Today's Trucking

The year in review … and preview

December 23, 2016

The year in review … and preview It has been a newsworthy year in Canada’s trucking industry – and many of the stories of 2016 will also play out in the year to come. Look no further than oil-related topics […]


Diesel Dilemma: Are the days of our favorite fuel numbered?

December 2, 2016

Rudolf Diesel must be rolling in his grave. The 19th-century inventor gave birth to the engine that bears his name. Now the country where he did the work is looking to bring the technology to an end. German legislators recently passed a resolution that calls for a ban of all internal combustion engines as early as 2030.


Trucks for Change will do you good

November 18, 2016

TORONTO, ON — My short-lived career as a competitive picker and packer could be in jeopardy.

Newcom Business Media, the publisher of Today’s Trucking, was the defending champion in the second-annual Trucks for Change food sorting challenge at Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank on November 16. Eight 10-member teams committed an hour to tear into pallets of donated food, check expiry dates, and load boxes for shipping. (What charitable work could be closer to the trucking industry than that?) And while new to the team, I’ve helped out at food banks before. In the lexicon of athletes everywhere, I was a ringer. The trash talk flowed with ease because, well, charity and all that.


Bill Morneau is Wrong: Despite the promise of automation, drivers will be needed for years to come

November 9, 2016

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau appears to believe drivers are an endangered species. The observation came during a broad-ranging talk about the changing nature of employment. He referred to the “job churn” that Canadians increasingly face because of precarious, short-term […]


Stronger Together: Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to go it alone

October 29, 2016

Those who work in the trucking industry tend to be an independent lot. Maybe it’s a function of a driver’s job. Those who crave crowds would likely struggle in a long-haul life, where human contact can sometimes be limited to […]


Picture This: Grab your cameras Oct. 12 and show us your day

October 6, 2016

Many years ago I remember asking owner-operator Dale Holman what kept him behind the wheel. Trucking is no easy job, after all. The hours are long. The tasks are complex and often physically demanding. Even the most comfortable sleeper will never be quite as inviting as a family home, especially when trips drag on for days or weeks at a time.


Trucker, Protect Thyself: Formal contracts and paperwork are an owner-operator’s best defence

October 5, 2016

There is a certain pride that every owner-operator should enjoy. Mastering skills at the wheel is just the beginning of their professional journey. Our trucking industry’s hybrid of driver and entrepreneur is expected to master trucks and business ledgers alike. Sadly, far too many fail because of a lack of focus on the latter point.


Trust Your Co-pilot: Bendix Wingman Fusion keeps virtual eyes on the road, foot upon the brakes

August 16, 2016

First, a confession. I am a terrible passenger. My right foot is always pumping against the floor mat whenever I find myself riding shotgun. A knot forms in my stomach when someone takes anything other than my favorite route. When the Today’s Trucking team carpooled to a trade show earlier this year, I was quick to reach for the keys before anyone else had the chance.


Fuel for the Fire: Tax change fails to recognize how diesel is used

August 2, 2016

A house is not a home — and in the eyes of the taxman it appears your sleeper is no longer a house on wheels. How else can we explain the end of Federal Excise Tax (FET) exemptions that have long been applied to the diesel that pumps through Auxiliary Power Units and bunk heaters? The heating oil used to warm a house is exempt. Add a few working axles underneath that house and it’s a different story.


Everything Sells: The Ritchie Bros. auction begins

July 9, 2016

EDMONTON, AB – Everything sells. It’s a firm rule at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, and there is plenty on hand for the highest bidder. About 10,600 pieces of equipment will move through the company’s sprawling Edmonton complex this week, easily setting a sales record and eclipsing last April’s numbers by about 35%. Trucks dominated most of the sales on Tuesday, when close to 10,000 bidders had already registered for a piece of the action. Equipment such as cranes, rock catchers, and trailers will follow.


Cocooning: In conversation with WABCO’s Jon Morrison

July 9, 2016

LOUISVILLE, KY — We’re approaching an era when trucks act more like trusted co-drivers than equipment alone. Optional Collision Warning Systems and Lane Departure Systems use things like radar and cameras to watch the road and sound the alarm if a driver fails to notice a hazard or drifts into danger. Collision Mitigation Systems – or adaptive cruise controls — go a step further and actually begin to slow a vehicle before a driver reacts. And the technologies all come together in prototypes for “semi-autonomous” and “platooning” vehicles that promise at times to drive themselves.

“The vision is about providing that 360-degree cocoon around the truck, to enable the truck and the driver to operate as safely as they can,” says WABCO Americas president Jon Morrison.


Quite Wright: Tesla co-founder sets his sights on trucks

July 9, 2016

Ian Wright co-founded Tesla Motors and developed the fastest street-legal electric car in the world. But these days he has set his sights on something bigger – an electric powertrain for commercial vehicles.

Wrightspeed’s range-extended electric powertrain known as the Route enters production in a matter of months, and the company CEO boldly predicts that electric waste trucks will overtake the sale of diesel models in as little as five years.

There have been other attempts to electrify trucks in the past. One thing that sets the Route apart, however, is its Fulcrum turbine.


Gas Attacks: The challenges of environmental mandates

July 9, 2016

Ear worms are funny things. You know them. They’re the songs that invade your thoughts. The one ringing through my head right now is crooned by none other than Kermit the Frog. Yep. The Muppet. The one who taught us, “It’s not easy being green, having to spend each day the color of the leaves.” If you want to know how tough it is to be green, look no further than the environmental rules and regulations affecting today’s trucking industry.


I-Crawl: A first look at Volvo’s I-Shift with crawler gears

July 5, 2016

SHIPPENSBURG, PA — It’s strange to hear a truck maker bragging about how slow a truck can go, but that’s exactly what Volvo recently showcased with a first look at the I-Shift’s new crawler gears.


A reluctant (but rising) star

June 3, 2016

Metro Truck Group seems surprisingly reluctant to tell its story. When a meeting is finally scheduled, senior managers spend much of their time explaining that they don’t normally do this sort of thing. The Freightliner dealership group based in Ontario’s Niagara Region rarely participates in interviews. When its Brantford dealership moved into a new building this winter, it even did so without the fanfare of a grand opening. No ribbons were cut. No speeches made. But there is no escaping the spotlight of a reality show.