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Q: Given the events of last year, how are you gearing up for this winter?

SALISBURY, N.B. -- Last winter was a mean one for Canada's trucking industry, no matter where you where you call home. With that in mind, Truck News polled truckers at the Salisbury Irving Big Stop, a...





SALISBURY, N.B. — Last winter was a mean one for Canada’s trucking industry, no matter where you where you call home. With that in mind, Truck News polled truckers at the Salisbury Irving Big Stop, at exit 470 on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Moncton, N.B., on what steps they’re taking to gear up for the season.

“The fellow who owns the truck, he runs a Pro-heater on it, so that we don’t have to idle it,” says David Adams, who’s running a load of fiberboard from Brookfield, N.S. to Rochester, N.Y.

“And we watch our fuel,” he says, adding that he also uses a fuel conditioner. “Watching our speed, you know, you pretty well have to do that. And if you’re running it at a high speed you’re going to burn more fuel.”

Barry Cohoon, who drives a 1994 Volvo and runs special commodities for Brookville Carriers Inc., of Truro, N.S., is getting ready to pay more for fuel and possible trucker protests this winter.

“As far as the truck itself, there’s not much we can do,” to prepare for the winter, he says. “We simply can’t continue to operate, with twenty-first century costs, with twentieth century rates. The two just don’t work.” He was running from Houston Lake, N.S. to North Salem N.Y.

Boyce Campbell, from Kensington PEI, hauls mostly potatoes in winter and flatbeds and dumps in summer.

The thing that sticks in Campbell’s mind the most about last winter is high fuel prices. As for what the prices will do this winter, “it’s anybody’s guess.”

As for his Freightliner, which he was deadheading after dropping a load of spuds in Grand Falls, N.B., he hasn’t taken any special steps to prepare for the cold and the snow. “Try to get better mileage by running cleaner,” he says.

“Nothing different from last year, just putting more miles in to see if I can get the money out of it,” says Eldon Vickers, who is from Illinois and is pulling a load of grocery-store refrigerators from Brantford, Ont. to Glace Bay, N.S., with his 2000 International. “Somebody’s making money out of it, I don’t know who it is; it isn’t the truckers, that’s for sure,” says Vickers, who drives for Landstar Ranger, of Jacksonville, Fla. “But then again, that could be the truckers’ own problem.”

“I don’t have any different plans, no,” says Russell Westhaber, from St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S. Westhaber, who drives an Eagle, is running a load of lumber, from Elmsdale, N.S. to Philadelphia, Pa., for Truro, N.S.-based Brookville Carriers Inc.

“You have to keep going. If you don’t keep going you’re done, right? But we all know the price of fuel is not stopping going up. The price of fuel is going to go up, and it’s not going to come down to where it was anymore. Expenses now have gone up so that you’ve got nothing left at the end of your pay cheque. There’s nothing there. And if you’ve got a breakdown you’re in big trouble.” n


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