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September 2019 Rig of The Month Featuring Jarrid Koch

september 2019

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604-449-3339

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fRom The edIToR’s desK By John WhITe

VOLUME 21, ISSUE 08 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 september 2019

In my July editorial, I called out the BC Government for not showing any sign yet of even considering a MELT program even though Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario had theirs almost complete. All of which I believe are up and running at this time. Shortly after that issue hit the stands the email below went out to solicit input on a BC MELT program. Subject: Consultation on Improved Training for Commercial Truck Operators. Re: Consultation kicks off for improved training for commercial truck operators I am pleased to have this opportunity to share with you the ministry’s recent news release, announcing consultations this summer to explore a BC Mandatory Entry-Level Training for Class 1 licences. https://news.gov.bc.ca/ releases/2019TRAN0118-001384 As you may note, the ministry will be leading these stakeholder consultations over the course of this summer along with support from ICBC and the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General. We are committed to considering a broad representation of interests and hearing various industry perspectives on how such a program might be developed to benefit British Columbians. From advanced skill development to opportunities for groups under-represented in the industry, from cross-jurisdictional consistency with other provinces to compliance with new federal standards and, most importantly, the safety of all those who travel in British Columbia, this is a compelling topic requiring discussion and deliberation. Engagement will begin soon, and I will be in touch in the coming weeks. We look forward to connecting with your organization and receiving your valuable input. Sounds good, doesn’t it? That is until you see the people it was sent to. I, of course, did not receive a copy as the BC Government has never liked to include

me in these announcements for very good reason, as you will see below. Instead I received the email from several people on the email list with some questioning why they were included as they insist they have nothing to do with this type of legislation and nothing of value to add to the discussion. While there are 3 or 4 recipients on the list who could be considered valuable to the discussion here is the rest and I will leave it up to you, as drivers, to decide if you think these groups will make your workplace safer. These groups were included, BC Hydro; BC Board of Trade; Public Service Alliance of Canada; Construction Labour Relations Association of BC; Western Shippers’ Coalition; Public Services and Procurement Canada; BC Cattlemen’s Association; BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association; Centre of Training Excellence in Mining; Mining Association of BC; The University of BC; Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors; Port of Prince Rupert; Port of Vancouver; Fortis BC and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Names left off the list that could have valuable input are Andy Roberts of Mountain Transport Institute, other reputable Driving Schools as well as representatives from major trucking companies like Bison, Trimac and Westcan Bulk who already have specialized in-house training programs. Conclusion: One year and 3 months after the Humboldt Tragedy and after the other 3 Western Provinces and Ontario have a Minimum Entry Level Training program in place for Class 1 drivers. BC, the most mountainous province with historically bad weather in the mountains all year round is putting out “feelers” for input with absolutely no timeline in place for the start of meetings. On top of that, with a few exceptions, they have invited everyone and anyone not closely related to trucking to come and muddy the waters.

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thank you to those who make the miles count

Siemens Transportation Group Inc.

In honour of National Trucking Week, we are celebrating by hosting breakfasts at our Branches from 6:00am - 8:00am on the following dates: Sept 3rd at Kindersley Transport in Vancourver & Winnipeg Sept 4th at Kindersley Transport in Kelowna, Regina & Toronto Sept 5th at Kindersley Transport in Calgary & Edmonton Sept 6th at Kindersley Transport in Saskatoon In addition, Edge Transportation Services in Saskatoon will be hosting a BBQ from 11:00am - 2:00pm on Sept 6th. Stop in and meet our team!

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LETTERS to the EDITOR

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

tractor over a glacial ice road into a gold mine in Northern BC. Running a winch tractor and pulling low-beds has always been a dream of mine and to have a truck as nice as mine puts a smile on my face every day! Just wanted to say thank you to you and your staff for a great magazine. I hope to one day be on the cover with “Black Betty” which I’ve attached a picture of. Not bad for a rookie! -Brandon Muir -AKA “Cub”.

Hello John, As a third-generation truck driver, I am no stranger to the industry. I have been reading your magazines since I wasn’t even tall enough to grab them from the counter of the local truck shop. I used to sit with all the drivers on Saturday mornings at the coffee shop while they would drink coffee and tell lies. My grandfather Elgin was a jack of all trades welder/ fabricator, heavy-duty mechanic, and low-bedder. My father and uncles are all truck drivers as well. My father and I both work for a small family-owned company based in Smithers BC. We specialize in LTL and deck freight, low-bed and oversized loads. As a newer driver with only four years of experience Not only am I lucky enough to work alongside my dad but I get to work with some of the best drivers in the industry and get to do some pretty cool jobs. My newest job includes running a tri-drive winch

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Editor’s note: Always good to hear from an enthusiastic young driver Brandon. You are one of the lucky ones. Many drivers today do not have the benefit of growing up in the industry and having as many mentors as you have obviously had. In reality, you, and drivers like you, have gone through a type of graduated licensing program that our BC government deems unnecessary for truck drivers. Be safe out there and I’m sure you will grace the cover one day. Pro-Trucker, This is the first year that I have attended the Big Rig show in Edmonton and I had a great time. I come from Ontario and have read about this show for quite a while but even that did not prepare me for the good time I had talking to the other drivers. My kids had a great time too. I do not have a show truck so I was hesitant to bring it out I but will definitely have it there next year. Thanks for a great weekend. Tom Sanders, Edmonton. Editor’s note: We have always said it is not about having a show truck or winning a trophy – its more like an extended family reunion. John The BC pilot car safety program has yet again returned

to its dormant state while the civil service enters the shedding season, not unlike a loyal house pet. Initially a set of regulatory amendments were drawn up and released to the public but not internally to the provinces enforcement community. These amendments were only sent out to the pilot car companies. They were wiki leaked to the enforcement community who deemed them to be 100% impractical and even more unenforceable. Two independent parties have developed workable solutions that enforcement agree are practical and workable but yet again the civil service has decided to play ostrich and stick their heads in the sand (or wherever it is they stick them) in hopes of finding light there. A program originally projected to take 18 months from start to implementation of training and certification along with regulatory changes has quite successfully turned into a job for life inside the government realm. Even BC’s enforcement community can not understand how incompetent the civil service can be or how an 18-month project has lasted 6.5 years - so far... Other New West Partnership provinces also involved in this project are equally confused as B.C. continues to drag this out. Most are hoping to finish all regulatory changes and implications of formal training and certification in roughly one year as stated by several high-level officials throughout the partnership provinces. Sincerely, James

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Editor’s note: I was at that first meeting when the 18-month completion date was set and I have no idea why our civil servants seem to be so incompetent compared to those of the other provinces in the New West Partnership. In my opinion, one of the problems is that anyone who starts out at the bottom of the ladder in the civil service can advance to the highest job in a department just through seniority and job postings. Knowledge and experience are secondary and at times it seems not to have been considered at all. That being said I have no idea why our elected officials have chosen to sit on their hands (or bury their heads in the same sand or whatever…) instead of asking the questions that we, because of the incredible lack of action on this important subject, are forced to ask for them. I hate to ask how much six and a half years of study have cost taxpayers with little or no results to show for it. *****

SUCCESS:

At age 04 success is..........Not piddling in your pants. At age 12 success is..........Having friends. At age 17 success is..........Having a driver’s license. At age 35 success is..........Having money. At age 50 success is..........Having money. At age 70 success is..........Having a driver’s license. At age 75 success is..........Having friends. At age 80 success is..........Not piddling in your pants. september 2019

How Government Works…

Once upon a time the Department of Defense had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. DOD said “Someone may steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job. Then DOD said, “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies. Then DOD said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people one to do the studies and one to write the reports. Then DOD said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created the following positions: a time keeper and a payroll officer, then hired two people. Then DOD said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, an Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary. Then DOD said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $18,000 over budget, we must cutback overall cost.” So they laid off the night watchman. Sent in by Dean Nagy SR.

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fRom

The

dRIVeRs seAT

By Ben Proudley Ben has been a Class 1 driver for 20+ years. He started out driving wreckers and currently operates a tri-drive crane truck for United Rantals Trench Safety. Ben was our Rig of the Month in March of 2008

What has become of our industry? Trucking used to be a great profession. Where have all the professionals gone? Has it finally happened that the old guard is done and gone? Based on the post I have been following on Facebook it seems that way. No respect or professionalism being displayed. Check that there was but two things happened. The old guard got shut down by the so-called new professionals and the one young guy who seemed to have the right idea got the same response. So what in God’s name am I talking about? A simple photo showing an Indo Canadian driving a super b with a tarp flapping on the back trailer. Given that where it was there is a very good chance he did not see it, as it would be right in his blind spot. Out of all the truckers who commented no one really seemed to get the big picture here. Well not true some did but their words fell on deaf ears. Two things to take away from this. Forget what we think as drivers, truth is, not a lot of regular people from the general public care. All they see is yet another trucker rolling down the road who they think has no clue. Nothing else. Depending on where it may be happing they maybe even flashback to events involving a similar style truck that had a trap flapping that changed the lives of many forever. What did the so-called professional driver do who saw this? He had his 10-year-old daughter take a couple of pictures to post on Facebook and show how much more of a super trucker he was than the fellow in the photograph. Cue the keyboard warriors. Everyone, check that, almost everyone, had an opinion, based solely on the picture, that was negative with little to no idea that anything they were saying was true. Just unfounded hate for whatever reason they have. When asked if he tried to tell the guy the answer was, he cut the rate for the job so no. I gotta say he should get out of trucking if he can learn all that from a photo. I have some good connections to law enforcement that would love to have someone with that skill set. I know they would pay way better than trucking ever could. I could keep going on about the post but why? Given how the public views us it is time for the new generation of truckers to get their heads out of their butts and start to change this industry while we still can and for us older guys to do the same. Lose the B.S. attitudes towards all. pAGe 8

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me and went on his way. No big deal right? But it could have been. How many of you ride motorcycles? Diesel is as slippery as hell. Maybe one of you might have ridden right into a big puddle of it and went down. Think how angry you would have been when you were lying in the hospital with many broken bones and I said, “Oh, I saw that. I took a picture and posted it on Facebook and pointed out he was an idiot.” Or how upset your family would be if you did not survive the crash and I had done nothing Instead of doing the right thing. For me it is a simple matter, integrity is doing the right thing even if no one is really looking. I could not live with myself if I heard on the news someone died because I did nothing. Time to fix the industry is what I keep hearing. So do it. There are many ways to do it. Reality is we all need to look at ourselves and start there. Fix your own issues and that will start to fix the industry. ***** He said, “Up until last week, I still had it all. I had plenty to eat, my clothes were washed and pressed, I had a roof over my head, I had TV and Internet, and I went to the gym, the pool, and the library. I was working on my MBA on-line. I had no bills and no debt. I even had full medical and dental coverage.” I felt sorry for him, so I asked, “What happened? Drugs? Alcohol? Divorce?” “Oh no, nothing like that,” he said. “No, no. I just got out of prison.”

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mIle AfTeR mIle By Cyn Tobin Cyn has been driving trucks for 34 years. She has hauled loads all across North America and specializes in expedited perishable freight.

I hear so much about guns being a problem...Guns are not a problem any more than a car in a collision is the problem.... People are the problem. Look around you... Aggressive driving is being blamed in a deadly crash on the Ontario 401 in Mississauga, Ontario on Aug 11, 2019. There was no bullet in this weapon, but it was just as lethal as any gunshot. I am certain that anyone who drove by the death scene in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 near Dixie Road in Mississauga that Monday will tell you that. The fiery crash at 9:30 p.m. that Sunday left quite a mangled mess all over the roadway. It was littered with pieces of a Corvette, a Mazda, a semi-truck and people’s personal belongings... But mostly, it left, two people dead. Senseless. A waste. A strain. A nightmarish scene for anyone who happened upon it. This was a senseless collision and even more senseless, was the carnage it left in its wake. One of the people killed was a 77-year-old woman riding as a passenger in a Mazda. The Mazda was accidentally taken out by a transport truck which had been clipped by a red Corvette, when it passed a speed regulated semi-truck on the right. The truck limited to 105, as all trucks in Ontario must be, was travelling too slow for the average speed of flight on that highway. That speed, done by the majority of 4 wheelers, is approximately 140 kmh. Then came the crash. As the red Corvette passed, (at an incredibly fast rate of speed,) the semi on the right side, it cut back in front. It then attempted to get into the far left lane but then its driver’s negotiations failed and he connected with the front bumper of the semi. This propelled the Corvette into a spin hitting the Mazda with incredible force causing it and the Corvette to spin out of control into the semi-truck where it lit on fire causing an explosion. Simultaneously the Corvette was busy plowing into the front of the semi causing instantly decapitation of its 34 year old driver. “Aggressive driving, speed and lane discipline,” were the elements that caused this tragedy. We all will learn next Tuesday the identities of those killed in this crash as their families grieve this horrible news. But it should not have happened at all. Many people are driving too fast and recklessly— cutting in and out of lanes as if it’s a car-racing video game. There’s a serious lack of knowledge being released to educate people on the extreme power of these new vehicles today. Many provinces have a graduated motorcycle licence...why can’t this ideology be asserted into cars and other four wheeled or

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SPECIAL SPECIAL PEOPLE PEOPLE CREATING CREATING EXCE EXC

OCEAN TRAILER IS WESTERN

OCEAN TRAILER COME COME SEE SEE US US AT AT THE THE BOOTH BOOTH #P-38 #P-38IS & &WESTERN THE THE B B PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE SPECIAL PEOPLE

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OCEAN TRAILER IS WESTERN CANADA’S TRAILER SPECIALIST. understand what they are in control of.COME OrCOME the power they SEE USUS ATAT THE BOOTH #P-38 & BOOTH THE BOOTH SEE THE BOOTH #P-38 & THE BOOT SPECIAL PEOPLE CREATING EXCEPTIONAL PLACES. COME SEE US AT THE BOOTH #P-38 & THE #501 SPECIAL PEOPLE CREATING EXCEPTIONAL PLACES. SPECIAL PEOPLE CREATING PLACES. have.. and sadly...even less understand the carnage their lack EXCEPTIONAL of training can create. Yes...ignorance is indeed bliss. BOOTH COME SEE USUS ATAT THE #P-38 && THE BOOTH #501 COME SEE THE BOOTH #P-38 THE BOOTH #501 Like a video game.... I cannot die. ICOME have more SEElives... US ATwell THE BOOTH #P-38 & THE BOOTH #501 NEUSTAR DEMO BOX NEUSTAR OCEAN TRAILER IS&& WESTERN TRAILER SPECIALIST. E SEE AT THE #P-38 THE BOOTH #501 COME SEE DEMO US AT BOX THE this isn’t a video game. ThisBOOTH is real life. And death. We truckCANADA’S ME SEEUS US AT THE BOOTH #P-38 THE BOOTH #501 PEOPLE CREATING EXCEPTIONAL PLACES. drivers see it day in and day out. The SPECIAL foolish and careless choices made by self-serving individuals. The toll does not stop there. Careless driving also closes highways for hours, COME SEE US AT THE BOOTH #P-38 & THE BOOTH #501 the financial aspects effecting multiple sectors of life, and this alone affects so many thousands of others. The PTSD suffered by anyone seeing such an event. From the victims, witnesses, first responders and the onlookers. . .no one goes unscathed. Something I am noticing more of, is how cars come flying up in the lanes on the right side of you. Traditionally passing was done in the left lane - but not anymore. Drivers moving Wilson WilsonQuad QuadFlats Flats Titan TitanSuper SuperBBWalking WalkingFloor FloorChip ChipHauler Hauler Tridem TridemCombo Combo at a great speed look for openings, either way. 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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.

This August, participants of The Rolling Barrage saddled up on motorcycles and rode across Canada. The 3rd annual event was conducted to raise funds and draw more attention to our military, veterans, first responders, and their families, dealing with the changes brought on by PTSD and CIS, Critical Incident Stress. Nine Canadians joined the ranks of the Full Pull Crew, by riding from coast to coast. The ride started in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a tire dip in the Atlantic at Hales Harbour and finished with the closing tire dip in the Pacific at Cates Park, N. Vancouver.

Sponsors, volunteers, and support vehicles are all part of The Rolling Barrage’s success. Police escorts provided safety and security as the riders negotiated intersections through our major centers. But the most important component of The Rolling Barrage is the stories that are created throughout the journey. Old friends reunite and new ones are made. Gruff soldiers who have seen the worst of days, are surrounded by people who understand what they’ve seen and gone through. Police, firefighters, and paramedics, who have been first on the scene at the grisliest of incidents are amongst family. Those men and women who have locked so much inside that the moral injury bleeds out through their emotionless faces are now embraced and accepted by those who have walked a thousand days, or in this case, (ridden a thousand miles) in their boots. Their families and those who respect the sacrifices they’ve made are all on hand to enjoy in the moment. Each day begins with a safety briefing and route information. Then the leg to be ridden that day is dedicated with names of the fallen. The engines flash to life, and dozens of motorcycles set off down the road. Riding not just as a group, but as individuals. Independent thoughts as they collectively raise awareness surrounding mental wellness. All along the route, everyday citizens stand at the end of their driveways. Waving and cheering. Some venture out of their businesses and offer water or other goods. Maybe even bottles of maple syrup for a group of the riders. It’s heartwarming when you see Canadians offering happiness to the participants. Even our outstanding support vehicle the “Support The Troops” truck, driven by wellknown trucker, “Motor” Rosenau, received a complete service from Cummins. Of course the amazing support comes from across the border too. While travelling out east

One of those riders, Clint P. an Afghanistan War veteran, was the guest veteran rider. Clint was selected from nominees across Canada to ride the Indian Chieftain Darkhorse motorcycle, sponsored by Indian Motorcycles. The hundreds of other riders came from all walks of the veteran, first responder communities and civilians alike. All came out to ride and or show support. In fact, some noteworthy truckers from BC joined the ride for a few days. That’s right, the ride is open to everyone. The ride requires a substantial amount of planning; most of which takes place nearly a year in advance. PAGE 12

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through the US (to save on fuel costs) to begin the cross Canada motorcycle rally, Motor, had some engine trouble in Montana, Freightliner, and a very sweet couple covered the costs of the repairs. There must have been a team of onion cutters in the room when we learned of so much caring. The Rolling Barrage rode through some big cities and many small towns. No matter where they went, they were greeted by everyone with open arms. From coast to coast, professional drivers honked their air horns, gave the thumbs up, and saluted the riders as they made their way down the highway. As a truck driver and soldier, my heart swelled with pride at each honk and wave from our unsung heroes of the road. Trucking has changed in many ways, but the heart and soul behind it, has only deepened in its support of our military, and first

september 2019

PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

responders. Truck drivers know the feeling of freedom as they roll down the road. Countless hours away from home and family, much like our military members. They know the importance of the sacrifices made by our first responders as many drivers are really, the first ones on the scene. As the Founder of The Rolling Barrage, I’d like to offer my heartfelt appreciation and thanks to ProTrucker Magazine, for all of their support. For the advertising in the months leading up to the ride, and also for their fundraising at the Alberta Big Rig Show and Shine. John, Donna, Tori, and Ben, thank you. You truly are family to me and to The Rolling Barrage. And to each and every professional driver out there on the highway, thank you for keeping our country moving. If you bought it, a trucker brought it. From all of us at The Rolling Barrage, thank you! r

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Miles of Smiles By Myrna Chartrand Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba and was our February 2019 Rig of the Month driver. Do you ever have those days when you think to yourself, “This would never happen to me if I worked a 9 to 5 office job!” For me, I feel this happens all too often. I used to work in a laboratory for 7 years and not once did I get approached by a questionable person. I know you’re probably thinking, “Did you want to be?” The answer to this would be “Yes!!” Life can be far more interesting when you add one or two questionable people to it, right? I know it’s not unusual to see folks down in the south of Texas wearing parkas when to us Canadians it’s a lovely 15 degrees Celsius. This one guy, in particular, was wearing a parka and lingering around where I was loading. Now I don’t know why I didn’t just let him be. Guess it was the Nosy Nellie in me, but I had to ask, “Why the parka on a lovely day?” All he said was, “I have my reasons.” I’m quite dramatic with a wild imagination, to say the least, so naturally, I’m truly curious now. I did let it go though as I had myself convinced he had a gun. Now I ask myself, “How does one just casually walk away from that scenario?” One night I was sitting at the Greater Chicago Truck Stop and a guy comes over to take a picture of my truck then proceeds to tell me all the features of his camera that include night vision pictures and video. “Interesting you feel the need to tell me about those features. I guess I’ll make sure my curtain in my truck is closed tonight,” I think to myself as I walk away. I was sitting on this little stool in South Carolina one hot day. I figured it was a lovely day to do some wheel polishing. This older gentleman parked next to me swings his door open and starts chatting. I turned to look at him and my eyes met right with his groin area. He had his legs parted and was wearing some silky Richard Simmons type shorts without undies I might add. I’m sure my eyes went as big as saucers, and not because I was overly impressed! All I could think to myself in that exact moment was that I wished he had “more on than the radio.” One day, not that long ago, a driver offered to pay me to show him my bosom. He had called me on the CB to tell me he had seen me leaving the truck stop a few miles back. He then proceeded to follow me to the fuel island at the next truck stop. I thought that was creepy but what PAGE 14

do you do when the guy is parked right next to you at the fuel island. It’s not like you have anywhere to go when you need fuel there. So as if in casual conversation he says if I showed him my bosom he would give me money. I politely declined. This was now getting very uncomfortable. So he offers up more money and I politely declined again. Now he starts bargaining. I say, “Sir, this isn’t a two for the price of one and no, you can’t just buy one either!” Finally, he got the hint and pulled away without even fuelling. This particular couple wasn’t necessarily “questionable” as it was their hygiene techniques and esthetics. As I was walking through the truck stop one morning I see a man and woman standing outside their truck. The guy has no shirt on and is standing with his arms out. The lady is next to him with something in her hands and it’s attached to an extension cord. As I get closer I notice she is shaving his arms and back. Sounds like going the extra mile if you ask me. I pulled in at a truck stop near Youngstown Ohio the other night because this is where my clock ran out. I had to question why at 10 pm there were still so many available parking spots. Seems suspicious to me because usually at this time of night the lots get full. It makes me wonder if there are crazy things like murders or muggings there and that’s why everyone parks elsewhere. Either way, I’m committed to this truck stop because my e-log has said so. Anyhow, as I drive around in search of the perfect spot, I see these two guys standing outside gabbing and they were eyeing my truck up as I drove by them. I find my perfect parking spot and they start to walk towards me. They looked harmless enough and I sensed they possibly had a good sense of humour so I rolled down my window and yelled, “Stranger Danger!!! Don’t make me blow my rape whistle!” They both bust out laughing!! They just came by to pay a compliment to the truck all said and done. I told them they were lucky because I don’t actually have a whistle. Then they asked if I saw the hooker walking around. I said I did and I noticed she had good sturdy sneakers on so I imagine she walks a lot. Then I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I need 4000 more steps today to complete my 10000 steps. Wonder if she would mind if I joined her on her walk!” In this last scenario, I sort of have to wonder if I’ve turned out to be the “questionable person” at times!! There are definitely some strange folks out there and if you want to know where they are, just follow me because I tend to attract that type. I have to ask myself what the world is coming to some days but this does give me stuff to talk about when I feel like life gets kinda boring. r

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Chris Hesch 1957 - 2019 I regret to inform you that Chris Hesch was killed August 18th, in a workplace accident in Sharp Transportation Systems yard in Cambridge, Ontario. Chris drove truck for 18 years as a long-haul driver, the last 15 of which were for Sharp. Chris, and his wife and best friend, Shelley Uvanile-Hesch, are very well-known in the industry. She’s the CEO of the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada and Chris was very active in support of the organization. They drove together as a pair for Sharp and had arrived home from a trip just hours before the accident. Chris and Shelley attended the Alberta Big Rig Weekend this year and parked september 2019

their truck across from the Pro-Trucker tent. We watched as they sat in their lawn chairs by their truck and I honestly can’t remember looking over at them when they were not laughing and smiling at the goingson around them. Shelley, of course, is devastated at the loss but wanted everyone to know that Chris was a big believer in ‘Trucking for a Cure’ and enjoyed getting their ride all pinked out for the day. She asks anyone who is interested in honouring his memory to please make a donation in his name.” Please use this direct link: http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/Chris

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Rig of the Month By John White

Our September Rig of the Month driver is Jerrid Koch from Lethbridge, Alberta. Jerrid’s older brother, Jason, who was Pro-Trucker’s Rig of the Month for October 2018,

nominated him for Rig of the Month. This is Jerrid’s story: My name is Jerrid Koch and I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, on April 28, 1982. We lived in Edmonton until I

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was in grade 7 and then we moved to Spruce Grove where I finished my schooling, graduating from Stoney Plain High School in 2000. As soon as I was old enough I got my first job which was at McDonalds. Over the next couple of years I was able to work myself up to a manager’s position. Many people snicker at this but it was a great learning experience. It is great training for a young person because you learn to hustle, multitask and deal with people, all things that I have found to be invaluable in my trucking career. Unfortunately, that was not the long-term career I wanted so after getting out of school I bounced around from job to job for the next couple years. One of the places I worked was for Martin Equipment, as a delivery driver. Martin Equipment is a John Deere Dealership that sells both new and used farm equipment. They have everything from ride-on mowers to small loaders and large farm equipment. I mostly delivered smaller stuff like garden tractors and snow blowers while driving a little Hino cab over with a 20-foot flat deck. They weren’t going to hire me at first but I kept going back every other day, pestering them for a job until they finally relented. They asked why I kept coming back and I said it was because I wanted the job. They said if I wanted it that bad I could have it. It turns out I was the youngest guy with no experience to ever get a job with them. They said later they were just pleased with my eagerness of getting the job. I think it was so that they could

september 2019

Jerrid, Jennifer Hayley(11) and Autumn(13) get some rest from my bugging them all the time. During this time I met Jennifer, my wife of 16 years and counting. Oddly enough we were introduced by our grandmothers. We were married in October of 2003 after which Jennifer went back to school and took up hairdressing. While Jennifer went to school I got a job at a paper warehouse where Jennifer’s Uncle was the manager. I did everything there. I picked orders, was the delivery

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driver and I did the receiving. The driving part of the job consisted mainly of delivering bulk paper to the big printers who printed newspapers and magazines. I also delivered to the smaller custom printing houses in the area. I worked there until Jennifer finsished her hairdressing course. After she finished she went to work in a hairdressing studio where she stayed until our 2nd daughter was born. Since then she has done a little daycare as well as hairdressing out of the house. We have two daughters, Autumn, who is 13 and Hayley, who will turn 11 about the time you are reading this… After the paper warehouse, I worked road construction on a base crew. We would literally take a dirt field and turn it into a parking lot as well as do the approach off the roadway. My Dad was the main guy on the fuel truck for that company so to earn extra money I would ride with him as a swamper. I would help him with the loading and unloading as well as doing the greasing and maintenance. It was a great paying job but unfortunately, it was only seasonal. Feeling unsettled and confused in life, some may say a family mini intervention happened. “Until you figure your life out, you are going to sit in the truck with Jason and learn.” These were the words of my Dad and they rocked me straight to my core. I guess you could say that was the day that my real trucking career began.

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I joined the family business and for the next couple of years, I ran with Jason watching and learning on the wide-open interstates. He is a professional driver and a great teacher so it was a great experience. I was underage for driving in the States at the time so I would only drive down there when there were no scales around. We delivered peat moss big bales to the nurseries where they would use it to start their seedlings. I was surprised to learn that the farms don’t start their own plants from seeds in the ground. There are nurseries who specialize in growing all kinds of seedlings from vegetables to flowers. Once they start them they are delivered to the farms where they are planted. It extends the season by saving valuable growing time and it also ensures that the farms only get sound sprouted plants. Some of the places we delivered to were pretty interesting. Like up into the mountains of California and into other places where you went over roads that didn’t look like ones a truck should be on. One trip when running with Jason – I don’t know what I was thinking – but I slammed on the brakes when I came to a set of railway tracks. It launched Jason out of the bunk and he hit the back of my seat. He got up, smacked me in the back of the head and asked me what the frig was I doing? Then he crawled back in the bunk and went back to sleep. Later my dad asked me if I wanted a new challenge. It was the opportunity to drive solo in a 1997, 379 Peterbilt, with a 36” Flattop, gravel truck that had a 14’ aluminum box

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and a triaxle wagon. It was originally Jason’s truck that he had sold back to my dad. This enabled Jason to buy a new truck and go back to hauling produce for Ralcan holdings. After a few months, we took the box off and replaced it with a triaxle end dump. I then started hauling for the new Burnco Precast location in Acheson, just west of Edmonton. We needed the end dump so that we could back up to the bin and deliver the load. We worked there for quite a while until the owners of the local gravel pit, who also owned a trucking company, told Burnco that they had to use their trucks for delivery or they would no longer sell the product to them. Burnco had no choice but to cut us loose which I thought was a pretty shady deal but I guess that is business. After that happened our family decided to return to our produce roots and returned to Ralcan Holdings out of Calgary. We have always had a family business where Mom did the day to day office stuff and dealing with drivers, Dad drove and took care of the business end of it while Jason and I drove. My dad, brother and I worked out of Calgary for about 10 years hauling peat moss, pallet wood and the odd meat load down south bringing produce back from Arizona, California. The next change we made was to move our fleet and families to Lethbridge Alberta to work for H&R Transport. That is where we now live. We hauled various products there like frozen beef and pork, alcohol, bananas, lumber and frozen French fries. I was fortunate enough to have a dedicated run of French fries/bananas hauling from Purple Springs, Alberta to Fullerton California. Over the years working at H&R I became an owneroperator. I owned and drove 3 different trucks which included; 2000 International 9900IX, 2012 Peterbilt 386 and a Volvo 670. I bought a truck off my parents and slowly upgraded but due to unfortunate circumstances it did not go well and I returned to being a company driver. In July of 2014, my brother, Jason, and I joined the Liquids in Motion team based out of Millet, Alberta and we have been there ever since. As interesting as reefer trucking was, the change from reefer to hauling tanker was like night and day. I had not travelled east of Arizona or Winnipeg while box trucking but now I have driven a great portion of North America. I have seen some very interesting and beautiful places and met some great people over the years. It is amazing how polite and respectful the customers are north and south of the border. Part of the reason I love driving is that no one day is exactly the same as the next. You never know what is around the next corner or over the next hill. I remember one afternoon, back when I was hauling produce, I was headed North of Dillion Montana on Highway 41 in my ’97 Pete, following behind my dad in his Volvo. We were cruising along, chatting on the radio when suddenly, this crazy dog with a death wish, bolted out across the road right in front of my dad. Luckily he just missed it and it looked to me like the dog had taken off into the field. I commented to my dad, “That was close!” Not two seconds later the little september 2019

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bugger ran back across my path and before I could stop, I heard a thump. Looking back in my mirror I could see the dog limping off the road so I called ahead to my dad asking how bad my bumper looked? He replied, “It doesn’t look that bad, let’s keep going!” Now I had just put a brand new 22” chrome bumper on my truck only a couple weeks before so I was pretty concerned. The conversation continued regarding the truck’s condition but he kept saying it was fine. At the first opportunity, I stopped and hopped out to look at my new $1100 bumper. It was folded up under the radiator like a cheap pop can! After a few choice words, I got back in and caught back up to my dad, who must have been laughing his ass off. His first comment when I got back into range was “I told you it wasn’t all that bad!!” The rest of the way home I wondered if it was his way of keeping me calm about the damage or seeing how long he could tease me about it before I would stop. Then once driving through Louisiana, on a four lane interstate, I saw a turtle on the road. I could only swerve so far because there was another truck right beside me. Unfortunately, I clipped the turtle just enough to send the shell one way and the rest of him the other way. My first mistake was telling Jason about it because he teased me for years about killing a turtle. He would always say, “How can you hit a turtle? I’ve never even seen one. That episode along with the one with the dog all earned me the name of “animal killer.” Just a couple years ago, Jason called and actually apologized for trashing me all those years because he said he had finally seen a turtle on the road. Working with family has always made the job more enjoyable, especially when the stories start flowing at family get-togethers. (Even when you are the butt of the joke!) I love having the opportunity to work with and for my brother Jason. He has always looked out for me through thick and thin. Now after all these years he has blessed me with this custom painted 2018 Peterbilt 389L, with a Paccar 510HP engine, HP 40s with a 3.36 Ratio and an APU as a reward for hard work. Who says hard work doesn’t pay off? I enjoy it when the family comes to the shop to help me with oil changes and maintenance or just to help with washing the rig. At times there are a few good-natured complaints along the way, but I feel that they may secretly enjoy washing and getting dirty because with all the whining they still keep coming back for more week after week. I think it is a great life lesson to learn the value of hard work and see where the dollar is coming from. Where it takes dedication and long hours to achieve your dreams. I enjoy that I get to pass the passion and good work ethic along to my children. I feel that they will grow up being grateful for what they have in their lives and know how to work for what they want to achieve in their future. When Jennifer was pregnant with our girls, she would frequently meet me where I parked the truck which was near home in Spruce Grove. I would pull into the lot and she would usually be there waiting patiently. After I was finished PAGE 20

parking and pulled the brakes, she would step out of the vehicle and come see me at my driver’s door. She said that each week as I pulled into the lot and pulled on those brakes, the baby (each pregnancy was the same) would start kicking and moving. She said that she thought they knew Daddy was home. It seems that I may have two female truckers up and coming in the family! One of the early trips with the family was putting my first daughter in her car carrier in the passenger seat while Jennifer sat in the back between the seats in a lawn chair. Now that my girls are older I really enjoy the summers when they aren’t attending school because they can then take road trips with me. We are usually away for 7-10 days and it’s not only a great way for them to see different parts of North America but they also get to spend some one on one time with their dad. I know they enjoy it too when I hear the many giggles on the road and see the orders of breakfasts consisting of pizza and chicken fingers. I love to spend this time with them when we are out of the house and I get to see through their eyes the world that I am fortunate enough to see day in and day out. Although I am on the road a lot and miss some of the things that I would like to be home for, if I had chosen a different career and instead had a town job, this travel experience would not be possible. Everyone has trips that they remember and one that stands out in my mind was when I did a trip hauling and delivering a load of frozen meat to Mexico. It was many years ago now and Jennifer was travelling with me. Once in Mexico, we drove down a two-lane highway that had barbed wire fences atop the concreate high walls the ran along both sides of the highway. I remember when we went through the gate to check-in at the facility, the guard at the shack took both our driver’s licences, as collateral I assume, and we were instructed to back up to the loading dock. The workers took the frozen meat pallets out of our trailer and placed them outside, directly on to the sweltering loading dock. They took their time dealing with us and after we collected the bills, and as we headed back to the United States, I looked in the mirror and the meat was still out there in the sun. While waiting at the line up at the border on the one road in and one road out, there were dozens of people walking up and down the lines of trucks, selling pop, watermelon and various crafts. I guess that is quite common but I think it was one of the strangest things I have seen in my travels. On another trip, I was in my International hauling a load of bottled wine. I had just come over Donner Pass when unbeknown to me a little car came out and tried to beat me onto the road. I never even saw him over my hood. Apparently, I hit him once, spun him around and hit him again. I felt the thump but had no idea what it was. At first I thought I had blown a steer tire. I stopped as soon as I could and when I got out I couldn’t believe the damage on my bumper. Then I noticed that there were no cars coming up behind me which I’m sure everyone knows is really

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strange for a California highway. After a short while, as I was trying to figure out what had happened, a small car, that was all beat up, pulled up and said I hit him. The highway patrol soon arrived and after looking at the damage to my truck he went to talk to the driver. The passenger had a small cut on his finger and at first the driver seemed okay. While the driver was talking to the cop he got on the phone and as he was talking in Spanish his injuries seemed to get worse and worse. The cop finally grabbed the guys phone and slammed it on the trunk of the car saying, “You’re talking to me now!” I walked back to my truck to wait and as it turned out they didn’t have registration or insurance for the car and had to hike off down the highway on foot. The cop asked if I needed someone to come fix my bumper that was pushed back against my steer tire. I was so pissed that I walked over to the truck and yanked the bumper away from the tire. The cop just looked at me with bit of an astonished look on his face and then, realizing the conversation was over, just said, “Have a safe trip” and walked away. I have to say that, for me, trucking has been a very rewarding career. I have had the freedom to travel all over the country while providing a wonderful life for my wife and children. It has given me the ability to purchase a home as well as the opportunity to further my other passion which is building custom cars and hot rods. My current project is a 1930 Ford Model A 2dr sedan.

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You Think English is Easy???

To be asked to be on the cover and to be featured in this article is a great honour and a great way to be part of the Pro-Trucker family. I must thank all my mentors for everything I have been taught and the family who have stood by my side through the good and bad. To all my fellow drivers, give me a wave if you see me on the highway and keep the shiny side up! september 2019

• The bandage was wound around the wound. • The farm was used to produce produce • The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse • We must polish the Polish furniture. • He could lead if he would get the lead out. • The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. • Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. • A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum. • When shot, the dove dove into the bushes. • I did not object to the object. • The insurance was invalid for the invalid. • There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row . • They were too close to the door to close it • The buck does funny things when the does are present. • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. • To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. • The wind was too strong to wind the sail. • Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. • I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. • How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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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.

What a Mess

Charlie phoned us up and asked if Dad was available to pull a load from Charlies Mine back down to his yard so Charlie could work on the equipment. Dad was out west picking up a load but I told him I could be there the next morning to do the job. I stopped by his place on the way out to pick up the gate key and then away I went. Now Charlie’s Mine was one of the ones that Dad had invested in but Charlie actually made a profit so I had no qualms about this load as I knew we would have no problems. I arrived at the gate to the mine and was shocked to see not one but two chains and two locks and my key only opened one. Also, there were some new signs on the gate stating that No Unauthorised People Access would be allowed and that Trespassers would be prosecuted. I had been sitting there for a few minutes wondering what to do when a ¾ ton showed up and three big dudes told me that if I attempted to enter they would, “Stop Me and hold me for the Police”. Now I am not afraid to mix things up and I was authorized to enter but they were all carrying pick handles so I decided to drive away and come back later with help, and the Police if possible. I drove back a few miles to get to a phone and then called Charlie to explain what had happened. He told me to go back to a place called, “The Girls Diner,” take a Motel Room and he would meet me at the diner the next morning at 6:30. I told him to swing by our place and pick up our service truck as I had a bad feeling about this deal. The morning came and so did Charlie and his whole crew of five with his service truck plus ours. We all had a meal and Charlie explained that he had been having a problem with a person who had bought a cabin on the Lake and was trying to shut his mining operation down. The police met us at the gate at 8 am and after looking over all of Charlie’s documents, allowed us to cut the lock off the gate and proceed. They followed us in and there were no more problems until just after we had passed Antler Lake where we found someone had dropped 6 trees across the road. With chainsaws, a bit of work from the crew, the road was soon again open and we proceeded to the mine. We did a full inspection of the bridge to make sure before crossing the creek that the bridge was safe and entered the mine site to see total chaos. Of the three buildings and the equipment, we could see there was not one piece of glass remaining and every door had been smashed. Anything moveable and worthwhile had been stolen and the place was a mess. Police checked it all over and took many pictures and said they would follow through and then left. The trailer I was supposed to pick up had its glad-hands PAGE 22

Open 6:00 am to 7:30 pm Mon to Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturdays

Canyon Cable 1988 Ltd. 930-6th Ave., Hope, BC 604-869-9036 Toll Free 1-800-588-8868 broken off, every light busted, wires and air hoses cut and chains and binders all missing. Luckily I had our service truck and had a light array and extension from hauling house trailers on board so I was able to hook up and tie-down using my own binders and chains but would be forced to haul this back with no brakes. Thank God we knew this area well and we were able to map out a route home that kept us off the highway and away from most traffic and away I went slowly. All of Charlie’s crew stayed on-site to clean up while Charlie took a quick run into town for groceries and then chased me down to make sure I made it home. Charlie was back the next morning and he and his crew stayed there for a week until he was able to find a couple who were willing to stay on-site for the winter. Police did find much of the stolen equipment as it was all marked ACM (Antler Creek Mine) but were never able to prove who stole it. Next summer the Dude at the lake decided to bring in a large Diesel Electrical Generator and started building a large Lodge however just before the grand opening it burnt to the ground. Seems they had done all the wiring themselves and didn’t follow code and didn’t know Squirrels and mice chew plastic wires in attics. As they had no insurance they went broke and left and Charlie got a real nice Generator for peanuts. Last I heard The mine was still producing and the Gen was still chugging away so I suppose it all worked out in the end. *****

Dining Out

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house and after eating the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, ‘Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.’ The other man said, ‘What is the name of the restaurant?’ The first man thought and thought and finally said, ‘What’s the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know, the one that’s red and has thorns.’ ‘Do you mean a rose?’ ‘Yes, that’s the one,’ replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, ‘Rose, what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?’

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september 2019

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Tyres Across The Pond Colin Black lives in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland and has been driving truck for over 40 years. His story shows us once again that the problems drivers face are universal.

Changing Landscapes

The other night I sat and watched a re-run on TV of an old documentary on the A9. After all the times I’ve been up and down that road, I never knew it was Scotland’s longest road, all 273 miles of it. It starts just a little south of Stirling and runs to the top of Scotland finishing at Scrabster harbour in Thurso. Although, north of Inverness it’s little more than a single-track most of the way to Scrabster. When I was a young trucker pulling whisky tankers, the A9 was one of my favourite roads, before the new bypass road was built trucks went through all the small villages, and it wasn’t unusual to see the locals hitching a lift as the bus service wasn’t very frequent. In summer it was like getting paid to tour Scotland, one of the views I loved was when I drove under the railway arch at Calvine village. When I turned the corner, I was looking right up the glen on a road cut into the hillside as it slowly climbed up to Aviemore. Of course, it was a different kettle of fish on a cold winter’s night, peering out through the windscreen trying to decide if the road was icy, or just wet. As it was a two-lane road, one going North and one going South you could look across at the truck driver coming towards you and give them a wave. Or if there was a speed trap or a hazard down the road, you gave him the thumbs down, no CB radios back then. In the documentary an old civil engineer was walking over one of the bridges built for the bypass near Inverness that was now in need of resurfacing. He said: “As I drive all over Scotland and see projects I’ve been involved in, I feel proud.” I thought it’s the same for the truckers, we’re just as proud to have been instrumental in changing the landscape. While civil engineers are clever people, without the raw materials the trucks bring in, sometimes delivered to very inaccessible places, the changes couldn’t be made. For instance, the bridge you’re standing on, (talking to the TV as if he can hear me) the forty-foot-long concrete piles underneath that came from a factory four hours drive away in Newmains. I know, because I hauled a few loads of them up there. Back in the days before straps you had to take care to protect your ropes from getting cut on the rough edges of the concrete. Usually there were some old cardboard boxes lying about that could be torn into strips and placed between the ropes and the concrete. Back before we had sleeper cabs, there are two places PAGE 24

on the old A9 that hold the distinction of the worst and the best places where I’ve spent the night. The best place I’ve spent the night was in an old woman’s house in Aviemore, it was only an ordinary three-bedroom house at the end of a row. I think she may have been making some extra cash taking in the guys who were building the new road as lodgers, and taken in the odd driver as well. But if you imagine spending the night at your grandma’s house you won’t be far off the mark. If it was wintertime, you went up to bed to find a hot water bottle already there, that was after a homemade three-course dinner, soup like only the older generation can make, stew and potatoes then creamed rice and fruit. At the other end of the spectrum, one night I ran out of hours in Invergordon a few miles north of Inverness, I asked around and a local pointed me in the direction of an old run-down hotel. There was no evening meal, and I was so cold lying in the metal-framed bed, I got up and put all my clothes back on, including my boots. With hindsight, I’d have been better sleeping in the cab with the engine running, but hey-ho, all part of life as a trucker in the early days. ***** Two blondes were walking down the road and the first blonde said, “Look at that dog with one eye!” The other blonde covers one of her eyes and says, “Where?”

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BRAd PITT’s cAR... By Glen Millard

Drivers 70-80 CENTS PER MILE!

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. It is hard for me to fathom that I hauled automobiles for 30 years. It is a job that is more than driving a truck. It is hard physical work and a lot of walking in all weather, even winter in Winnipeg at -40 with a 40 mph wind. To get good, it takes about 3 years of experience to learn how to load and handle the vehicles without damaging them. That is if you already know how to drive a truck. There are many adventures that happen to all car haulers, this is one of mine. I mentioned earlier in one of my letters about hauling Brad Pitt’s car - yes the movie star. It started when I was called on to haul a 1948 Dodge two-door coupe from Vancouver to a yard in Edmonton. I had already hauled quite a few Golden Oldies because a lot of drivers didn’t want to fool around trying to find a key fob when they hadn’t even made them yet. Nobody told me this car belonged to Brad Pitt which wouldn’t have made any difference as I didn’t know who he was anyway. The instructions that I had was that it was already 2 days late, so hurry and make it your first stop. The car was prepaid with a credit card and the bills listed it was owned by a man that I thought might be Polish because it ended with a “ski”. The car wasn’t stock, it had a Chev motor, electric windows, new paint job, huge stereo with 16-inch speakers mounted behind the front seats in the horizontal deck. I checked the trunk and interior for loose articles where I saw a wheel rim, a jack and I found 2, onelitre oil jugs under the deck behind the front seats. There was also a small roll of floor runner that was extra from recovering the trunk floor. None of these looked like they would cause any problems. I loaded this car on the bottom rear spot so it could be unloaded first in the Edmonton yard. I was very careful to get it loaded and tied it down with extra chains so it wouldn’t move and nothing would scratch the new paint. I left the next morning and it was sunny and dry. As I was driving the #1 Highway on the way to the Canyon and the Haig scales I noticed a blue car with Saskatchewan license plates following close behind me. The driver seemed to be interested in the car on the back. As I got 4 or 5 miles from the scales there was a dip in the road. It was nothing serious, I slowed down for it but after that the blue car was no longer there. Just as I was entering the scale yard, out of nowhere the blue car passed me, cut me off and drove onto the scale platform and stopped. He jumped out with the small roll of september 2019

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Call Al 604-882-7623 matting in his hand. He said the trunk on the antique had come open and the roll of floor mat had fallen out. I asked him to move his car and I would park after I scaled the load. I parked and went back to meet the scale master who was talking to the tourist. The scale master asked me if I knew the tourist and I said no. He asked if the mat was mine. I didn’t lie, I said no it wasn’t mine. He set it on the floor and said it matched the car floor so he gave me a ticket for an insecure load and told the tourist he could go. It turned out the trunk latch was weak so I got a rubber bungee out and tied the trunk lid shut. I just hoped the bungee wouldn’t scratch the new paint. Away I went, I wasn’t even upset about the ticket as I had too many years of experience to let it bother me. I drove to Shaw Springs and pulled over once again to check the load. Everything looked good until I got around to the passenger side. The passenger door had come open and was pounding against a top deck post. There goes the paint job on that side! I phoned back to the office to explain this. They said to keep going but try to be careful. Keep an eye on it but get it there as soon as I could. I got to Kamloops and pulled into the scale and brake check area. I got the green light but I pulled over again to check the load. Everything looked okay on the outside then I climbed up and looked in the window. It was a good thing that I had a good hold onto the trailer because I nearly passed out! The whole dash had fallen out and was hanging by the speedo cable. I thought this required another phone call. The answer was the same, take care and keep going quickly. Next stop was Blue River and everything looked good outside but again I climbed up and looked in. What I saw made me think the customer was going to be upset. The deck behind the seats had fallen down and one of the large speakers had half an oil jug sticking up through it. I decided right there and then that I wasn’t going to stop again unless I saw something actually fall off! I made it to Edmonton the next morning and as I came to the compound gate there were two people standing there. Just then my phone rang. It was a fellow driver who saw me through the lunchroom window. He told me to come

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into the compound and go to the back of the yard because the two guys were there to pick up the car on the back of my load. I pulled way behind the shop, out of sight and began to unload only the car would not start. It was on a slope so I figured there wasn’t enough gas to reach the gas line in the tank. I got a 5-gallon jug so there would be enough for the guys to drive it somewhere. The filler of the gas tank had been changed and instead of being on the rear fender, it was in the trunk. I climbed up into the trunk and was pouring gas when another driver that happened to be loading in that area came running over yelling Stop! Stop! He said something was wrong because the gas was running all over the ground. I thanked him, climbed down and crawled underneath. The same guy that modified the interior must have mounted an electric fuel pump on the side of the fuel tank because yes, you guessed it, the fuel pump fell off and was hanging by the electric wires and the fuel line. I put the pump back into place and put a bungee on it to hold it in place and then got help to push the car off the trailer and well away from the puddle of gas. It started right away so I drove it to the gate to talk to the two guys, one being Brad Pitt. I explained things to him and he was cool about it and I exhaled! He said it belonged to a friend of his and he wanted it for a prop with an actor in it. He said it had to be repainted anyway and would tell his friend the colour that he wanted. He said he was shooting this film in Edmonton pAGe 26

and the car would just have an actor in it and not be driven. I told him about the $266 insecure load ticket and he said that was no problem. He added the ticket to the freight bill and paid it with a credit card. I shook his hand and handed the key to him and we both carried on with our day. You can’t have that much fun hauling lumber.

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 A funny thing happened on the way to the printers last month. I was confident that I had made a submission and so was John, the Editor, however, when push came to shove neither of us could find the mystery story. I’m still looking for a good excuse and someone to blame, but so far I’m finding it tough to transfer the guilt to another party … sighhhhh!! Apparently, the June and July issues featuring hitchhiking were well received and I promised a third so listen up, Pilgrim! This where the rubber hits the road! Is it a dangerous activity? Every activity carries an element of risk and travelling from point A to B is no different. Normally one would prefer to avoid risk to one’s person and there definitely is an element of the unknown approaching from a distance in anything from a motorcycle to a semi and quite likely you and I have contributed to the venture of the pollex. (Remember that’s the anatomical term for the thumb.) A good chunk of the population in advanced countries still have a negative view of hitchhiking, believing it to be more for the homeless vagrant, anyone short on cash or maybe a student or two going home for the holidays. Thumbing one’s way around foreign countries especially in Europe has grown in popularity. It gives the globetrotter an inside opportunity to schmooze with the locals while moving across the country. Most folks are just people like you and me. The psychopath is a minority whom one does not often cross paths but it happens once in a while. A savvy hitch-hiker knows it is always best to be active during daylight hours. It gives a driver an opportunity to check you out and vice versa once the vehicle has come to a full stop. Also, it is best to find a spot where you can be easily seen by a motorist and if possible a spot where the approaching vehicle must slow down. Standing erect, looking enthusiastic and dressing as if you really want a ride is also helpful as is having a sign showing your destination that is legible from a distance. Still, thumbing is a declining art form. The enormous

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increase in vehicle ownership has taken a big bite out of this random industry. Most households have at least one car and maybe two or even three or more. Over the years I have personally covered many miles by thumb. In the ‘50s I rode with the creamery truck from the farm to the Co-Op in Toronto, perhaps helping to fuel my interest in the transportation industry. I once hitch-hiked from Edmonton to Vancouver. It was the longest journey I took where I have relied solely upon my opposing digit to get me there. As a trucker, I have offered rides to lots of people. Usually I would tell them their only task was conversing to keep me awake in the event I started nodding off. I have picked up young people in Calgary, Swift Current, Cranbrook, Winnipeg, Vancouver and many, many more locations too numerous to list. But I avoided people with dogs. One time, in the sixties, two of us were running together to Vancouver. We stopped in Winnipeg where four women and a dog asked for a ride to the Stampede in Cowtown. I took on two and my buddy took on the other two and the dog. Once they got going the dog threw up all over the interior of his cabover… Occasionally an on-road romance develops over the distance travelled and I would have to admit I was occasionally tempted, though never surrendered. One memory stands out over the others. Two lovely “seat covers” (an old derogatory trucker term

for young women) approached me in Calgary, again in the ‘60s, and asked if I was going to BC. I answered with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” and off we went. It was a beautiful day for sightseeing and we stopped in Banff for a picnic. It turns out that we were living in Barrie on the same street as one of the girls at that time but it being a long street our paths had never crossed before. Years later we were entertaining cottagers on a lake in Northern Ontario where I had built a cabin on an island and during the course of the evening there was ample food, drink and conversation. At one point I overheard one of the young women say, “Yes, don’t you remember I told you we got a ride out west with a Phoenix Paper driver.” I had no idea it was her but I drove for Phoenix Paper for years so I immediately glanced over at my wife who apparently did not hear the remark… phewwww!… not that there was any reason to feel guilty… lol. One thing I was adamant about was that the bunk was my domain and when I wanted to rest the rider(s) would have to make themselves as comfortable as possible. I would let them sleep on top of the bed clothing during the day when I was driving if they were clean - the hitchhikers not the bedclothes. A few had bedrolls and if there was room in the back of the trailer they would camp out there. I would think that in developing countries, where few people own a vehicle, hitchhiking is still quite common. Today enforcement officers discourage the practice

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of soliciting rides. Some municipal districts ban the activity entirely and a good number of states have also got regulations that ban anyone from soliciting a ride on a state or a federal highway within that state. With most through traffic bypassing most municipalities today, the opportunity for advancement to one’s destination is made yet more difficult. One sees more and more entries in social media asking if anyone is going to this town or that village, a ride is needed on a certain day at a certain time. It is merely the modern-day version of hitchhiking and is now known as “ride-sharing.” J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI wrote this statement to discourage pickups. “To The American Motorist: Don’t pick up trouble! Is he a happy vacationer or an escaping criminal – a pleasant companion or a sex maniac – a friendly traveller or a vicious murderer. In the gamble with

PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

hitchhikers, your safety and that of your loved ones is at stake. Don’t take the risk.” Why did he only say “He”? A little heavy-handed, waddyathink? Rutgers University also published cards that read, “If I were a rapist, you’d be in trouble.” Good grief! There really is little evidence that hitchhiking attracts more crime than other disciplines. Having a cell phone is a possible deterrent. The perp knowing that you have an emergency line you can access. Another modern form of hitchhiking occurs in big cities with HOV lanes. Some commuters will pick up people at certain spots where those people wanting a ride will congregate. This is beneficial to both parties as the hitch-hiker gets a ride and the driver is allowed to legally use the HOV Lane. When it comes down to it hitchhiking is a personal choice. Just be careful … 10-4! r

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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

Fake News

“Fake news, its fake news” while you may love or hate the man who coined this phrase, fake news is a real thing. The advent of the internet and its inherent lack of accountability have caused the phenomenon to run wild. Back in the day, this type of questionable reporting was reserved for the magazines sitting by the check out at the supermarket. Not trying to slag on the writers who contributed to these illustrious pieces of journalism but if you read “Tori Spelling has three alien babies” you generally knew what to expect. Now headlines like that, well maybe not that outrageous, are clickbait and what follows is somehow considered truth. Full disclaimer, I have fallen victim to the same sensationalist media before myself. I went so far as to repost it complete with a rant stating what a sham it was and how angry we should all be. Turned out to be a post from two years earlier that wasn’t true, after a rather embarrassing retraction I started paying a lot more attention to my sources. It used to be journalism 101 to check your source, to corroborate your story and if you were wrong to issue a retraction or apology for your statements. That ‘old fashioned’ reporting is not dead but it is getting harder to find. With a federal election coming I’d like to bring attention to a couple of recent instances of “fake” or at the very least “untruthful” news. Recently a number of celebrities and news agencies have been reporting on the problem of fires in the Amazon rain forest. Pictures of out of control fires have been running wild on twitter and numbers are being bandied about on the massive increase. Globalist politicians and the likes of Leo DeCaprio have been putting the crisis squarely on the back of Brazillian leader Jair Bolsonaro. France, Germany, and others have placed sanctions on Brazil claiming the government is willingly participating in deforestation and burning due to its pro-business stance. I have to be honest I was up in arms too, seeing all of the pictures and hearing of the desperate plight of the animals and people in harm’s way. It was an article by Michael Shellenberger that caused me to take pause. What makes the words of one man more credible than dozens of world leaders and celebrities? Michael Shellenberger is considered a rainforest expert, is the co-founder of Breakthrough Institute and founder of Environmental Progress. He was named a Time magazine hero of the environment and green pAGe 30

Book award winner. So when he published an article in Forbes that basically debunked all of what was being said I took note. Fires are up in numbers in the rainforest, just not the type of fires being pictured on the news. If you research rainforest fires you find that they will be mostly obscured by the canopy and burn in the dry understory in drought years. The fires on the rise are those of cleared dead brush of land previously cleared for farming. The article goes on to say how deforestation and fires had peaked in 2004 and explains that under the far left people’s party was actually the peak of slash and burn in the Amazon. Everything in this article runs contrary to the “news” being pushed by everyone else. Shellenberger has nothing to gain by writing an article decrying the very people who would support him, so why write it? That’s what got me and the fact that as we speak, our Prime Minister is pledging somewhere around 25 million in taxpayer dollars to help fight Brazilian fires in the name of climate change! It’s not in the interest of Canadians, it is self-serving. The same government created some other not quite truthful news I initially thought was great, the $41 billion LNG Canada project. This was something I was 100 percent behind, it would provide jobs to thousands of people, tax revenue, a made in Canada energy project… on the surface. In actuality, the majority of the plant will be prefabbed in China using Chinese steel essentially giving the largest infrastructure project in history away. But wait it gets better. Over $275 million in tariffs on the prefab steel are being waived in a time where we can’t export most of our agricultural products back to China. Of course, we will undoubtedly be reminded about this as a great boon of the government bringing clean energy jobs to Canada with no mention of the carbon footprint of the steel used to build it or of the 1000’s of jobs missed out on in the fabrication. So I encourage, no implore you, to dig a little deeper this fall when you see a headline. Heck, dig into what I’ve written here. We need to force people to get the news right, not right now! When you see “fake news” call attention to it but with information to back it up. The accountability of the press and the government needs to rise to the occasion. It is a tall order but we need to stop dollars being spent virtue signalling to get tweets, to get votes, to get elected. r

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september 2019


PRO-TRUCKER MAGAZINE

Reflections Thru Thru My My Windshield Windshield Reflections My Campsite A full moon rides across the sky and throws its reflection on the lake. I hear the sound of a lonesome Loon calling for its mate. An Owl drifts by on soundless wings, searching for a meal, A Raccoon slips along the shore, looking for some food to steal. The tall pines whisper softly, stirred by a gentle breeze, It curls around my campsite and rustles the Aspen leaves. My campfire dies to embers as I sit here on this log, I hear the sound of Bullfrogs calling from a peaty bog. The stars shine in the heavens like candles in the sky, The moon now hides its glory as a puffy cloud sails by. The hustle of my city life slowly fades away, I close my eyes and drift away into another day.

september 2019

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 to Advertise emAil john At john@ptmAG

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september 2019

Profile for Pro-Trucker Magazine

Pro-Trucker Magazine September issue  

Pro-Trucker Magazine September 2019 Issue Rig of the Month Featuring Jerrid Koch

Pro-Trucker Magazine September issue  

Pro-Trucker Magazine September 2019 Issue Rig of the Month Featuring Jerrid Koch