TORONTO, Ont. – It can be argued that what’s happening in the trucking industry is a good indicator of what’s to come for the Canadian economy, since trucking is so integral to its health.
Manufacturers, distributors and even carriers seemed to indicate things were looking up at the Truck World trade show in Toronto, so Truck West took the opportunity to talk to drivers at the show to see if things also look promising from their perspective.
Randy McCooeye, an O/O driving for XTL Transport, said the industry is picking up but crossing the border is making growth difficult.
“Lots of drivers don’t want to go to the U.S. because of all the border bull, so that still causes problems for us out there on the road,” said McCooeye.
He suggested the government take a more active role in sorting out the border delay issues, adding that while they are at it, they could add some more rest stops across Canada for drivers.
“It’s still pretty slow as far as I’m concerned,” said Arthur Wright Sr., an owner/operator with Yanke. “I’ve lost a couple of contracts and I’m not really sure why, so I don’t really feel it’s been picking up. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been for other companies or drivers.”
Wright, who gave up long haul years ago, added there are still a lot of trucks out on the roads, so someone has to be doing something.
Owner/operator Reginald Wade, who hauls for the Toronto, Ont. based B.N.S. Holdings, said the industry seems to be picking up.
“I haul recycling, papers and fibres and business has been steadily increasing for us. We’ve been keeping busy this year so far,” said Wade. “It’s hard to say what the future will bring though and what work will be like next year.”
John Lubbers, a driver with Schooner Transport based in Ottawa, Ont., said it has been a slow spring compared to last year.
“Hauling brick and block is an industry that depends on the weather and our late spring could be a factor, but I think business has been declining. Last year at this time things were really rolling, but maybe we are just about to enter an upswing. It will depend on sales and who is buying where,” said Lubbers.
“There is a lot of freight that has to be moved in the California and L.A. area so there is a lot of work coming out of there. And since everything moves by truck at some point along the line the economy will follow suit,” said Tom Johnston, a company driver with Harrow Truck Lines in Milton, Ont.
Johnston said he foresees a steady increase over the next three or four years and then he feels the industry will hit a plateau.