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What’s behind the great results of Roadcheck 2008?

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -With so many issues facing the trucking industry, many wonder how this year's Roadcheck Safety Blitz returned such successful results.





BOWMANVILLE, Ont. -With so many issues facing the trucking industry, many wonder how this year’s Roadcheck Safety Blitz returned such successful results.

The Roadcheck Safety blitz is an annual event, with this year producing the best results and the fewest drivers put out-of-service in its 21-year history. During the first week of June, CVSA-and FMCSA-certified inspectors at 1,683 locations across North America randomly pulled over trucks and buses for a North American Standard Level 1 inspection. Of the 67,931 trucks and buses pulled over, an astounding 94.7% passed the evaluation, proving that today’s trucks and drivers are safer than they have ever been.

But what is at the cause of this extreme commitment to safety? Truck News stopped by the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to find out what is making the industry the safest it has ever been.

Dale Johnstone, who drives for Barry Direct, argues that safety regulations are being enforced beyond necessity.

“There’s a big emphasis on road safety right now, and it’s normal for truck drivers to make sure their trucks are driving safely and are road-safe before they hit the highways,” Johnstone said. “Everyone’s safe before we go. Everyone has to do their road checks and their annual safety checks before they can even start their truck up so it’s normal procedure. I think that trucks are even safer today than they need to be.”

Richard Solomen, who works for the Ministry of Correctional Services in Milton, Ont. argues that it just makes sense to keep your truck up to safety standards.

“Well, it gets pretty expensive to take a truck off the road, and with the time involved, it’s better to invest the time making sure you have a safe truck so you don’t have to go through all of that,” Solomen explains.

“Trucks are absolutely safer today than they ever have been. I’ve noticed a lot less trucks off the side of the road, a lot less breakdowns and that type of thing.”

Joe Dignard, who retired from Canadian Kenworth in 2002, offers his opinion based on his 42 years behind the wheel.

“They’re forcing the drivers and the companies, not just the drivers, to bring their trucks up to standard, suspension-wise and fuel-wise, right down the line, brakes, tires, everything,” Dignard said. “There are much fewer wheels coming off the trucks now. They’re forcing them to maintain things a lot better than before. I also find the drivers are a little more conscious of what they’re doing. I think drivers have to know more about their trucks now than ever before. They have to. They’re forcing them to with the A/Z licence and all that, they’ve got to be more knowledgeable.”

Bill Martinusen, who drives for Roadex Services in Saskatoon, Sask., believes that road safety is the key to survival in this industry.

“There are less trucks on the road in general, there are less old trucks on the road, and because of enforcement, people are forced to keep their trucks in better shape,” Martinusen said.

“I think it’s just a cost benefit to have your truck in better shape than in poor shape. If your truck’s sitting on the side of the road broke down, it doesn’t make you any money. If your truck’s in good shape you can keep running down the road and make money. It’s that simple.”n

– Jared Lindzon is enrolled in media studies at the University of Western Ontario and will be working as a summer intern at Business Information Group. He can be reached at jlindzon@bizinfogroup.ca.


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