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Happy, but hassled

MITCHELL, Ont. - According to Pete Rosenberg, the most frustrating parts about driving for a living are completely out of a trucker's control."The amount of paperwork we have to do is phenomenal," say...

Pete Rosenberg
Pete Rosenberg

MITCHELL, Ont. – According to Pete Rosenberg, the most frustrating parts about driving for a living are completely out of a trucker’s control.

“The amount of paperwork we have to do is phenomenal,” says the company driver of an International Eagle daycab.

The private fleet he hauls for, VicWest, keeps him busy with loads of its steel siding, cladding and roofing materials.

The carrier has taken steps to reduce the flurry of forms flying around their cabs and Rosenberg says he appreciates the effort.

“About four years ago, we went to electronic logs,” the trucker says. “Off the bat, everyone hated them, but now I don’t think they’re too bad – they just take some getting used to.”

But he is still assaulted daily by a myriad of paper relating to everything from inspections to directions.

“We check and document everything,” says the 18-year veteran of the trucking industry. “Right down to the lug nuts.”

Even though it’s a pain, Rosenberg knows the things you track are the things you can control, and proper inspections aren’t something he is willing to leave to chance.

“I don’t want to end up on the cover of the Toronto Sun,” he says.

But over-zealous members of the media aren’t Rosenberg’s only complaint with Hogtown. The traffic is near the top of his list of things he’d change if he could.

“The cars drive too damn fast,” says this self-professed former farm boy.

“They tailgate and don’t leave room for you to pull in … I generally stick to the back roads when I can, to avoid the problem.”

He says the best way he can think of to fix the lack of respect shown truckers on 400-series highways would be to require any person looking to get a Class G licence to first spend some time in a big rig.

And that includes everyone from housewives to cops, he adds.

Rosenberg drives one of VicWest’s 13 Ontario-based trucks. (It also operates a similar array of vehicles in states and provinces across North America.) The company’s organizational structure never has him cross even a provincial boundary.

“It’s nice to be just in the province, but it’s harder than it sounds,” he says. “Ontario is still a pretty big place.”

He also says the condition of his jurisdiction’s highways is almost as bad as the traffic volumes.

“We’ve got to get rid of those four and five legged trailers,” Rosenberg concludes. “It will mean more trucks on the road, but long-term it would be much better for the pavement.” –

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