Editor at Large
Rolf Lockwood was the founding editor of Today’s Trucking in 1987, and currently serves as the magazine’s editor at large – as well as Newcom’s vice president of editorial. Over his career, Lockwood has established himself as one of the deans of the trucking industry trade press. His honors include the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Truck Writers of North America, and the 2003 Harvey Southam Lifetime Editorial Achievement Award from the Canadian Business Press. He is also a contributing editor to Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.
Driver training should not be the huge problem that it is. It just shouldn’t. If we were truly serious about it, we would have resolved the issue decades ago. Yet here we are, needing the Humboldt tragedy to focus our collective mind on solutions. And even with that impetus, we’re really nowhere close to doing it right.
We now have unscrupulous immigration consultants feeding equally unscrupulous trucking companies with innocent newbie drivers who pay as much as $30,000 for the chance to become a Canadian. By first becoming a truck driver. Experience? Not important. Training? Not supplied.
Drivers, drivers, drivers. Is any subject more talked about in our industry? Nope. Of the seven issues recently cited as the biggest concerns of Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) members, six of them concerned drivers in one way or another, and the only other issue identified was carbon pricing. No mention of freight rates or aggressive enforcement or lousy roads or a zillion other possibilities. Just drivers.
What’s your biggest maintenance headache? I actually do want to know because, believe it or not, planning for next spring’s Canadian Fleet Maintenance Summit on April 15 is already underway. It’s at a preliminary stage, for sure, but we’re already at it. We haven’t yet held a meeting of the dozen or so members of the advisory council that helps us devise the program, but individually we’re creating short lists of subjects to cover.
Every time I see a policeman or a tow-truck driver working at the side of a busy road, I get the willies. The risk is so obvious, so profound. A driver’s momentary inattention or wilful carelessness can snuff out a life in a millisecond. It happens far too often.
There are people who just plain shouldn’t die. Ever. Bill MacKinnon was one of those guys, a pillar in our industry with a trucking history that goes back to the 1920s. But die he did on March 22, at home in Guelph, Ontario, after a long illness. He was 90 years old.
Man, I am so fed up with the utterly endless discussions about driver training in this country. I’ve heard the mostly empty chatter for 40 years now, with precious little to show for all the wear and tear on my […]
Here I sit, fingers hovering over the keyboard, staring at the blank screen where this column will be built. It’s late February and I’ve resolved to write about the technological innovations that impressed me in the last few seriously amazing […]
The maintenance people of trucking are a resourceful breed. They get things done. Yet there’s a challenge that’s been haunting almost every shop manager – at fleets, dealerships, and independent garages alike – for as long as I’ve been writing about this industry of ours. The shortage of skilled technicians is a plague that just won’t go away.
Probably most of us believe that the onset of autonomous vehicles is inevitable, cars and trucks alike. But does anyone think it will go smoothly? I sure don’t. For the most part we’re seeing very capable technology, and it will […]