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.
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 […]
What are the industry’s biggest issues these days? Most everyone will say the driver shortage leads the way. Everyone except drivers, of course. I’d say top spot belongs to hours of service rules followed closely by the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, both of which are key reasons for the shortage… of drivers willing to work long hours within that arbitrarily constructed straitjacket. So it’s no surprise that the top three issues for drivers are those two plus the lack of parking facilities.
Electric, electric, electric. The hoopla about electric trucks has been literally inescapable. You’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re about to take over the trucking world, but it may be quite a few years before everything is in place to […]
Plug-in electric trucks are all the rage these days, mostly medium-duty machines, but there’s even a functional prototype logging truck that’s not only electric but fully autonomous as well. Swedish tech start-up Einride recently unveiled its T-log truck that incorporates […]
How on earth can distracted human driving be the cause of a crash involving a vehicle under autonomous control? Sounds like a good question, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what happened last March in the accident involving an Uber “taxi” […]
The thing about proper training is that it makes the driving job legitimate, makes it seem like something worth doing. Our ability to attract new recruits will only increase if a strong training regime is in place. That’s how I wrapped up last month’s column — “Training? What Training?” — which garnered a lot of response. And a lot of agreement, especially on that point about legitimacy. If the job required serious training, graduates would think better of themselves, as would the public and the suits who govern how we do what we do.
Fault has not yet been assigned in the stunningly horrible crash that stole the lives of 16 Humboldt Broncos hockey club members and, while I have ideas, I won’t engage in conjecture as to what went wrong on April 6. Inevitably the discussion has turned to driver training and the shameful fact that only Ontario has made it mandatory, though not until last year. The public is outraged, and I can’t blame them. Many driving instructors are also angry about the reality of inadequate training. They’re right to be critical. Hell, it wasn’t so long ago that you could take the road test for your Ontario class A licence with a pickup truck pulling a fifth-wheel horse trailer out back. Ludicrous.
Perspective is what prevents us from making lousy decisions and watching our stress levels rise as we try to cope with the fallout from those mistakes and misperceptions. Never before, I would argue, has perspective been as necessary as it is now. In life at large and certainly in this industry of ours.