I have been asked by the great folks at Truck News to offer a monthly opinion on the state of the industry from my perspective behind the wheel. And I consider it a privilege to be able to share the issues that I feel are important to the industry as a whole.
But being the new kid on the block, I feel it is somewhat important to use my first column tell you a bit about myself. I grew up as a typical boy, infatuated with the big trucks that drove by our simple house in Nova Scotia. My father has a considerable amount of experience behind the wheel and I hold him responsible for introducing me to this addiction called trucking. My infatuation was also influenced by other role models, from uncles to friends.
I was determined to get into the industry, and as a result I started loading trailers at a young age. It was backbreaking work but I loved it, if for no other reason than the fact that it provided me with the opportunity to pursue my trucking dreams. I eventually graduated to trailer shunting, city P&D and finally into short-to-medium hauls up and down the road. I thought I had reached heaven… or pretty close to it.
I like to think I have matured since that time, and am now infatuated more with the chicken lights and chrome than I am with the actual trucking “industry”. I tend to be like the typical owner/operator (if there such a thing) in that I have a love/ hate relationship with my profession and the trials and tribulations that accompany it. For example, I love the freedom of the open road and the “carefree” lifestyle that can go along with driving a rig long haul. But at the same time I hate not being home often enough and never for long enough.
I currently reside on the beautiful West Coast of British Columbia.
Well, I should say my current mailing address is on the West Coast. I reside wherever my truck is located.
I spent a stint pursuing higher education in the United States and have held numerous positions within and out of the trucking industry since that time. Experience is something I do have…a couple years away from my million-miles milestone, but I am also well aware that there are many more drivers out there with considerably more experience than I have, and just as many with significantly less.
I tend not to judge a driver by experience so much as attitude.
I also have experience at the keyboard. No, I am not talking about the many term papers that I attempted to write through university. But you may have noticed my name on a number of articles that have been published in Truck News over the last couple of months. I also have written a number of articles for U.S. trucking industry publications. These jobs have been valuable because they forced me to think clearly through the issues and do my homework. Writing, along with driving, has taught me many things and I look forward to the challenges and leaning opportunities this column will present.
One of the first things I learned from the trucking industry is that you cannot possibly know everything. The day you do, you’re dead.
The topics I plan to discuss are of a broad nature and from all over the continent. Some “hot button” issues that I plan to expound on immediately are the proposed hours of service changes, the push for split speed limits in the Maritimes, and anti-truck sentiment that seems to be sweeping provinces such as B.C. and Quebec.
Some folks call me cynical. I consider myself a realist. I don’t beat around the bush and – quite frankly – can’t stand people who do.
I promise to be candid, hold people accountable for their actions, and challenge the industry as a whole. I may also take certain groups and individuals to task on their positions, and challenge them to be more responsive to the issues and problems that face the trucking industry in North America today.
I am nowhere near perfect, and don’t pretend to be. I have changed my mind on issues before and most certainly will do it again. But I look forward to the dialog that such a column can create and I look forward to and encourage people to speak out on any issue pertaining to the industry, in particular the plight of the Canadian owner/operator.
Let the rambling begin. n
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