Don’t mistake this for sexy, mainstream journalism
April 1, 2001
In the past few days, I too have seen the pictures.Trucks jackknifed all over the 401 west and east of Toronto.While neither the trucks nor their drivers were implicated, per se, a picture being worth...
In the past few days, I too have seen the pictures.
Trucks jackknifed all over the 401 west and east of Toronto.
While neither the trucks nor their drivers were implicated, per se, a picture being worth a thousand words, the images will be etched in the minds of the auto club types.
Sorry I had to pick on them. But to this day, I have not nor will I ever hold an auto club membership. I’d rather walk or call a trucker on my CB when I’m in trouble on the road.
Anyway, there I was tooling down the 401 near West Lorne, enjoying the truck traffic. (God some of the iron on the road nowadays is nice, huh?)
There I was, quite content with the trucks rolling along a part of Ontario where it’s so flat you can watch your dog run away all day.
I looked in my rear-view, as I normally do, and found a four-wheeler in his SUV coming up quick.
Surely he’ll slow, I figure, but no he’s a jackass.
He rides my rear end until deciding to cut around me right in front of a tractor-trailer in the hammer-lane that was passing me doing about 65 mph.
The tractor-trailer driver backed off this SUV wimp: after all, he was a professional like most truck drivers.
It got interesting, mind you, and I must confess, now safely seated in my rocking chair, I was kinda lookin’ forward to a duel.
The SUV hit the brakes with the seven-axle baby right behind him and to my left.
The trucker backed off yet again. The idiot in the SUV finally got the message, I guess.
The professional wasn’t willing to play his game of chicken, so he took his tiny pseudo-truck off the road at the next exit.
The professional driver passed me, and I gave him the thumbs up, wished him well over the CB, and knew full well that given his attitude, he’d surely reach his destination safely.
His wife and kids would be damn proud of him.
He was a true professional who would not take the bait.
The goof with the toy truck would have a different “spin” no doubt.
But, in spite of it all, hopefully he got home safely, too.
Whatever “spin” he gave his family … who cares.
But what he should understand is that a real driver – a professional – didn’t play his game, and as a result, he lived to twist the truth.
‘Could Shoulder,’ I salute you and your perseverance with that idiot.
Frankly, it’s more than most of us would ever tolerate.
To you, it was probably all in a day’s work.
Just another incident on the road, but it drove home to me your incredible patience and professionalism.
I’ll take you on the road beside me, behind me or in front, anywhere, anytime.
You are a pro.
We should all take a chapter from your book. I made it home safely that night, too.
And I’m glad there are guys like you around.
My hackles went up that day, but your professionalism sheared them down real quick.
It shook me up, but in a nice way. Thanks.
By the way, I called your company.
My story didn’t surprise them one bit.
Seems you have a history of this kind of professional behavior.
Keep trucking my friend.
You speak volumes for this industry, as do most drivers.
Another whom I must give a tip of my hat to is Al Palladini.
We’ll miss you Al, Pal.
I was sorry to hear that Mr. Palladini, the former Ontario Transportation Minister is dead.
It happened while he was playing golf on vacation in Mexico.
I am deeply sorry about that, and I pass my condolences to his family, friends and caucus.
I never met Mr. Palladini, but he called me one time in person.
I was stunned.
I’ve never much liked politics, and like most, have a healthy distrust of politicians of all stripes.
He wanted to take the opportunity to disagree with an article of mine.
We joked a bit, with me telling him that I welcomed his opinion, but would be more than pleased to give him the facts.
He suggested to me that perhaps I should be a politician given my “tainted views.”
Mr. Palladini was flamboyant. But he was also passionate in everything he did.
Truck safety was no exception.
He didn’t create the wave of truck safety in Ontario, but he built it up and then rode the crest.
While I didn’t like the impression he created in some – that trucks are more dangerous than a handgun at a Toronto after-hours rave – he was nonetheless committed to making the roads a bit safer, and raising the awareness of truck safety to a new level not only among the public but within the industry itself.
He was decent guy and will be missed by many. n
– Blair Gough is a consultant to the trucking industry and can be reached at 905-689-2727.