Freedom 55, who needs it!

Hello all. I hope you are all enjoying a great summer and the trucking is good. I myself have recently experienced a milestone of time; my 55th birthday. I was going to say I enjoyed my 55th but that would not be accurate. Pushing the down side of 50 is not something I am happy about. I am not afraid of it other than the fact that I come from a family with a short life span, but I sometimes feel like time is running out and of course it is. I am reminded of an old joke; life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer to the end, the faster it goes! Just as an FYI driver, I can tell you this and in fact I can state emphatically that longevity on this planet doesn’t equate to maturity. Having spent my fair share of time around folks my own age and older I can tell you younger drivers that stupid is stupid. Age doesn’t fix it. You might even hope that experience will dull it and probably in some cases it does but for the most part, as my cousin Tim Stewart in Vegas is prone to saying, you can’t fix dumb. I think Tim is right because I will attest that age sure doesn’t fix it!
55 is a self-reflective milestone for me. You see, when I was first introduced to Bill and Evan at MacKinnon Transport at the ripe old age of 34, I made it quite clear with them that if I was still in the trucking industry when I was 50 years old, that it would only be because I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than running a trucking company or because I wasn’t financially in a position to get out. My motivation for this goal was my mother Joan Haight, salt of the earth, who was taken from us at the age of 47 by leukemia and my father Ron Haight, a south paw who liked a drink or ten and was always looking for the slightest reason to show those who were interested how quick he was with his mitts, who died at age 51 of a massive heart attack. Neither of my parents lived to enjoy their lives with any independence from debt, nor from the freedom that retirement should bring. I am not whining here folks; plenty of drivers have lost parents and close family earlier than I did and you do what you need to do. You either give in to a victim mentality; ‘why’s everyone always picking on me’ type of crap or you persevere and work through it. It does give me great heartburn though when I hear people complain about their parents being a drain on their lifestyles. I would give dearly to spend just five more minutes with either of my parents.
So here I am 5 years past my self-imposed deadline of 50 and I have decided that this retirement thing is not all it is cracked up to be. In fact I never really retired. I would call it more of a slowing down process. So I, along with my good friend Kim Richardson have started a company we call Transrep. We profile and market products and services that we have screened and feel would benefit the industry. Most of these products and services just need a few introductions to the right folks or they need some slight adjustment of their service to better fit with their target market. We are having a blast with it and are enjoying some great success. It is fun watching folks succeed and helping them achieve their goals.
I do, however, take a little more time now to ‘smell the roses’ and I also enjoy the good things about our industry more than I used to. I have the privilege now of being able to stand back and write about the things I feel have value to the industry and complain about the things that irritate me. This week I ran into a website that rejuvenated my excitement for the future of the owner operator model so please visit I encourage all owner operators to read Mr. Henry Albert’s blog and see how he runs his business and conducts himself as a professional driver. This guy has class and understands that success in this industry comes in the form of incremental gains and that if you pay attention to all the small moving parts, that contrary to all the so called experts, you can make a decent buck. Mr. Albert also goes to work each day as an owner operator with a clean shirt and tie. Do you think he has a different paradigm than most folks about this great industry? I think so too – so thanks Henry, keep on blogging my friend. We need folks like you in this industry.
And then there is my good friend Nevio who will soon be tying the knot. Nevio is the national sales manager for Select Trucks and an all around good guy, straight shooter, salt of the earth buddy. Unfortunately Connie and I will be out of town and can’t avoid missing what I am sure will be a great event. I called my partner Kim to find out what he and his bride Lisa were going to be doing for a wedding gift so that we could still show our gratitude for the invitation and wish them all the best. Kim informed me that he had just learned that Nevio and his beautiful bride Linda have asked that all guest make a contribution to the Trucking for Wishes charity through the good folks over at NAL Insurance. Pretty cool; way cool; what class. I am proud to have you as a friend Nev and all the best to you and Linda.
We have some great folks in this industry and we need to spend more time telling their stories and less time listening to the whiners. If you happen to have some stories you would like to have shared with the industry, send them to me and maybe I can shed some light on them.
On a final note, Mr. Bill MacKinnon is convalescing at home with his beautiful wife Lois after a couple weeks in the hospital. Happy 83rd birthday Billy. I’m glad to see that you are on the mend my friend and all the best!
Safe Trucking

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Mr. Ray Haight has enjoyed a successful career in transportation starting as a company driver and Owner Operator logging over one million accident free miles prior to starting his own company. After stepping down from a successful career managing one of Canada’s 50 largest trucking companies, Ray focused on industry involvement including terms as Chairman of each of the following, the Truckload Carriers Association, Professional Truck Drivers Institute, North American Training and Management Institute and the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities voluntary apprenticeship of Tractor Trailer Commercial Driver, along with many other business interests, he enjoys a successful consulting business, also sitting on various Boards of both industry associations a private motor carriers. He is also Co-Founder of StakUp O/A TCAinGauge an online bench marking service designed to assist trucking companies throughout North America focus on efficiency and profitability within their operations.

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