Publisher’s Comment: Spread the Good Word

by Rob Wilkins

We all know as an industry, one of our biggest problems is the negative image we have with the general public. I’ve spent many an evening explaining to my friends why truckers are getting a bad rap. It’s like anything else, I guess the minority have spoiled it for the majority. If you’re concerned (and you should be), you may want to ask yourself what can you do to help change our tarnished image. Well, funny you should ask.

The Ontario Trucking Association is actively recruiting ambassadors for its Road Knights program.

For those of you who haven’t heard of them, the Road Knights are an elite group of professional drivers and O/Os who donate a few days each month to educating the public on how commercial and passenger vehicles can safely share our roads. In addition, and just as important, they can be found waving our trucking flag to future generations.

Nominations for the team should be sent in by Dec. 15 (call the OTA for a nomination form at (416) 249-7401 ext. 224/225). To qualify, you’ll need an excellent driving record, be based out of Ontario and employed full time by an OTA member.

I encourage any of you who are interested to make the call. If chosen as a Road Knight, you’ll be trained on the art of public speaking – something we could all use – and your engagements will be set up by the OTA. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of past Road Knights. Without exception, they are indeed an elite group. If you’re a current or past member, thank you! A few years ago, Snap-On Tools helped auto technicians (previously known as mechanics) shed their “grease monkey” image.

Snap-On launched an aggressive national advertising program promoting the fact that today’s technicians needed an average of 100 hours of classroom training annually in order to repair today’s vehicles. Posters were distributed with various headlines such as “In High School they called him gearhead.” The copy then went on to explain how things have changed.

Take the same scenario and apply it to trucking. How many people do you think know or understand exactly what it takes to safely operate a truck hauling 60,000 lbs.? Or even know that before the wheels are set in motion, a pre-trip inspection has been completed? I’m betting not many. If you enjoy what you do, tell your friends. If you don’t, either get another job or keep quiet – don’t pull the rest of us down.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News. He can be reached at (416)-442-2097.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.