DropDrop Super B Flats Call Call For Great Pricing! and drive five and a half hoursChip instead of four and halfPricing! Fontaine All Aluminum Fontaine Double Super B Flats For a Great New All Steel Tridem, Flats & Steps. Trailers Wilson Tridem StepDrop Deck *IN STOCK NOW* Fontaine All Aluminum Flat Fontaine Double Super B Flats Call For Great Pricing! before a break. All Aluminum FlatFlat Fontaine Double Drop Super B Flats CallCall Forguess Great Pricing! Fontaine All affect Aluminum Fontaine Double Drop B Flats For Great Pricing! It’sSuper anybody’s how leaving theFontaine EU will British drivers. If we leave without a deal and don’t pay Fontaine Flat Fontaine l For FontaineAll AllAluminum Aluminum Flat FontaineDouble DoubleDrop Drop all ForGreat GreatPricing! Pricing! the “divorce” of £39 billion, I sawNanaimo a report Quad Flats Titan Supe New All Wilson Steel Tridem, Flats & Steps. Chip Trailers Delta Rupert Edmonton Calgary WilsonWinnipeg Tridem Step Deck *IN STOCK NO Wilson settlement Tridem Step Deck *IN STOCK NOW*in Prince (800) 891-8858to blockade (877) 878-5979 (800) 610-1019 (877) 720-7171 (866) 397-5524 the news that the French are threatening the (250) 627-1981 New All Steel Tridem, Flats & Steps. Chip Trailers Tridem Step Deck *IN STOCK NOW* All Steel Tridem, FlatsFl& ChipChip Trailers ports. It’s not the first time the Wilson French have taken the law All Steel Tridem, Trailers Wilson Tridem StepStep Deck *IN STOCK NOW* Wilson Tridem Deck *IN STOCK NOW* NewNew WWW.OCEANTRAILER.COM Delta (800) 891-8858 into their own hands, back in 2002 UK refrigerated trucks All Steel Tridem, Flats & Steps. Chip Trailers All Steel Tridem, Flats & Steps. Chip Trailers Tridem StepStep Deck *IN STOCK NOW* had their loads of lamb thrown out in the Wilson street. The French Wilson Tridem Deck *IN STOCK NOW* NewNew Nanaimo (877) 878-5979 farmers were unhappy at imports of our lamb coming in. Delta Nanaimo Prince Rupert Edmonton New Tridem, Flats Delta Nanaimo Prince Rupert Edmonton Calgary Winnipeg Wilson Tridem Step Deck STOCK NOW* Prince Rupert (250) 627-1981 (800) 610-101 NewAll AllSteel Steel Tridem, Flats&&Steps. Steps. 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PAGe 11

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PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

haulage companies for all the wasted time their drivers had to spend waiting to get across the channel. Every time the French start acting up, the main highway to Dover, the M20, becomes a big parking lot for UK trucks, and of course foreign truckers trying to get home. They’ve even got a name for it, Operation Stack. It got so bad they were thinking of commandeering some land for a big off-road parking lot next to the M20. I’ve never driven on the continent unless you count Ireland as overseas, Southern Ireland does use the euro as their currency, and the border between north and south Ireland is another bone of contention to getting a deal. But if I was a trucker who regularly crossed the channel, when the vote came three years ago to leave or stay, leave would be a no-brainer for me. In or out, when the French throw the dummy out of the pram the M20 is still going to be a parking lot. *****

Good Timing!

A man walked out into the street and caught a taxi just going by. He got in and the cabbie said, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Frank.” Passenger: “Who?” Cabbie: “Frank Feldman. He’s a guy who did everything right all the time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happened like that to Frank Feldman every single time.” Passenger: “There are always a few clouds over everybody.” Cabbie: “Not Frank Feldman. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand-Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star, and you should have heard him play the piano. He was an amazing guy.” Passenger: “Sounds like he was really something special.” Cabbie: “There’s more. He had a memory like a computer. He remembered everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything, not like me. I change a fuse and the whole street blacks out. But Frank Feldman could do everything right.” Passenger: “Wow, what a guy!” Cabbie: “He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid traffic jams. Not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them But Frank, he never made a mistake, and he really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good. He would never answer her back even if she was in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished, too. He was the perfect man! He never made a mistake. No one could ever measure up to Frank Feldman.” Passenger: “How did you meet him?” Cabbie: “I never actually met Frank. He died, and I married his wife. PAGE 12

Brad Pitt’s Car... By Glen Millard

Glen was born in Saskatchewan. He has driven trucks for 50 years, mostly long hauling. He’s now retired, that is until another adventure comes along. Restaurants One part of the truck culture that we have lost and the newer generation will never know about is the family restaurants that served mostly truck drivers. They were situated on the side of the road and operated by people that cared about good food, lots of it and at a good price. Most of them were 24-hour service. They were all across North America and each was known for their atmosphere and some for their entertainment. I’ve been into most and have come to know many as friends. I cannot possibly tell you about each one but I will give you a few examples of some that stick out as extra special. Standard Corner, 39 miles east of Calgary on Highway 1 was a Shell garage with a restaurant joined to it. It was not much different than many roadside cafes except for the family that ran it! Their names were Abbotts. The father and son ran the garage doing light repairs and pumping gas. The Mom was the cook and the two daughters were the waitresses. The oldest, Robin, was about 18 and a real firecracker while the younger one was about 16 and timid. The truckers got to know about the place and it soon became a very popular place to stop. They would often fill the parking lot and the rest of them would park on the shoulder of the highway in both directions. I’ve seen ½ mile of trucks each way. When Robin got to know you – you were treated special. One day I told a trucker friend that he should stop with me. He had not stopped before so we went in and sat down. Robin came to the table, said hi, then turned to my friend and asked, “Are you with him?” while pointing at me. He nervously said yes. She said “you poor sap” and set the menu in front of him while her other hand was behind her back. He took the menu and as he opened it she said, “Do you want some water?” When he said yes she pulled out a water pistol and squirted him a couple of times. Then she dried his face with a towel. Another time she had a sheet of paper with the top ¼ covered over. She got the guys to sign on each line below. They wondered if you could win a free meal or a draw and if they could sign more than once. She told them she was not going to reveal the top part until all spots filled up. I would be in Saskatchewan or BC, and the guys I met in fuel stops and restaurants would ask, “Is the page full yet?” Finally it got filled and she hung and hung it on the bulletin board revealing the top part. It read “Here is just a sample of all the people that think Robin is just wonderful.” Things like that went on all the time and the guys just loved it. It was

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such fun. The Husky Fuel Stop and Restaurant on Calgary Trail South in Edmonton. Owned and run by Bob Sauter and his wife and daughter. Bob pumped fuel and ran the garage part, his wife cooked and their daughter worked in the restaurant, fuel and office. Bob’s wife was a wonderful cook. Bob and I went into the restaurant and ate. Bob said, “The old lady is a good cook isn’t she?” I told him in fun I think I’ve eaten too much. Could you call me an ambulance? Without missing a breath Bob looked at me and said, “Okay, you’re an ambulance”. One time a driver for Hill & Hill Transport from Dallas, Texas was hauling from Texas to the Beaufort Sea where they were building Elsmere Island with Imperial Oil. The Hill & Hill drivers all stopped at Bob’s Husky both on the way up and on the way back down. To put this in perspective you have to know that this was back in the days when there were no credit cards, no cell phones, no line of credit, and no out of town cheques. As it turned out one of the trucks blew the transmission in the North West Territories which is now Nunavit. He phoned back to Bob who took the serial numbers and what model the transmission was in the truck. Bob went to the gear shop in Edmonton, picked up and paid for the transmission and brought it down to the Husky. He caught the next truck going north and asked him to take the transmission up to him. He then told him to make sure the driver brought the core back

and to let him know he could pay me on the way back down. Try that today! Skyline truck stop at Craigellachie, BC on Highway 1 east of Sicamous, BC, owned by Lyle and Charlene. In the early days, Charlene would cook and run the restaurant and Lyle had a logging truck and loaders and ran the garage and the tire shop. I’ve known Lyle to rescue trucks in the area and patch them up so they could get back home. Mine was one of them. The truck stop had showers, a café with good food at a good price. These places and almost all restaurants have closed. The government is the reason. They have come up with regulations that track the trucks 24 hours a day with E-logs. They are trying to squeeze a 24 hour day into 14 hours of work and driving. Dispatchers have decided that 1 inch on the G.P.S. (no map) or 60 miles equals 1 hour of driving time. This puts the drivers under more pressure to avoid stopping until their 14 hour day is over. If the main traffic for restaurants (trucks) do not stop, day or night, year-round – the restaurants cannot afford to operate. As I see it, that is why there are no restaurants nowadays. There are convenience stores where coffee is three dollars per cup, no refills, thermos’ are 5-10 dollars to fill and sandwiches and donuts are the only things available. It is too bad but the modern truck drivers have missed an era of less stress, comradery and a chance to know how and why the wheels turn and I don’t think it will ever return. r

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 or amazon.com

High Beams I see him in my mirrors, He’s coming up real fast. His bright lights almost blind me, I hope that he will pass. He settles in behind me, Like a bird upon a nest. Does he know about the dimmer switch? Could he pass a driving test? Sixty feet behind me Headlights still on bright. october 2019

My cab lit up like daylight, It’s the middle of the night. I back off to forty, It will get him off my rear. Finally he slides on by, Cell phone glued to his ear. I pick up my speed again, Down the road I go. Way back in my mirror, I spot another rosy glow.

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PAGE 13


PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

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IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO PREPARE FOR WINTERS WRATH!

Being prepared is something today’s truckers pride themselves on. From pre-trip planning to finding alternate routes to ensuring safety items are on board and perhaps most importantly, always having a plan for inclement weather. There are a multitude of weather scenarios that can effect a driver’s ability to stay on the road and keep earning. In the beginning of the winter season, when storms and temperature drops can hit as early as October, it’s important to have a solution for those unforeseen weather occurrences. Just looking at Billings, Montana last year, temperatures hit the freezing mark October 3rd and on the 14th that month, 28 degrees was the high! With today’s sensitive diesel, a sudden drop can result in gelled fuel lines which means truckers could get sidelined if they’re not prepared. There are two “must have” products to consider as you build a winter tool kit, an anti-gel to prevent gelling and an emergency rescue product to de-gel you in the event of unforeseen weather or extreme circumstances. With that in mind, here are some considerations to keep in mind when considering which products to use. Ease of Use – Look for products that are pour and go and that don’t require fuel filter replacement or mixing. Remember you won’t want to be doing a lot of work if you’re gelled up on the side of the road -- when its freezing cold, simple is best. Alcohol Free – Alcohol is an abrasive solvent and though it may solve the problem of gelled fuel, it may be doing so at the cost of damaged fuel injectors and other costly diesel fuel systems. october 2019

Fast Acting – Products that work best, work fast. Solving the gelling problem is something you want to get done quickly. Make sure the products you use get you back on the road fast…especially when it’s below 0! Howes Diesel Treat and Diesel Lifeline are two products designed specifically to address frigid winter temperatures. Diesel Treat, the market leading diesel anti-gel, has been a proven, effective product for generations and is loaded with performance enhancing elements to complement its anti-gelling abilities. Adding vital lubricity, preventing injector deposits and removing water, Diesel Treat is the best treatment available for solving problems created by today’s ULSD fuel. Crystal clear and unlike harmful alcohol based products, Lifeline has been designed to be used at 100% concentration in the fuel filter without harming the engine in any way and has the same combustion properties of diesel fuel, with a nearly identical flashpoint. This means no engine knocking, no corrosion to engine components or fuel lines, and clean emissions identical to that of fuel. The only 100% alcohol-free rescue product on the market, Lifeline eliminates the need for mixing with diesel and requires no fuel filter changing, making it an easier and more cost effective solution. The result of seven years of engineering and development, Lifeline re-liquefies gelled fuel, de-ices frozen fuel filters and prevents them from re-icing and is also fast acting, in most cases taking just 15 minutes to take effect. So stay warm this winter and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for you.

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Rig of the Month By John White A letter we printed in our September issue was from a young driver named Brandon Muir who lives in Telkwa BC. He told of going to the truck stop with his Dad when he was

a kid and always getting a Pro-Trucker Magazine when, as he put it, “I wasn’t even tall enough to grab them from the counter…”. He went on to say that he hoped one day to be on

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the cover of Pro-Trucker. After 21 years of publishing ProTrucker, I can’t say that he made me feel any younger but after talking to him I realized that Brandon, with his all-out enthusiasm and love of the job, is what we need more of in the industry. This is his story: I was born and raised in Smithers British Columbia by a family of truck drivers. My Grandpa was a truck driver, mechanic, and welder – basically a jack of all trades. He taught me a lot of what I know today. My Dad and a few of my uncles are all drivers so you can see that I was doomed right from the beginning! I remember spending every spare moment of my childhood in the jump seat of my dad’s truck. Everything, when I was a kid, was trucks, whether I was drawing trucks, looking at trucks, talking about trucks or playing with toy trucks. On Saturdays, I would go to the local trucker hang out with my Dad and listen to the drivers tell stories. I tried to learn everything I could about driving a truck. They always had a Pro-Trucker Magazine on the counter and I dreamed of one day having my truck on the cover. At family gatherings, it was always the same thing - trucker talk. My Grandma would always say to me “Don’t be a truck driver, it’s not the kind of life you want to live”. But apparently I don’t listen very well, or at least that’s what I think my wife says. When I was fifteen years old I started working at Bandstra Transportation Systems Ltd. My Dad has been

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Truck and Equipment servicing and repairing trucks and trailers. It is right next door to Bandstra and they do all the mechanical work for their fleet. I did everything from oil changes and grease jobs to turbos and a little bit of Cummins computer diagnostics. I got my class one learners license when I turned nineteen but failed my road test a few months later for taking too much time on the pre-trip inspection and a couple of small mistakes during my road test. After 3 years in the shop, I decided that working under a truck wasn’t where I wanted to be so I left to go work in the mines. For two years I worked as a fuel and lube truck driver at a copper mine. It wasn’t much of a truck driving job but I still got to drive a tandem International body job with 10-speed transmission. It was a great job because it was one week on and one week off, leaving me with lots of spare time. Driving in an open-pit mine with 8000L of diesel and 4000L of oil and grease on a little underpowered truck makes you pretty good at shifting and pretty good at changing tires too! On my days off I would work a couple of days for a good friend of mine named Al Tucker. He ran a small pilot car business called Stargaze Pilot Car Service and we would pilot oversized loads all over BC. A few months after starting with Al he, unfortunately, passed away due to medical issues. I still continued to work with the company while his wife and other driver ran the business but I slowly

stopped pulling trips when my life got busier. After two years at the mine, the price of copper plummeted and the mine closed so I was laid off along with everyone else. I kept busy working for a good friend of mine on his farm and doing maintenance at his wife’s dry cleaning business fixing washers and dryers. I pulled the odd pilot car trip for Stargaze as well. One day I got a call from the dispatcher at Bandstra asking if I was working full time and if I wanted to take a pickup and do a hotshot run. It didn’t stop there though, they kept me busy and after about two weeks I asked if they had a full-time position because I wasn’t able to keep going with casual work as it was keeping me from my other jobs. They agreed to start me full time in a 5-ton delivering freight and working in the warehouse. About a month later I decided to get my class one. I rode with my Dad and a couple of the other drivers a few times and they would let me drive home empty from our destinations. Dad and I also went out on weekends and practiced around town. When I finally went to do the test I passed with flying colours. The test itself was not as easy as I imagined though! I was booked to start my test first thing in the morning and had the truck and trailer delivered over to the test start location beforehand by another driver. I began the test and got through the pre-trip half of the test with ease when the truck blew a brake valve during a brake application. I figured that was about it for me and that maybe I could try again another

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Our people make us better - Engrained into Van Kam’s history of 70 years is a company dedicated to growth, stability, and community. As a company that continues to prosper, we value our employees at every level and recognize that our success is based upon having committed individuals on our team. Van Kam is committed to ensuring a positive and healthy company culture with an accepting, diverse and challenging environment. We are devoted to treating all employees and customers with respect, fair treatment, and honesty.

Van Kam Freightways Ltd. requires highway Linehaul drivers to be based out of our Surrey terminal. Applicants should have a minimum of three years class 1 highway/mountain experience; winter driving experience a must. Basic use of computers would be asset. We offer above average rates and an excellent benefits package. Signing bonus offered (conditions apply) To join our team of Professional Drivers, please send your current resume to: drivers@vankam.com If you have any questions regarding the position please contact Bev at 604-968-5488 or 1-800-826-5261 ext. 861

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day but the examiner took one look at me and said that he knew I wanted to get the test over with and that he had no other tests that day and to get a valve brought over and once it was replaced we could continue on. I felt like I was on top of the world that day when I pulled into the yard on my own that afternoon sporting my new license. Most new drivers get an easy run with easy freight when they start out but not me. My first few months I hauled b-trains of bulk steel crushing balls into a mine about 6 hours from town up a busy one-lane radio controlled logging road. Dodging logging trucks while loaded right up to max weight was a challenge but I figured if I could do that I could do anything. My first truck was a 2007 Mack CL 700 with a 550 Cummins and an 18 speed. It had a 48” flat top sleeper and walking beam suspension. It was a great truck when loaded but it didn’t ride very well empty. Also spending a full week in a sleeper that small was taking a toll on me. After a few months, I moved into a 2009 Volvo. I was happy to have a big high rise sleeper and different suspension. After a couple of months in my Volvo, the work changed and I got put on a job at a remote mine in Northern British Columbia hauling heavy equipment and freight across an ice road built into a glacier. The roads were rough if you could call them roads, and the hills were upwards of 20 percent on ice, which greatly adds to the difficulty. I was given a 2015 Western Star tri-drive and told to put tire chains on all the wheels. After that was said and done I hooked onto a loaded 40-ton rock truck that was also chained up and that helped me up the hill. I have worked on and off of that project for the past couple years and am still on it as of today. My first real long haul driving experience was in November of 2017 when I hauled an 8x8 Kenworth bed truck from North of Stewart BC to Edmonton Alberta. I had never driven in a city bigger than Prince George BC before in a truck. Thank goodness for GPS! I loaded the truck up and hooked onto the lowbed and booster and started making my way to Edmonton. After fighting through a snowstorm in Robson Park I finally made it into the city about an hour before dark. I unloaded in Nisku and started to head towards Acheson where I had to load a John Deere 772 grader to bring back home. It turned dark and it started to snow again. I thought to myself just my luck I’m already lost in this big city and now I can’t see fifty feet ahead! I had gone about ten minutes up Highway 60 headed North when I felt something wasn’t right. I pulled over and walked back to find four out of four blown tires on the booster. How could that have happened? I pulled the glad hands off between the trailer and the booster and when I pulled off the blue application side a big blast of air came out. The valve had frozen during an application keeping the brakes applied. After knocking on the valve, heating the valve slowly with a small torch and pouring methyl hydrate down the line I heard the brakes come off slowly. I thought to myself now what? I wasn’t far from our terminal in Edmonton so I pinned the booster up, filled the airbags and lifted it as high as it would go. I PAGE 20

chained the axle up and then dropped all the air and when I was finished I had the tires around an inch from the ground so I was able to limp into our yard and drop the booster so it could be repaired. Luckily the place I loaded my backhaul at wasn’t very far and somebody came and loaded me after hours so that the next day I could be on my way home again. I just don’t have very good luck with winter I guess because a few weeks later I was making my way out of the bush on a Friday morning at about 4 am and it was snowing like crazy when I left the gravel. I had three sets of triples on the drives, and a steer chain on but decided to peel two sets and a steer off and leave just one set on just because it was warm wet snow and I was decently heavy. About 10 kilometres down the road the snow turned to freezing rain on compact and I was glad that I kept the chains on. I caught an empty fuel tanker spun out and blocking the road on a small hill so I pulled up behind him. He ran back and told me he didn’t have much experience chaining up so I gave him a quick hand, throwing two sets on so he could make the bigger hills ahead. I went to start up the hill too and found I couldn’t lift off so I jumped out and threw another set on quick. I started to scratch my way to the top but found I couldn’t steer so at the top of the hill I pulled into the brake check to throw a steer chain on. As you can tell I was bound and determined to make it home. 150 kilometres later and not one plow truck in sight it finally stopped raining and it turned to snow again. I pulled over and took what was left of my chains off and made it home. The trip should have taken four hours on a normal day but by the time I pulled into the yard at home, it was ten hours! I’ve done trips hauling mining exploration equipment and diamond drill rigs that are 2 days of driving in the bush not seeing another person until you arrive at the destination. The best part of it all is seeing sights that only a few people see. One day the opportunity came up to do a winch job with another driver’s truck and I jumped at the opportunity. After pulling that cable out once I was hooked! (Get it?) I took every available winch job I could after that to get as much experience as possible. Bandstra is a really great company to work for. I get to run newer equipment and they are very understanding about time with family. I work with a very good group of people and I’m lucky to be able to work alongside my Dad and my younger brother who recently started working in the warehouse loading freight. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my Dad, Blair and my co-workers/trainers, Colin Adams, John James, Mike Trigiani and the rest of the guys I work with, that helped me out when I started out driving. My wife has seen her fair share of crazy road conditions in the North too. When she was eight months pregnant with our son she came on a trip with me to a mine in northern British Columbia, near Dease lake BC, for one last trip. I had to run two sets of drive chains on the mine road and when I pulled off onto the highway it was snowing real bad so I kept

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one set on. I went about ten minutes down the road when I met a good friend of mine that runs a fuel truck. He told me the roads got really bad up ahead And that he had two sets and a steer on and was barely making it. I, however, was young and foolish and told him that I wouldn’t have any issue. Ten minutes later there I was throwing more triples and a steer chain on at the Burrage brake check. Two other empty Super Bs were spun out on the hill so I waited for them to be clear before I made my way down. I made it with some fancy footwork and made it on my way. I stopped in at the Bob Quinn Lake Airstrip to pull my chains off and a plow truck pulled in beside me. He told me to keep the chains on until at least Bell 2 Lodge as the roads didn’t get better until there. We made it a couple of hours south of the lodge and I ran out of hours. I was pretty tired and didn’t feel like taking my chains off that night so we settled in the bunk with hot chocolate and a movie and watched the snowfall. I woke up in the morning to over a foot of snow on my hood and half a dozen cars stuck in the pullout behind me. I was glad that I had left all the chains on and after what seemed like hours of shovelling we were able to break free of our pullout and rattle down the road. We finally pulled chains off after 250 kilometres of having them on. Speaking of lucky guys let’s just talk about my wife for a quick minute. Just before starting my truck driving career I met the girl of my dreams. After dating her for two years

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we got married. Not a lot of spouses are so supportive of the trucker lifestyle but she always has my back. A lot of the times drivers eat like garbage and we usually have no idea when we will be home. The plans change so much that most of the time that you don’t know what’s going to happen in an hour let alone by the time you do make it home. But here is my wife waiting for me with a hot meal when I do finally get home and lunch packed for when I leave again. I get text messages when I get back into service from Timbucktoo saying she hopes everything is good and she sends pictures of my boy to help ease my homesickness. She runs an entire household by herself most of the time. She will never let me live it down that her name is first on the mortgage to our house because she went to the bank to get the paperwork started while I was at work the day we had to sign the papers. She loves riding in the truck and comes with me every chance she gets. She’s been all over highway 37 with me and has gone to some pretty amazing places. One day I came home from a long week in the bush and she was acting strange. She tried to hide it for a while but finally, she told me I was going to be a Dad. I was excited but nervous, I knew how much my Dad was gone when I was a kid and I felt like I didn’t want to miss out on the birth of my first child so I started working locally. I did switches and short hauls, in-town deliveries and loading loads at the yard. A short time later my son Emmet was born. He is a year and a half old now and is just as truck crazy as I was. When we are outside and see a truck go by he just points at it and looks at me and yells “Dad”! He loves the truck. When I bring it home on weekends to clean and grease he just stands in the yard and looks at it. Sometimes I put him up in the cab and let him play and I can hear my Grandma in the back of my head saying “ Don’t be a truck driver it’s not the kind of life you want to live”. After just over six weeks in town, the bush was calling my name and I went back out to my regular haul. After a few months back at it I noticed more and more I needed a winch to do the jobs I was given but most of the time needed to use another drivers truck or get somebody to do the winching for me. I asked my dispatchers about the possibility of getting a winch tractor and they said something was in the works. In November of 2018, I was given my current truck, it’s a 2019 Western Star SB4900 tri-drive winch tractor with a 600hp DD16, Eaton 18 speed and a 40ton Tulsa winch. It is the one and only black Bandstra truck in the entire fleet of red, with the odd white truck. I’ve been running scissor-neck lowbed hauling camp shacks and equipment, hydraulic and mechanical neck lowbeds with up to 10 axles. I am lucky that I get to do the cool jobs that I do, I have been given really great opportunities that not a lot of new drivers get especially with the heavy hauls and oversized loads. I do really love trucking and cannot picture doing anything else. I am excited to see what other loads I can haul and what other destinations I will get to see.

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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.

Unsung Heroes When we think of heroes our minds generally go through a few phases of recognition. By that, I mean, what constitutes a hero can be very different for each of us and we may have even developed levels of where those heroes sit in our own minds. It is not uncommon to have more than a few ideas as to who we consider our heroes to be. For some, it’s fictitious characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Spiderman, all of whom sprang from the illustrated confines of comic books to television and film. And action movie superstars like Keanu Reeves, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lucy Liu, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Lee, as they all whisk us away on epic journeys to defeat the forces of evil with their amazing feats of dash and daring. For others, it’s real-life war heroes such as flying aces, Billy Bishop or Roy Brown, who shot down the infamous Red Baron. Victoria Cross winner, Smokey Smith who took on an entire outfit of attacking German soldiers single-handedly as he defended his unit’s outpost. Or one of the most highly decorated soldiers, Tommy Prince, who during most of his days in WW2, chose to fight alone and behind enemy lines. It could be modern soldiers from the war in Afghanistan, even those younger than ourselves, Collin Fitzgerald and Jody Mitic. Singers and musicians also have a place in our minds when it comes to being seen as heroes. Gordon Lightfoot, Burton Cummings, Anne Murray, Paul Brandt, Julian Austin, Gord Downey. We even regard our sports players and sports teams as heroes. The World Series-winning Toronto Blue Jays and the recent win by the Toronto Raptors. Players such as Doug Flutie or Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Bobby Orr, Ken Dryden, and Paul Henderson, who’s 1972 Olympics high flying goal won the Canada-Russia series. And then we have the legendary heroes who set the bar so high that they are forever immortalized in our history. Men like, Terry Fox, and Rick Hanson. Their seemingly inhuman strength to deal with disabilities allowed us to live with them on their cross Canada and around the world journeys as if we were being carried effortlessly on their shoulders. Many of these people have tugged on our heartstrings, made us proud to be Canadians, and allowed us to october 2019

escape from our day to day lives. But there are still some out there who go on without mention. Whose actions have saved lives, prevented horrific tragedies and helped keep our nation moving economically. I’m talking about the unsung heroes. The ones whom you generally see through a two-foot by two-foot piece of glass which is located directly above and set back from a hood emblem that reads Kenworth, Peterbilt, Western Star, Mack, or a few others. I’m talking about drivers like Joe Brunelle, Sean Johnson, Jason Hahn, and so many others who lost their lives on our highways doing what they loved. Being professional drivers. Each and every day, there are truckers on our highways and byways that perform their jobs with the utmost of care and consideration for everyone they meet on the road. They sacrifice their home lives, their comfort, their health and wellbeing, and as I mentioned above, have and will sacrifice their lives to ensure the safety of others. They don’t ask for praise or pats on the back. They don’t seek fame and fortune, well perhaps secretly, fortune. These drivers are the ones who still live by the truckers code. These men and women are some of this country’s best. They are our friends, and they are our family. They are the heroes of the road. And as surely as I have diesel in my blood, they are my heroes. *****

Life Is Great!

Actually I’m not complaining because I am a Senager. (Senior teenager) I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I dont have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I dont have a curfew. I have a drivers license and my own car. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant. And I don’t have acne. ***** Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

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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 The info rendered by this scribbler, to be read before Thanksgiving 2019, was written on the penultimate day of summer (that would be the second last day). Sorry to be the bearer of this breaking item but we … no … you guys and gals were to have hung your jewelry on your wagon by the first of October. Bin there done that, no need to continue in my dotage, except perhaps only when driving thru my memories! In Ontario, of course, which has a few nasty hills, especially on Hwy. 17, studded tires are allowed “if the unit will not be in the province for more than 30 days” and I don’t know too many asphalt pilots who take that long to reload and get the ‘H’ outta Dodge! No iron on the roads in Ontario. (Apparently, the use of tire chains encroaches on tow truck operators’ income … lol!). It is common to see semis lined up at the bottom of a hill like Cavers or Rossport, Montreal River and Blueberry just to name a few. Way back in the ‘60s my ’65 Hayes COE had worm drive rears and knobby tires and could out pull anything on snow or ice or whatever. I was running for Imperial Roadways then and came upon a Kingsway unit that almost made it to the top of Cavers, but not quite. The OPP was in attendance and I offered to hook up a chain and pull it up to the turnout at the summit … no problem … no chains. But hey … there’s some good news. More and more jurisdictions are allowing tire socks, aka fabric socks which one can stick in his/her back pocket rather than dragging iron back and forth. And they install in seconds without one getting all wet and dirty. There are some local restrictions so it’s critical to know the chain and tire regulations in your destination province or state and those one has to pass through in order to get there. Yes, socks are legal where chains may not be in the US as well. That’s enough punishment on that subject, let’s move on, shall we? Further unhappy news comes from Tolko Industries. Apparently, the company is cutting lumber output in Armstrong & Williams Lake by 20%. Rather than lay workers off, the management has decided to cut back employee hours. Company VP Troy Connolly said this: “We have a tremendously engaged and talented workforce, and we want them to continue as part of the Tolko family. Reducing capacity and changing our footprint is the best way to keep people employed and mills operating. It also gives us the flexibility to immediately react and adjust our schedule should conditions improve. It’s the best possible option right now in current conditions.” This announcement comes sadly on the heels of the closing of the Kelowna facility which has PAGE 24

been a city landmark for decades. 217 employees there will be idled. There have been numerous other mill closures at the coast and in central and southern BC and one wonders if the lumber industry will ever recover. Higher harvesting costs are passed on to the mills and amount to about 75% of the cost of getting logs to the mill, Alternate building materials such as hemp which can be made into construction materials to simulate wood or concrete and other like products are currently being offered at much lower cost to the builder. Jobs lost to date this year are around 4,000 employees in 27 communities. Of course those alternate commodities will likely be shipped by semi too, which might soften the impact a bit once they are adapted and accepted. The reason I mention any of this is because it broadcasts a huge trickledown effect on the trucking industry, especially loggers and flat decks that specialize in hauling logs and lumber and its many value added items. Politically it is understood that the problem began with the old Liberal government since the NDP has created a process to protect jobs in the forest sector. Nice! Lowering stumpage fees isn’t likely to help either because the US duties would still cause trouble at the border in the long run. Any step to reduce, omit or streamline costs would be seen by the authorities in the Excited States as providing a subsidy and duties would be increased to counter the perceived benefit. Wildfires and the pine beetle scourge, both attributed to global warming have also created shortages. Truckers in our region will be severely impacted by this news. But also flat deck carriers from out of province depend on return cargos consisting of lumber products to bolster their trip revenue. Back in the early seventies I was delivering several loads of huge ceiling fans from a manufacturer in Toronto to the Rio-Tinto aluminum smelter in Kitimat for passive ventilation. I was responsible for acquiring my own return loads and since we were a private carrier I had to carry two sets of paperwork, one for the customer and one for the scale masters especially Kenora, showing the load was consigned to the shipper as dunnage. There were winks exchanged along the way too. The authorities knew the regulation sucked and mostly turned a blind eye. If you didn’t know, the Rio-Tinto presence in BC is 60 yrs old. It is one of the largest manufacturing facilities in BC and significantly contributes to the economic and community spirit in North-Western BC. The powerhouse that provides the energy to run the plant & the townsite is the largest highpressure hydro generating plant in North America. Recently completed, a multi-billion dollar remake of the smelter boasts the most efficient, greenest & lowest-cost smelters in the entire world. Now to get back to the forest, which is difficult to see because of the trees that are in the way, it will be decades before tree husbandry will return to the way it was, if ever. And truckers will suffer along with the loggers and

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october 2019

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Call Al 604-882-7623 millworkers. We will see many more MT decks going home without a load. That’s it from the Bad News Bear for this month. When I was dispatching and in the safety office I often received a request for a backload usually at a severely reduced rate. Backloads used to be considered gravy in carrier’s terms however when the expenses escalated and fuel prices skyrocketed we asphalt engineers balked and said, “Hey wait a minute! Fuel costs the same going both ways. Wear and tear is ongoing and shop rates out of sight, tires are still required and still go flat or blowout with impunity and aren’t discounted just because one doesn’t have a backhaul. It’s a crazy mixed-up world in which we live and it ain’t likely to get no better by next month. Drive as if Safety is your guide ‘cause Safety IS No Accident …10-4!

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.

Before I begin I just want you all to read this with an open mind. This story has zero bias or prejudice and is in no way meant as offensive or racial. I use terms like “white male” generally and only because 20 years ago the white-skinned population was by far the most common image when we looked at trucking. As we all know in many sectors of society discrimination does exist. Could discrimination be the reason we are seeing less and less of the caucasian drivers on the roadways and ultimately entering this profession? Historically here in Canada, the truck driver has been of white descent. A recent and ongoing study by Newcom Media shows that as recent as 1996, there were only 4,655 visible minority truck drivers in ALL of Canada. By 2016, a mere, years later that number had increased significantly to 44,490. In 1996 when this study began, the majority of immigrant drivers came from South Asia. Between 1996 and 2016 the number of South Asian drivers rose from 2,355 in 1996 to PAGe 26

32,260 in 2016. Nearly 30,000 bodies from one geographical region in a mere 2 decades. Then we also have the National Household Survey which shows 283,185 “truck” drivers employed in Canada in 2011. So even just by Newcom’s 2016 stats alone, immigrants make up a startling 15.7% of truck drivers in the country. This compared to the 1.6% merely 20 years earlier! I would have to say this is a huge jump in the number of immigrant drivers that have rapidly entered the industry. Has immigration had an impact on why more and more young “traditionally speaking” white males are not choosing to enter this field? Well one could argue zero impact. As the number of loads that need to be hauled has increased and therefore the number of drivers needed has also increased. So in balance there were plenty of traditional white males to fill the seats. Another could argue it has a huge impact on the demise and spiralling downward trends within the industry. Canada has always had a rather large number of immigrants coming into the country, but not until recently have those immigrants been primarily from the countries of South Asia. During the ‘20s and ‘30s they were predominantly from European countries, with the Brits being given the highest priority. This setting the face of our fairly young country. Since the ‘70s, anyone else moving into Canada have been pretty much described as being visible minorities. Now between April 1 and July 1 of 2018 and according to the Canadian Immigrations own newsletter, Canada’s population grew by 168,667!!! That’s an incredibly staggering number in a short 90 day period! 82% of 168,667 (138,324) were immigrants. Now I dunno about anyone else, but I find that to be a rather large number of people to have suddenly entered a country. With this trend poised to continue, will the face and ways of the traditional Canadian truck driver vanish? A reality that is now sitting center stage is that the South Asians have made the industry a prime source of revenue for themselves on an entry-level platform into Canada. This in itself opens a whole other area of the industry that many are either unaware of or ignorantly refuse to address. I don’t know...but I do know, as I see it day to day the South Asians have made themselves indispensable and the influx of visible minorities will continue until the caucasian driver is no longer a face behind the wheel. So as I roll along mile after mile I ponder if this influx of immigrant drivers is enough to keep potential drivers from entering the industry? In many ways, this would reveal how prejudice can have a negative impact on this entire industry. BUT....why the presence of prejudice? Why should we not feel like we are now a minority? When the numbers and trends very clearly show we are? With trending numbers as they are.... there will soon be no more traditional Canadian caucasian drivers on our roads. Perhaps... just perhaps, ... this has something to do with why fewer and fewer typical Canucks choose to Not enter this highly sought after seat in the industry. Fate Shows when Least Expected

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‘Out-Of-Touch Balderdash’

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney rips Amnesty International who criticized his government’s aggressive approach in defending the oil and gas industry. The head of Amnesty’s Canadian branch warned that the premier’s efforts have put human rights at risk. This is Premier Kenney’s response: Dear Mr. Neve, Before responding to your open letter, titled Human rights concerns regarding the Government of Alberta’s “Fight Back Strategy,” I would like to offer a note of sympathy. Honestly, it can’t be easy being the longtime head of Amnesty International Canada (AI), stuck in annoyingly free and peaceful Canada, having to work yourself up into high dudgeon to denounce a democratically-elected government peacefully standing up for its citizens. On the other hand, your insistence that the burning human rights threat in Canada right now is – to use your description – the “establishment of an energy ‘war room’ devoted to defending the oil and gas industry in Alberta and a public inquiry into the foreign funding of groups who oppose or criticize energy developments in the province” can hardly pass unchallenged. Relentless misinformed attacks against our oil and gas industry have cost us thousands of jobs and hurt families from every region of our province. The cost in investment and jobs has been incalculable. Our government won the largest democratic mandate in Alberta history in part on a promise to stand up to those attacks. I will not apologize for keeping that promise. Again, I understand it must be hard for you. When you look around the world and see the rise of authoritarian governments, civil war, human trafficking, genocide, and other gross violations of human rights, it must be a tall order to find something, anything to denounce here in our placid Dominion. You see your colleagues in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia standing up to a government that “severely restrict[s] the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly” and “extra judicially executed” and dismembered a prominent journalist (those are all quotes from the AI country profile). You see your counterparts in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela facing a regime under which “hundreds of people were arbitrarily detained” amid “reports of torture and other ill-treatment, including sexual violence against demonstrators” and “the Attorney General was dismissed under irregular circumstances.” (That last part rings a bell – you might want to look into it.) You see your confrères in Russia fighting “further restrictions to the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly,” “harassment and

october 2019

persecution” of religious minorities, “torture,” and a regime that systematically sabotages Western democracy, while your greatest challenge is … a provincial government speaking out in defence of its economy and in defiance of an active campaign against it. This is a double pity. It can’t be much fun for you and, more seriously, it undermines the credibility of what was once, and still could be an important organization. As I have written before, when I joined Amnesty International as a teenager it was to defend the rights of political dissidents like Andrei Sakharov and to oppose totalitarian regimes like those currently in charge in most major oilproducing countries. I am disappointed to see that you continue to squander the moral authority accrued in those brave campaigns on smearing the most responsible and rights-respecting major oil-producer in the world. There was a reason I singled Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela for comparison. They – along with Iran – would be major beneficiaries of a moratorium on Canadian oil production. No one will cheer your letter harder than Vladimir Putin, the Houses of Saud and Al Thani, the caudillo Nicolás Maduro, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. OPEC’s oleo-gopolists will be chuckling from their gilded palaces at your naïveté. The demand for oil is not going away soon. Every credible estimate shows several more decades of strong oil demand, and the world is going to get it from somewhere. Shutting down Alberta’s oil industry means more global supply – including much of the oil imported to Canada’s east coast – will be sourced from the world’s worst human rights abusers, instead of from the most ethical and bestregulated industry in one of the freest countries in the world. The net result of the campaign to landlock Canada’s oil and gas reserves, in which (to use an old but apt term) you are playing the role of useful idiot, will be to take money out of the pockets of Alberta workers to line the silk pockets of men who commit enough human rights abuses before breakfast to keep Amnesty International busy for a year. If you are truly concerned about human rights, look at where the world’s oil will come from if we don’t export it from Canada. Although your letter is repetitive and scattershot in its criticisms, I will respond to your main points in turn. Not because you raise serious issues, but because your hyperbolic bill of particulars is all-too-typical of critics of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. It demands a rejoinder in the interest not just of our province, but of accuracy. Ironically, your letter is a perfect illustration of just why Alberta needs a way to respond to common misconceptions – and the decade-long campaign to discredit the Canadian oil and gas industry – with facts. For example, you allege that our plan to correct inaccuracies about Alberta’s oil and gas industry will “have particularly serious implications for advancing

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reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in the province.” What out-of-touch balderdash. In fact, I received your letter while I was meeting with the leaders of northern Alberta First Nations, whose people have enjoyed prosperity precisely because of their partnerships with Alberta oil sands producers and who strongly support our government’s efforts to respond to the campaign to landlock Canadian energy. Shortly after I was sworn in as Premier, I hosted the first Government-First Nations gathering in years, which was attended by 46 of the 48 Alberta First Nations Chiefs. The overwhelming – I would say, unanimous consensus was that Alberta’s First Nations want to be partners in the prosperity that flows from the responsible development of our shared natural resources. They have seen first-hand that Alberta has Canada’s highest level of Indigenous employment because of our energy sector, and especially our oil sands. And they have had enough of foreign and urban do-gooders telling them how they should steward their traditional lands – a phenomenon BC MLA and former chief councilor of the Haisla Nation, Ellis Ross, and others acidly refer to as “eco-colonialism.” That is why the UCP platform proposed unprecedented steps to partner with First Nations in defense of our shared economic interests through the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC). This $1 billion commitment, backed with the full faith and credit of the Alberta government, will encourage First Nations participation in resource development. The AIOC will be the first-of-its-kind policy, a creative solution to the challenges that many resource-rich but capital-poor First Nations face in owning or co-owning major oil and gas projects. We have heard from dozens of First Nations inside and outside Alberta who are eager to access this support, and the federal government has expressed an interest in becoming a financing partner. We have also launched a $10 million Indigenous Litigation Fund to help First Nations defend their own economic development rights in court when they are threatened by government actions like the West Coast tanker ban or the cancellation of the Northern Gateway pipeline – both decisions taken by the federal government without consultation and over the strong objection of many B.C. and Alberta First Nations. You may be surprised to hear that I agree that “Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is a Legal and Moral Imperative.” I use the same language myself, calling the need to partner with our First Nations, the first custodians of our rich trove of resources, a “moral imperative.” We know that there are still too many Indigenous people in Canada who do not enjoy the prosperity that natural resources development has brought. In that spirit, I hope that you will join me in cheering the fact that there are at least four consortia of First Nations bidding for a major stake in the Trans Mountain pipeline. PAGE 28

Projects like this represent real economic opportunity for Canada and our First Nations and are a step towards meaningful reconciliation of which we should all be proud. Separately, I appreciate your concern for vulnerable individuals who you worry will be harmed by government advocacy. I am pleased to be able to reassure you that you fundamentally misunderstand the context and purpose of the “fight back” strategy. In fact, I am sure you’ll be relieved to know that you have it exactly backwards: our energy industry and the jobs across Alberta and Canada that depend on it are not threatened by isolated or vulnerable individuals but by well-funded family foundations like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, whose fortune was made in part from coal mines. Those would be the Rockefellers whose fortune was made by the Standard Oil monopoly and the Packards of Hewlett-Packard fame, whose foundation has assets over US$7.5 billion and who recently rewarded former NDP advisor Tzeporah Berman with a US$2 million prize for her anti-oil sands activism. When I joined Amnesty International, it was because you fought for prisoners of conscience in dictatorial regimes. Today, you are fighting on the side of foreign billionaires trying to shut down an industry on which hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women depend. Forgive me if I express a concern

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of my own: that Amnesty International may have drifted somewhat from its core mission. As for your concerns about freedom of expression and association, those rights are not threatened by our government telling the truth about our energy industry. Our intent is to counter misinformation, exaggerations, and outdated information with facts and evidence. You acknowledge this when you say that the “narrative that has accompanied the launch of the ‘war room’ focuses on ‘uncovering the truth’ and ‘tackling misinformation.’” That’s exactly right. There is a great story to tell about Alberta’s oil and gas sector. It’s a story of innovation, of world-leading research and development, of decreasing emissions, of cleaner technology. Most importantly, it is the story of an industry that has been an engine of social progress for people of all education levels from across the country, including women, new Canadians, and Indigenous peoples. How you can twist this good news story into a threat to human rights confounds comprehension. As for the rest of your accusations and insinuations, they only make sense if you deny that there is a well-funded campaign against Alberta’s natural resource industry and a concomitant need to rebut it Speaking of exaggerations, your claim that “by any measure, oilsands development in Alberta is a major source of global carbon emissions” is exactly the sort of distortion that makes this project necessary. Canada is responsible for 1.6% of global GHG emissions and the oilsands account for 8% of that or about one-tenth of one percent of global emissions. Your claim would be wildly inaccurate even if the oil sands were ten times their current size. This is not to diminish the importance of Alberta showing leadership in GHG reductions. Our government is committed to lowering emissions, including putting a price on large emitters and funding technology that will lower emissions both here and around the world. The second part of that plan is particularly important. While we will reduce emissions here in Alberta, our greatest contribution to the global challenge of climate change will come from developing and exporting new technology and our cleaner natural resources, especially natural gas, to displace the coal-fired electricity in the world’s largest and dirtiest emitters. The reduction in global emissions we can achieve by exporting our knowhow and resources to the developing world dwarf any reductions the anti-oil sands campaign could ever hope to achieve. Contrary to your letter, we may not be a big part of the problem, but we are determined to be a big part of the solution. As for the rest of your accusations and insinuations, they only make sense if you deny that there is a well-funded campaign against Alberta’s natural resource industry and a concomitant need to rebut it. This would be the campaign that you dismiss as “vague conspiracy theories october 2019

about the hidden goals of US-based foundations.” I assure that if their goals are hidden it is because they have worked hard to keep them that way. One of the original strategy documents of the Tar Sands Campaign, from 2008, actually stressed that “the [Tar Sands Campaign] Coordination Centre shall remain invisible to the outside” (their emphasis). Unfortunately, the Tar Sands campaign is real and anything but vague. Under the heading “Tar Sands Campaign Strategy 2.1,” that same document lays out step-by-step, in precise detail, the “tar sands termination agenda” to “embarrass Canada” and “delegitimize” the oil sands. As if that weren’t enough, the North American energy industry is also being targeted by a sophisticated social media and cyber campaign funded and coordinated by Putin’s Russian government. A 2018 report from the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology concluded that “Russia exploited American social media as part of its concerted effort … to influence domestic energy policy” and specifically “targeted pipelines, fossil fuels [and] climate change.” It’s a coalition of the bleedinghearted and the bloody-minded. This is the threat Alberta has faced for more than a decade. It is an existential threat to our economy backed by American billionaires and coordinated through dozens of foreign and Canadian environmental organizations and advocacy groups. Their success can be measured in tens of billions of dollars in lost investment and thousands of lost jobs. That is why in the recent election we told Albertans that “We will fight back against the foreign-funded special interests who are trying to landlock our energy.” Having received a historic popular majority, we intend to keep our word. Albertans deserve a government that will not roll over in the face of foreign-funded special interests. Our commitment to stand up for Alberta is the furthest thing from a threat to human rights; it is a pledge to meet myth with fact and misinformation with evidence. If Amnesty International Canada really cannot see the difference, then I am sorry – the organization I joined as a teenager had a clearer sense of purpose and a better moral compass. Sincerely, Hon Jason Kenney, PC MLA Premier of Alberta *****

The Jerk!

Morty was in his usual place in the morning sitting at the table, reading the paper after breakfast. He came across an article about a beautiful actress that was about to marry a football player who was known primarily for his lack of IQ and common knowledge. He turned to his wife with a look of question on his face. “I’ll never understand why the biggest jerks get the most attractive wives.” His wife replied, “Why thank you, dear!”

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assoCiate editor greg evasiuK Greg is a third generation trucker with over a million miles and 20 plus years in trucking. He was also our Rig of The Month for Febrauary 2018

With the election looming large I was seriously tempted to write a political piece but didn’t. I had a very strong opinion on the recent climate change protests and that is always a hot topic… nope not doing that. There can’t be enough said about the education of our young drivers and how we can get them into the industry but I just did that. I could list off all the things I didn’t write about and that would be enough to fill the page and probably get me fired too! There are just so many choices, almost like spec’ing a truck. Hmmm… never tackled that here before. Ok, so I want to be clear this isn’t the definitive guide to truck building because I just don’t have that kind of space. It’s also far too hard to cover every conceivable job in trucking. If this is your first truck I have a ton more questions that need answers before we get to the truck. If you are a beginning owner operator or buying your third or fourth, do not buy a truck without answering the following questions. Please. It will literally save you thousands over the life of the truck and as you veterans out there know that can be the difference between success and failure. The first question we need to answer is what does your job for the truck look like? Really this is the most important thing to define because a truck set up to pull a dry van to long haul will have a tough time hauling logs. While you can build a truck to be somewhat versatile the better you specialize, the more efficient you will be. In my time with Mack and in my current job consulting, I run into several people who want to build the truck for a hypothetical what if. What if I want to switch from household goods to tankers in six months? What if I want to stop pulling trains and go long haul? My answer to these questions is always the same; if you don’t plan on doing the same type of trucking for more than the next 6 months to 2 years you need to re-think this. Planning to be in a different job is essentially saying you don’t believe in what this one has to offer. Once you know what it is you want to specialize in we can dive into figuring out what that truck looks like. I’m not going to preach aerodynamics here, if you want to drive a long nose classic I get it. In the looks department, it’s pretty hard to argue against the long and low large car. What you need to know is that if you go that way you’re giving up a 10+percent in fuel economy. I’ve tested it, its science. If you’re ok with the trade-off all good. I will offer this disclaimer; in jobs where the trucks are constantly PAGe 30

pulling oversized or poor aerodynamic irregular loads like logs or oilfield equipment, an aero tractor will make very little difference. By deciding what kind of job you were doing with the truck you would know what you needed for running gear. Light highway, say 105,000 lbs and less, you can go with 40,000lb rear ends and lightweight suspension. On the end of those lighter axles you can run aluminum hubs and even slightly smaller brake hardware. You can also go with a much lighter frame rail without inserts and fewer cross members. The lower GVW means you definitely could run a 13L engine (in some cases an 11L) and a lighter transmission like the Eaton advantage. All of these factor into what can be a few thousand pounds less tare weight. Conversely if you decided to pull trains or do heavy haul you will want to start with something much more stout. Tire and wheel preference is another very important choice in truck specs. Over the past 10 years especially the buzz word has been “rolling resistance” and some experts will tell you that it is the only economic measure of a tire. Those experts are wrong. While rolling resistance is very well the most important factor in fuel economy of a tire the total cost of ownership of that tire needs to include the wear life, casing credit and initial cost of the tire. You also have to carefully consider your traction needs. Being from northern Alberta I see way too many trucks running up and down the highway with big lug 11R24.5’s and 385’s on the steer axle. When I chat with the owners they explain that they run “offroad” but when pressing them for more info I generally find a truck that is about 80/20. The 20 percent is the “offroad” time and its almost always on wellmaintained gravel. The guy always has a story about either the big storm where he didn’t have to chain up or the time it rained for a week and he only needed his chains once… I’ve done the math to compare running a closed shoulder 22.5 that’s still full 32/32nds vs those big boots and making that switch pulling b-trains is good for nearly half an mpg. To put a little perspective on it that would save you 800 L a month if you put on 20,000km and with fuel around a buck a litre that’s knocking on the door of 10 grand savings. I’d throw my chains a few times a year for that! So although I’m a bit of a truck nerd and have done math and conversions and comparisons a good part of how I know specs can kill your bottom line is because it did mine. A couple of years back I had a beauty of a W900B.

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I spec’ed it perfectly for what I was doing, hauling mats, equipment and frac sand. It had a 600 ISX, 14,600 front, 46,000 rears 3/8 frame inserted at the wheels, running tall 24.5 rubber and 3.90 gears. Well when things got slow in early 2016 I hit the highway with that truck. It wasn’t bad at first because I was running north to the NWT with heavier good-paying freight and I should have stuck with it. After a brief hiatus in Early April I signed on to haul an ultra-low step all over Canada and the lower 48. For starters my big power and tall ugly rubber had me looking for fuel stations long before I should have. When I compared my numbers with a few of the other guys I almost fell over. Second, the tare weight with all that heavy crap was a killer when it came to hauling the cheap lumber heading south. I couldn’t scale 46,000lbs of lumber and since I was being paid by the board foot I couldn’t leave it behind. Let’s just say I had more than a few nerve-

racking moments dodging scales between here and Texas! It wasn’t just the cheap freight either, I had to give up a load out of the docks in Houston and deadhead to Louisiana once because I couldn’t scale the load coming in without permitting which would have cost too much and taken too long to arrange. I managed to keep my head above water there but just barely and having no wiggle room made the job stressful. That was a failure and I’m sharing it to help prevent others from doing the same. You see I know that this industry is much more fun when you are profitable and this job needs more people to have fun with it. If we are to have any hope in making this industry an attractive place for young drivers then we need to make it more fun. For me, that means teaching others how to add profit because while money can’t buy you happiness it can purchase several other things that will make you smile!

axle dual tires and finally tandem dual tires. These were heavy loads – 72,000 lbs, then 80,000 lbs on 5 axles and INTRODUCING... bias-ply tube tires. The truck couldn’t be driven with a flat By Ross Evison tire because of the tube and the rim was two pieces so it Ross Evison is a retired driver who started would come apart and cause more problems. his career in Ontario when he was 18 years old. They talked about stopping to help anyone who was After a year he moved to BC where his first trip broken down on the side of the road. They also spoke about was from Prince George to White Horse. the comradery that was the norm on the highways at that Pre-1965 Line Driver’s Dinner time. Drivers knew each other, visited over coffee at coffee In 1989 a group of drivers got together and formed Pre shops and generally helped each other out with the different 1965 BC Line Drivers and they have been meeting each challenges they had with equipment, road conditions etc. year ever since. It gives them the opportunity to visit with people they worked with as well as others that they knew while on the road. On June 15, 2019, I attended the 2019 Pre 1965 line drivers’ dinner and it was an excellent evening. I met a large number of drivers, who were a number of years older than I, but were still driving when I was driving long distance. There were 155 people there, drivers from Safeway, Public Freightways, Canadian Freightways, Carson Truck Lines, Vancouver Merritt Truck Lines, Clark Reefer, Shadow Lines, Vedder Transport, Aggressive Transport as well as some other companies. These fellows were the knights of the road. They spent three to four days in a truck going he angis rothers rom left to right eo von ohn and on to Prince George or Calgary and then another three to four days coming back. They faced many challenges such as gravel roads, rock slides, flat tires, Today drivers don’t get to know each other in the same engine repairs, transmission repairs etc. to keep the freight way because it is rush, rush, eat on the run – and in general moving. a much faster-paced world. They spoke of gas engine trucks, 20, 30 and 40 ft. It was very interesting to hear the stories of yesteryear trailers, 250 Cummins, 4x4 transmissions, 318 Detroit from drivers that changed the face of the industry through engines, 335 Cummins, then the big power 350 Cummins a lot of hard work and patience to do the job they set out to and 380 Cats. Wow, we were talking power now! do. My hat goes off to all these drivers who forged the way They drove trucks with single wheels and then single in making the trucking industry better. r

T L

october 2019

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, L ,Y , J

R

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Profile for Pro-Trucker Magazine

Pro-Trucker Magazine October 2019 Issue  

Pro-Trucker Magazine October 2019 Issue Rig Of The Month Featuring Brandon Muir

Pro-Trucker Magazine October 2019 Issue  

Pro-Trucker Magazine October 2019 Issue Rig Of The Month Featuring Brandon Muir