Why should anyone care about trucking?

by Terry Shaw

Trucking makes everything possible, from here to tomorrow.

This is the message of the Manitoba Trucking Association’s (MTA) new public relations campaign, set to officially launch in 2019. With “movement” as the main theme, the MTA has begun to unveil its message on our website and YouTube channel. The message is a powerful one, and we hope with this campaign the MTA will get the public thinking about how profoundly their lives are impacted by trucking.

For those of us in the trucking industry, this comes as no surprise. Anyone who has worked in our industry – as a driver, dispatcher, technician, or sales – knows the numbers: 95% of goods in Manitoba are shipped by truck, trucking contributes more than $2 billion to Manitoba’s GDP, and it employs (directly and indirectly) approximately 4.6% of the provincial labor force. But outside of trucking, who knows these numbers?

That’s why the trucking industry isn’t the intended audience of the MTA’s new campaign; the general public is. Too often the attention our industry gets from the media isn’t for the good news stories. They say any publicity is good publicity, but I think trucking might be the exception to that rule. Generally, we are an invisible industry, except for when we make the news. Then all of the good, safe, on-time work we have done becomes irrelevant. We want the general public to see that we are a safe industry, and that what they do, for work or pleasure, relies on us to do our jobs right.

John Erik Albrechtsen, president of the MTA, agrees. One of his beliefs about how the trucking industry can achieve some of its goals is to get the public on board.

An example of this is mandatory entry level training, or MELT. Currently, Ontario is the only province with such a program for the trucking industry in place. In Manitoba, the trucking association has been advocating for a driver training standard for years, even going so far as to develop a program with MPI, the provincial driving insurer. This program, Manitoba Entry Level Professional Truck Driver Training, trained drivers through a six-week course plus mentorship, meaning it took two full years before commercial drivers were qualified and on the road alone. While a new, equally popular program has been developed to replace the original, there remains no provincially legislated training standard in Manitoba.

However, due to last year’s tragic accident in Humboldt, public will toward a commercial driving training changed. Alberta announced a new standard, as did Saskatchewan. In Manitoba, the government claims to be moving toward implementing one, however, as of this writing, the MTA has not received any definitive answers from anyone in the provincial government. With public will providing the fuel for provincial governments to get this done, the trucking industry in some provinces is gaining the training standard for which it has long advocated, and the MTA wants to ensure that Manitoba becomes one of those provinces.

So, why should anyone care about trucking? Trucking makes everything possible, from here to tomorrow.


Terry Shaw oversees the planning and priorities of the MTA, is the lead for political liaison and relations with all levels of government, media relations, and acts as a spokesperson for the industry. He is a member of several MTA committees and represents the association through his involvement with Trucking HR Canada, the Manitoba Employers Council, and the Winnipeg and Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. Terry also engages on national issues as a regional vice-president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, of which he is a board and executive member.

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  • Be careful in your attempt to create a one size fits all “mold” , this has been the weakness in our educational systems . I understand the need to create a basic standard . However, you can’t teach “common sense” in 6 weeks nor 6 months . This would be an attempt to create a “mold” with an expectation that will lead to disappointment . People need to understand that learning is not a “time” issue , it’s a life long never ending process . We need to awaken them to this fact . Some of us were born with knowledge that we haven’t learned here in this life . Why would you want to put some of us through “kindergarten” ??? We need an adaptable educational system . People are individuals and they must be taught as such . We need to evolve , and it won’t happen by trying to black box us . The awakened one’s will protest against too much control . Evolution comes through freedom . Freeing the mind and awakening it from all the constraints that have been enforced and imposed upon our minds . The knowledge is out there floating around through a collective consciousness , people need to be taught how to tap into it . That’s the answer …………… Awaken the people and they will act like the true Gods that they really are and they will grow out of their earthly “beast” mentality …………… And this awakening my dear friends should begin from the moment human beings begin to walk ………… Our old outdated ways hold us back from this reality as a whole . Focus on the bigger picture rather than simply being content with teaching people how to tie their shoes …..

  • Why are always truck drivers being pointed out ? Why ? Perhaps it’s due to semi trucks being the biggest vehicles on the road and when they’re involved in an accident it’s dramatic due to their size and impact .
    However , perhaps we should look a little deeper and rather than responding to the “effect” , we should focus on the cause . The cause is due to a lack of knowledge , carelessness , and a lack of proper training . Before a person becomes a truck driver , 99.9% of the time they have been licensed to drive an automobile , pick up truck etc ,which corresponds to a class 5 .

    Let’s take a look at the way class 5 holders are trained , taught , and drive . Oh my goodness , now we realize the “cause” . If a “driver” is properly taught at the beginning of their driving education , then we would eliminate the carelessness , the bad habits , and render drivers preventive and prudent through a solid understanding about what driving a vehicle entails .

    To expect “drivers” to change their behaviors simply because they eventually drive a “bigger” vehicles is by far extremely ignorant . We must ensure that the “proper” training begins from the start of their driving experience , not assume that due to eventually driving a bigger vehicle that they will improve their driving by giving them a title of “professional” . We need to render them professional from the 1st day they are put behind the wheel of any sort of vehicle .

    Therefore the cause of the effect is found in class 5 driver’s lack of education and awareness which leads to a lack of understanding and bad behavior which is seen in class 1 drivers . Not all , but most .

    Therefore , it is much easier to prevent the cause through proper up brining at the child stage rather than at the teenager stage(metaphor) . It’s all about building a solid foundation of understanding at an early stage in their driving experience .

    It’s much easier to instill proper knowledge and good behavior than it is to remove bad habits and bad behavior .

    The next time you drive down a highway or road for quite awhile , pay very close attention to how those class 5 drivers behave . You can’t miss the danger that these drivers put themselves and others in . The swerve , cut , tailgate , don’t signal , speed , etc etc . I don’t see their motors being limited in speed . I don’t see them being limited in the amount of hours that they drive . I don’t see them being tested for drug and alcohol use before having a right to drive .

    I could go on an d on , but this message would never end . However, I believe you got the point , at least I hope you did . Perhaps those in a position of authority need help due to their lack of awareness themselves . Stop trying to eliminate the “effect” and focus on the “cause” instead . And I guarantee transportation will become and be much safer .

    Good luck !

  • Let’s look at another issue . Example : If a “student” at 20 years of age goes through a particular trucking school that offers a course for 5 months , that student will obtain a trucking job easier than a person who has over 20 years of driving experience but has not went through a 5 month trucking course at a particular school . The question is , does that 5 month course render the student safer and more knowledgeable than the person who did not ?

    Due to the student being considered to have been properly trained by following a 5 month course which is longer , insurance companies will consider that particular student to be less of a risk . And based on this assumption , the insurance company will charge a reduced insurance rate compared to a person that went through another government approved school for let’s say 50 hours of training .

    However , let’s assume that the person that took the 50 hour course has 20 years of driving experience on the road and is 45 years of age .

    Who has more experience on the road ? The one who is 20 years of age and assuming they drove an automobile for only 4 years , or the 45 year old that has been driving an automobile for 20 years based on their vigilance due to their experience ?

    This indicates that insurance companies are discriminating . The 50 hour course has been approved by government standards and upon completion and passing the required tests , the driver obtains a government issued license and is eligible to drive a commercial vehicle . So ,ie: there should be no discrimination based on the time and school one attended to obtain a license , ie: a high school diploma . The license is the “diploma” that has been issued as a certificate which can only be obtained through passing the requites required by the issuer / the government .

    Insurance companies should not have the right to charge a rate based on the amount of training , but rather on the prior driving record . Everyone should be considered equal until proven otherwise .

    And what if the 45 year old has an IQ of 179 to 181 , and the 20 year old has an IQ of let’s assume 120 or less ? Who would we consider to be more knowledgeable ? However, this isn’t taken into account either .

    In my opinion the person despite their age , with a higher IQ would complete their course and have a full understanding quicker than the person with a lower IQ .

    Again the government isn’t doing their job well . They are causing a conflict which is unfair which is leading to discrimination .

    Of course we would generally consider a person that followed a course for a longer time to be better educated than a person who did in less time , however , we cannot put people in a box . We must be flexible and adapt to individuals . Otherwise we need to treat people as equals based on the certificate obtained rather than the time it took to obtain it .

    Insurance companies are in conflict with government . And we have all these trucking associations pushing for more regulations which is in part causing more conflicts rather than improving and rendering the trucking industry safer .

    Again , who are these people(lobbyists) serving ? Who is benefiting from all these new regulations ? And who is it harming ?

    I see protests and movements expressing truck drivers discontent . Why ? I see experienced truck drivers leaving the trade . Why ? I see very high turnover rates as well . Why ?

    The abuse that ruck drivers go through in this trade is beyond unbelievable . They are expected to work for free ! How many who are paid by the mile , are not paid while waiting to be loaded and or unloaded ? Some companies will start paying them a mediocre rate which is not even equivalent to their hourly mile rate , ONLY after 2 hours of waiting time .

    What about the first two hours ??? Is this expected truck driver charity ? Or is it forced slavery ?

    The general public has no idea about what most truck drivers go through in their attempt to supply them with the goods they depend on , need , and want .

    Truck drivers also haul automobiles . These automobiles are used as weapons endangering people’s lives on roadways by ill educated drivers putting many in danger .

    The insanity has to stop . Otherwise transporters will have no other choice but to assemble and take control . And all they have to do to have their voices heard is to stop hauling goods for a few days .

    Is that what it will take to have government , companies , the public , etc. to start listening ???

    Remember , it only took 10 days to bring Brazil to its knees by stopping trucking transportation . It would be highly unfortunate if the same would need to occur in the United States and Canada for truckers to be heard. We can prevent this potential suffering .

    The trucking industry is by far corrupt and unfair . And this will no longer be tolerated . It will change because truckers are fed up . They bend over backwards to serve us and look at the way we treat them in return …………….

    This is the truth ! This is not some sort of ad to attract people to come take an expensive course by simply painting a nice picture . The harsh reality of trucking isn’t mentioned to students . Why ? Cause training them is a business ! And business obtains interest by selling a version that will attract people .

    Ask any driver if they really would want their children to follow in their footsteps and become a truck driver . The honest answer will be NO ! Why ? Who in their right mind would want to put their child through the sort of abuse that they themselves endure in the trucking trade ?

    My goodness , people have to wake up . It doesn’t have to be this way . There is still a chance we could avoid a major shutdown . But time is running out . ……………..

    I asked for a simple law to be created which give truck drivers the priority when they signal a lane change , just like public transportation obtained . This has fallen on closed ears .

    Do you people realize the danger truck drivers are put in , and those driving around them , due to some road user who doesn’t want a truck to be in front of them ? Truckers see further due to being seated higher . They can see a car on the side of the road , or a towing , or police on the side of the road etc, and truck drivers MUST change lanes . I have seen more than enough cars speed up to prevent the truck driver who is signaling a lane change from being able to change lanes . This is absolutely negligent , ignorant , and very dangerous behavior ! And it can be prevented .

    Truck drivers need consumers , and consumers need truck drivers . But we depend on an outdated asleep system to bring this awareness to reality .

    It’s time for a change my friends , and a big one .We can no longer continue in an environment that separates us and caused division . To many have dies , been crippled , and are now being sent to prison for neglect . The system as it is with the one’s managing it has failed us miserably . We need a major change , and it is coming ………………. All the transporters simply need to sit still for a few days . No sticks , no stones , simply sit and not move . No road blocking , no fighting , simply not driver for a few days . They will be heard . Because it’s enough , my goodness it’s enough ……………….