BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -The economic downturn has dominated headlines for the better part of a year, leaving numerous trucking companies and their drivers in its wake.Many of the surviving companies have had to scale back operations and streamline...
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -The economic downturn has dominated headlines for the better part of a year, leaving numerous trucking companies and their drivers in its wake.
Many of the surviving companies have had to scale back operations and streamline processes to adapt to the new economic realities. Many drivers have seen a decrease in miles -meaning a drop in pay -causing many to rethink their expenditures in their home lives as well.
Others have lost their jobs altogether, which seemed unthinkable just a couple short years ago when the trucking industry was strugglging to find qualified drivers.
Since the Canadian economy appears to be turning a corner, Truck News decided to mark the occasion by speaking with drivers at the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to see how the recession has affected them both professionally and personally over the past year.
William MacCulloch, a driver with Starship Equipment in Alexandria, Ont., was forced out of his truck this past winter when loads became scare.
“I went back into construction, actually, for five months,” he told Truck News.
On the home front, MacCulloch has changed his spending habits to adapt to the new economic realities as well.
“Just a little bit more of the leisure stuff we don’t do, that’s all,” he said, adding that he’ll likely continue his frugal ways into the future.
Steve Smith, a company driver based in Belleville, Ont., says he’s been fortunate to be basically unaffected at work during the recession.
“It’s mostly steel and we do a lot of cement too. It’s been pretty steady,” he said.
However, like MacCulloch, Smith says he’s done his share of belt-tightening at home.
Steven Abraham, a driver with Kriska Transport in Prescott, Ont., has been trucking for just 11 months but says he has seen the effect of the recession to a degree.
“Freight isn’t moving as it normally moves, so (the recession) has indeed affected (us),” Abraham said, adding that business seems to be picking up now compared to six months ago.
Abraham says he is sure not to overspend since his income is not as fluid as it once was and plans to continue this habit until the upturn is in full swing.
Lawrence Owen, an owner/operator who hauls ingredients for animal feed at a Leamington, Ont.- based farm, says business has been steady because “people still need to eat.”
But just to be safe, Owen has scaled back the amount he eats at truck stops while on the road.
“It’s a good habit to get into. It’s a lot of extra money to spend out here when you could spend way less than that at a grocery store and get a cooler and have a little microwave in the truck. I’m really getting ready to start as a more permanent thing,” he added. •
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News