Remembering Ron Singer

It was with great sadness I learned of the passing of Ron Singer, longtime industry advocate and owner of Ron Singer Truck Lines. He died of health complications Dec. 22 while – what else? – pre-loading his truck for the next day’s delivery.

Ron built a successful business in Calgary, Alta. managing a fleet of gravel trucks that served destinations across Western Canada. However, he was a proud trucker first and foremost and was always ready and willing to put in a full day behind the wheel.

Singer was as passionate about trucking as they come. He was involved in many industry associations over his career, including the Alberta Trucking Association and later the Alberta Motor Transport Association, the Alberta Construction Truckers Association, the Owner-Operators’ Business Association of Canada and the North American Truckers Guild.

He wrote a column for Truck West for a time and felt the industry’s publications served an important purpose. He didn’t always agree with what appeared in the pages of this magazine and others and was always quick to pick up the phone to share an alternative view. But he was just as quick to call to commend the author on a job well done. On more than one occasion he asked me for one of our contributors’ phone numbers so he could personally call them and congratulate them on a well-written piece.

Ron Singer
Ron Singer

Ron was always eager to help young journalists entering the industry get up to speed on the important issues. I spent more than one day riding around with Ron in his beautiful Western Star to get an idea of what professional drivers face on a daily basis. I know my friend Jason Rhyno did the same when he was new to reporting on the industry.

I recall talking to Ron about an ill-informed, anti-truck story that appeared in a Calgary daily newspaper. We agreed that the writer would benefit from a day spent with Ron in his truck. To her credit, the author of that piece did join Ron on the road and she later acknowledged that experience helped change her views of professional truck drivers.

While Ron was a hard-working professional trucker, he still found time to pursue his other passion – big rig racing. He competed in and helped run the North American Big Rig Racing series, and fielded two trucks – one of which was driven by his son Ron Jr.

Family was important to Ron and he took great pride in his daughter Jennifer’s involvement in the business and various industry groups. He was married to wife Rosalinda for 33 years

The word ‘professional’ appears throughout this tribute because it’s the word that best sums up Ron’s life and career. Nothing bothered him more than seeing truck drivers behaving unprofessionally while out on the road. It worried him that those drivers would shape public perception of the industry he cared for so much. He took it personally. Even in recent years, with rates in the gravel sector seemingly under attack, Ron was not one to cut corners. His trucks were always meticulously maintained and he always took time to do the little things like brushing loose gravel from the cab steps and ensuring the tarp was properly closed.

The entire Truck News/Truck West staff sends our condolences to the Singer family.

Ron will be missed by the entire industry. Those wishing to pay tribute can attend the viewing Jan. 2, from 7-9 p.m.

Ron’s Celebration of Life will be held Saturday Jan. 3, at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Funeral Home, 1605 100 St SE, Calgary, Alta.

In the meantime, here is a two-part article Ron wrote about a day in the life of a professional construction truck owner/driver. It says a lot about the type of professional Ron was.

Part 1

Part 2

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • Hands down one of the most respectable men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. The man oozed professionalism and kindness, which is a rare combination.
    He taught me everything I know about driving truck, which was like learning math from Einstein. He also taught me about being professional, in ways that apply to every aspect of life. The kinds of things that simply make you a better person.
    I have to admit I envied Ron Jr. and Jennifer and secretly wished Ron was my father. Yet I felt that in a way he treated me and others like his children in the way he would take time to help and teach you things, that went far and above the ‘norm’.
    RIP Ron. I’m positive “the big guy” is glad to have you around now, yet I’m deeply saddened for his family. Such a loss of a great, great man.

  • Sad news. I had a gravel truck on with Ron and they were always more than fair with me. My condolances to the family and crew ar the office and yard. RIP Ron.

  • I had the privilege of working with Ron for over a year, running BC/AB, and he is truly the most professional trucker I’ve ever met.
    He may unfortunately be gone, but everyday of my career I take lessons learned from him on the road with me, I will always remember a quote by him and take it to work with me everyday ” Everything we do on this highway, we need to ask ourselves, are we part of the problem?, or are we part of the solution?”
    So proud to know this man, and will never forget him!!

  • Very well written James I must say the funeral was well attended standing room only their was one big truck in attendance who sounded the air horn for Rons last send off. Larry Hall gave a wonderful tribute he flew in for the service from Kamloops BC and back that night. It’s was a great pleasure knowing Ron over the years and yes he will be sadly missed. See you on the flip flop Ron . RIP