What Driver Shortage?
The National Truck Driver Championships, also known as the National Truck Roadeo, was held in Lethbridge Alberta the weekend of Sept. 18, 2004, and the Lethbridge Safety Council of the Alberta Motor Transport Association did a bang-up job of hosting a mighty fine event. Mr. Dean Paisley and his committee did a wonderful job of making the event very successful.
Championship drivers from across Canada gathered in Lethbridge to compete at a national level to determine who would be the very best.
As Master of Ceremonies for this prestigious event, as well as the awards dinner that followed I was proud to be involved, and I was very impressed with the level of competition in all categories, (1) step van, (2) straight truck, (3) single single, (4) single tandem, (5) tandem tandem, (6) and train truck, better known as “B” train. Participants from the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta were there representing their respective districts.
At the awards dinner held after the competition were dignitaries from municipal, provincial and federal governments. Representing the City of Lethbridge was their Mayor Mr. Bob Tarleck, representing the provincial government was the Minister of Transportation Mr. Ed Stelmach, the Minister of Employment Mr. Clint Dunford, and from the federal level Mr. Rick Casson, Lethbridge MLA.
What an opportunity for trucking company owners to show their support for the most important people in their companies, their drivers, but also an opportunity to rub shoulders with the government mucky mucks.
My disappointment was that there were very few company executives present; they must think that their companies can function without drivers. My apologies to the managers and owners that did attend, I applaud them for their foresight and support of their most important asset.
With the current shortage of drivers one would think that company managers, owners and supervisors would relish the opportunity to attend and support the very best drivers in the nation. I now understand why the company that my partner and I owned and managed had a zero per cent driver turnover, we treated our profit center managers (drivers) as the professionals they were and paid them as such.
I am embarrassed for the industry!
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