‘It is the backbone of the nation’

Navdeep Singh
Winnipeg, Man.

This is one in a series of interviews with frontline workers as Today’s Trucking celebrates National Trucking Week, Sept. 5-11.

Picture of Navdeel Singh
Navdeep Singh (Photo: Supplied)

Tell us about your job, title and the work it includes. 

I have been working with CNTL (Canadian National Transportation Limited) since 2013 as an owner-operator. The majority of our work is hauling containers from CN rail terminals to customers and vice-versa. We haul all kinds of freight — from dry, heated and reefer units across North America. 

How did you come to work in the trucking industry? 

I arrived in Canada as temporary resident on a work permit and started my trucking career as company driver. It always amazes me to understand and get knowledge regarding the transportation industry as it is the backbone of the nation. 

What do you like the most about your job? 

As a driver you learn everyday something new related to trucking. At CNTL, safety is the priority of everyone — no matter if you are on the road or at a CNTL terminal. I have gained a lot of knowledge about trucking and personal safety and looking out for each other. CNTL trucks are equipped with top-notch tech gadgets like an electronic log and an iPad for dispatch to increase driver efficiency. All our equipment — the chassis and containers — gets well serviced and maintained on a regular basis. That saves breakdown times on the road. Over past few years CNTL has improved so much by taking care of ground-level issues related to drivers and at terminals.

What is the biggest challenge the trucking industry faces today? 

For owner-operators, lots of cost factors have an effect on income. From the increasing cost of equipment to the availability and price of parts, cost of fuel, increasing hourly labor by shops, and so on. But mainly most owner-operators are out of health coverage and personal insurance plans. I believe it can be fixed if all the companies start providing their fleet drivers some group plans as it lowers the cost of insurance and health benefits if we are buying it individually. I think health-related plans should be provided at the lowest cost to every driver or owner-operator. It is very important.

Why do you think the trucking industry should be celebrated? 

Trucking industry is the backbone of our nation. It has proved its stability and strength to be a major part of the country‚Äôs economy. The trucking industry has proved itself during the pandemic. We meet the need and requirements of the community by bringing essential goods across North America. 

There is no reason why the trucking industry should not be celebrated every year. 

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