How well does the media cover the Atlantic trucking industry?
April 1, 2006
SALISBURY, N.B. - Though the trucking industry in Atlantic Canada continues to chug along at a decent pace, some Maritime drivers have said the media's coverage of the region just isn't up to snuff. W...
SALISBURY, N.B. – Though the trucking industry in Atlantic Canada continues to chug along at a decent pace, some Maritime drivers have said the media’s coverage of the region just isn’t up to snuff. With booming economies and large populations in concentrated areas, major truck centres like Alberta and Ontario have an obvious edge over the East Coast trucking industry. But despite differences of size and market strength, Atlantic trucking still serves a vital role in the Canadian industry. So is the Eastern industry truly being overshadowed? Truck News stopped by the Irving Big Stop in Salisbury, N.B. to find out if local drivers think Atlantic trucking is getting the coverage it’s due.
Curtis McCully, a driver for Cement Cartage out of Havelock, N.B., says he thinks the coverage of Atlantic trucking is pretty good, but they could still stand to do a little more.
“A lot of the coverage tends to focus on things happening with the APTA and not so much individuals in the industry,” said the veteran driver of 37 years.
But regardless of whether the media bothers to cover stories on ‘the little guy,’ McCully said he’d be more pleased if people would just drive properly and share the road.
Ben Arbeau Sr., who does contract work with his own company, Ben Arbeau Trucking, says that over all the media does their job well. However, he still thinks certain topics are often overlooked.
“I’d like to see a little bit more coverage on the logging industry, which is a big industry out here. What goes on (with logging) is a little different than what goes on with the highway stuff,” he said. “Also, it’s difficult for many (smaller companies) to get recognized. If you don’t work for Irving (Oil) in the Altantic provinces, you’re not recognized. They rule the East Coast.”
Ken Connell, a driver with Connors Transfer in Stellarton, N.S., would only rate the trucking media’s coverage as ‘fair.’ Connell said the media is missing how drivers in Atlantic Canada are treated compared to the rest of the country.
“It’s a lot bigger area (out West). There’s more people living in Toronto than all of Atlantic Canada. It’s a different feel over here,” he said.
Like McCully, Connell thinks the majority of coverage of Maritime trucking centres around the APTA, though he admits it’s nice to have them around.
Jeff Phinney, a driver with John P. Baughan Transport in Sackville, N.B., would like to see the media tackle more stories focusing on the history of both drivers and carriers operating in the Maritimes.
“There doesn’t seem to be stories about your average company and how they’ve built themselves up to the successful level they’re at right now,” Phinney said, using John Baughan Transport as an example.
Phinney also feels there are not enough safety tips in the Maritimes compared to provinces like Ontario and Quebec. He said even though traffic is sparsely populated, in recent years, brutal winter weather has made driving in Atlantic Canada as treacherous as driving in Central Canada.
“Weather is a key factor when driving in the Maritimes and sometimes a driver doesn’t know what they should be doing,” he said.