Truck News

Feature troubles not the kiss of death for the Internet in trucking

I concur, with your advice "Don't write off dot.coms yet" (Viewpoint, March/April 2001). The reasons, as you point out, that dot.coms got hurt are not the kiss of death for the Internet in trucking.I ...

I concur, with your advice “Don’t write off dot.coms yet” (Viewpoint, March/April 2001). The reasons, as you point out, that dot.coms got hurt are not the kiss of death for the Internet in trucking.

I am a marketing consultant within the trucking industry, primarily trailer manufacturing. I spent 27 years with Great Dane and took early retirement 20 months ago as vice-president of advertising. I feel I have some understanding of trucking and business in general.

The proliferation of dot.coms was due in part to a demand, many opportunities and low cost entry into that business. These three combined made it easy for less than the best to add fuel to the proliferation of such companies.

As you pointed out in your editorial, “The recent carnage among dot.coms is a sign of a maturing of the industry.” It has always been the case that the stronger and better survive when faced with overcapacity.

The Internet, when properly and prudently used, offers such economies and increases of productivity that trucking desperately needs to not only survive, but also to prosper.

Your editorial presented a view with which I agree, but had not seen elsewhere.

Charles Henry
Marketing consultant to
Hyundai Trailers,
EAST Mfg., Alcoa Wheel Div.

Why are WSIB rates the same for office workers and drivers?

Following is a letter we’ve recently sent to the WSIB. It would be interesting to see if other trucking companies are having the same problems.

“It is with great regret, disgust and anger that we enclose a cheque in the amount of $1,430.70 to clear the interest on our account.

It is unfortunate that a province so convinced that it couldn’t exist without small business does everything in its power to penalize and destroy companies that are struggling to survive.

We were caught in the act of not paying WSIB premiums for office employees. We went to court, paid our fine and with a series of cheques paid off three years of arrears in WSIB premiums while $1,430.70 of interest accrued.

We presently have two full-time office employees and are charged an outrageous rate of $5.04 per $100 earnings, the same rate as if they were out there driving a $200,000 tractor-trailer unit with 90,000 pounds of freight on our frost-heaved, pot-holed highways (which is another story).

You don’t even need an imagination to realize there is a huge difference between what can happen on the job to a truck driver compared to an office worker. Truck drivers are out there every day risking their lives and office workers are faced with various degrees of paper cuts, so why is the rate the same?

We requested an answer to this question from you WSIB folks a couple of times and you wrote back with some words that make no sense, so obviously you don’t know either.

It would be to our advantage to layoff our office staff, tell the WSIB that our office is closed, start up an office temp service, rehire the office staff and lease them to Whiteline.”

Roger Berard, President
& Rose-Marie Lundy-Berard, Vice-president
Whiteline Trucking Ltd.
Dunchurch, Ont.

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