Good read. Thank you JenniferM

Gord M

Active Member
15
30 years ago Mcnally Transport would hire new drivers to work in the city, if you worked three years in the city accident free they would allow you to drive on the highway and go to Montreal or the US........three years training, now guys with brand new licences are on the highway on day 2. Tell the people of Humboldt how safety has improved, its greedy owners putting drivers in impossible situations. The owner of the Humboldt truck got a $5,000 fine, 30 years ago he would have been ostracized, sent to Coventry and had his license taken away in shame..
 

Gord M

Active Member
15
There needs to be a graduated drivers licence for truckers, it will save the lives of thousands of new drivers and thousands more innocent families that get destroyed in accidents. Work in the city for at least a year before a second test from the ministry qualifies a driver to go anywhere after his one year initiation. If the driver hasn't learned how to handle a truck the second instructor keeps failing the driver until he proves he can drive.
 

Jim L

Well-Known Member
20
The trucking industry used to self-govern itself. A decade ago you would hear of stories where drivers who did damage to vehicles would often be made financially responsible, insurance companies would make it cost prohibitive to have junior drivers and truck drivers were usually honed from interested kids who started in the industry by sweeping out trailers, washing trucks and eventually given more responsibilities. The self-governance was the only way to stay in business. It was tough to break into the industry and even tougher to stay in the business. Good drivers came with a lot of experience and was more than willing to teach younger drivers how to make it in the industry.
Now, it is just a phone call to a permitting department and you're a trucking company - go get some plates and go down the road. Insurance companies have become complacent in who they insure and who exactly are the drivers of these fleets (although that has changed back in the past year). Law enforcement also has been complacent and with diminished enforcement comes more problems. A carrier should not be able to go 15 years between audits - even if their numbers are good. Shops that repair trucks do shoddy work and are also not enforced by the ministry. Most of this is because of a push to lower costs due to lower margins.

We have a large number of contributing items that are causing issues on our roads and in our industry. The only way to fix these items is better self-governance or political governance ie. laws. Self-governance would include that shippers/freight brokers take a larger interest in the carriers they hire and vice versa, insurance companies make it harder to obtain insurance and check the metrics of those they insure more frequently. Political governance would require to change laws and make it tougher to work outside those laws. This requires more enforcement (not going to happen) and takes a chance that the industry becomes less competitive to those regions outside of the political zone. (If Ontario laws are stricter, that would make the Ontario carriers less competitive in other provinces and the US).

Personally I like the self-governance model because we cannot count on any government to do anything correct. Insurance discussions lately have begun the conversation but until the insurance industry, and the brokers who represent them, cracks down on who they give insurance to there will continue to be these rogue carriers hiring incompetent drivers and creating dangers on our roads. I believe the best bet for self-governance starts at the insurance companies.
 

Igor Galanter

Well-Known Member
20
So am I, Jim L ! Don't get me wrong...Went through all of it in my 25 years in this business. Unfortunately, since about 2001 have to adjust to reality... And I can't find a solution or advise ( noone listen anyway)..
You have good points ... Hard to disagree...
 

loaders

Site Supporter
30
Unfortunately, insurance companies will only act in their own best interests, not as gatekeepers or policemen for our industry. That’s not intended as a knock against insurers, it is the way it should be for a private company. Their main focus should be on returning a healthy profit for their shareholders. If that is done by restricting the flow of poorly run trucking companies, great, but if the market can bear a few bad apples in the mix, then they will allow it. Remember, insurance is completely numbers driven. Their offices are made up of floor after floor of hard working actuaries, sifting through every possible scenario and acceptable level of risk. It has been my experience, albeit limited, that when dealing with government, they are more likely to respond when confronted by large, united voices, as opposed to small groups of concerned citizens. This is where industry associations can be effective in keeping governments informed of what is happening in their industry and lobbying for necessary changes in regulation. Say what you will about provincial trucking associations, they do serve a purpose and have been effective in the past. Perhaps greater participation would even increase their effectiveness.
 

Jim L

Well-Known Member
20
This is where industry associations can be effective in keeping governments informed of what is happening in their industry and lobbying for necessary changes in regulation. Say what you will about provincial trucking associations, they do serve a purpose and have been effective in the past. Perhaps greater participation would even increase their effectiveness.
This is a part of self-governance that also can work. Associations have important discussions with the government but the change is way too slow. Currently the CTA has identified and reported quite a few issues (Driver Inc, foreign student drivers etc.) but the government does not move fast enough or is unwilling to do anything about it - going back to the lack of enforcement.

The question should be how can the CTA and the provincial association counterparts push these issues into the limelight to let the government know that they're serious? A trucking strike or rolling blockade? I don't think so, there is not enough members to make a critical mass. The trucking industry cannot even get something as simple as double-brokering under control how will they ever get a critical mass of truckers to take action. There are always big words but when the time comes the action is lackluster. The associations need to find a way to obtain critical mass. When every trucking company or truck owner is a member then there might be traction. Unfortunately association Fees/dues are a cost that is easily dropped when times are tough because members, especially small ones, do not see any financial gain.

This forum board, insidetransport.com, is where it needs to start. Self-governance - speaking out about the great carriers/load brokers and also pointing out the bad apples. We all win in that scenario.
 

loaders

Site Supporter
30
True enough Jim. The large carriers see the expense of membership as merely a good business decision and part of the cost of doing business. Smaller carriers regard it as an onerous extra expense that only the “big guys” can afford and unless there is a pressing issue that affects them directly, it becomes basically a waste of money. Unfortunately, that is a short sighted approach. If the CTA was serious about pressuring the government to do more about the issues you mentioned, they should look for ways to expand their membership and perhaps gain that critical mass you refer to. This industry has an interesting mix of large carriers, some of which are faceless, publicly traded companies, along with smaller independent, family run and owned businesses whose owners take great pride in maintaining that independence their fathers and grandfathers built. The only way I see to tackle the problems of our industry is for carriers of both stripes to work collaboratively through a large effective trade association. Loud screams and groans from single voices won’t produce the results we need.
 

lowmiler88

Site Supporter
30
I believe you can join the OTA for $750 for the first year to see if you like it, it is definitely worthwhile but you have to participate to get the full benefit. You get to have a say on future laws, training, equipment specs etc plus the wealth of info for any questions you have. If anyone is truly interested just message me and I can answer questions or get you in touch with the right people. It's better to have a say in the industry rather than just complaining about it all the time.
 
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