But summer is spelled t-o-u-r-i-s-t, with map-wielding rubbernecks doing their best to get from point A to X on the roads in force.
Truck News polled truckers at the spacious New Minas Irving Big Stop, an hour east of Halifax on the Annapolis Valley’s Highway 101.
Don Brophy, an owner/operator from Miramachi, hauling garden supplies on a flatbed behind a 2003 International, said, “Some people don’t think about where they are going. You need to give them lots of room. That’s hard to get sometimes. And when someone makes a mistake, you don’t have to try and run over them. But there are lots of good drivers too, they’re not all bad.”
One plus is the beautiful equipment out there that some travellers own, said Brophy.
For Weymouth native Wes McCullough, just two days into his trucking career, tourist season was little more than stories from his new colleagues at Eassons Transport in Berwick.
“I don’t know what it will be like later on. Other drivers have told me to keep a special eye out on them. You never know what they are going to do and often, they don’t either. They make a lot of last-minute decisions and then they are in front of you.”
As for looking forward to the peak tourist driving season, he grinned, “Can’t wait.”
“They are often hauling a boat or trailer that’s too big for their vehicle, and don’t have the experience of pulling that kind of equipment behind them. Put a couple of kids and pet in the back,” shrugged Mark Hawkins, hauling solvents behind a 1999 International for Harmac in North York, Ontario. Professional philosopher to the end, he said, “You’ve got to remember as a driver that they are on holidays. There is no advantage to tourist season driving.”
Veteran Halifax owner/operator Carl Bower, fueling his 1998 Volvo, said, “I allow for the fact that they don’t know where they are going. But they’re twinning the (101) so it won’t be too bad.”
He’s been hauling containers for CN for 17 years.
“But you still get guys who are impatient. I just take my time and go.” He sees some nice rigs on the road but, he added in counterpoint, “staying out of their way can be pretty hard with a heavy load.”
Eassons Transport company driver Ron Sabean hauls reefers with a 2003 Columbia.
“It is a lot better now that they have four lanes in New Brunswick. They are on vacation and they think everyone else is too. I don’t blame them, but you get some who go pretty slow.” In the U.S., he observed, “Some guys take detours but I find it just as fast to stay on the turnpikes. It’s less stress too. I can’t see too many advantages, but at least there’s no snow.”