Protect your investment in the future

by John Curran

As Canada’s leading trade magazine serving the needs of the entire trucking industry, you can probably imagine the number of conferences, workshops, demonstrations, media days, clinics, expositions, trade shows, seminars, meetings and panels we get invited to on a monthly basis.

Unfortunately we can’t be everywhere at the same time; so if we’ve missed your event, I do apologize.

I really do wish someone could have been there, because every time one of our editors is exposed to a new opinion or technology the magazine simply becomes that much more complete.

Scanning through the stack of invitations for April, there was one event in particular that landed in the, “Really sorry, but we can’t make it,” pile that really bothered me.

The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) is holding its Truck Technology Conference at the Sheraton in Halifax from Apr. 7-9.

Anyone who knows me, probably also knows when I was first hired by Truck News in 1997 my job was to strengthen the publication’s ties to the East.

I must admit I still have a genuine fondness for the Atlantic region – it’s where I got my big break in journalism.

I was younger than many of the other applicants gunning for the assistant editor’s job, but in the end I was given the opportunity and have never looked back since.

I was charged with not only maintaining existing relationships, but building new ones in Eastern Canada, as well.

Any list of the many folks I met who I now count as dear friends would certainly include the McKee clan.

Chris, the editor of the APTA’s magazine Atlantic Trucking, and I both went to Loyalist College in Belleville, Ont.

Although we never met at school, we did know a lot of the same people.

Now we help each other out from time to time, “Hey man, have you got a picture of (blank) I can borrow?” … “No problem, but can you shoot me the number for so-and-so?”

His father Bernie taught me a fair bit, too.

Not just about the trucking biz, but about making your way through life and the importance of always being a class act in everything you do.

And then there’s the youngest McKee, Tony.

He and I have tipped many a fine ale together at trucking events practically from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

It may not have been a big one, but we did release it so it will get a chance grow.

Which brings me to my point.

Tony, who happens to work for International Truck and Engine, will by presenting at the APTA conference on his area of expertise: Using tracking methods to control the costs associated with parts and maintenance.

Tony is a young guy, but he has taken advantage of the tremendous opportunity presented to him.

His employer should also get a tug on the cap for helping to cultivate his youthful exuberance and turn it into passion for his work and the industry in general.

People like the brothers McKee are this industry’s future.

As such, companies need to do everything they can to hold on to them.

If they don’t stick around, who will be making the tough decisions in another decade?-

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


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