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What Hassles Will Drivers Be Trying to Overcome in 2004?

BELLEVILLE, Ont. - 2003 will go down as the year of new border legislation, U.S. hours of service, inexorable waiting times at several intermodal yards and victory over meal allowances.Truck News stop...





BELLEVILLE, Ont. – 2003 will go down as the year of new border legislation, U.S. hours of service, inexorable waiting times at several intermodal yards and victory over meal allowances.

Truck News stopped by the 10 Acres Truck Stop in Belleville, Ont., to see what drivers thought the New Year would have in store for the trucking industry.

Warren McKee, an owner/operator driving for Mel Hall in London, Ont. said truckers will be faced with the same hassles they have always been up against.

“The biggest thing is money,” said McKee. “We aren’t getting paid enough and there isn’t enough return on investment for truckers. If we were getting paid enough for what we do, things like the logbook issue wouldn’t matter as much as it seems to now.”

“Tighter enforcement of the logbook regulations and making sure that everyone has swung over to the new system is the one thing on most people’s minds right now,” said Bob Degnan, a company driver for Can-Am West in Abbotsford, B.C.

Degnan said the border crossings will likely be the same so the pick up and delivery times as well as the border delays will simply eat up even more available driving time.

“Throw the log books away, drivers know when they want to go to bed, let us just do the job.”

Even though Arnold Gallant of Muir’s Transport does all of his truck repairs himself, he makes a point of keeping up on the current shop rates and said this is something that drivers will contend with in 2004.

“Shop rates have gone up and the rates they pay us as drivers have been the same rates they always have paid us. What always gets me is that the TTC will increase fares because of fuel price increases, Pearson Airport will add a travel fee onto tickets in order to increase security at the airport, but when we wait longer to pick up our loads and when our fuel goes up, nothing happens.”

“Insurance is going up, fuel is going up and those are the most important things to me as an owner/operator, but we are not getting paid any more, we are in the poorhouse and that’s the trouble we are going to have to face for the new year,” said Robert Chin, who drives for STS ITT of Brampton, Ont.

The new HOS rules have Ross Hemmings, a driver for CAT Transportation of Coteau-du-Lac, Que. all stirred up.

“The new rules are going to kill us. My salary as I see it is going to be chopped by at least a third, because all the waiting times have to be logged and that is time that I’m not driving. The only way they could kind of get around it is if companies got hundreds of more trailers and everything is a drop trailer. Not only that but drivers are going to have to stop and we are going to need truck stops. Many of the truck stops are always full and there is nowhere to park the rig, or some you even have to pay to park, which we aren’t reimbursed for. It’s scary, and I’m not looking forward to this especially since it looks like it will take a big chunk out of my earning abilities.”


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