Truck News


It’s a shame we have but one award to give

After a lengthy search, the 2001 Owner/Operator of the Year has been found. It's Jean Pisarski of St. Bruno, Que. - the first resident of la Belle Province to capture the honor in its eight-year histo...

After a lengthy search, the 2001 Owner/Operator of the Year has been found. It’s Jean Pisarski of St. Bruno, Que. – the first resident of la Belle Province to capture the honor in its eight-year history.

The owner/operator of Montarville Laser, Inc., who goes by Crazy John on the CB, topped this year’s strong list of entrants, but in the end was the unanimous choice of the selection committee.

A modest individual to say the least, Pisarski once rescued a man from a smoldering vehicle after the gentleman rolled his car, which rendered him unconscious.

When asked about the hair-raising experience, Pisarski calmly says, “There was smoke coming from the wreck, so I ripped the door out and pulled him out of the car. It was no big deal.”

No need for fanfare. No hullabaloo thanks very much. It’s all part of the job. Here at Truck News, we are honored to be associated with the nation’s top honor recognizing the achievements and careers of O/Os – together with the award’s founding co-sponsors Cummins, Freightliner and Goodyear. There is, however, one downside to the process: We can only pick one winner.

The Canadian trucking industry – and more to the point, the Canadian economy – each rely so heavily on the enterprising individuals who roll the dice daily to enjoy the freedom of an independent life on the road.

High fuel costs and insurance premiums, coupled with low rates and freight volumes, have cost many among the owner/op ranks of late, forcing them to turn in their keys and their lifestyle of choice, to boot.

This is an epidemic we as an industry must stem sooner rather than later. More fleets need to recognize that without a productive stable of O/Os; they would be on the hook for much higher equipment and fuel bills. As well, someone in business for themselves brings with them a vested interest in the operation’s success. Even though Crazy John doesn’t get paid directly by the companies he hauls paper and magazines for, their continued use of Transport Mirald has a direct impact on his bottom line – and it’s largely within his sphere of influence.

His attitude, appearance and equipment serve as a constant reminder for shippers as to why they chose the trucking company they did. Think of it as a continuous soft sell, supporting the fleet’s sales force and backing up its claims of top-notch service. In this time of economic uncertainty, any O/O who hasn’t lost his or her rig should be commended and recognized as a quality individual with a relatively shrewd eye for business.

That said, a person could always use a little more bread in their cupboard. Honing those business skills is the key to turning a survivor into a roaring success. I’ve spoken to many folks over my years with Truck News on the topic of O/O pay, and what I hear continuously amongst top fleets is there are always a few independents who bring home more than $200,000 a year.

Here at the magazine, we strive to give all truckers the news and information they need to crack this upper-echelon of earning potential.

That’s why we have also become involved with a Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council effort to provide digitized training for O/Os. The distance learning project, once complete, will offer a way to bolster skills without having to take time off work to sit in a crowded classroom.

As a Gold Sponsor we are not only giving up our time to help shape the content of the training program, but we are also making a significant financial investment to help ensure its success.

As part of the agreement, I’m unable to give you any further details at this time, however you can be sure coming issues of Truck News will do so once all of the proverbial Is are dotted and Ts are crossed. In the meantime, you’ll find a detailed profile on Crazy John in our December issue complete with a few business pearls.

Congratulations again sir, you’ve done well.

– John Curran can be reached by phone at 416-442-2091 or by email at

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