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Happiness lies in low overhead, training

CALGARY, Alta. - Gil Bourbonnais was a lease operator until three months ago, but the pressures of rising fuel prices and stagnant pay rates cost him his keys."It's safer to be a company driver than a...


Gil Bourbonnais
Gil Bourbonnais

CALGARY, Alta. – Gil Bourbonnais was a lease operator until three months ago, but the pressures of rising fuel prices and stagnant pay rates cost him his keys.

“It’s safer to be a company driver than an owner/operator or a lease operator,” says the J.R. Trucking driver who generally hauls asphalt materials. “At least you know your cheque is there every two weeks.”

Bourbonnais has been driving truck for more than 20 years, and the biggest change he sees within the industry is the influx of inexperienced drivers who get themselves into trouble and tarnish the entire industry.

“Too many rookies and not enough experienced drivers,” he says. “It’s too easy to get a licence. I started at the bottom of the line. I started with one axle, then two axles.”

He is appalled by some of the drivers who are climbing into 18-wheelers without adequate training or experience. He says 99.9 per cent of the time an accident involves a big rig, it is because of inexperience.


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