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What qualities do you think make for a good truck driver?

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - Of course, there are plenty of truck drivers all over North America, but there are those who go well above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to being masters of the craft.T...


BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – Of course, there are plenty of truck drivers all over North America, but there are those who go well above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to being masters of the craft.

Truck News took to the highway to find out what qualities are shared by good drivers everywhere. We stopped off at the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont., to get the opinions of professionals in the trade.

B. McCurdy Trucking Inc. driver, Jason Girodat, thinks that one important quality is the ability to conform to peoples’ demands.

“You have to drive the way people want you to drive and not the way you would like to,” says the Stratford, Ont. resident who drives a ’96 Freightliner hauling contaminated soil. “You also need a lot of patience and need to have a clear understanding and willingness to obey the rules,” says Girodat, who was fueling up on his way to Ottawa from Toronto.

Jamie Hachey of Moncton, N.B. says doing a good circle check and just checking the truck in general is a definite asset. Hachey, who drives a ’96 Freightliner for Hunt’s Transport Ltd., based out of Mount Pearl, Nfld., was coming from Caledonia and headed back to Moncton when he gave the question some thought.

“Being punctual is very important. You have to be on time with a load and most of all driving skills are definitely a must,” he says.

London, Ont. native Shaun Gagne thinks first and foremost drivers need common sense. Gagne, who is a company driver hauling fuel for Fifth Wheel Truck Stops out of Milton, adds knowing what to do in response to others’ driving reactions and how to operate safely are a must.

“There are definitely some people out there who have these skills, but there could – and should – be more,” he adds.

Walter McDougall International Logistics Inc. driver Don Anseeuw seconds the statement of the need for common sense. This Lancaster, Ont. native who drives a five-ton single-axle 1996 Ford hauling anything and everything says patience is also a virtue.

“It also helps to be a single person or to have a wife who can team drive so you don’t miss out on your family life,” he says.

McRoberts Trucking Inc. driver, Dan Richardson, says the qualities needed for his trade are the same as any other labor-intensive work. This Kirkton, Ont. native who drives a 1987 Freightliner hauling contaminated soil was on his way to Ottawa from Toronto.

“Keep your cool, stay calm, take care, don’t get too excited and obey the rules. It’s like any other job,” he concludes. n


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