Q:; What New Year’s resolutions should the trucking industry make ?

by John Curran

REDCLIFF, Alta. – This is traditionally the time of year to set goals for personal improvement for the coming year.

As an industry, the Canadian trucking community enjoyed a successful 1999 on the whole. But with protests from coast to coast, there’s always room for improvement.

Truck News went to Trucker’s Restaurant and the Trans-Canada Esso in Redcliff, Alta. to find out what improvements the professional drivers there would like to see as we enter a new century.

Henry Helfenbein drives an older GMC Top Kick hauling equipment to Canadian Pacific Rail job sites and says the industry should take a long look at maintenance cycles.

“I think a lot of companies could probably stand to do more periodic equipment inspections and repairs,” says the trucker from Medicine Hat, Alta.

“We follow our maintenance schedules pretty regularly,” he adds. “But, there are a lot who don’t.”

A company driver with GBT out of Labroquerie, Man., Allan Slute says the biggest thing he’d like to see is “more money”.

Aside from that, he thinks the government should take a look at the way it feeds off the trucking industry.

“Since they’re not fixing any of the roads,” says Slute. “The government might as well get ride of the fuel tax.”

Slute, who drives a 1994 Freightliner, says if it was his choice he’d also like to see them get rid of logbooks as well.

The owner/operator of a 1992 Kenworth T600, Glen Shewfelt says it’s the shippers of the world who need to think about turning over a new leaf.

“They need to cut down on the waiting times,” says the trucker who generally pulls a reefer for Oakwood Transport out of Ingersoll, Ont. “Some times I’ll pull into a cold storage place and end up sitting there for eight or nine hours.”

Jona Penner, an owner/operator contracted to JBM Transport out of Saskatoon, Sask., says harmonization of the provincial regulations would be a great resolution for the various Canadian governments: “You almost have to be a lawyer to figure everybody’s laws out these days.” n

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