Farewell to one of the good guys, congratulations and a Q&A

by Blair Gough

I wanted to touch base on a few things that have occurred in the past month.

Bill Bastien will be missed

In any event, my partner Paul McMaster and I had numerous opportunities over the years to meet with Bill, usually resulting from a warning letter to carriers about the state of their CVOR.

Bill was a kind-hearted guy who offered every possible opportunity to the carriers we represented. He had a certain affinity for trucking companies, particularly for the little guy. He wasn’t there to play a “heavy”, to issue directives, etc. Instead, he always listened; was always one to try to understand the carrier’s business, and wanted to learn more. He didn’t expect miracles, but only wanted a carrier make an honest attempt to improve compliance performance.

Most did. They appreciated Bill’s follow-up, his phone calls, and his honest guidance.

Simply put, we liked Bill, and we’ll miss him.

Congratulations to

Rosedale Transport

Rosedale Transport has moved to a beautiful new facility in Mississauga, Ont. “So what?” you may ask. Well, I have known the owners of Rosedale (Rolly Uloth and Barry Smith) for more years than I care to remember, and both of them know that I have great admiration for them, their company, and their employees.

Rosedale gave me the opportunity to drive for them in the early 1970s. It was a great job, mostly because it was a great place to work. They had humble beginnings, starting out as a one-truck carrier operating out of a gas station in Hamilton. But Rosedale had a vision. Part of that vision was treating their employees like gold. In fact, some of the guys I drove with back then are still with the company. In my view, that says a lot.

Some questions and answers

And once again, I want to dig into my files for some recent questions and answers that have crossed my desk.

Q. I work for a private carrier and am paid overtime after 44 hours. I understand they are up to something that will mean I don’t get paid overtime premiums until I work 60 hours. Is that legit?

A. Yes. I expect what they are doing is obtaining an operating authority under the Truck Transportation Act. Doing so puts them on the same footing for overtime pay as for-hire carriers. It doesn’t matter that they don’t offer a for-hire transportation service — only that they are licensed to do so.

Q. One of my drivers received a citation for push-rods out of adjustment. My driver swears he measured them an hour prior and they were fine. I believe him. Do you think I should fight it?

A. Absolutely. There’s a good case to be made that brake stroke should be measured at ambient temperature for an accurate measurement. And the driver may very well have been in stop-and-go traffic, making a number of brake applications. If the brakes were hot and measured as such, the brake stroke may exceed its legal limits.

Q. I operate 10 trucks as an “Ontario Fleet Size” under the Commercial Vehicle Operating Record (CVOR) guidelines, with an associated Ontario mileage of better than one million kilometers per year. My friend down the road has the same fleet size operating a pick-up and delivery service within a 50-mile radius of Toronto with less than half the annual mileage my fleet operates. But we’re treated the same. I thought this rating system was supposed to be exposure-based.

A. You’re right. The CVOR is aimed at exposure and, for the most part, significant attempts have been made over the past several years to “get the numbers right”. Comparisons such as the one you cite do indicate that additional modifications based on mileage should be considered.

Q. I was told by an officer that I must record border crossings on my log eventhough my duty status did not change. Is this true?

A. There is no requirement to note a border crossing unless there is a change from driving; for example, to on-duty/not-driving.

Q. I’m based in New Brunswick and events on my Ontario abstract are counted against my New Brunswick record. Does it work the other way around?

A. No, and it shouldn’t. While I can accept that a home jurisdiction may want to take a look at a carrier who poses a problem in another jurisdiction, I can’t accept the double-jeopardy that occurs when you can be penalized twice for a singular occurrence. I’ve heard the argument that this practice is similar to the reciprocity for a conviction related to your driver’s licence, whereby a conviction in one jurisdiction shows up on the driver’s licence abstract. There’s a big difference; you only have one driver’s licence abstract. n

– Blair Gough is a consultant to the transportation industry and can be reached at 905-689-2727.

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