Today's Trucking

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 […]


Feeling Disconnected: Platooning has promise, but barriers remain

March 13, 2018

The idea of platooning trucks has been released to great fanfare, and for good reason. Double-digit fuel economy gains can be realized by allowing one tractor-trailer to tuck closely behind the next, drafting much like race cars as long as […]


Hourly Pay’s the Way: If there’s a good side to ELDs, it’s that driver pay systems will change

February 21, 2018

There are two things converging in this sometimes tumultuous industry of ours: an apparent capacity crunch in many sectors and the difficult onset of electronic logging devices, which is only making the former worse. And will continue to do so, […]


Mind the Paper Trail: Track driver files or face the consequences

February 9, 2018

Kevin James Hickson has built a career on delivering metal. It began with local deliveries and a pickup truck before a co-worker told him about the job opening for someone with a Class AZ licence. All it took was training […]


Perspective, People: The onslaught of new technology is fascinating, but who really cares?

January 9, 2018

Amidst the astonishing flood of electric this and autonomous that lately, I wonder who actually wants any of this stuff. I mean out there in the land of real trucking, not in the offices of mega-fleets with the means to […]


Tick, Tock: Electronic Logging Devices are coming

January 9, 2018

Canadian regulators didn’t waste much time. A U.S. mandate for Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) was just a few hours old on December 18 when federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced similar plans for Canada. The rule that applies to federally […]


IRP offers solution for road builders

December 14, 2017

My dad loved my mom’s “Never Fail Bread.” Time after time, she could turn out a dozen buns that were light as love. Then one afternoon he decided to give her recipe a try. The result wasn’t pretty.