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FREE January 2015


The Feel Good Issue! Trucker Triathlete 8 Equipment-Free Ways to Stay Fit Is Sitting the New Smoking?

IN THE DOGHOUSE Life with Rescues: “Roger that”

Volume 2 Number 1






16 THE FAMILY STRONG By Heather Angus-Lee


From the Editor


The Dash


Ask a Driver

19 8 EQUIPMENT-FREE WAYS TO DECREASE PAIN & STAY FIT By Sara “Jo” Butcher Morrison 21 THE FITBIT FLEX By Olivia Rutt 25 EX-TRUCKER : “I HAVE MS, IT DOESN’T HAVE ME” By Heather Angus-Lee 27 MARATHON MAN By Olivia Rutt

By Joanna Bogdanski

What is your biggest pet peeve and why?

13 Face Off Is sitting the new smoking? 32 I Love my Truck Twisted Duck and Miss Pete 37 Rig Chef Chicken Cacciatore 38 Funny Face


by Bruce Outridge



34 OASIS ON THE LONELY ROAD By Joe Martelle Cover photo by Olivia Rutt

27 THE FACE January 2015


From the Editor

Publisher: Ash Corporate Communications Inc.

Everyone’s New Year Resolution: How to Feel and Look your Best (but yours will stick!) WE WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME everyone back to a great new year. We are thrilled to start 2015 off with our Feel Good issue to get your mind, body and soul geared up after the holidays. This issue is all about keeping you energized and feeling good, providing information and true stories to guide your health, both mentally and physically, and help you break out of the winter blues! This year is all about a fresh start, so we decided to kickstart 2015 in a new direction. We’ll be delivering you the inside story (up close & personal as is our mission) on hot topics in trucking, as well as share some great entertainment! I would like to welcome some new people to THE FACE team: Heather Angus-Lee, our Editorial Consultant, Olivia Rutt our new Managing Editor, and Yukio Yamada, our Art Director. They are all here to help drive our mission: Respect. Unity. Change. Tell us what you think about our 2015 face lift? Did you get the feel good experience you were looking for? Send in your comments and feedback to Joanna Bogdanski Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Joanna Bogdanski Managing Editor Olivia Rutt Editorial Consultant Heather Angus-Lee Art Director Yukio Yamada Associate Art Director Mark Cserti ADVERTISING SALES Diane Carter Deborah Arbour Ruse All undeliverables return to; THE FACE INC. 235 Waydom Drive Ayr, ON N0B 1E0 Canada Post Publication Permit Agreement 42682523 THE FACE is published 6 times a year by Ash Corporate Communications Inc., based in Ontario, Canada. Its content is produced for all members of the North American trucking industry, and primarily for individuals who are classified as professional drivers, for companies who specialize in the transportation of goods throughout North America, and for all affiliated suppliers, providers and associations. Copies are free to those who meet the aforementioned criteria; additional or back copies can be obtained through the magazine’s website at THE FACE makes no representations about the correctness or the suitability of the content of this magazine for any purpose. In no event shall THE FACE be liable for any special, indirect, exemplary or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use, copying or display of the content of the magazine. The content of this magazine, including, but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangements, are copyrighted © by Ash Corporate Communications Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN No. 2291-837X. Printed in Canada.





THE FACE January 2015

Come join our family




The Driving Force Behind Your Business


THE FACE January 2015



FACE of Trucking: 1st Annual Awards THE FACE is pleased to announce the first annual FACE of Trucking awards. Winners will be announced at the end of 2015. Categories include:  l Newbie – in trucking less than 2 years  l Old-Timer – in trucking more than 10 years  l She-Driver –good role model for women in trucking  l Techie – trucker who uses multiple forms of technology each day  l Activist – trucker who has made a big difference in the industry  Nominate as many people as you want in the cross-border trucking industry; visit for nomination forms. Deadline: August 31, 2015.

Not Enough Money, Truckers Say About their Wellness

Money – or rather, the lack of it – raised its ugly head in the 2014 study, “Lone Workers’ Attitudes Towards their Health: Views of Ontario Truck Drivers and their Managers” resulting from focus groups of 16 truck drivers and 10 managers at two trucking companies in southwestern Ontario. The intention of study, published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website, was to find out preventable risks to health and wellness issues of truckers. Nothing could be more preventable than appropriate pay, and the study found that trucker participants “consistently expressed financial concerns as a source of stress, noting the increasing costs of their work in terms of fuel, traffic tickets for illegal parking in many cases to access food, truck inspection regulation fines, and truck repairs for those who are independent contract drivers.” The recent survey also noted that drivers expressed “a perceived lack of appropriate increases in earnings, leading to added stress in being able to adequately provide for their families, including the perception of a lack of consistency of financial compensation within the transport industry” and poor wage comparison to roles such as construction worker. Managers at the trucking companies expressed frustration at how to provide more and better information to drivers about wellness, saying they had tried newsletters, occupational health and safety meetings, and an open door policy. (Interestingly, no managers surveyed mentioned trying better financial compensation for drivers!)

Prescription: Pet Would you Drive Without Headlights On?  If you’re hitting the open road with your pooch at your side, you know the dangers of your dog dashing out into traffic, especially risky at night! The Canadian-owned business, Head-Lites, offers LED dog collars to keep pups lit from dawn to dusk. The steady, solid light provided more than two months of daily use. Beyond dog parks, urban streets and cottage country, the LED collars are used for search-and-rescue dogs, canine vision dogs, long distance mushing teams, and guarding and hunting dogs.  Feel like this could be a useful product for your furry shotgun companion? Send us a photo of your pup in a trucking setting, and you could win a Head-Lites LED dog collar! Email it to

6 THE FACE January 2015

It’s not something you expect to walk out of your doctor’s office with – but the benefits could be as good as a drug prescription. A recent study found that 74% of American doctors would prescribe a pet to improve overall health if the medical evidence supported it; and an overwhelming 97% of doctors support the fact that pet ownership results in health benefits. That won’t surprise you if you drive with a dog at your side (see our cover story, page 16): you know how their furry companionship alleviates stress and loneliness on the road. The study by the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation conducted an online panel of 1,000 family doctors and GPs, the largest survey of its kind to explore the medical professionals’ knowledge and attitude towards pet ownership.

Canadian vs. American Trucks:

Who’s the Fittest of Them All? Ever wonder how you and your fellow truckers measure up in fitness? Now you can find out for sure! The third annual Healthy Fleet Challenge invites carriers, associations and allied trades to form a team of 5 or more people to join the competition! The website will log, in real time, the number of steps, calories and miles of each trucking company team signed up. You can join by emailing The competition legs are: Jan. 1 - 31; March 1 - 31; and May 1 - 30. Visit to see how our team, THE FACE, is measuring up!

‘MAIS, OUI’ & DOWN EAST ExpoCam 2015 – Canada’s National Truck Show - hits Montreal, QC April 16-18. The Atlantic Truck Show features a ‘Recruiting Here program’ to match up skilled prospects with hiring companies, in Moncton, NB June 5 & 6. (Retired trucker Dean Butterfield recently wrote THE FACE that “…in New Brunswick, we have one of the highest per capita rates of employment in the trucking industry in Canada, if not in all of North America.”)

Women with Drive

It’s a first, and it’s about time. The inaugural Women with Drive Leadership Summit is happening March 5, 2015 in Toronto, is described by its organizers, Trucking HR Canada, as “the landmark event for everyone who recruits, retains or mentors women in Canada’s trucking industry.” The intention is not just to get more women behind the wheel in the face of the driver shortage; it’s also to build mentorship for mechanics, dispatchers, and women in trucking management. And, as Joanne Ritchie, member of the National Advisory Committee behind the Trucking HR Canada initiative, says: “a safe workplace, decent wage, healthy lifestyle and good life/work balance… are the kind of things that are going to attract women to trucking.” Yup – and men, too! Visit for more. THE FACE is a proud Summit Partner of Women with Drive; see you there!

The ‘Blackberry’ of Truck Technology? Whether or not you’re a fan of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), you’ve got to admire Canadian technology company, BigRoad Inc. for the inroads it’s making into trucking technology. Based in Waterloo, Ontario – the same hometown as Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion RIM) – BigRoad has teamed up with a major American mobile distributor. The BigRoad logging smartphone app is now shipping pre-installed in mobile devices from Auburn Hills, MI, based NexLink Communications. They’re calling it the “Open Truck Alliance” but make no mistake, this is not an “open” technology that other businesses can access (as in open-source software), but is proprietary to the two cross-border businesses selling the software/hardware bundles. Meanwhile, BigRoad is thinking big picture – beyond software. Working with an Indiana manufacturer, they’ve produced a link to a truck engine’s electronic control module (ECM), communicating engine data via a Bluetooth connection with software similar to its apps for smartphones and tablets. BigRoad thinks this connection will help people who are used to running with a CFR 295.15 compliant Automatic OnBoard Recording Device (AOBRD). Could this Canadian company be the “Blackberry’ of trucking technology – ouch, was that a compliment?  

Waiting for Split-Sleep Tests…ZZZ The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is going to review the possibility of more flexible splits in truck driver sleeper-berth periods under the Hours of Service (HOS) legislation. FMCSA research chief Martin Walker says they may use dashcam to monitor drowsiness, as well as drivers may get smartphones to do short psychomotor vigilance, and be wired to measure heart rate, breathing and the like. However, you might fall asleep waiting for results of the safety impact of flex sleeper-splits... FMCSA says they won’t start collecting data until early 2016, and then it will likely take more than a year to get results.

“They Trucked with the Wrong Guy!” “Hot and hungry, talented mother truckers…” That’s how the characters in the new comic book series, Ghost Fleet, are described. Produced by Dark Horse Comics, the new action adventure/horror series is written by Donny Cates (apparently famous in the graphic-novel world for Buzzkill) and illustrated by Daniel Warren Johnson. “For the world’s most valuable, dangerous, or secretive cargo, you don’t call just any trucking service . . . You call THE GHOST FLEET. When one of the world’s most elite combat-trained truckers takes a forbidden peek at his payload, he uncovers a conspiracy that will change his life forever! A new series of badass action on the open road begins here!” Say no more.

THE FACE January 2015 7

THE FACE January 2015


Cars that drive in my trucks’ blind spots (not visible in my side mirrors). I may need to make a sudden lane change, to avoid something on the road – so please pass me or back off out of my blind spot! - Daniel Koenig, Company driver, Ayr, Ontario Drivers who throw trash out their windows! Many places/ truck stops have closed because of the trash thrown around; pretty soon there won’t be anywhere for trucks to park – malls and large stores like Walmart are closing their lots. Even some shippers don’t let drivers park their trucks because of the trash left behind. - Cindy Kaps, Owner Operator, Scottsbluff, NE Trying to find a place to use the washroom when doing city pick up and deliver! More recently, malls have arranged the

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parking lot in a way that even straight trucks find it hard to get in. Parking on the road is out of the questions because it is normally marked “No Parking” – so expect a ticket if you even think about parking there. There are certainly not enough truck stops in Canada, which is a major problem in itself. And finally, going to a customer’s place to use the washroom is not always possible when you are forced to stay in a restricted area. So where do they expect us to go? - Dave Haskett Company Driver, Kitchener, Ontario My biggest pet peeve is when I try to pass a vehicle they speed up every time. Then we do it again every 5 minutes. - Kevin Williams, Owner Operator, Lisle, Ontario People and organizations who go on and on about the so-called driver shortage. There is no shortage of drivers in Canada, only a shortage of drivers who will work for



Q: As a truck driver, what is your biggest pet peeve and why? Submitted by THE FACE reader Darren Clarke from Etobicoke, ON

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ASK A DRIVER continued from page 9 sub-standard wages. I am amazed at the number of companies that expect drivers to make pickups and/or deliveries for free, or things such as pre-trip inspections or border crossings without being paid for them. Do they expect their office staff or mechanics to put in the first two hours of their work day for free? If you can’t get drivers, increase the amount you are paying and provide superior working conditions – it’s not rocket science, but it’s not happening, at least not in Canada. - Jim Hagen, Owner Operator, Ayr, Ontario

A Beautiful Mind Bored of local radio stations? Need to distract yourself from the stress of the road? You could always try expanding your mental horizons while you drive. THE FACE suggests you… l Listen to an audiobook: Escape into fiction or learn something about business, history or science. Audiobooks are at any bookstore, public libraries or online. l Subscribe to a podcast: Free, on-demand audio streaming on a variety of topics - history, sports, news, comedy, hobbies such as photography, you name it. Subscribe to current podcast episodes or download past ones.  l Learn a language: Boost memorization & problem solving skills. Learn a new language with audio tapes; no one has to hear you repeating phrases alone in your cab! 

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THE FACE January 2015

THE FACE January 2015

Is Sitting “the New Smoking”?

DR. JAMES D. DOUKETIS, Director of Vascular Medicine and Staff Physician in Vascular Medicine and General Internal Medicine at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and Professor of Medicine at McMaster University. Sitting is not the new smoking. Sitting can be modified to some extent, even if you have to do it for long periods. I don’t like the comparison to smoking because the premise of modification or moderation does not extend to smoking, which induces neurochemical addiction – a very different process than other habits, including sitting. I’ve written [in medical journals] about sitting being associated with a small increased risk in venousthromboembolism

(VTE), which manifests as pulmonary embolism (blood clots). However, like other small risks, such as taking birth control pills and taking long overseas flights, sitting is a low contributor to increased VTE. When people look at risk factors for anything – whether developing cancer, diabetes, or blood clots – they sometimes focus too much on the relative risks. For example, if your risk has doubled, that sounds very dramatic – but when you look at risk increase in absolute terms, it’s slight: maybe 1 in 10,000 up to 2 in 10,000. That’s a 100% increase but still quite low.

Ways to reduce risk

Of course, any minor risk factors can go to an extreme, so

THE FACE January 2015



In many industries sitting is unavoidable, but for the trucking industry, it’s mandatory. In recent months, the media’s been abuzz with “sitting is the new smoking” in terms of serious health effects. How accurate is this statement?


FACE OFF continued from page 13 you have to find ways to mitigate the risks. I’ve had patients who are truck drivers who have developed blood clots; they ask if they have to take medication for rest of their lives, and my answer is usually no, because they can get out during their shifts, walk around and do exercises in the truck – such as pumping their heels up and down while sitting, to improve circulation and prevent blood clots (the same as we recommend for people on long flights). We also recommend special compression socks (prescription only) for people who must sit for long periods, to prevent swelling of legs and feet. “Sitting is the new smoking” may have caught on because there’s a buzz around lifestyle, and the media encapsulates this since we all eat, drink and have varying levels of activity, so the topic of sitting resonates with a large readership. KEN PETERSON, Professional Company Driver, Bison Transport based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Sitting IS the new smoking. Sitting should be taken very seriously. Studies are starting to show serious health issues related to sedentary lifestyles. Getting up and moving can have a marked effect on our physical fitness, mental attitudes and general feeling of overall wellness. We are set up to move, we just don’t. I have started doing little things like parking further away from a mall or grocery store just to stretch and walk a little. Not only am I stretching my legs, getting up and walking, but it is easier to find good parking spots further away. If drivers got out and walked more, the change would be noticeable. Physically of course, but the mental clarity and general wellbeing would be noticeable as well. We didn’t get this way overnight. So change will be gradual, but it will come.

No exercise-friendly truck stops

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Sitting is only a part of the bigger problem. Combined with poor eating habits, sitting too much spells trouble. I haven’t noticed any truck stops that are exercise friendly, but that shouldn’t stop you. If you have to be present loading/unloading, offer to assist or stand and watch, park in yards or truck stops further away, and conduct regular tire checks and brake checks. If you’re on a layover, go site-seeing or go walk to the nearest attraction. That information is usually available at most truck stops. We can have healthier life styles. Like most everything else in this world, you just have to want it bad enough. It will take some time for people to accept to be sure, but with the right approach and not a bunch of guilt trips to pound the issue home. As a driver I’ve realized that health is important. I am a walking testimony – I know that truck drivers need to smarten their act. You just have to get out and get moving. What do YOU think? Is sitting ‘the new smoking’? We want to hear from you; email

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THE FACE January 2015

The Family Strong On the Road with 3 Dogs and Assorted Rescues


Noella Strong whips out her smartphone and searches Google maps for local leash-free parks as her husband, Art, steers their 2015 587Peterbilt off the highway. At every truck stop it’s the same routine for this owner-operator drive team – after all, that’s life when you travel coast-to-coast with at least three dogs about 300 days a year in a truck nicknamed The Doghouse. The ‘furbabies,’ as Noella calls them, are Maddie, a nineyear-old schnauzer rescued from Charleston, SC, who’s perfected napping; Hunter, 3, a cairn terrier mix rescued from Salt Lake City, UT, who hangs out on the dash when the truck’s parked, amusing everyone who passes; and Penny, the two-year-old schnauzer who knows the world revolves around her.   Not that this is enough of an animal menagerie for the Strongs; their truck cab often gets cozier with other pet hitchhikers. The couple has given a lift so far to almost 15 dogs in two years, relocating them to new families, as volunteers with Operation Roger Truckers Pet Transport, a Texas non-profit corporation that pairs truckers with adopted pets who need a lift to new homes in the U.S. and Canada.  True to form, Noella’s path to learning about Operation Roger involved a dog in trouble: she was trying to help train the dog of a fellow driver in an Atlanta motel parking lot. She got bit and the dog had to be put down. The bereaved driver, who had to leave town with a committed haul, sought a way to move his dog’s ashes home, and found Operation Roger. He told Noella about it, and the rest is canine history.  The Strongs’ passion for animals is (almost) equaled by that for trucking. Arthur, 65, has been an owner-operator in the trucking industry since 1967, around which time he drove ice roads in northern Saskatchewan (his home province) when uranium was first discovered in Wallaston Lake. He spent four decades driving for McKee Moving and Staging, and since 2012 he and Noella have driven for Williams Moving & Storage, based in Coquitlam, BC.

By Heather Angus-Lee Photos by Olivia Rutt 16 THE FACE January 2015

“Our fur-babies complete us as a Strong family… we’re very tight knit. Sleeping on milkbone crumbs is just the way we roll”

THE FACE January 2015


“Travelling with dogs gets us out of the truck more - taking walks, racing up a hillside or splashing through a creek… they enhance our health mentally and physically” FAMILY STRONG continued from page 16 THE Noella’s affinity for trucks showed up early in life. “I had that highway fever blood in me… My mother and stepdad were in the moving industry. Once I got the OK to travel with them in the summer, it was a struggle for them to get me out of the truck… eventually I had a tutor in each big city in Canada to accommodate my young life on the road.”  When a Man Drives a Woman  In 1994, Noella got her Class 1A license and heard that a fellow named Art Strong would be a good teacher. She learned to master truck driving on her future husband’s 1990 International, 1997 cab over-freightliner, a 2000 W900 Kenworth, a 2002 Argosys cabover, and others until today’s Peterbilt.   Arthur and Noella, 45, married in 2008. He has a daughter and 21-year-old granddaughter; otherwise, their family is their dogs, or fur-babies as Noella calls them. “Our home time [in Chilliwack, BC] is limited, but that’s our choice. As the song goes, ‘The Highway is my home,’ says Noella.    The couple has transported cargo from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland, Alaska to Florida, and most points in between. Noella says trucking with pets keeps them hopping: “Finding the pet food store in town, how and where to give the dogs a change of pace, stopping in at self-serve doggie washes… but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”   Rosie the Gecko  The cat-adverse trio of Strong dogs has travelled with other (less common) pets prior to their masters’ involvement with Operation Roger. When Noella and Arthur were moving household furniture a few years ago, they would offer to transport their clients’ pets. One case involved a tank full of tropical fish; another time, a gecko (small lizard) named Rosie who needed to relocate from southern California to Winnipeg, Manitoba in the wintertime.  “The airline wouldn’t accept a gecko. The little girl who owned Rosie was very upset,” recalls Noella. “A gecko’s body temperature cannot go very low or they slip into a coma. Art and I kept Rosie in her large terrarium in our cab, and kept an eye on the heat 24/7. Instead of sleeping in our truck, we got a motel room every night during the four-day journey; we’d throw a blanket over the terrarium and run it into the pre-heated motel room.” Noella smiles. “That little girl’s eyes when she saw Rosie the gecko again – that was the payoff!”  “Travelling with our furbabies gets us out of the truck more often – taking walks, racing up a hillside with them or splashing through a creek,” notes Noella. “They enhance our health mentally and physically.” She adds that “our greatest pleasure is meeting up with other drivers with pets. We make new friends, as 18 THE FACE January 2015

well as the furbabies make new doggie friends and race around playing until they drop from all the excitement.” The Dark Side of Dog Rescue  It’s isn’t all carefree fun, though. “Unfortunately we see many abandoned, injured animals in our travels on the interstate highways, at truck stops, really everywhere,” says Noella. “There’s not one time we’ve bypassed this situation. I keep my luring kit handy at all times: collar, leash, wet/dry food treats, bottled water, the essentials to gain an animal’s trust to get them to come to me with no incident. I can honestly state I have 100% safe rescue stories, as once I involve myself I don’t stop at anything until that animal is safe.”   Sue Wiese, founder and president of Operation Roger, agrees with that assessment. “Noella and Art Strong are wonderful, caring individuals… recently they were in the Birmingham, AL, area when they came across an injured pit bull lying in the road. Noella immediately stops the truck, and, if I understand right, traffic as well, putting herself at risk as she hovered over this animal until they could get it to the side of the road.  Not getting any help from the local shelters, she called me crying her heart out.” Operation Roger found the bait dog a vet and an adoptive family and, of course, a kind trucker to carry him to his new home.   Sue started Operation Roger (named after her late dog), in September 2005 as a response to the pets stranded by Hurricane Katrina. “I wondered ‘what can I do? I’m just a trucker,” recalls Sue, who has overseen the transport of 842 pets to date. They are always looking for more volunteer truckers, she adds – especially in Canada – as well as layover homes where pets can stay en-route when drivers hand off their transports.  What Keeps the Family Strong  As for the Strongs, Noella says the “fur-babies have completed us as a family… they bring strength in times of our own weaknesses as team truckers and husband and wife,” She adds, “sleeping on milkbone crumbs, waking up to a rawhide bone beside my head, or a dog paw strewn across my face – well, that’s just how we roll down the highway of life.”   “Some days can be extremely overwhelming and challenging,” admits Noella. “However, the outcome of an animal being delivered to its forever home is priceless, and we’ve never encountered a bad situation with our own pets or the transports. I believe this is their way of saying ‘thank you’.”  Heather Angus-Lee is Editorial Consultant, THE FACE. She shares her life with a 14-year-old Wheaton terrier-cross named Penny, and Rufus, a 5-year-old 130-lb. mountain dog who is the happiest place on earth. She can be reached at


Are You Getting at Least 2.5 Hours of Physical Activity a Week?


Ways to Decrease Pain & Stay Fit By Sara “Jo” Butcher Morrison

Long days, few breaks and restricted movement – coupled with a lack of healthy food options means you can battle with obesity, sleep problems, health issues and even shorter life span. Getting out of your truck and moving can help – and it’s easier than you might think to get the recommended (by Public Health Agency of Canada) 2.5 hours of physical activity each week. 2. Grip the resistance band in your hands, bend your elbows, and bring your hands to shoulder height. 3. Push your hands above your head, with your palms facing away from you. 4. Slowly lower your hands to the starting position.


JUMP ROPE Jumping rope can be done anywhere with or without a physical jump rope. The most common ways of jumping rope are: a two-footed bounce on the balls of your feet; alternating feet similar to running on the spot. Repetitions: Beginners: 30 sec. intervals of jumping/rest) up to 5 minutes. Advanced: 1 minute intervals (45 sec jumping, 15 sec rest) up to 20 minutes. Benefits: Full body; gets heart rate up while toning muscles, such as calves, core, and forearms. It burns more calories than running for the same duration and it is easier on the joints. SHOULDER PRESS You can use a light piece of equipment such as a resistance band, which tucks away easily in your truck. (You can buy a resistance band, for about $15-20, at places like Fitness Depot or order online from Amazon.) 1. Standing, place the resistance band under your feet, which are shoulder-width apart.

THE FACE January 2015


8 EQUIPMENT FREE continued from page 19

Repetitions: Beginners: 3 sets of 10 repetitions each. Advanced: 4 sets of 15 repetitions each. Benefits: Strong shoulders to support the ball-and-socket joint, which doesn’t get full range of motion when sitting for long periods of time. When the shoulders are raised above the head with resistance, your core (stomach) must contract, helping posture and alleviating back pain. SQUATS Contrary to popular belief, squats actually promote whole-body wellness, not just strong legs. 1. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart. 2. Maintain a strong back while contracting your abdominal muscles as you bend your legs at the knees. 3. Either stretch your arms out ahead of you or touch your hands behind your ears. 4. Lower your body until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. 5. Return to the starting position, and repeat. Repetitions: Beginners: 3 sets of 15 repetitions each. Advanced: 4 sets of 25 repetitions each. Benefits: Aids in mobility and balance for daily living. Using the largest muscles in the body, as well as some smaller muscles, squats burn more calories and fat. When done properly, squats can aid in the health of hips, knees, and ankle joints. PUSH UPS 1. Lie on your stomach with your hands shoulder width apart and your toes curled under. 2. Keep your body straight as you use your arms to push yourself off the ground. 3. Lower yourself down without touching the ground, and repeat. Repetitions: Beginners: As many repetitions as possible in 3 minutes. Advanced: As many repetitions as possible in 7 minutes. 20 THE FACE January 2015

Benefits: This exercise opens up the chest, which improves posture and upper body strength. This can decrease chances for kinks, and tightness, soreness of upper back/lower neck, which is associated to some headaches. Push-ups use body weight and when mastered, can also be used as a cardio workout. LUNGES 1. Starting from a standing position, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. (Your knee should not pass your heel.) 2. Let the weight stay in your heels as you push back into the standing position; repeat. 3. If you find that your balance is off, try stabilizing yourself by gently resting your hand on the side of your truck. Repetitions: Beginners: 3 sets of 10 repetitions each. Advanced: 4 sets of 15 repetitions each. Benefits: Lunges (also known as split-squats) work all the muscles of your legs and require greater balance and stabilization. Lunges will give you strong legs and improve hip flexibility. CRUNCHES Crunches are great for your abdominal muscles, but it is important to do them correctly. You should lift with your core, not your neck. 1. Start by lying flat on your back. Bend your knees but keep your feet flat on the floor. 2. To avoid unnecessary stress of the neck, place the palms of your hands on the floor alongside your hips, allowing your hands to glide forward and back with the crunch. 3. Use your abdominal muscles to pull your shoulders off the ground. Ease yourself back down. 4. Try reverse crunches, which uses your core to bring your knees to your head, or the bicycle crunches, which uses your core to bring the elbow to the opposite knee. Repetitions: Beginners: 2 repetitions at 30 sec. each. Advanced: 3 repetitions at 1 min. each.


Benefits: Crunches will tone the abdomen and stabilize your core, which will decrease chances for lower back pain. Additionally, crunches (when done properly), will strengthen hip flexors and extensors, which can get tight when sitting for prolonged periods of time.

THE FACE Review: The Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Wristband on Trial By Olivia Rutt

I decided to purchase the Fitbit Flex wireless activity and sleep wristband after I attended a packed-room session on the “healthy trucker” by Aaron Lindsay and Melodie Champion from Healthy Trucker at the 2014 Fleet Safety Conference. I’d previously had my eye on the device, but that event – and learning more about exercising-on-the-go for this issue of THE FACE – made me head online and buy it from The Fitbit Flex is a wearable fitness tracker that tracks your steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep throughout the day. It’s a non-invasive way to remind me to eat healthy and be active. It allows me to set goals and tracks my progress, getting rewarded along the way. The Fit Bit plus the app-integration, I get a full picture of my healthy (or not-sohealthy) lifestyle. PROS Sleep Tracking: My absolute favourite feature is tracking your movement in your sleep, so whether you toss and turn, or sleep like a log, it tells you:

l How

long it took you to fall asleep. many times you tossed and turned. l How “efficiently” you slept based on how many time you moved in the night and how long it took you to fall asleep. (I’m averaging 95% - you can’t wake me when my head hits the pillow!) A great silent alarm that vibrates on your wrist until you tap it off. At first I didn’t trust it to wake me up, so I set a second alarm a few minutes later, but I was amazing how effective it was. Price: At $100, the Fitbit is one of the cheapest wearable fitness tracking devices. Step Counting: It automatically reads the amount of steps I’ve taken, and it is so rewarding to meet my daily goals! l How

CONS Slight Inaccuracies: I sit down a lot at my computer during the day, but it still reads that I have taken a few steps when I am not walking. I also talk using my hands, so that might contribute to the inaccuracy. (However, being off fewer than 100 steps seems insignificant.)

l Data

Entry: The Fitbit Flex puts the onus on the user to input food, water, and extra exercise –tedious getting started but, as time went on, it became an automatic response to finishing a meal. l User Interface: Displays only small lights based on your daily goal, rather than a full data screen. (However, data I want to track is a simple click away on my computer or smartphone.) THE FACE Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10 Have you tried this or any other wearable fitness tracking devices? Drop me an email and tell me what you thought – we’ll put your review in the next issue! P.S. Fitbit data is currently being used in the defense of a women’s personal injury case in Calgary to show her activity levels are below normal. While it is the first of its kind, it shows how quickly technology – and its applications - is evolving. Olivia Rutt is Managing Editor, THE FACE. She can be reached at THE FACE January 2015


8 EQUIPMENT FREE continued from page 21

RESISTANCE ROWS This particular exercise targets the upper back and biceps. It is a great exercise to pair with push-ups as it utilizes the opposing muscles. This exercise can be done sitting or standing. 1. Keeping your back straight, sit on the floor with your legs slightly bent in front of you. 2. Loop your resistance band around your feet. 3. Pull the band toward your body by ending at the elbows. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull. 4. Slowly return to the starting position. 5. For the standing form, anchor your resistance band on something sturdy, like your truck. Stand up straight and pull the band toward you by bending your elbows.

Repetitions: Beginners: 3 sets of 15 repetitions each. Advanced: 4 sets of 20 repetitions each. Benefits: Resistance rows strengthen back muscles, which will decrease back pain associated to sitting and immobility. It improves posture, and general circulation. STRETCHING If you only do one exercise, it should be a full body stretch, before and after you exercise to warm you up and cool you down. 1. Start stretching your neck by touching your chin to your chest then your ears to your shoulders. 2. Stretch your shoulders by holding your arm across your chest then moving your arms in small circles gradually getting bigger. 3. Stretch your lower back and legs by sitting on the floor with one leg outstretched and one bent. Reach toward your toes then switch legs. 4. Standing up, bend your knee, and grasp your ankle with your hand, stretching your thigh. Repetitions: Hold all stretches for as long as it is comfortable, working up to 45 seconds for each stretch. Benefits: Improves range of joint motion, increases circulation, reduces muscle tension, enhances muscle co-ordination, and improves energy levels. Consider asking a co-worker or member of your truck team (if you’re in one) to join you; play music to motivate you; set weekly goals to shoot for. You’ll be glad you did! n As a wife, mother of four, athlete, shift-worker, and Jill-of-all-trades, Sarah “Jo” Butcher Morrison, has successfully negotiated the trials of life and career by keeping health and fitness a priority. Now self-employed, Sara shares her tips and tricks with the world, one blog and training session at a time. She can be reached at

22 THE FACE January 2015

THE FACE January 2015


THE FACE January 2015

By Heather Angus-Lee

No More Driving the Distance DON CASS had to give up his AZ license in February 2008 when his degenerative illness progressed too far for him to drive. But it wasn’t until January 2014 – well after he’d reached Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (a later stage of MS that no medication can slow) – that Don bought a wheelchair, and parked it in his garage for months. The 52-year-old Hamilton, Ontario family man finally brought the wheelchair out of storage and to a support group meeting “where they said ‘it’s about damn time!’ Everyone knew I was falling, a lot, everywhere,” says Don, who chose to sit in a regular chair for this interview.  His teacher, Dina Pereira, nearby, nods agreement. It’s the end of her weekly ‘adapted yoga’ class where she’s helped Don exercise his body and calm the mind for two years at the Hamilton chapter of the MS Society. “He would fall hard inside the class. He fell on top of a staff member and hurt her.

He fell outside on the streets,” says Dina. “I would nag at him to use his chair, and his wife was doing the same at home!” So why was it so difficult for Don to accept the wheelchair? His ruggedly handsome face falls and he lowers his voice. “The chair meant I wouldn’t drive truck again.” He adds, some of the light in his blue-green eyes going out: “If I could get my legs back, I’d be on the road. Whenever I was behind the wheel that was when I felt the most at home.”  LEGACY OF TRUCKING  Don trucked for almost 25 years, most of that as a for-hire driver for Loblaw’s – a job his father, a lifetime driver there, got him. “It was good money, home every night, and the company was good, looked after their drivers,” says Don, who grew up in a trucking family that included his uncles and cousins.  He particularly loved the lone, independent lifestyle of the open road. ““I never did like working underneath someone… only one boss in the cab and that’s me.” 


Photo by Olivia Rutt

Feisty Hamiltonian ex-trucker resolves his fight with the wheelchair, and moves towards an even keel, physically and emotionally.

THE FACE January 2015


EX TRUCKER continued from page 25 Don kept on trucking for four years after his MS diagnosis, taking sick leave every two to three months when symptoms, like numb limbs and double-vision, would emerge. “All the drivers knew about it, I had really good friends there,” he says. “One of my big bosses came to me on my last day and said ‘we’ve got nothing but admiration for you, you still want to work.” 

old daughter graduating this year from Mohawk College as a child and youth care worker, and a son, 21, attending a local school to become a personal support worker. “They were inspired by me having quite a few falls at home,” says Don. “I have MS, it doesn’t have me; now get out of my way” could be called Don’s signature line, just as he likes to repeat “don’t tell me what I can do, I’ll prove you wrong.” 

IT ALL STARTED AT A DRIVE-THRU WINDOW En route to Sudbury one day in 2003, Don Dina Pereira, of Breathing Space Yoga & stopped at Midland to get a coffee, and as he “ONE HELL OF A RIDE”  Wellness Services in Hamilton, ON, works stuck his arm out to receive the cup at the Don notes that “in our [MS] yoga class, with Don Cass at Hamilton MS Society. drive-thru window, “it felt like a thousand I know people who have had the disease pins in my left arm… I had a friend in Midland so I stopped longer than me, and they are still walking… but I don’t get in and he said ‘you don’t look right.’ He told me to get into mad, I don’t say it’s unfair. I look at what I can do still… it’s Brampton to see a doctor. I didn’t; I drove on. I thought it was been one hell of a ride, but I’m still here!”  my probably my diabetes [non-insulin type 2, diagnosed years Don says for the future, “I just want to stay on an even keel before].”  – physically and emotionally.” He laughs as he relates: “One But by Perry Sound, Don’s left side was numb and he had time I came in here, I had it out with the DARTS driver – I pin pricks now in his right arm. “The receiver up there said was ripping (angry) when I started yoga class, Dina went into to go to the hospital, so I drove back to work and they sent me the meditation session – calmed me right down… I started home.” That was a Friday; Don told his wife, Annette, that laughing it was so calming!” Dina adds that she extended medhe’d see the doctor the following week.  itation that day on purpose.  Two days later, he was numb on both sides of his body. “After a couple of weeks at yoga, I gave her a nickname: Monday he got a CAT scan, but it didn’t show a stroke as the ‘Dina the Hun.’ She ties me up half the time, using ropes/ doctors expected. Then his motor skills stopped working on belts to hold poses.” They both laugh. “I push them,” says his entire right side; he was seen by a neurologist and the MRI Dina. “I like it,” says Don. “I can’t do yoga on my own… Dina he’d initially been told would take a few months happened lifts my arm and leg. I need hands-on for me to get a proper within the week. Two MRIs in fact – and an immediate diagstretch.”  nosis of MS.  “When the doctor said I had ‘disseminated disease’ I was MS SPOKESPERSON  so happy,” recalls Don. “I’d heard so much about MS from Don didn’t do the yoga class today; he’s just recovering from my sister-in-law who has a nursing degree, and I was so glad I his latest attack, so he’s having a hard time walking, even with didn’t have that. Then the doctor told me that was the technihis A-frame walker. From his chair, Don holds up his phone cal term for MS. I cried for a week.”  to show an image of himself as Santa Claus at a MS Society function the night before – in a suit he bought himself, blueish STILL DRIVING AND ACTIVE  eyebrows, and a new wig (“last year’s beard was getting scrawDon today tells newly diagnosed MS patients “give yourself a ny). “There isn’t a damn thing I wouldn’t do for these people” month to breathe, then kick this disease to the curb!” After his at the MS Society, says Don, who also acts as a Hamilton MS first month of wallowing in grief, he got out and active. For the Society spokesperson.  first year of his diagnosis, he kept playing pickup hockey with He’s finally made peace with his wheelchair. “When I sit in friends every Friday night after work (“my slapshot was close this thing, my wife doesn’t worry about me…  I was scared the to 100 miles/hour”) until he he lost the stamina and drive to chair would take away my freedom and independence, but it skate.  hasn’t. A friend told me, it’s not a crutch, it’s a tool.”  He does yoga, visits friends, works in the garden (no lawn For all his upbeat energy, Don is honest about his now-limitmowers allowed), does a bit of shopping, frequents Tim Hored life, his shrunken horizons. “What I miss the most is driving ton’s, even still drives the family car short distances. “I’ve been the distance. For so long I’d be out on the highway every day, driving with my left foot for 8 years now,” he says. “After so as far as Sudbury and back in a day… now Tim Horton’s long driving trucks, I can drive with both legs.” He has a pool across the street is my farthest destination.” n in his yard, a friend built him a deck. He goes down the street Heather Angus-Lee, Editorial Consultant, THE FACE, sometimes practo his buddy’s place in his electric wheelchair.   tices yoga at her local rec center and is working on mindfulness – that is, “’Give up’ is not in my vocabulary… on those rare days [I when she remembers. Heather can be reached at feel like giving up], I have the best wife in the world, who gets me out.” Their kids have been a big support as well – a 23-year26 THE FACE January 2015

weekends off means he can train as often as he does. After immigrating to Canada as a mechanic graduate in Poland 20 years ago, Bogie found trucking to be a better source of income for him than an uncertain political future at home, and a better life for his wife, Marta and the family then planned. (His kids now are daughter Maja, 18, and son Filip, 14.) Speed Skater to Trucker to Marathoner Bogie’s athletic background helped to shape his current marathon obsession. Back in Poland, he was very involved in speed skating, even getting to the junior national team. “It wasn’t like all of a sudden out of nowhere I wanted to become an athlete,” he says. He remembers vividly the first time he heard of the Ironman Challenge. In a change room, an older speed skater


IN THE SLEEPING COMPARTMENT of Boguslaw “Bogie” Wojewodka’s truck hangs a list of endurance races with check marks beside them – nine marathons and triathlons in 2014 alone. And when Bogie climbs down from his cab, he usually hits the ground running, training whenever and wherever he can during his Guelph, Ontario to Chicago route. The appalling short life span of truck drivers – in the low to mid-60s – was a big motivator for start endurance running, says Bogie. “It scares the hell out of me. So much time is being spent behind the wheel and away from families and on the road. You’re working your whole life and you live 65 years? It’s just unacceptable.” “I’m really fortunate to drive for Globetrotter, with my company owners being really understanding and helping me a lot,” says Bogie, 43, who drives five days a week, and says that his


Trucker Obsessed with Endurance Racing is Motivated by Truckers’ Shorter Life Span By Olivia Rutt

THE FACE January 2015


MARATHON MAN continued from page 27 was talking about a new sport they developed in the US. “I didn’t even remember the distances,” he said, “I just knew right then that that was for me. I was young, 14.” From the age of 21, Bogie was absent from sport for 16 years, but then fellow trucker and marathoner friend, Marek Nowakowski, helped get him back in the athletic mindset. “Right before I was 37, I think, I decided I wanted to, at least once in my life, run a marathon, he says. In August, 2014, in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Bogie attained his ultimate goal – the Ironman Triathlon, placing 235th out of 2,317 participants (difference of 2 hours, 33 minutes from first place). The Ironman is not for the faint of heart. It consists of a 3.86 km (2.4-mile) swim, a 180.25 km (112 mile) bicycle ride, and a 42.2 km (26.2-mile) marathon run, raced in that order and without breaks. Bogie is signed up for Ironman 2015 and is training for the Norseman triathlon in 2016.

THE COSTS OF RUNNING “You have to experience to understand what I’m trying to explain… why this is driving my life,” says Bogie. “Everything right now in my life goes around my goals, my schedule, my training.” The costs of training gear, prices to enter, and travel to competitions, plus the cost of working shorter routes, all adds up, he admits. “I’m really fortunate that my wife and my kids are really understanding. It’s not easy… they might not be as happy as I am, but they support me 100 per cent.” His advice to other drivers isn’t to rush out and buy a pair of running shoes and start training, but to get up and move and walk as a starting point, anything to get out from behind the wheel and be active. Bogie knows he is seriously hooked on the sport. “It’s like a drug… once you try a triathlon, even Olympic distance which is one fourth of an Ironman, or any other triathlon distance – you can’t just go back.” Some truck drivers may just want to take his word for it. n Olivia Rutt is Managing Editor, THE FACE. Olivia would rather have TV show marathons, but loves to get out and hike at her own pace. She can be reached at

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Transgender Trucker Feels Good in Her Own Skin

une (formerly John) Cryberg chuckles as she recounts driving into the bush outside Fort McMurray, Alberta to deliver to a jobsite. “Their jaws hanging, roughneck oil workers watched me get down from my truck in my nice little skirt and heels.” There were no problems, though, she says, “and before I left the site, one great big oil worker wanted his photo taken with me.” June has trucked for 13 years as John, the last four years as a self-identified female. At 65 years of age, and six feet tall in stocking feet, June recognizes that her transgender look can be a surprise. But she feels good in her own skin for the BY HEATHER first time since deciding to “live 24 hours a day as a woman.” June notes that she crosses the scales at DOT “and everyone is very polite to me. There are no bad comments from the authorities or other drivers.” She drove, as John, for J.S. Crawford & Son Transport for a decade before moving to a smaller company, in the Toronto area. June says her current employers (who prefer not to be named for this article) accept her choice, now. “When I started with them, I was a bit in the closet,” says June. “I just got to the point that I told my boss: ‘this is what I do now, I’m a transgender person. I’m going to do this the rest of my life.’” She adds, “I am supported by my dispatcher, an older biker dude… he’s great about it!” June’s home base in Stirling, Ontario (the Kingston area where she grew up after her family emigrated from Denmark) includes a 10 x 12 x 12 hut built to hold her wardrobe, next door to her 30-ft. trailer. “It would make most women jealous,” she says of the freestanding walk-in closet packed with

dresses, skirts, blouses, shoes, purses and other accessories. She rents a nearby auto shop housing three vintage Lincolns, ‘72 Dodge pickup, ’57 Plymouth, a couple of Mustangs, and a Ford Taurus, and the two vehicles she drives regularly – a ’03 Mustang and a newer Dodge pickup. June used to quarter-mile race her ‘85 Mustang as John, and she says she’ll do it again as June. “I just put in a 429 engine, with a blower,” she says proudly. “This is what I do for fun.”

Can’t Do Auto Body Work in a Skirt ANGUS-LEE June painted cars before turning to auto repair and then to truck driving in her 40s, and she still does custom auto artwork on the side. “The only time I dress like John is when I’m painting cars,” she chuckles. “You can’t do body work in a skirt!” June has been married (to women) three times, her last divorce eight years ago, and she remains heterosexual. “I go to transgender gatherings and a lot of them are married to the opposite sex.” She has daughters aged 40, 36 and 26, and is content as a single person and proud of her appearance. “Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve had a very girlish side,” says June. “I’m always dressed to the nines, with at least three-inch heels,” she laughs. “I saw Jennifer Aniston running in high heels in a movie years ago, and I was amazed! But now, I can run in heels, too!” Heather Angus-Lee is Editorial Consultant for THE FACE. She can be reached at THE FACE January 2015



“Twisted Duck” and his “Miss Pete”



t’s not every day you see a truck bearing a duck hood ornament (a movie prop from the 1978 movie, Convoy) and pink ribbon decals making its way down the road. But if you do, you can be sure it’s Rob Surgue, 40, behind the wheel of the shiny black 2012 389 Peterbilt with a 6NZ Cat motor. The hood ornament has earned him the road name, Twisted Duck (a combination of his dad’s trucker handle, Twisted) from a passing truck. It’s just one of several custom trucks in the fleet of R. Surgue Cartage Ltd., the business owned by Rob’s father (Bob) in Metcalfe, Ontario for more than 40 years. Rob and Bob took a full year to build the Peterbilt they call “Miss Pete.” They added chrome detailing, a new grill, headlights, stainless headache rack, bullet chamber-shaped trailer brakes, and over 100 LED lights. “It was something my dad wanted to do right,” says Rob, “and I was the lucky one he let drive it.” Miss Pete took her maiden run in a November snowstorm in 2013, and has been hauling ever since. Rob has been her first and only driver, taking Miss Pete more than 100,000 miles in her first year. 32 THE FACE January 2015

The fully customized dashboard includes trailer brakes designed to look like a gun’s bullet chamber.

He, Brigitte, and Face It! Graphix (located in Mountain, Ontario) crafted the pink decals for the event. It took them five hours to apply all of them to the truck, finishing just in time for the Trucking for a Cure event. The decals have garnered interest from passersby who take photos of the truck. One man even came up to thank Rob because both the man’s parents had passed away from cancer. n Olivia Rutt is Managing Editor of THE FACE. She can be reached at

Miss Pete – a 2012 389 Peterbilt with a 6NZ Cat motor – has been driven more than 100,000 miles since her maiden run (in a snowstorm) in November 2013. CUSTOM TRUCK WITH A CAUSE Rob and Miss Pete placed second in the 2014 Trucking for a Cure convoy in Prescott, Ontario, his first such event, raising more than $4,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Association. His girlfriend, Brigitte Dubeau, encouraged Rob to get the breast cancer awareness decals. She holds the issue close to her heart as colon cancer runs in her family, and some of her friends are fighting breast cancer. Rob’s own grandmother has been a supporter of breast cancer awareness for decades.

The duck hood ornament is a movie prop from the 1978 movie, Convoy.

Old Timer’s Ode to Trucking Dean Butterfield, a retired truck driver living in Kilburn, New Brunswick, sent THE FACE some verse and a bit about himself: “ I drove straight-truck for a hardware/building supply firm; in my years before I retired I worked as a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer with the province of New Brunswick, where I was a Certified Inspector with the CVSA… I pick up and read the industry mags regularly at the Tobique Truck-Stop in Perth-Andover and am still often asked my opinion on regulation matters…Many in my family drive truck, and many of my friends drive truck. I respect them, and I did my best to do my job so they would respect me in turn… This is “countryside,” not in a city atmosphere where drivers and officers never meet outside the workplace. It may seem strange, but I’d get up at 4 am and drive 146 km to the scale where I worked when I wasn’t on a mobile, and then do a 12 hour shift (day or night) and drive home after. I’d carry a sleeping-bag with me in winter and often sleep on the floor of the scale-house during storms… For many years I have enjoyed putting the trucking life in verse.”

The Highway Ahead Her heart has stopped pounding But she’s still shifting gears Life in a big-rig Isn’t all it appears, Long-haul or sched-run Getting by on a thread And, she wonders what’s waiting On the highway ahead! She misses the home-hearth And, her nice comfy bed The bunk just don’t cut it When all has been said, It’s another, “God’s morning!” Pre-trip round her ‘sled’ Make sure that her payload Will fit with her ‘spread’, It’s - trucking in time You log where you tread Still - nothing better to her She could be doing instead, “Give us this day Lord Square deals - daily bread!” And, she wonders what’s waiting On ... the highway ahead! - D.C. Butterfield.

THE FACE January 2015


Oasis on the Lonely Road:

A Modern-Day Replacement for CB Radio By Joe Martelle


Dawn is breaking over eastern Ontario; in the parking lot of the 730 Truck Stop on Highway 401 near Cardinal, Ontario, all is quiet on this warm fall morning. A few big rigs sit idle, and inside the restaurant, Samantha (“Sam”) Cook is getting ready for another busy day. She’s been up since 3:30 a.m. getting ready for another eight-hour shift. Four days a week, hers is the face that greets early risers in the trucking world. Now in her 40s, Sam has been slinging coffee and trading banter with drivers for 23 years, after trying her hand as an apprentice mechanic at the same truck shop. “I guess I liked the dishwater hands a lot better than the grease under my nails,” she laughs. Sam relates the most to truckers, she says, even though she did once serve (former Toronto Maple Leaf hockey star) Eddie Shack. “Of course I had no idea who he was until someone else told me,” Sam laughs. “For me, it’s the day-to-day people who make life memorable.” She’s seen a lot of change in how much truck drivers can talk to others in recent years. “Back in the day, everyone was on the CB radio; that doesn’t happen anymore. When elec-

Truck Stop Waitress Fills the Gap for Truckers: “I Could Be the Last Person they Talk to for 8 Hours” tronic log books came around, it meant drivers couldn’t take the time to pull over and visit people without losing running hours,” she says. “When drivers stop in here for breakfast, I could be the last person they talk to for eight hours.” Sam turns her attention to the man making his way to a counter seat. “George! We were just talking about you. I thought you fell off the face of the earth!” Samantha Cook’s world is a place to fuel up and find some community – one cup at a time. n Joe Martelle is a freelance writer, columnist and author based in Cardinal Ontario. He can be reached at

Photos by Joe Martelle.

Samantha Cook tops up the coffee of a couple of long-haul drivers at the 730 Truck Stop on Highway 401 near Cardinal, Ontario. Hers is often the only face-to-face conversation truckers will have for many hours on the road.

34 THE FACE January 2015

Special Promotion Feature

Prolonged Sitting– A Common Cause of Low Back Pain How to Alleviate this Problem When You Have to Sit All Day It is widely known and accepted that prolonged sitting is one of the main causes of low back pain. Sitting for extended periods of time puts immense pressure on the lower back discs, ligaments, and muscles. For some people, getting up and taking breaks from sitting is a viable option. For example, a computer programmer might be able to alternate between sitting and standing if necessary, while still being able to complete his/her work tasks using a laptop computer. For others, such as truck drivers, taking sufficient breaks from excessive sitting might not be feasible. Deliveries have to be made on time; schedules have to be followed. As a result, it comes as no surprise that many drivers suffer from lower back pain. This list offers some strategies that might prove helpful in alleviating the low back pain that truck drivers can experience: Tip #1: While on a break from driving, try to avoid sitting as much as possible. Eat lunch while standing. Go for a short walk. Try some exercises, such as: The “Backward Bend”: l Place your hands on your waist while standing up straight. l Arch your upper body backwards (bend backwards at the waist), being careful not to exceed a feeling of mild strain. l Hold that position for 15 seconds. Repeat numerous times. The “Side Slide”: l While standing as upright as possible, slide your right arm down the outside of your right leg to reach your right knee, or as far as it can go without exceeding mild strain.


Hold for 5 seconds. Do the same movements on your left side; repeat numerous times. Return to both of these exercises on your next driving break. If any of these exercises prove to be too painful, then stop them but revisit these same exercises again a day or two later. Tip #2: Try to sleep on your back. Another option is to lie on your side with your legs straight. If these positions do not result in a good night’s sleep, then choose a sleeping position which is most comfortable. Tip #3: Consider the possibility of chiropractic treatment or physiotherapy. Tip #4: Consider a low back support, such as the ObusForme® Lowback Backrest Support. This backrest has been specifically designed to mold to the spine in its anatomically correct position supporting proper spinal alignment.


Dr. Kevin Bloom is currently in private practice in Toronto, Ontario while working alongside multiple family physicians and medical specialists. He is currently an advisory board member/consultant and blog contributor for ObusForme/Homedics Canada. For further information, please refer to:

THE FACE January 2015


Special Promotion Feature

NSTSA Brings “New Eyes” to Trucking Safety Eassons Transport has been a supporter of the Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association (NSTSA) and its annual safety audit process for several years. “Each year, the NSTSA brings a new set of eyes into our operations and provides valuable input into the enhancements of our safety program,” says Trevor Bent, HR/Risk Manager, Eassons Transport. “We are very excited to receive a rebate from the WCB that we can use to enhance our safety program even further. We have chosen to use the rebate towards a new snow removal system at our Kentville location to allow drivers to drive under the system rather than have to climb onto a platform to manually remove the snow.” Brent adds, “this project will contribute towards injury reduction and public safety.”  NSTSA is a member-funded, non-profit organization committed to saving lives and reducing the toll of workplace injuries in the trucking industry through the coordination and provision of quality health and safety programs through training, certification and partnerships with industry, clients and government.  NSTSA initiatives for the upcoming months include: 

Educating members on the changes pertaining to t he Occupational Health & Safety legislation (federal and provincial). l Focusing on safety awareness campaigns pertaining to winter driving and ice and snow removal.  l Everyone’s safety relating to distracted driving.  l

We are the resource centre for the trucking industry in Nova Scotia specific to occupational health and safety. Companies that have invested in safety and have achieved safety certification with the NSTSA have seen the benefits of investing in safety and making it the number one priority in their business which means investing in their people. Achieving safety certification means a company has met the requirements of the 23 elements required in their safety program. Companies in the trucking industry who are members of the NSTSA receive a rebate upon successfully completing the safety certification process as part of a pilot project NSTSA has with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.    To learn more about the Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association and how they assist trucking companies, please visit: or email




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218 Centenial Court | Kitchener, Ontario N2B 3X2 | 519.969.3070 | 800.387.8714 36 THE FACE January 2015 MKT1062-01_TriCities31AGM7QtrPgAd-06-14_AFB.indd 1

6/5/14 12:45 PM

This is an easy recipe; my suggestion is to prepare the chicken and vegetables and place in the slow cooker on the road. (I’m dedicating this recipe to my mom, Yvrose; this is the first dish I ever made and one that she really enjoys.)

Chicken Cacciatore Serves 2. 3 pc. Boneless skinless chicken thigh or Chicken Breast 2 tbsp all-purpose flour  1/2 tsp Salt  1/4 tsp Pepper  2 Carrot, Medium Diced  12 Button Mushrooms, Cut in quarters  1 Onions, Sliced  2 Cloves, Sliced garlic 1 Green Bell Pepper, Sliced  1 Red Bell Pepper, Sliced  1 tsp Oregano, chopped  1tsp thyme, chopped  1tsp Rosemary, chopped  2tsp Parsley, chopped  4 Roma Tomatoes, Diced  1/2 cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock 

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken into the slow cooker.    Add the onion, garlic, green and red bell pepper, rosemary and thyme to the same pan and sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook for another minute.     Add vegetables to the slow cooker with the chicken.  In the same pan add chicken or vegetable stock and return to heat to deglaze all the remaining flavor from the bottom of the pan, about a minute.  Pour the stock in the slow cooker.  Add diced carrots to the slow cooker and let simmer on low for 30 minutes. Option: serve with rice.

Directions: In a medium bowl toss chicken with flour, salt and pepper until meat is lightly coated. 

Chef Claus Derisma is a driver with JBT Transport in Ayr, ON. He has been in long-haul trucking for six years and has worked 15 years in a professional kitchen. Claus can be reached at:

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