NISKU, Alta. – There are far easier ways to earn a living than driving truck.
Truckers are forever dealing with a cornucopia of challenges and hurtles. Whether it’s dealing with overzealous inspection officers, waiting for hours on end at the loading dock, or simply struggling to meet impossible delivery deadlines, there’s no shortage of difficulties facing professional drivers.
If you’re an O/O you can throw skyrocketing insurance rates, fluctuating fuel prices and costly downtime into the mix as well. All the while, rates have remained stagnant or actually decreased in recent years.
Have you ever thought about packing it in and pursuing another way to earn a living? While many truckers have entertained the notion of finding a new career, there’s something deeper and more powerful driving many of them to remain in the trucking industry.
To find out just what that is, Truck West visited the Nisku Truck Stop just outside Edmonton and found several drivers to question.
Shane Huculak, a company driver with Dynamic Transport in Edmonton says he remains in trucking “for the love of it.” He’s been driving for 16 years and can’t picture himself doing anything else.
“I really like the freedom,” he said while fueling up before taking a few well-earned days off.
Jason Paterson, owner/operator of J. Paterson Trucking sums up what keeps him in the industry in one simple word: “Responsibility.”
The 10-year veteran from Calgary says the responsibility of piloting his Western Star tractor while hauling heavy-equipment and the responsibility of managing his own business are what motivate him.
Cancun Transport driver, Bill Hinton of Grand Junction, Colorado is semi-retired but continues to drive truck occasionally to help pad his retirement savings.
“I’ve always been interested in moving big things around,” says the company driver who hauls heavy-equipment between Northern Alberta and the southern U.S. He feels hauling the occasional load is a great way to ease into retirement.
Brad Caspick, a Calgary-based owner/operator who drives with his wife says “the versatility and the ability to travel” are what drive him to remain in trucking.
“I get to pretend to be my own boss,” he says, noting while he’s still at the disposal of the dispatcher he does have the opportunity to manage his own assets.
The 11-year veteran hauls whatever can be put on a flatdeck and primarily runs the Alberta-Texas corridor in his International Eagle.
George Wiens of Steinbach, Manitoba-based Penner International says he has remained in trucking because he works for a great carrier.
“For me, the number one reason is that I’m working for a great company and that helps a lot,” says the owner/operator. “From management right down to dispatch it’s just a great company and I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else.”