NDP leader Jack Layton is quoted as saying, “get some of those big rigs off the road that are destroying the roads by investing in rail again”. This is seen as anti-trucking. But ask yourself a few questions: Are there more jobs than drivers? Are the drivers over-worked, over-tired and over-stressed? Do drivers stay away from home for long periods of time? Is there a low morale level among drivers?
Now his words may have been anti-trucking, but his intentions seem to point in the right direction. If the ENTIRE system is viewed as a whole, both parties will benefit. By increasing the use of trains, the long haul trucker would be relieved. Trucking companies could concentrate on the “spokes” from the shipper’s door to a central hub. The train would haul a mass of loads from hub to hub, then the truck would take over moving the load to the receiver’s door. Let the train crew deal with the border, and the fatigue from long hauls, and the long periods away from home. Layton may have been playing to a non-trucking audience but his words should be music to the ears of the trucking industry.
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