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Trucking needs a baby boom

I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about something that has suddenly gotten put on the radar: the fact that in many industrialized countries, seniors will soon outnumber the younger, working-age population.
In Canada, for example, (according to a Statistics Canada report released late last year), by the year 2015, there will be more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. That would be a first in the history of Canada’s population statistics, said the stats agency.
Indeed, a worrying trend has emerged in the country: Canada’s fertility rates (the amount of births per woman) are declining dramatically. We essentially are no longer replacing deaths with enough births.
The trucking industry has been well aware of such dire predictions for ages. Truckers already constitute, again according to Statistics Canada, an older work force whose average age in 2004 was 42 (45 for the self-employed truckers).
Even more worrisome, only 5 % of truck drivers were under 25 in 2004, compared with 15 % in the labour force as a whole, says ‘the Man’s’ Stats division.
And trucking will have to compete with many other industries for scarce employee resources. You can’t exactly offshore the profession either!
Now demographics don’t happen overnight, but I think the sudden panic was probably encouraged by the fact that in 2006, the oldest Baby Boomers (encompassing those born from 1946 to 1964), turn 60. This wouldn’t normally be problematic because their generation is, as we all know, immortal, but now all sorts of queries and questions are coming out about what shall we all do? There’s no one left to work!

So in all of these articles I’ve read lately, they’ve got economists, statisticians and sociologists going on at great length about how to keep seniors working to a later retirement age, supposedly because, and I remember reading something akin to this, “gardening is just not gonna do it for them anymore.”
Whatever happened to “Freedom” 55?
Now, in some industries, such as trucking, there is good reason to keep working longer. Truckers, for example (again according to StatsCan) generally receive fewer benefits compared to other occupations, especially with respect to a retirement plan. If you’re self-employed, too, you’ve got the freedom (or you haven’t got the freedom) to stop working at a certain age, as long as you can, of course, carry out your duties safely.
That’s where I’m kind of confused. Notwithstanding their immortality, after 60 some of the Boomers have got to be showing some signs of aging, no? Signs that can’t be covered up with Botox?
And despite freedom of choice and ageism and all that, do we want, as an industrialized country, to have to depend on our senior generation to keep the country going?
Not to make it a generational issue by any means, but I know that my generation, Generation X, is disloyal and contemptuous. And Generation Y, spoiled and self-entitled, might all be addicted to Ritalin from all those hours spent in organized activity. But it kind of amounts to the same thing if we’re going to try to keep people in the workforce whose chemical intake is 22 pills a day, not counting the Viagra.
I’m even sure that some of them will eventually feel they need a break from the daily grind, even if the alternative is the potting shed or other euphemisms.
But more importantly, why are we only looking, in terms of policy, at that generation and ways to keep them going to work? There’s endless talk of “how can they collect their pensions and keep working without penalty, and if they want to work part-time, we could do this…..”
No one is looking at the next generations and saying “let’s figure out a way to, well, get more young people.”
Notice I didn’t say “Let’s figure out a way to tax them more.” Because I don’t think that’s the solution here.
I think there’s something wrong with a tax system that penalizes a family so badly when a dependent, such as a wife, stays home with the kids. It’s my understanding that at one point in time in Canada, a family with several children would hardly be taxed on income at all.
It seems that fewer and fewer people see childbearing and rearing as an investment in the future, not as a burden to the state.
Even the Chinese, long restricted by law to having just one “little Emperor”, are just paying the fine and having a second kid.
And while immigration is and always will be needed in Canada, you can’t just bring in more immigrants to solve a population problem, because who is to say that even if you brought in the kinds of immigrants that normally, culturally, like big families, they wouldn’t, under a crushing tax system and harsh North American work ethic, eventually just produce 1.7 children (or fewer, where the trend is headed) like Canadian moms?
Some people blame feminism. There are some women (and men) who do make it hard on others who choose the family route. It’s not uncommon in the workplace to hear women call those who have more than two kids “breeding sow” or similar. Others who’ve chosen to have no kids will say, “Wow, you get a year off? Wouldn’t I like to have a year off to go on sabbatical and travel!”
And women cannot agree amongst each other and are constantly pitted against one another on all of the choices they make in childrearing, childcare and in their own careers.
But, speaking for my gender, I can say quite honestly that it’s not always a conscious, radical decision women make to delay having kids. (There are some, of course, who believe that they are fully in control of nature all along). You literally don’t think about it during your twenties, because for years, you’ve been encouraged to get educated and get a job, and contribute in that sense. Most of us have no clue, until it happens to us, how difficult it is to raise a family in this country, with regard to what you don’t get, financially, when you take time off to care for an infant.
And it’s completely unequal too. If you work for the feds, you’ll get back over 90 % of your salary when you’re off, at least for a few months’ time. If your company doesn’t give you extra, EI is paying you 55% of your last salary, taxable of course. And if you’re self-employed, you get zilch. Read it: zilch.
You quickly realize that the government wasn’t really that interested in your long-service award certificate or your three degrees. They just wanted your income tax return.
So if we’re short of people, in other words, who are going to be paying taxes into the system in 20 or so years to keep our social programs going and our productivity levels “high”, (and, let’s face it, look after our older generation) what’s a bit of a break (whether through tax reform or a baby bonus of sorts) for a family for a couple of years to ease their kids’ way in life?
Seems like a drop in the bucket to me.

Julia Kuzeljevich

Julia Kuzeljevich

Julia Kuzeljevich is managing editor of Motortruck magazine, as well as sister publication Canadian Transportation & Logistics and With nearly seven years’ experience writing for the Canadian transportation industry, Julia specializes in human interest, in-depth news and business articles of interest to the trucking and logistics sectors. Julia has a degree in languages with a postgraduate specialization in journalism, and work experience in the air transportation industry.
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37 Comments » for Trucking needs a baby boom
  1. James L Alderton says:

    Trucking does not need a baby boom,the industry needs to pay drivers like anyother profession.If the wages were competive to other industries that are classed as professional than it would attract new people to the industry.If you can go work in a factory for say $18.00 to 20.00 per hour and your only investment is a lunch box.Why would you want to drive a truck for say 20.00 per hour go thru the expence of obtaining a licence,take the chance of losing a half or a third of your paycheck for say a logbook ticket.This industry is crying driver shortage but from what I see its self inflicted.

  2. Ken says:

    Got to agree with Mr. Alderton. I would just add the disrepect with which you are treated in so many instances. The money issue, I don’t know many who have been at it for twenty-five years or better that would not say that we may more money in years gone by with less aggravation. The Americanized style that so many of these companies want to operate like is also a disincentive, who wants to live in a truck for a month or more at a time. I did not even get into my usual tirade about the stunts of all the nascar drivers that you encounter out there. There is to much stress and to litle reward nowadys. Better off to be in the money end of things. Get in the middle be a load pimp and go home and sit by your pool at five in the afternoon.

  3. James L Alderton says:

    Guys,anybody that is working for a drivers service in the Province of Ontario is entitled to overtime after 44 hrs if your driver service does not hold it’s own CVOR.Drivers services were created to keep drivers from joining organized labour this was to help the companies from paying higher wages,much like companies created the never never plan lease a truck never own it!There is alot of back overtime owed to drivers employed by driver services,check with the Ontario Labour Board.It’s your money

  4. jamie dance says:

    most drivers are right on the money when they say it’s about respect. We the drivers don’t get the respect that we so rightfuly diserve. Mto and the u.s dot are out to get us for whatever they can. I do believe that the money is there to pay us better, however there are companies out there that pay very well, you just have to find them. As far as attracting new drivers, who in their right mind would want to enter an industry where we are looked down upon? Who wants to get in a truck and drive 2000 miles or how ever far they have to go at a restricted speed? definitely not me, but guess what, I’ve been doing this job for 11years so I’m stuck. In short, the industry needs to step back and take the ideas from the people who drive, to try and make this profession more attractive, more money and less bull from the government.

  5. Ken says:

    The overtime thing is only partially true, for the most part it is after 50 for most people in transport. If the company operates outside of Ontario the federal ruies apply. This can be true even if you yourself don’t ever leave the province.
    It occurs to me also you mention EI in the oridinal blog. It seems that some of the problem can be found there. With all of the attention on the “driver shortage” apparently, due to all the openings in the transport industry, EI pushes people to take a sponsered course to drive a truck. This creates a whole bunch of people with little or no interest in doing it and a bunch more problems in the business. In addition you have people completing these courses entering the field, finding the realalities of the job leaving it and exacerbating the turnover rate.
    The problems are complex but trucking can be summed up like this, it’s a lifestyle not a life.
    There in lies the inability to attract new drivers. Small wonder considering the poor public image and misconceptions of the general public about truck drivers. We live in a different world then when I started. Had I been about to start now I really don’t know if I would choose the same path.

  6. John Wilksne says:

    Julia,In my opinion trucking does not need a “baby boom”,what Professional Line-Drivers need is a monetary gain that will equal other trades in this country. With the onset of the “owner operator” in line-haul trucking arena some thirty years ago,the industry has deteriorated to its lowest level in its one hundred year history. The corporate[shippers]control the truckers rates for hauling the freight,a unique business relationship to say the least!Return on investment and work time is the lowest of any skilled job in this country.The tradesman in BC. earn twenty-five to thirty dollars per hour,the average line-driver earns six to eight dollars per hour! Driver shortage I guess? *note-Jan.1996 letter I wrote to the editor of “Truck News” on this topic. The accident rate of commercial vehicular traffic is increasing due to unskilled drivers and extended hours of driving to survive in this industry.The majority of the transportation periodicals publish the most inane articles relating to the driver shortage,avoiding the true reasons the shortage exists.I have been involved in the transportatio since the year 1961 as driver,driver trainer,truck sales,commercial accident investigation,and fleet management.I base my opinion on my years in the industry,and look forward to the opinions of others on this topic. Thankyou John Wilksne-Vancouver

  7. Julia pointed out that Canadians are not having enough kids, period.
    No-one else has made any suggestions on fixing that, but noted the problem of attracting people who are around into this sector. You could mitigate the impact of the problem by paying more, encouraging improved attitudes, etc., but that is only going to delay the inevitable. Julia points out that even immigration (which is my area of expertise) is only a stopgap solution. France, which has an even lower birthrate than ours, has been paying massive baby bonuses which are largely being collected by recently naturalized citizens.
    In the truly long term, we may actually get trucks that can drive themselves, but I think Julia’s suggestions are the principal direction to go for the middle term. As the shortage gets worse, wages and respect will go up along with the need, but there will be competition for workers and truck driving will tend to loose out.

  8. James L Alderton says:

    Jamie Dancer you mentioned high paying jobs out there,where are they?Looking thru the Truck news I see a high profile ad offering 41/mile $14.00 paid waiting time lets look at this at face value at 60 mph at 41 cents equals $24.60 an hour not bad but according to rule of thumb and what you can log you average 50mph now your down to $20.50 per hour throw in a couple of hours waiting for accidents road construction etc.that rate continues to fall,but low and behold your still driving that shiny new pete god bless the boss.THE BIG INSULT HERE IS THE$14.00 AN HOUR WAITING TIME,I HAVE A 24 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER MAKING $13.85 ANSWERING PHONES!You have paid to get your class A probaily $3000 or 4000 dollars take bi yearly medicals at your own expense,if you get a ticket on the road it can affect your personal life,higher insurance premiums not to mention the cost of the ticket!An auto worker makes $28.00 or more per hour factor in benefits and pension that translates into $58.00 plus an hour,so where are the high paying trucking jobs.Yes we do deserve respect but we will never acheive this because we are too busy backbiting each other,it’s been that way the 30 plus years I’ve out here.

  9. Ken says:

    So true Mr. Alderton and when I read it I could almost taste a bitterness that many of us who have been at it a long time feel. Here is another reason people don’t (maybe should not) want to persue this career. I have done it for thirty years, been through driving all the old equipment with hendrickson and rubber block and camel back suspension. The run 500 -700 miles overnight and then handbomb the freight off.
    Over the years I’ve had my share of back aches and whenever I mentioned them to the doctors the response was you drive a truck probably arthritis. Now I have a couple of discs that herniated are are deteriorating, I have extensive nerve damage rendering my right foot almost useless, my right leg use diminished. My driving career very likely over. The same doctors that proclaimed the occupation to be the problem now can’t remember that. Compensation wants to stonewall despite numerous studies that conclude that whole body vibration caused by driving a truck causes these back conditions. The people whom I have worked for only view me now as a pariah as they could be deemed liable for some portion of a compensation award if there were one.
    So tell me why would a young man or woman want to do this given the comments everyone has made?
    Another thing that amazes me is the reference to age groups particulary when they mention 21 – 25 group, try to insure a twenty-one year old with no experience to drive your truck.
    I have owned my own, had my own small fleet running under my own authourity, now I don’t think I could recommend this a career path to any one, in good consience. That’s the despite having had more fun than most people could ever imagine at work. Those days are long gone.
    I suspect that this is quickly becoming a job that immigrants who hold credentials for loftier positions, that are not recognized here, fall back on as it is one of the few things they can do without recognized credentials and make the 50,000.00 or 60,000.00 a year gross income. Hence the decline in the quality of drivers out there, if it is a second or third choice job you are not likely to put your all into it.
    I say all of this from thirty years of experience and growing up in a family where almost every male member was in the transport industry.

  10. dave g says:

    why would anyone want to get into this business?where else can you work for free,get no respect,get fined for looking at the DOT wrong, have the goverment mandate things that only would take more money out of the drivers pocket.there is something wrong with this picture here.if i could go back thirty years and know what i know now i would not be doing is kind of sad that the driver has had to suffer the most to keep the general public happy

  11. Dave Allan says:

    The Problem isn’t the immigrants, its the companies and unemployment insurance. They have made A-Z licence a joke. No one wants to work for free but we do. No one wants to bring up the standards in the trucking industry for fear of compation and lack of profit. We made that situation as drivers slow down take breaks make it hard to complete the jobs yea slow it down not stop. Make the truck run longer, make it unprofitable to the companies that’s how we solve the problems in the industry if it say’s deliever in 3 day’s make it 6 days. What this does is make the companies pay one way or the other they will have to solve it, how pay more. you have a trip take the long way enjoy yourselfs. Stop at the border, tie it up ,slow it down,use up your fuel one way or another we are encharge, make them pay!!! not Quit or get angry, just even.

  12. James L Alderton says:

    Drivers/owner operators we as a group are at a critical time here,companies are crying driver shortage,governments are using professional drivers as cash cows companies are trying to squeeze more profits from us.There is no driver shortage increase pay scales you will attract new drivers simple.Crack down on fly by night driver schools who only half train drivers for the job they are trained to do.Has anybody thought of the ramifications if every driver in North America simply phoned in sick or booked holidays on the same three days?I know what would happen the whole North American economy would crash.we have tried to block highways,border crossings etc.we have been branded bullys criminals etc.for our efforts,governments have passed laws prohibiting such actions.But if we simiply phoned in sick there would be nothing they could do!Think about it Ford,GM or Chysler go on strike people virtuly kiss their collective butts.So what makes us so differant,we can’t get along even for three days for those of you who are predujuce have you ever considered what would happen if you had a heartattack or accident and you where reveived by someone of a different race than yourself!Would you be a man/woman of your beleifs suck it up tell the doctor or nurse to quit saving your life!Very few would so why do we blame the woes of the trucking industry on someone else.My point is put your petty differances aside work together for a common goal.That goal would be bring a whole group of people out of working poverty,by working together to acheive that goal.This won’t happen overnight,but with a little effort it could happen.For those of you thinking I’m making good money and I’m billy big rigger next time you stop that truck look in the big west coast mirror and ask yourself do I make $28.00 PER HOUR DO I have a pension plan to fall back on when I’m old and crippled up.If I lose my drivers licence can I get in my personal car and find another job!

  13. Julia Kuzeljevich says:

    Thanks for all of your comments-they’ve been very insightful!
    To those who said we need to pay drivers more, I have heard it mentioned here and there at various conferences that maybe we should just let the driver shortage get worse and worse and not try to actively recruit, with the aim of pushing the pay level higher when the shortage gets acute.
    I don’t know if it would have the desired effect-we’re also always reporting on what the other modes are doing to attract more traffic or be more productive, and it will be interesting to see what solutions emerge.
    At a recent conference I heard the comment that we are still feeling the effects of deregulation even this far along and that we’ll see more of a shakeout with regard to drivers, pay and capacity.
    Remains to be seen!

  14. rené says:

    the truking indutry created there own problem they( make me laft or cry i dont nom anymore )when i look at there adds we treath our driver whit respect what a joke how can you say that when drivers are probebly they only one that have to pay to work that stand for compagny drivers if you are payd 39 por cents by mile you run just think that 7 cents is comming out of your poket they call that driver expence thats the money you would get any way in your incom tax return and over that they whant to slow down there truck whitouth rising your wage one’s again so that meen’s you get pay even less.i work for transfore and let me tell you that’s nothing to solve the probleme,the way there going they are slowley shuting down compagny that cost to much and give the freight to cheaper compagny (transforce member)to increace there profit they nerver ave enough so in the future you’ll gona see more and more foreigher’s on the road becuse they gona cry to the gouverment that they are running out of driver poor them !

  15. T.J.Foulis says:

    Well this is my 1st time in this blog and I thinks it’s great. So here’s my comments, 26 years ago trucking was really different when you went to work most of the time you enjoied it and you would probalally run with anyone out there and now the only thing you here on the C.B is what are the scales doing or how this company is screwing the drivers. The “baby boom” well sounds good but I dont want to have more kids all I want is a nice weekend off to enjoy myself and not have to worry about the phone ringing and a dispatcher tring to talk me into going out early and doing a “short one” before your run, my kids are grown up and I dont want to be tide down again.Wages are a joke all I’ve been hauling is Haz-Mat for my 26 years so I have greater responsibilitis and get paid less than most freight haulers everyone asks if I get paid more for pulling tankers and when I say no they say no sense in changing jobs,you talk about DOT fines well put a placard on your truck and the fines are doubled.When I started I was making peanuts and thought that was the way it was with no experince and it would get better well it did then it peaked and then the wages started to drop in 1988 I made more money than what I’m making now,I bought a house for 25000.00 had a new car every 2 years and try that now.Experince means nothing to the company’s out here when a position comes up in the office you ask about it and the company says we will let you try it for $30000.00 a year but when thay do hire that college kid off the street they pay him $60000.00 to start when you ask why they tell you he has the education and what about hands on experince,the company’s dont want you off the road you make them money.This has been fun but I’m not writing an article so thanks for your time.

  16. Ted Campbell says:

    Ted Campbell
    2853 Woodland Drive
    Langley B.C. V2Y 1E6
    Tel: 604-841-8383
    March 18, 2006
    I’ve been connected with the trucking business in since 1955 and I’d like to add my voice to a growing number of people regarding what is taking place in the Trucking Industry. This is not just a Canadian problem; it exists worldwide.
    There is a simple solution.
    Better training.
    There is a tendency among people unfamiliar with the trucking business to demand, “more rules – more regulations” when they see or hear of a truck related accident. This becomes especially strident after one of the roadside blitzes and those in charge make loud pronouncements about the percentage of trucks impounded for safety reasons. The answer isn’t more rules, its better training and there is a highly successful program available. It is called Earn Your Wheels. The problem is: It takes about 12 weeks, tuition costs in the range of $10,000.00 not including room and board which is about half again for a total of about $15,000.00. Student loans are not available thus the student must carry the entire cost. I understand the driver training schools that offer E.Y.W in B.C.presently turn out a couple dozen graduates per month; all are pre-hired well in advance of their graduation certificate. I’m sure the same applies across Canada
    Students who can’t afford the full-meal deal opt for less costly programs then have difficulty finding jobs because they “don’t have experience” EYW provides behind-the-wheel mountain experience, that’s why grads go to the front of the line.
    Training works. Student loans for EYW will put qualified people at the wheels of our trucks, they will repay the loans and we’ll all have safer roads.
    Ted Campbell
    A fifty-year B.C. Trucker

  17. rené says:

    ok gui’s stop crying there’s a solution to all owner/opp’s problem tru all canada GET TOGETHER stop beeing individual’s you chould start the canadian owner opperater transport and logistic compagnie.why not acculy you say I own and opperate my compagnie ? that’s what’S you think then wy are you pulling for a nother compagni??? if all o/opp’s would get togetther you would get better feul price truck,and tire ect if you GET THOGETHER that’s the only solution to all of your problem stop bieng individual’s bicuse that’s how compagni’s make money on you get’it in your poket instead of there’s.have a good day

  18. PAT C says:

    On october 2/2ooo I ended a 14 years of trucking,along with 14 years of hoping and wandering
    when this industry was going to start treating it’s “professionals” like their most important
    asset.I may not have put in as many years as lots of drivers out there,but i had seen enough.
    I wanted to buy my own truck, but i knew too many o/os who lost it all because they were
    hauling for the wrong carriers.This industry has been riding on the backs of the old
    workhorses and has done very little to make young and ambitious drivers feel like they had
    chosen a great carrer for their future. All the seminars and fancy adds won’t change the
    reasons why I and so many with roughly the same years driving experience where forced to find
    new carrers.Big brand new termials,new trucks and sharp looking trailers may lure a new driver
    but it won’t keep him pulling for you too long if it don’t pay.I read my truck news every
    month i pick it up at the pipeline on hwy 40 in st.laurent. i still drive from time to time
    for HBC doing montreal-kingston switchs.Now i work for the montreal transit commision,i make a
    great salary and i get all the benifits i wished i could of had as a professional truck
    driver.I miss driving truck as a full time job,but they had their chance and blew it.the
    driver shortage along with the rising cost of feul will will give the industry power over the
    shippers when they negociate prices.But i`m afraid it will get worst before it gets better.
    TRUCK NEWS keep up the great work you do.This industry needs all the help it can get.

  19. James L Alderton says:

    Ted I agree with you 100% lets go back to the orginal way of giving up and coming drivers the knowledge to perform their jobs properly.When I learn to drive a truck you started on a stake truck if you didn’t wreck that eventualy worked up to a tractor trailer working around town,after a while you might get the odd highway trip.If you proved yourself capable you were allowed more highway trips.At one time there was a drivers school operating between BC and Ont that actualy took students across country with LOADED EQUIPMENT in differant weather conditions the ultimanate driving school!!!!!So where have we lost this,the push to fill seats with a warm body.Guys don’t come down on recent driver school graduates too hard,look at this way you should feel sorry for them they paid all that money to be trained properly and only got half trained.So they got ripped off how would you feel?????

  20. Ted Campbell says:

    Thanks for those words James, three of us sat around this morning and told how we got started, about half good luck, a bit of charm, the right circumstances and the rest pure B.S. but that won’t work today, too many ways for a company to be caught up in really nasty circumstances. Truck companies in every province are crying for drivers, despite the commonly held idea that “no one wants to be a trucker anymore” there are lots of people who still think the open road has a sort of romantic appeal. If there was a way for them to get trained without hitting Dad and Mom or Grandma for cash we’d see a lot of new, knowledgeable and confident drivers on the road. There is a great push to train computer experts but I keep thinking about the kid in grade ten who “ain’t gonna make it” That person deserves a break and driving truck (or running a bulldozer or backhoe) is still an honourable way to be a productive member of society.

  21. David allan says:

    To change the system is a matter of cost you must first change the thought pattern by slowing down the loads and if possiable slowing down the profit. Don’t protested just slow down, not quit ,not yell. If you slow down and the others slow down the companies will pay more for delivery time. You have the balls in your hand slow down make them pay. You want your load pay me to be on time. If not well get it when you get it. 20% do this and presto you and I make more money

  22. rene says:

    *they only solution to the problem is the compagnie (carrier) the day evereting gona change is wen they gona stop thinking about there own poket and realise those ho bring that money to them.

  23. Anonymous says:

    is the trucking this bad

  24. Anonymous says:

    i donot want this drivering job if its this bad

  25. Bob E. Bigrigger says:

    Trucking doesn’t need a baby boom. There are enough babies in it already. Iv’e heard them whining and telling tall tales on the radio. Truckin’ needs an enema!

  26. James L Alderton says:

    Dear Bob E Bigrigger,You may call drivers a bunch of babies,but you know what I’ve have most likey driven a truck more years than you have been on this earth.Futhermore if you can’t see that drivers are abused or mistreated everyday you sir are a complete moron!!!!!!I’ve personaly seen the abuse and mistreatment drivers and ow/op are subject to on a daily bases.If you are happy making that small wage you are receiving carry on.But I think you are on the managment end of the scale,most likely a burnt out truck driver,like the old saying goes as soon as they go in that door it hits them in the rearend and they forget everything they know !If not my words for you are not permited on this web site if you are are driver.Anybody that don’t fight for a higher wage and benefits in his/her industry is a complete moron.

  27. Bob E. Bigrigger says:

    Dear James L. Alderton,
    I have worn out the soles of more cow-boy (pronounced Ka-boy) boots kicking tires than years you have driven. In addition, just the miles that I have backed up would make you show more regard.
    It had all been accident free too…..right up until the time I ran over your sense of humour.
    Now as for the length of time issue, if this is the case, may I offer you a ride to the testing centre. All of you octogenerians are required to be retested you know.
    Please don’t call call me a moron. The doctor says that is not true. He tells me I am fine as long as I stay on my meds. Does anyone remember when I took my last pill?
    Anal Retentively Yours,
    Bob E. Bigrigger

  28. Anonymous says:

    is the truck driving indurstiy worth working for? i am 28yearsold is it yhat bad?

  29. Anonymous says:

    One thing I find interesting is how there is all this comment about a shortage of truck drivers, yet much complaints about pay, and o/o going under. I half suspect that much like any other industry, there is really only a shortage of workers willing to work at a certain wage level.
    It reminds me of a newspaper article written around 97 or 98 about a firm in Halifax who was complaining about the huge shortage of computer science types because they couldn’t find someone with a Bsc *AND* 5 years experience for 35K a year.
    I have to wonder, are these companies really that hard up for labour, or what. In an unregulated free market system, companies would charge more, pay more untill they could service the new lowered level of demand. Something is fishy, is it the Mafia, those dreaded Amish? 😉

  30. JiggaDigga says:

    Great reading, keep up the great posts.
    Peace, JiggaDigga

  31. PAT.c says:

    This comment is addressed to mr.bigrigger.Now i know that there is alot of whining out there
    but i think that we can agree that many of these ” babies” are truely fed up off working for
    for an industry that keeps crying out for qualified drivers,but is unable to pay them a salary
    fit for the professionals that they truley are.These “babies” are out there away from home and
    and from people who love them.They are entrusted with expensive and massive rolling equipment
    and are loaded with merchandise that can easily reach in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    They are looked down uppon by their bosses who care very little about them,shippers and
    receivers who care even less,the DOT who turns the screw on them and government laws that make
    sure they do.and those freindly border officials who are always happy to see them.Then finally
    there is the general public,i won’t even get into that one.These “Babies” do there demanding
    jobs both physically and mentally at a salary less than that of a professionl tradesman who
    goes to work every day with nothing more than a toolbox,unionized with all the benifits to bo
    booth.What is really sad is that fellow truckers like you beleive that whenever a trucker
    complains about working conditions he’s a whiner.Sometimes they are expressing true concerns
    that they are truely tired of.I guess you don’t share these concerns.You probably don’t see a
    problem with it all.Maybe you’re happy with the way things are and don’t want anything to
    change.You don’t have to worry Mr.bigrigger things will probablly never get better in this
    industry,there are too many guys like you who will make sure it won’t.

  32. k.Johnson says:

    Great and Informative reading. Thank you all. Nice to know we are not the only ones feeling this way. To Mr. Bigrigger, have a long, happy and prosperous(or not)life. To the rest of the contributors, Thank you. Future choices are now easier to make.
    Tired of Drowning

  33. James L Alderton says:

    Special thanks to Joanne Ritchie for her article in the May /06 issue of the Truck News you hit the nail right on the head Thank You very much!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Mark says:

    Hello. I was wondering if anyone could tell me the MTO’s (Ontario) policy for their medical forms?? I would love to drive a truck (Class 1A OR DZ) but once I had a little mishap and ended up in the hospital (In december of 05′)… They drug tested me and started whining because my urine test came back positive for banned substances. I went to a party the week before – and now I’m screwed in getting a medical because of that!! It sucks large. But does anyone know how long you have to be “clean” to get a medical done??? The doc is being a dillhole. Thanx guys. You guys are the best. Great board.

  35. george says:

    i was working for free for usathuck and i would not recomend that company…any comment of bad companies?

  36. James Dillweed says:

    I see things are getting better out there. I liked driving , I guess because I was home every weekend. I pulled heavyhaul pole truck and loved the woods. I hated how I was treated by the Boss mostly. he was a real B’s itch. But it payed well @1400 a week on a good account. But I injured my Back pulling my reach bar and had to quit. I tried to keep going for 3 weeks but had to sit down or walk constantly to releive the pain. Then I tryed 2 yrs doubles hauling chips,I loved that job too till the weekly check became smaller.I couldn’t pay the bills so I had to try flatbedding. Nice job since I drove as a relief driver ,but put in more miles than the driver assigned to the rig in the first place. I have been a contractor for 25 yrs. I have put a lot of back breakin hrs. in. But the pay has fell less than half of what it was in 1987. It is a shame that respect comes only to those who got a degree and can’t remember half of what they learned when they gey hired as a pencil pusher. Put em out there in the all weather jobs like mine and maybe they might respect us more. I love workin hard, but this construction type work is no good anymore unless you are part of a community of friends that scratch each others backs to keep workin. I want to drivr truck again but have maybe a handful of return calls out of 100 applications I have filled out. Ane they don’t want to pay much. I am 49 yrs. old last july but I figure I got another 30 yrs. of hard work left in me. I don’t give a damn what others sayabout me or others like me. You drivers have my respect and I just wish I could be back in your ranks. Keep up the hard work guys, without you all we all would be wippin our cracks with our hands. To all you mean wisecrackin jerks out there, KISS MY BUTT!!I have respect for myself because I know what I came from and what I made myself into, and you will never take it from me.

  37. james l alderton says:

    It .makes me laugh we got drivers out there willing to pull to fifty three foot trailers for a few more cents per mile “IN MOST CASES ABOUT FIVE CENTS A MILE TEN DOLLARS TO SPLIT” Are you you just dumb or want the glory of saying i did that.Think about this for a minute you have twice the reponsabily twice the headaches,yet you are willing to take another job for five cents a mile shame on you. If you don’t think I know what Im talking about I pulled A trains when most of you where still in diapers and yes I could pull to 53 three footers but I have standards taught thru years of driving.I help fellow truckers not take their jobs over a couple cents a mile.

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