Today's Trucking

Death in the Tire Shop

November 14, 2016

This story illustrates how a simple lack of communication and a chance second guess resulted in the death of a tire technician. I suspect a scenario similar to this one plays itself out almost daily in repair and service facilities […]

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 […]

Target: Fuel Economy

November 2, 2016

Amidst all the talk of progressively wilder technologies, there’s one fundamental subject that comes first: fuel economy and how to maximize it.

Anything is possible

November 1, 2016

Where are we headed? Well, with enormous potential waiting to burst, we’re in the midst of the second industrial revolution. It’s all about the Internet of Things, meaning a network of physical things embedded with electronics and sensors and internet connectivity — and crucially, the ability to exchange data. Put a savvy truck in the middle of that network and start thinking about what it could link up with.

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.

The urban future?

September 21, 2016

As I write this in a hotel room in Hannover, Germany — where 400 other trucking journalists are also lodged — I’m anticipating the opening of the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicles Show tomorrow morning. Ultimately there will be some 2500 motor noters like me descending on the Hannover exhibition grounds and then rushing about this way and that like pen-wielding ants, all of them looking for a story that nobody else has discovered.

VW, Navistar: What’s the Deal?

September 9, 2016

Well, it finally happened. Rumored for many months, if not years, and now a fait accompli, Volkswagen Truck & Bus has bought a piece of Navistar International. While the gossip mill mostly envisioned an outright purchase by the German giant, yesterday’s announcement described a less dramatic deal: VW is buying a 16.6% stake in the Illinois company. It will pay US$15.76 per share or a 25% premium over Navistar’s 90-day volume-weighted average price as of Aug. 31, or 12% over Navistar’s closing price on Sept. 2. Navistar will receive US$256 million from the equity investment to be used for general corporate purposes.

What’s “professional”?

September 9, 2016

I have trouble with the phrase ‘professional truck driver’. Some drivers are indeed professional, very much so, and I count many amongst my friends. If I were a fleet manager I’d trust them with any load going any place at […]

Job Security?

September 9, 2016

Driver, your job is not at risk. Well, let me qualify that. Unless you’re comprehensively unable to keep ‘er between the poles, you’re safe. In the immediate future, at least. But in the longer term — call it 20-25 years […]

Trusting Technology

September 6, 2016

You, dear reader, have the good fortune of reading the first words written for profit on my brand new Lenovo ThinkPad computer — or at least what’s left of it. The first for-profit words were to fly from this keyboard […]

35 years’ experience, or one year’s experience 35 times?

September 6, 2016

Where I live, commercial drivers are required to rewrite their CDL test every five years in order to renew the licence. I wrote my renewal test today and aced it. I wrote almost exactly the same test in 1978 when […]

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.