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Kudos, Canucks


I just got finished reviewing the tape, so to speak, of the latest Driving for Profit seminar held Nov. 3 in Toronto. I was unable to attend in person, but Adam Ledlow recorded it for upcoming episodes of our WebTV show Transportation Matters. I strongly suggest you check out these installments if you operate trucks in the US.
There are big-time changes coming to the way carrier safety ratings are scored by the FMCSA and there are implications for drivers as well. Look for more on CSA 2010 in the January issues of Truck News and Truck West and in future episodes of Transportation Matters. This was far and away the best Driving for Profit event to date and thankfully it was very well-attended. I have a hunch you’ll be hearing more about this well-run seminar series in the near future.
But to my point, I wanted to pass along the opening remarks from guest speaker Jeff Davis, who in addition to establishing himself as the foremost authority on the subject of CSA 2010, still finds time to oversee safety and human resources for Dayton, Ohio-based fleet Jet Express.
Davis began his presentation by telling fleet managers in attendance “I’d like to thank you Canadian carriers for making five days of my week just great.”
He went on to say he commutes 30 miles along I-75 each work day, which gives him the chance to check out the iron he sees along the way.
“I’ve come to appreciate the Canadian equipment that I see running up and down the road,” he continued. “I can tell it’s Canadian equipment two ways: First of all, you’re the guys and gals with the great paint jobs. They are done nice, you take a lot of pride in your equipment and the overall appearance of your equipment is absolutely breathtaking. I know how hard it is to run a fleet of trucks, how hard it is to wash one truck let alone 300, how expensive it is to put nice wheel covers on equipment…the pride that comes through your equipment, in my eyes, is just breathtaking. It’s quite an example to US carriers, how well you maintain your equipment.”
If you think he was just blowing smoke, I doubt it. Davis actually took the time before the seminar to check out the SafeStat records of many of the carriers in attendance and wasn’t afraid to point out some of them had cause for concern in advance of CSA 2010. He seems like a straight-shooter, so if you’re a Canadian carrier or driver operating in the US you can take pride in Davis’ comments and realize the little things do not go unnoticed.


James Menzies

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.
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3 Comments » for Kudos, Canucks
  1. Martin Cowie says:

    James, I too was in attendance of the Drive for Profit and you are correct, not only was it one of the best Drive for Profit that I have attended, the seminar made me realize how little a lot of us know of the upcoming CSA 2010. Also, I have drove for a lot of years, in the USA mainly. I have always noticed the Canadian equipment has far exceeded the USA’s.
    All Canadian drivers should hold their heads high, whether they own the rig or not.
    Martin Cowie

  2. James Menzies says:

    Martin, I think it says a lot about the professionalism of Canadian trucking companies and drivers. When we are in their country, conducting business on their roads, we need to be mindful of the fact that we are their guests.
    If Canadian trucking companies ran shoddy equipment on US roads and were wrecking all over the place, it wouldn’t be long before certain groups would be hollaring to ban Canadian trucks from the US. I’m sure there are special interest groups just waiting in the bushes, ready to attack when given any ammunition whatsoever.
    Also, Canadian trucking companies have to take good care of their equipment if they expect it to hold up under the adverse conditions it faces for much of the year. But a lot of it has to do with pride.
    James

  3. James. I am proud to be Canadian. In the few years I’ve photographed the Wowtrucks Calendar, I’ve found that pride also pays. Drivers who take pride in their equipment also send a message to clients that they take care with their loads. While not immune to economic swings.. their stories to me have suggested that the pride they take has help forge great relationships based on quality and a job well done, that keep their heads above water no matter what the economic climate.

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