Truck News


Life is all about the small stuff

This column really was a month in the writing. My thoughts first turned to Page 6 on a cool, crisp morning at about 3:30 a.m. I managed to stay up long enough to witness one of the most spectacular li...

This column really was a month in the writing. My thoughts first turned to Page 6 on a cool, crisp morning at about 3:30 a.m. I managed to stay up long enough to witness one of the most spectacular light shows I have ever seen. But this was no man-made pyrotechnics display, it was the pure, unspoiled beauty of literally tens of thousands of meteors an hour, streaking through the moonless mid-November sky.

For any of you who happened to catch the Leonid meteor shower, I’m sure you’ll agree it was spectacular. According to the experts, every so often, the Earth passes through a particularly dense clump of dust from the comet, known as Tempel-Tuttle, setting off a particularly dazzling spectacle.

However, the last great Leonid storm was in 1966 and this year has been predicted by some, to be the best expected for the next 98 years … So I was glad I caught the show.

It was a little thing in a much grander scheme, but really isn’t that what life is all about? Piecing together the little things that bring us joy, health and success.

I’ve always been a glass-is-half-full kinda guy. Occasionally, mind you, this isn’t possible. And for me, when I am negative it’s usually in this space right here. (And based on the calls, letters and emails I’ve received over the past few months, that seems to suit you, our readers, just fine.)Outside of my editorial, people often ask me why I’m such an optimist – especially considering I work in the so oft-jaded media.

I think it’s because I’m able to stay fixed not just on the road ahead, but the exciting little curves and attractions along the way.

Otherwise the road of life can become dull if it’s just a race you’re running through; maybe even depressing considering none of us really knows our true destination with any degree of certainty.

Apply this mantra to driving a truck – and more specifically maximizing fuel efficiency – and you’ll see what I mean.

Fuel costs are generally the top expense for any owner/op. When the price goes up, the result for individuals and the overall Canadian economy can be catastrophic.

O/Os go broke, fleets need to invest more money in equipment and the cost of everything goes up to cover the bill. As well, there are suddenly so many folks out of work, there are noticeably fewer people making major purchases of any variety.

The economy slows and we slide into recession. However, if owner/operators can stay focused on the little things able to save diesel – even if it’s just a squirt here and a spurt there – the effects can be cumulative. If you protect yourself when times are relatively good, as far as fuel prices are concerned, when the price inevitably climbs, you’ll be protected. Check out our special report in this month’s issue.

There are a number of little tidbits on squeezing every last injected spray out of a tank of go juice.

Now I said this took a month to write, so we’ll need to fast-forward to December. I’d flown to Florida in the midst of an ultra-hectic portion of the Truck News monthly schedule. There to witness the expanded introduction to the intensely fuel-efficient Freightliner Class 2 and 3 Sprinter for what amounted to less than 30 hours.

However, within that time I managed to steal an hour and a half for myself. So sitting there in a hammock, wearing only my shorts, I gently swayed in the warm gulf breezes just feet from the brackish waters constantly lapping sand finer than icing sugar. As pelicans dove for fish and signs warned of ever-present manatees, time seemed to stand still and the chaos of life melted away in the brilliant shine of another one of life’s smaller moments.

Happy New Year folks.

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

Print this page

Have your say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *