Lethargy is not an option
The vacuum that is lethargy seems already to be sucking the life out of the protesters who rose to the surface during what is an ongoing fuel price crisis. Sadly, it is this seeming indifference that has seen us arrive where we are today.
In your May issue, Pat Rediger and Dave Holleman wrote at some length, expressing the views that are becoming increasingly the topic of conversation in many truck stops, homes and offices around the country. Namely, the abismal rates of compensation and condition of our roads. Our industry is a mess, our highways a disgrace and we, certainly owner/operators, are one voice short for the passing of Art Joosse. His replacement has a large pair of shoes to fill.
ComCar cannot be expected to carry the torch alone. Every stakeholder in this industry needs to become a voice for change. I believe each of us must use whatever talents we may have to bring about change. Rates will only go up when we quit working for free. Highways will only receive the funding required when enough voices are heard. The media is our biggest tool. Letters to MPs and ministers, not to mention editors, are our loudest voices. These problems will not be remedied overnight or by wildcat shutdowns, but they will come about if we adopt a positive attitude and act on what we believe to be right.
I don’t know where we go now, but Dave Holleman hit the nail on the head by suggesting it is ‘morally reprehensible for carriers to improve their bottom lines when the very operators on which they based their success are losing everything they have worked so hard to attain.’ Perhaps the next step is to begin logging work as it is done. When carriers start running out of trucks to reload because drivers are out of hours, some real positive change will result. There will be some hardship and more time away from home, but the shortages of drivers and equipment we hear so much about will become very real, very quickly. That may just be the only way to begin getting rates to where they should be.
As for the roads, start by writing to your MP and the minister of transport. Snail mail is free to parliament hill. Free.
Someone once told me, ‘If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got,’ so doing nothing is no longer an option. Enthusiasm and commitment must replace lethargy and negativity.
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