Today's Trucking

Is your Truck Putting You to Sleep?

August 15, 2018

A ground-breaking bit of research from Australia has shown that low-frequency vibrations can make drivers drowsy. If this is true and the research is proven conclusive, it will call into question just about all we assume about truck crashes where the driver apparently fell asleep at the wheel. Those drivers may in fact have been very drowsy but may not have been “fatigued” in an hours-of-service (HOS) context, the way that term is typically applied to “tired drivers.”


My Money’s on Hydrogen: After decades of talk, the fuel choice is close

August 13, 2018

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 […]


Sticker Shock: Let’s set a balanced price for towing

July 31, 2018

Some of my earliest work experience came at the benches of a shop that repaired small appliances and vacuum cleaners. And a fond experience it was. Even when off the clock, I loved hanging around the area behind the counter. It’s where the owner’s aging friends would gather to chew the fat over some chewable coffee, and I was welcomed as one of them.


Where’s the credit, CVSA?

July 19, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance just published the results of its unannounced Brake Safety Day enforcement initiative, which took place on April 25.


Is Autonomy Necessary? The answer might be ‘yes’.

July 13, 2018

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” […]


Farewell Uncle John: He was from an era that fixed things. All things.

July 7, 2018

There is (or was) a small church in the Eastern Townships of Quebec that bore an unusual scar. It stood strong for decades, but if you knew where to look some of the building materials were of a slightly different […]


Skilled Trade? — Until trucking gets that moniker, we’re in trouble

June 18, 2018

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.


Trump, Tariffs and Trucks: A trade war is bad for trucking

June 8, 2018

Apparently Americans see Canada as a security threat. It was surprising news, but there was U.S. President Donald Trump, invoking the role of national security when imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum. “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” […]


Training? What Training?

May 11, 2018

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.


Don’t Waste Time: Let’s learn the lessons of a different ELD mandate

May 3, 2018

At first glance, the Canadian Trucking Alliance seems to be getting ahead of itself in the call for a “graduated education” period before electronic logging devices (ELDs) are mandated. The federal government has yet to finalize such rules, or even decide if it will embrace an accelerated December 2019 deadline the alliance is championing. Other than Ontario, most provinces have been silent on the idea, too.


Mandatory training won’t fix everything, but it will help

May 2, 2018

The chorus calling for improved and mandatory training for truck drivers is growing louder as the days pass following the Humboldt, Sask. truck/bus crash. We still don’t know the official cause of that crash, or what role driver training — or the lack thereof — played in the incident. I’m not inclined to believe it was a primary factor. I think what is playing in most peoples’ minds is the driver’s reported lack of experience.


Honoring Humboldt: We must learn the lessons that emerge

April 13, 2018

The only thing we really know about the collision at the intersection of Saskatchewan highways 35 and 335 is the extent of the tragedy. Sixteen members of the Humboldt Broncos family, all too young, were lost in early April when a bus and truck collided. Thirteen more were injured. The scars, both physical and emotional, remain.


What’s the Rush? Are we moving too fast on autonomous vehicles?

April 10, 2018

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.


Stress Test: It’s time to address mental health like we accept physical injuries

April 4, 2018

Stress is a reality in any workplace, and trucking is no exception. Any given day can be met with heavy traffic, the natural push and pull between shippers and dispatchers, and the looming threat of competitors who are more than willing to take freight off your hands.


The Propane Option: Have we closed the book on the fuel too soon?

March 16, 2018

Does propane get enough love as an alternative fuel? I think not. The question arose at the recent Green Truck Summit in Indianapolis, Ind., as another journalist and I listened to seemingly endless mention of electric options and natural gas […]