Truck News


talking proud

In the good ol' days, it used to be sufficient to get an operating authority, hire some good help, maintain your fleet properly, and generally run a safe operation...But all that has changed...With a ...

In the good ol’ days, it used to be sufficient to get an operating authority, hire some good help, maintain your fleet properly, and generally run a safe operation…But all that has changed…With a political will for detailed operational regulation, regulatory compliance has become the name of the new game. Playing the game requires considerable knowledge and expertise and, most importantly, keeping in touch with the ever changing rules.”

I quote from the first column penned for Motortruck, way back in August 1990, by Blair Gough, our industry’s longest serving and best-known columnist on regulatory matters. Eleven years have passed since we published that forward-thinking first column and the message it delivered then has grown more valid with every passing year It is , indeed, no longer sufficient to run a safe and competitive trucking company; an effective compliance program that not only complies but intelligently challenges trucking standards and regulations is also necessary.

Blair has been writing for our sister publication Truck News the last few years while Motortruck has undergone some important changes in editorial direction. I am now delighted to welcome him back into the fold. Starting this month, Blair’s column, Industry Insight, will appear in every issue of Motortruck. Take a look at page 7. Blair has some new insights on an old problem — restrictions on 53-foot semitrailers. It’s the kind of information that can give you an edge over a competitor, and what I expect Blair will be able to deliver with each column.

Speaking of information that can provide an edge over competitors, our cover story this month (see page 22) deals with a much neglected issue in our industry: the recruitment and retention of middle managers. In the scramble to deal with the driver shortage dilemma, the importance of findiing quality middle managers — terminal managers, payroll managers, sales managers, IT managers, and so on — is not getting the attention it deserves.

A competitive pay and benefits package is, of course, central to attracting the best people. Until recently, trucking industry data on compensation has been sorely lacking. That void, however, is being filled by the work conducted by Cerno Research in partnership with the Canadian Trucking Alliance and the provincial trucking organizations. Cerno’s research is a major component of our feature and I think a valuable addition to any carrier serious about its human resource strategy.

Something else worth investing in is National Trucking Week, which takes place Aug. 26-Sept. 1. Trucking has come a long way in becoming the primary mode of transportation to move both consumer and industrial products. About 70 percent of Canada’s trade with the US moves by truck and 70 percent of communities rely solely on trucks to deliver goods. Trucking has been able to achieve such market domination while at the same time being able to continually improve on its safety record and lessen its impact on the environment. These are facts I doubt the general public knows. Taking pride in the industry’s accomplishments by celebrating National Trucking Week is one way to get the message across.

Finally, we’ve been doing a bit of celebrating of our own here at Motortruck after picking up a silver award for Best Industrial Article from the Canadian Business Press. The winning entry, penned by contributing editor Fred Nix and myself, analyzed the value of the incentives provided by premier carrier programs.

Lou Smyrlis

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