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TOP 10 NEWS STORIES OF 2013

It’s list season! Yep, the time of year when everyone in the media feels compelled to create Top 10 lists of every type imaginable. For the last few years in Hooked Up, I’ve posted a list of the best-read news stories, blog entries...


It’s list season! Yep, the time of year when everyone in the media feels compelled to create Top 10 lists of every type imaginable. For the last few years in Hooked Up, I’ve posted a list of the best-read news stories, blog entries and videos from Trucknews.com. I’ve had some fun with it, so why stop now? Besides, it’s Christmas Eve and unless something unexpected happens, it should be a fairly slow news day for the trucking industry.

Before I get started with the Top 10 news stories of 2013, I want to point out these results are based solely on the number of page views recorded. By no means do I think the below list constitutes the top 10 stories of the year, but it does provide some insight into the stories that attracted the most eyeballs over the course of what was a very eventful year. So, let’s get right into it…

#10: Graves shocker: My advice is to sell your Republican shares and buy Democrat: I was sitting beside editorial director Lou Smyrlis at the ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition when ATA chief – and former Republican governor – Bill Graves made these remarks and his lower jaw actually landed on my shoe. I was just as surprised as Lou was. The ATA has long been a bastion of right-wing conservatism, but even its members have grown tired of the Tea Party’s divisive politics. 

#9: Celadon Canada buys Yanke: We were the first to report on this blockbuster deal Nov. 16, days before the competition. We usually are. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t paying attention. Anyways, this transaction, to me, constitutes one of the biggest news stories of 2013. Not just because it spells the end of Yanke, which was a Canadian trucking institution, but also because of what it means in the Celadon context. This company has tripled its Canadian presence in just over a year. And it’s probably not done.

#8: SPECIAL REPORT: Truck News investigation finds widespread tampering of emissions systems: In one of our biggest stories of the year, I write about the widespread use of ‘DPF Delete’ kits in Canada. These systems defeat the EPA-mandated emissions controls put into place in recent years, reverting heavy-duty engines to previous emissions levels in the hopes of improved fuel economy and reliability. It also exposed the complete lack of enforcement in Canada, in contrast with the heavy-handed fines that have been levied south of the border by the EPA.

#7: Heavy rescue tow truck drivers go through hell on new TV series: This old story still makes the list, which is a testament to the popularity of the Highway Through Hell TV show. A story of the year? No way. But it still gets found by fans of the show who turn to Google for background and wind up here.

#6: So, you want to start a trucking company?: Bill Cameron, who brings his insights as a small fleet owner to the pages of Truck News and Truck West each month, detailed the challenges of starting a trucking company in today’s super-regulated environment. Chances are, he deterred a good many aspiring fleet owners from pursuing their dreams with this piece.

#5: Alberta toughens Class 1 testing procedure: There’s always a mystery to uncover when I examine the numbers for this exercise. This old story outlines the most recent changes made to Alberta’s Class 1 licence requirements. Problem is, the changes were implemented in 2003. The story seems out of place on this list – and it is. But then I remember this issue was back in the news earlier this year, when the AMTA announced it was pushing the province to introduce a minimum training standard for entry-level drivers. Apparently, a whole lot of readers wanted to review the last round of changes that were implemented, and thus, it resurfaced on the best read stories of the year list. All I have to say is, I’m glad I got my Class 1 before the changes were implemented some 10 years ago!

#4: Cummins’ Lucas Redpath passes away: One of the saddest stories of the year. I don’t even know what to say, except its ranking as the fourth most read news story is a testament to how many people knew and cared for Lucas. Please, no more stories like this in 2014. I can’t even bring myself to link back to this story.

#3: MTO officer charged for public masturbation allowed to return to work: Well, put the word ‘masturbation’ in a headline and you’re going to get traffic! Kidding aside – and trust me, I’m trying hard to restrain myself here – this was a newsworthy issue. Some arbitrator decided it was appropriate to give an MTO enforcement officer – who was caught masturbating in public outside a girls’ school – his job back. As it turns out, there are new developments to report. As I posted yesterday, the MTO filed a judicial review, and the arbitrator’s decision was reversed by a three-judge panel. It’s rare for a judicial review to overturn an arbitrator’s decision, which goes to show just how wrong she got it in the first place.

#2: Six Canadian trucking companies named Best Fleets to Drive For: This is a bit of a head-scratcher. I mean, I know this contest is popular, but I must admit I’m surprised it was the second best read story on our site in 2013. It’s amazing how far this program has come in just a few years. Everyone wants to be nominated. Those who are, like it a lot. And those who aren’t, want to know who is. That’s the best explanation I’ve got.

#1: SPECIAL REPORT: Can I get a DPF Delete?: No surprises here. It was our best story of the year, in my opinion. I assigned Harry Rudolfs to make some calls to see just how widespread emissions system tampering was. He found evidence of it everywhere, with numerous shops willing to perform the service, some even remotely. One said it had a weeks-long backlog of truckers looking to have their emissions system defeated, and their trucks’ engine restored to previous emissions levels in the hope of achieving greater reliability and improved fuel economy. This story got a lot of attention, both inside and outside the industry, earning it the honour of being our most widely read story of 2013.


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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