Taking my own advice, I’m going to be positive this month, so I apologize in advance for any disappointment this may cause.
First up, a shout-out to Bison Transport, for listening to their drivers. A friend of mine works there and came back from some home time to find his tractor unit had new steer tires fitted. He expressed concern at the choice of tires, as he didn’t like the ride they gave.
They were a first life tire from a well-respected manufacturer, but my friend is rather picky and he preferred the ride from his previous set. He was asked to try them for one trip and if he had any concerns, they would be swapped out for his favoured tire choice. He didn’t like them, they swapped them out. Not often do you hear of a company listening to a driver and bending over backwards to keep him happy, so well done Bison.
And speaking of Bison, they’ve gone above and beyond once again. This time it concerns their driver’s butts. Instead of kicking them, Bison is giving some of them a Bose Ride System to gently cosset them as they roll down the road.
This system will pay dividends in the long run. They’re initially expensive, but they are not just a fancy seat – they are indeed a ride system. If you’ve ever seen a demonstration of them, you’ll know what I mean. They are an amazing piece of technology and will greatly contribute to a driver’s long-term health, especially on the torn-up roads we have to ride on.
Speaking of which, now that winter has finally gone south, we have the other Canadian season: construction. I know I’m pushing the boundaries of positivity here, but it is a good thing, like visiting a dentist when you have a toothache is a good thing. Sure it causes a little pain in the short term, but long term, you’ll be in a much better place. Road improvements are good for all of us, so please bear that in mind as you sit in a back-up; it’s all happening for a good reason.
Something else the change in weather brings is holiday traffic – this can be very frustrating at times. They meander along without a care in the world, getting in the way of us folks who earn our living on the roads. They’re even worse when we stop for a coffee; the line-up goes right around the store, they stand there staring at the menu like they’ve never set foot in a Timmies before and what usually takes no more than five minutes seems to take an eternity.
It’s enough to drive you crazy, but think about this, if people can afford to take a holiday it means they have money in the bank and money in the bank means a thriving economy and a thriving economy means plenty of freight, so it’s good for all of us.
Now it’s my turn. This is the year I’m finally going to become incredibly wealthy and it’s all thanks to trucking. So how am I going to do this? Simple, I’m going to buy a few truckloads of yellow paint and sell it to B.C.’s Department of Transportation.
Judging by the almost complete lack of road markings in the province, they obviously cannot get yellow paint. This should make me a decent profit and I’m going to invest that in road salt, which I’ll sell to Saskatchewan. Again it’s something they cannot seem to get hold of anywhere, judging by the almost total absence of the stuff on their highways this past winter.
This gives me a dilemma; do I buy a new truck with my newly acquired wealth? You’ve read in the past my feelings on the new trucks and my disgust at the reliability issues they present. However, I have only concentrated on the negatives and there’s no place for any of that in this column.
So back to the positives. Not all new trucks break down. Using my own figures to beat myself up, more than half are never in the shop for anything but routine maintenance. They’re far more comfortable than the older models, far quieter and a lot of attention has been paid to making them very driver-friendly inside the cab, especially the bunk areas. They also achieve spectacular fuel consumption figures, to the point where the fuel savings, compared to an older classic truck, can take care of the payments, which means that it won’t cost me a penny, the truck will pay for itself.
Wow! I made it through a whole column without any negativity. Not only am I proud of that achievement, I’m also going to take great pleasure in collecting the $20 I bet my wife, who said I couldn’t pull it off. Happy days.