GRAND MANAN, NB – New rules announced by Coastal Transport have got local truckers shaking their heads in confusion and disbelief.
Companies that use the Grand Manan ferry are now required to have a driver escort their trucks on the crossings between Grand Manan and Black Harbour, cbc.ca reported yesterday.
Morton Benson of BenMark Trucking told CBC that companies used one driver at each end to move the trucks.
The new rule was announced over the weekend, and went into effect on Monday.
“I thought at first it was a prank call,” said Bev Fleet to CBC, owner of Dutchmen Contracting. “I just started calling the other truckers and see if I they got the same word, Saturday night for a policy change on Monday morning – not real professional.”
So, on Monday morning, drivers took their trucks onto the ferry and walked off.
Drivers and company owners interviewed said that the new rule will hurt their bottom lines.
Plus, said Toby McLaughlin, owner of Foggy Cove Ventures, “It’s hard to find manpower as it is and to find an extra person to sit with the truck, which you are not even allowed on the car deck, while the ferry is operating. It’s pointless. It’s crazy.”
A spokesperson from the province’s Department of Transportation told the CBC there are no new policies in Costal Transport’s contract, but the company is now liable should anything happen to the cargo.