BOWMANVILLE, Ont. –There’s nothing quite like the new year -and the resolutions that so often come with it -to incite people to get their acts together.
In the past few weeks, no doubt Weight Watchers meetings have been a little fuller, motorists have been a little more polite, and alcohol and cigarette sales have been a little less rampant, all under the guise of self-improvement.
But as we enter into this new decade, we, as individuals, are not the only ones who are able to better ourselves. The trucking industry at large, for all its ups and downs over the past few years, has an opportunity for a fresh start too. We asked truckers at the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. what they would choose as a new year’s resolution for the trucking industry -and maybe one for themselves as well.
Dave Roth, a driver with Floradale Feed Mill in Floradale, Ont., doesn’t have a resolution for himself, but notes that the industry could work to make regulations a little easier for drivers in 2010. However, Roth says that “out of everything else, they treat us pretty well.”
Calgary-based trucker John Weber, on the other hand, doesn’t share Roth’s opinion. “I’m going to get out of trucking. I’m sitting too much,” says Weber, who’s been driving for about a year. As for a resolution for the industry, Weber says an industry-wide increase in pay is in order.
Jim Ellis, a driver with Michiganbased Warner, says he’d like to resolve to become a night driver and avoid traffic, but doubts he’d be able to keep that resolution. “I’d like to try to see if I can figure out how to sleep during the day and drive at night. I, for the life of me, can’t do it -not enough Tim Horton’s coffee to keep me awake.”
As for the industry at large, Ellis would like to see more mutual respect between truckers in 2010. “Let’s try to watch out for each other. The 401 is a fantastic expressway -I think it’s the best in North America, but it is very well-travelled, so let’s watch out for each other and give each other some more space.”
Sylvain Drasse, a driver with Marcan Transport out of Montreal, Que., says he avoids making resolutions he can’t keep, but for the industry, he’d like to see an increase in driver compensation. “I’m actually hoping that electronic on-board recorders come online -that way we’ll be able to get paid for what we really do,” said the driver of 21 years.
Dave Lacey, a driver with Work Authority in Cambridge, Ont., says he’s resolved to get himself a Bluetooth in 2010 and, industry-wide, he’d like to see the roads kept safe with good operators and good, well-checked equipment.
Francois Lacaille, a driver for Kriska Transport out of Prescott, Ont., would like to see the industry “using their head” and avoid making “too many rules for no reason.”
“They just try to catch people. They don’t try to help us -they just try to catch us on some other things and make the bills a little bit higher.”