Covid-19 presents new challenges for car hauler

by Arleen Lively

SASKATOON, Sask. — Trevor Yuise has been behind the wheel professionally for over 30 years, the last six of which have been as a car hauler for Jack Cooper Transport out of Saskatoon. But in the days of Covid-19, he is running into a unique problem when he completes deliveries to automotive dealerships.

“They don’t want to inspect my loads when I deliver,” he says.

“If there is any damage to the vehicle, if anything is missing like a key fob during that 48-hour period, it’s on me.”

– Trevor Yuise

“I have to load the vehicles, so I have been inside them. They are worried I may be infected or have been exposed to Covid-19. They do have 48 hours to inspect the vehicles and they are wanting me to make my drops at night, giving them the time to inspect. If there is any damage to the vehicle, if anything is missing like a key fob during that 48-hour period, it’s on me.”

truck driver Trevor Yuise
Trevor Yuise

The challenges as a car hauler don’t end there, as Covid-19 spreads.

“Dealerships are closing down, car factories are closing and laying off. If there are no cars to haul, then there is no need for car haulers,” he says. “Our industry lives and dies by rail. If there are no cars coming by rail, there is nothing to haul by truck. I could be looking at a layoff within days.”

Yuise has personal expenses like everyone else. Recent promises of Covid-19-related financial relief from the federal government and the country’s six major banks should offer some relief.

“I can probably get by, but I will be looking for something else if the times comes when there are no cars to haul,” he says. “I have only been unemployed for a short time since I started driving. I will find something.”

For now, he’s still on the road.

One positive thing he’s noticed is that Canadians are looking at truck drivers in a different light.

“It seems they are getting a wakeup call on where things come from. I think, they used to take us for granted,” he says. “They went to the stores and the shelves were full. There was never a shortage. Now, there is, and they have started to think about where the stock comes from. The people who work 9-to-5, do not realize, truckers are out there day and night. It takes me three hours to load, then I drive until my E-log is spent.”

He was surprised when he was delivering in Northern Manitoba and was approached by a stranger who had heard information being relayed on CBC Radio about problems the truckers were facing.

A man walked up to my truck and offered to go and buy me a cup of coffee,” he said. “I sure did appreciate it. That’s never happened to me before.”

This is one in a series of articles describing truck driver experiences amid the fight against Covid-19.

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  • I also work for Jack Cooper out of Avon Lake, Ohio. I have only had a couple issues with dealers not wanting to inspect. But I am loaded right now with my last load. Tomorrow I along with the last 7 guys working at my terminal will be done..

  • Good day.
    We own a small enclosed transport business and usually haul high end cars in our 2 car hauler. Covid 19 has caused many brokers to price gouge by lowering the price per mile rates to shameful amounts. Truthfully, as much as I do not agree with Govt controlling everything, how do we get a handle on brokers taking whatever percentage they want and leaving scraps for the companies actually doing the work? It was an issue but has really become to a degree where many of the smaller companies will be put out of business?? WE offer very specialized service , hot shots and door to door service unlike larger companies like Reliable etc. We cannot make a living doing 57 cents a mile for 250 miles. Somebody needs to do a story on this issue.

    • Yes I agree, all brokers now are giving scraps as they take over 70 percent of the haul. I personally rather go bankrupt than haul for these idiots. Eventually it will come back on them. Hopefully they go out of business so we can start making money from the shipper. No need for worthless brokers anyway. I ask a story be done on this as well.

      • Call Action Auto Brokers speak laira she is the owner, i worked for her for close 20 years till my husbsnd passed away last october and she and I gave 90% of fee to trucks on singel loads her number is 954 583 7811