Let’s honour veteran drivers, not treat them like children
May 1, 2008
Making veteran drivers in Ontario re-qualify for their licence at 65 years of age is a joke. It's a complete disrespect of the veteran's experience and the dedication they have had for this industry s...
Making veteran drivers in Ontario re-qualify for their licence at 65 years of age is a joke. It’s a complete disrespect of the veteran’s experience and the dedication they have had for this industry since they started driving. It is also discrimination.
If you are going to do it for one age, you might as well do it for everyone.
I think most veteran drivers have earned the right to “leave the table without asking.”
We should be complimenting them, not humiliating them by making them do an air brake test.
There are other ways to determine if the veterans should no longer be out on the road.
The veteran driver should be treated with the utmost respect. Why are they being treated with so much disrespect?
Many generations of younger drivers misuse the CB radio by swearing on it and using foul language.
I have never heard a veteran driver use foul language towards anyone at any time.
He is just doing his job, professionally.
Many accents are now common in our industry, and they are being mocked by younger generations of drivers which degrade the New Canadian who is trying to get his start in the industry.
We should be making role mod-els of our veteran drivers and learning from their knowledge and experience.
Many new drivers today can’t back up their truck and trailer. I’ve met drivers that have actually offered payment to other drivers to back their trailer into the dock. This is pretty scary if you ask me. Have you ever watched a veteran driver back up? It’s a beautiful thing – smooth as silk.
Let us not forget this, as we can learn so much from the veteran driver.
He has earned the right to be respected for his professionalism and his ambassadorship to the trucking industry.
I can remember an incident that occurred a long time ago, when I was driving.
I had to back into an inside dock at a customer’s facility. It was a bright sunny day and the roads were bone dry.
All eyes were on me, the new driver, waiting my turn to back inside this place without a scratch to the truck, trailer or the building.
As I backed up, the sun was in my eyes and I began realizing I was not in line with the dock and the building, so I began my second attempt to hit the spot.
At this time, I got out of the truck to re-evaluate what was happening and then got back in the truck to try again.
It took another couple of tries to get up to the dock safe and sound, but I did it without a scratch.
The driver behind me, who was waiting his turn, had been rolling his eyes back into his head, blew the horn a couple of times and even offered the old “Trudeau salute.”
My truck was finally inside the dock and as I was chalking the wheels I noticed my anxious driver friend make his attempt to back into his dock. He was determined to get it in his first attempt, without checking his position or slowing down.
He was even standing on the top step using only the driver’s side of the truck to back up and then all I could hear was: crash, smash, scrape, and the sounds of the aftermath of him hitting the wall and making one helluva mess. I was laughing inside. All I wanted to do was return his “salute.”
The driver that was behind him was a veteran driver who appeared very content and minded his own business the entire time. He had been around for some time and once he was inside, parked and safe he got out of his truck and came over to my truck and shook my hand.
He told me that I had done it the right way. I have never forgotten that day. I am not saying that all new drivers disrespect and put down veteran drivers, but there are a lot of drivers that do.
Learn from the experience that is out there on our roads.
I am sure many veteran drivers have even picked up a thing or two from the younger drivers and maybe even added it to their own “bag of tricks.”
– David Brown is the recruiting manager for the Rosedale Group. He is also the president of Carriers Coach Solutions helping new drivers make their way into the industry. You can reach him by visiting www.rosedale.ca or www.carrierscoach.com.