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Clear Shot: A rock and a hard place

It wasn't until I sat on the selection committee for the Ontario Trucking Association's 2005-2006 Road Knights team that I really understood the meaning of being caught between a rock and a hard place...




It wasn’t until I sat on the selection committee for the Ontario Trucking Association’s 2005-2006 Road Knights team that I really understood the meaning of being caught between a rock and a hard place. Out of 50 some applicants, 15 had been picked for the final selection round.

And let me tell you, it was nothing like the Sports Illustrated bikini competition.

First, for obvious reasons, because none of these guys were wearing bikinis (although some of them were cute – according to us girl judges anyway!)

More seriously, the choice was hard to make because every single one of the applicants had qualities that would make them excellent representatives of the industry.

Most impressive was their shared commitment to safety. Each and every one of the candidates was in favour of increased highway enforcement and regularly practiced detailed pre-and-post trip inspections.

They also all had something to say about how they’d like to help the public learn to share the road with trucks. Indeed, they all had an excellent grip on safety issues.

Most touching, though, was how much each of them was clearly an exceptional human being.

How little so-called “four-wheelers” know these men and women! How little beyond the stereotypical “red-necked homeboy” of movies and television, or, if they’ve even bothered to look, the glimpse of a face or elbow at the wheel of a huge transport-trailer running down the highway.

What a privilege then, for me, to be able to meet these people, hear them talk a little about themselves and their aspirations and get to know them, even if it was for 15 minutes each.

Did you know that one of the team members is a licensed pilot who also recently got married in Belize? How about the fact that many of the applicants were excellent cooks (and even one licensed chef), who regularly treat friends, families and co-workers to their culinary creations (one of them, a Newfoundlander, actually made moose stew for clients). How about the fact that so many of them have children and wives with whom they’ve managed to maintain happy households for years, despite the miles between them?

What about the applicant, an avid reader, who started a lending library for drivers with his company?

And let’s not forget all the applicants who devote so much of their spare time to charity.

Given the amazing quality of the candidates, it was surprising that the judges were able to agree.

Bottom line is, every single one of the applicants deserved to be on the team. Here’s hoping the ones who didn’t make it will re-apply next time around.

– Ingrid Phaneuf can be reached at iphaneuf@trucknews.com or (416) 510-6896.


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