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Over 6,000 Cascadias recalled for brake light issue
Trucking News

A brake light issue on certain Freightliner Cascadia tractors has prompted Daimler Trucks North America to recall more than 6,000 units to fix the problem.

Daimler’s recall affects 6,326 model year 2017-2018 Cascadia tractors in which the brake lights may remain on after the brake pedal is released. Trucks included in the recall were manufactured between June 8, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

Daimler has yet to develop a remedy for the recall, but it will begin notifying affected truck owners on Dec. 17, according to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Owners of affected trucks can contact DTNA customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-799. NHTSA’s recall number is 18V-742.

 Source of article click here : Truckers News

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American trucker treats busload of Canadian veterans to dinner
Trucking News

An American trucker passing through Ottawa treated a busload of Canadian veterans to dinner to honour their service.

The gesture happened on September 11 at Robbie’s Spaghetti House, where 17 veterans from the Perley and Rideau Veterans Health Centre were enjoying a night out.

Trucker John Meiring was at the same restaurant when he noticed the group, who arrived in a bus with “Vets on Wheels” on the front. He had an idea, so he approached their table

“He said, ‘I want to pay for the meals for all the veterans.’ I said, ‘Are you kidding?’” recalled Phil Lepage, a veteran of the Korean War, to CTV Ottawa’s Joel Haslam.

Meiring told CTV Ottawa that the idea came from a personal place. His son serves in Afghanistan with the U.S. military, and he wanted to show the veterans that he appreciated all that they’ve done -- no matter which country they served.

“It put a smile on everybody’s face. It’s going to be one of my greatest memories of my life,” Meiring said. “It warmed my heart immensely that I could do this for them.”

He added that he likes to think of how “badass” the veterans were in their heyday, and that the free dinner was the least he could do to pay his respects.

“A lot have made the ultimate sacrifice and never came home. I want people to think about that,” Meiring said.

Staff at the facility said the act of kindness is something they won’t soon forget.

“I think every outing we go on, we’ll always be thinking about our night at Robbie’s and a truck driver from Ohio,” said Robyn Orazietti with the health centre.

 Source of article click here : CTV NEWS

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Bus association steps up efforts on human trafficking
Trucking News

A memorandum of understanding was signed this week in Windsor which hopefully will assist in curbing the volume of human trafficking occurring across Canada. 

Doug Switzer, left, of Ontario Motor Coach Association and keynote speaker Annie Sovcik, converse during a luncheon held at Caesars Windsor November 12, 2018. The luncheon was part of the Ontario Motor Coach Association Annual Conference and Marketplace.

A memorandum of understanding was signed this week in Windsor which is designed to help curb the volume of human trafficking occurring across Canada.

The agreement was signed at Caesars Windsor Monday during an meeting between the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) and Colorado-based advocacy group Busing on the Lookout.

They can provide an extra set of eyes and report things or raise a red flag

The new partnership will provide OMCA bus companies, their drivers and bus station employees with education and information on potential human trafficking situations from Busing on the Lookout, including what to look out for while on the job.

“If they see something — even if they are not sure what it is, but looks suspicious — the information will help them take action,” said Doug Switzer, president of Ontario Motor Coach Association.

“A hotline number will be available and help them assess on whether police should be called. This is a serious issue and being in transportation we have the opportunity to do something good to combat evil.”

n both Canada and the United States, it’s estimated that thousands of women are victims of human trafficking each year. According to Statistics Canada, 75 per cent of victims are under 25, and one in four are minor children.

The anti-trafficking program was initially launched about 10 years ago with truck driving groups across the U.S. An it has proven successful, said Annie Sovcik, program director for Busing on the Lookout which was rolled out earlier this year in the U.S.

“There has been extraordinary success in the trucking industry with the recovery of hundreds of victims of human trafficking,” she said. “We started looking at who else was on the road and in a critical position to see things.

“The busing industry came to mind — not just the drivers, but the mechanics, ticket sellers and staff in the terminals. They can provide an extra set of eyes and report things or raise a red flag. This program gives them to the tools to report effectively.”

The 24-hour hotline is not yet in operation on this side of the border, but is expected to be rolled out by the Canadian Centre to end human trafficking in early spring of next year, Sovcik said.

 Source of article click here : Windsor Star

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Driver cited after truck hits roof of I-93 tunnel, snarling morning traffic
Trucking News

State Police on Thursday cited the Canadian driver of a tractor-trailer that slammed into the roof of the Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill tunnel in Boston, snarling traffic during the morning commute and damaging at least two other vehicles.

The crash occurred around 6:30 a.m. on the southbound side of the tunnel, and State Police said the truck driver, a 59-year-old man from Ontario, Canada, was cited for “overheight and overwidth [of the] truck. No other violations for driver or vehicle.”

Remarkably, no one was hurt in the crash. The driver works for Snap Trucking in Iroquois, Ontario, officials said.

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Locked in a Tesla patent suit, Nikola nabs $210M at $1.1B valuation for hydrogen
Trucking News
Nikola Motor Nikola Tre back

Nikola, the hydrogen trucking startup currently suing Tesla for patent infringement (those are the actual names, sorry spirit of real Nikola Tesla), today announced that it has raised $210 million in its Series C round of funding. The company had previously announced in August that it had raised $100 million of the round; now it has closed it out.

The company has confirmed to us that the round was done at a $1.1 billion valuation.

In a short note announcing the news, Nikola described it as “oversubscribed” after racking up $12 billion in pre-orders, with $380 million of those specifically for its newest model, called the Tre European designed for the Europe market.

Pending regulation in Europe that aims to reduce diesel emissions from heavy-duty vehicles — which produce one-quarter of all CO2 emissions in Europe — are leading transport companies and others to search for viable alternatives, and this has partly fuelled interest in the company, it seems.

Nikola said that the cost per-mile for its Tre truck is also expected to be 10-20 percent less than diesels. “Once the Nikola Tre arrives in Europe, diesel will finally be on its way out, ” said CEO Trevor Milton in a statement. Ultimately, Nikola aims to sell trucks in the US, Europe, Canada and Australia.

That rush for more efficient and eco-friendly trucking vehicles is also in part behind the lawsuit with Tesla. Nikola claims that Tesla has stolen its designs for its truck from its Nikola One and is winning business through market confusion.

“Tesla’s design has caused confusion among customers,” the company wrote in its suit. “The confusion has diverted sales from Nikola to Tesla. Further, any problems with the Tesla Semi will be attributed to the Nikola One, causing harm to the Nikola brand.” But in the meantime, Tesla has secured its own patents for its trucking design. Nikola would not comment on the case today, as it is still ongoing.

Existing investors in Nikola include the strategics Nel Hydrogen, a Norwegian company that is also helping it build filling stations; and Wabco, an automotive OEM, and Nikola has said that it is not releasing the names of any other investors at the moment.

 Source of article click here : techcrunch

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Semi truck tips over, spills scrap steel on Nanaimo highway onramp
Trucking News


A semi truck tipped over and spilled a load of scrap steel along the side of the Duke Point Highway onramp

Accident closes Duke Point Highway onramp northbound

A semi tractor trailer tipped over and spilled a load of scrap steel along the side of the Duke Point Highway onramp in Nanaimo.

Access from the Trans Canada Highway northbound to Duke Point will be shut down for the next two hours as crews clear up after a semi truck crash. The 22-wheel truck was turning right, from the Trans Canada Highway onto the Duke Point Highway, when it tipped over off the left shoulder of the onramp and ended up on its side.

The driver was not injured in the crash.

Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department, Nanaimo RCMP and B.C. Ambulance Service personnel were called to the scene at about 4:25 p.m.

 Source of article click here : Alberni Valley News

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Truck driver killed in fiery crash on Highway 1 in Surrey
Trucking News

Highway was closed westbound for hours early Tuesday

A driver is dead after a fiery truck crash on Highway 1 overnight in Surrey, B.C.

The driver lost control of a large commercial truck and crashed in the median near the 176 Street overpass just after 3 a.m. PT Tuesday, according to Surrey RCMP.

The truck burst into flames, sending a thick cloud of smoke into the air. The cloud could be seen as far as the 200 Street exit into Langley.

 

The highway was closed westbound at Exit 53 as RCMP investigated the crash, and drivers were asked to avoid the area as much as possible and exit Highway 1 at 200 Street.

Two lanes were re-opened around 9 a.m., but the two left-hand lanes remain closed.

An RCMP statement said traffic will be affected for an "undetermined" time.

 Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

 

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Brake Safety Week: Nearly 5,000 Out-of-Service Violations
Trucking News
Photo: Jim Park
 -

Nearly 5,000 commercial vehicles were put out of service for critical brake problems during this year’s Brake Safety Week, held Sept. 16-22. During the event, coordinated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, consisted of more than 35,000 commercial motor vehicles inspections.

Law enforcement personnel in 57 jurisdictions throughout Canada and the United States conducted the inspections after brake violations were found to be the top vehicle out-of-service violation during CVSA's International Roadcheck 72-hour enforcement initiative in June. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s data snapshot as of Sept. 28, out of 2.38 million total inspections, 1.04 million were cited for brake-related violations in federal fiscal 2018.

Brake Safety Week data also captured antilock braking systems violations, indicating how well ABS are maintained in accordance with federal regulations. In total, the event found that:

  • Of the 26,143 air-braked power units that required ABS, 8.3% (2,176) had ABS violations;
  • Of the 17,857 trailers that required ABS; 12.5% (2,224) had ABS violations; and
  • Of the 5,354 hydraulic-braked trucks that required ABS, 4.4% (234) had ABS violations.

CVSA said Brake Safety Week deployed several strategies to help make highways safer:

Prevention – Since the dates of Brake Safety Week are announced well in advance, it gives motor carriers and drivers ample opportunity to ensure their vehicles are proactively checked and properly maintained and to correct any issues found. Everyone wants the vehicles that are inspected to pass inspection. A vehicle that passes inspection increases overall safety.

Education – Brake Safety Week is an opportunity for law enforcement personnel to educate drivers and motor carriers on the inspection procedure with a focus on the vehicle’s mechanical components, especially the brake systems. Education and awareness are key in prompting preventive action to ensure each commercial motor vehicle is safe and roadworthy.

Action – Inspectors who identified commercial motor vehicles with critical brake issues during the inspection process were able to remove those dangerous vehicles from the roadways. If a vehicle has brake-related critical inspection items, it's law enforcement's duty and responsibility to place that vehicle out of service, safeguarding the public.

Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA's Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with FMCSA and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

 Source of article click here : Truckinginfo


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Nikola Motor unveils a new hydrogen semi truck designed for Europe
Trucking News
Nikola Motor Nikola Tre

Nikola Motor has started taking reservations for Tre, the startup’s first hydrogen-electric truck built for the European market.

Nikola Motor, which less than a year ago announced plans to build a $1 billion hydrogen-electric semi truck factory in a suburb of Phoenix, said it’s in the preliminary planning stages to identify the proper location for its European manufacturing facility.

European testing is projected to begin in Norway around 2020, the company said.

The Tre — it means three in Norwegian — is still years away from production. CEO Trevor Milton said production will begin around the same time as its U.S. version between 2022 and 2023.

But it illustrates Nikola’s global aspirations.

The U.S. and Europe have different trucking regulations. Nikola had to design a different model to meet those regulations before it consider trying to break into Europe. 

Nikola Motor Nikola Tre back

The Tre will be built with redundant braking, redundant steering, redundant 800V dc batteries and a redundant 120 kW hydrogen fuel cell, all necessary for true level 5 autonomy, Milton said in a statement. Level 5 is the highest level autonomy, a designation in which the vehicle handles all driving under all conditions.

The Nikola TRE will come will come in 500 to 1,000 horsepower versions. The truck will be able to travel 500 to 1,200 kilometers, depending on options a customer chooses.

Nikola plans to have more than 700 hydrogen fueling stations across the U.S. and Canada by 2028. The company said Monday it’s working Nel Hydrogen of Oslo to provide hydrogen stations for the U.S. market.

Nel will be used to secure resources for Nikola’s European growth strategy, according to Nikola CFO Kim Brady.

By 2028, Nikola plans to have a network of more than 700 hydrogen stations across the USA and Canada. Each station will be capable of 2,000 to 8,000 kgs of daily hydrogen production. Nikola’s European stations are planned to come online around 2022 and are projected to cover most of the European market by 2030.

The company will display a prototype display of the Nikola TRE during the Nikola World event April 16 and April 17 in Phoenix

 Source of article click here : Techcrunch
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For truckers, sitting at the border means lost money
Trucking News

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland takes a tour of trucking company Bison Transport’s headquarters in Winnipeg last month.

A couple of weeks ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland took a tour of trucking company Bison Transport’s headquarters in Winnipeg. With media cameras flashing and yellow safety vest donned, she checked out a truck driving simulator and sat down with a few drivers to get their take on the reality of hauling freight in North America and across country borders.

The visit came just weeks after Ms. Freeland’s Canadian negotiation team finished months of intense talks with the United States and Mexico to deliver a trade deal to replace the nearly 25-year-old North American free-trade agreement. The rejigged framework pact, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), prompted President Donald Trump to quickly jump on Twitter the next day to herald it as a “wonderful new trade deal.”

But will it be so wonderful for the Canadian trucking industry and what will the impact be?

It’s too early to tell, says Lak Shoan, director of policy and industry awareness programs at the Canadian Trucking Alliance in Toronto. The nitty-gritty language of the USMCA is still coming together and won’t be expected to be completed until the end of this month. And the three countries have yet to ratify the deal.

“We’re still trying to unravel exactly how this is going to impact everyone in the longer term,” he says, mentioning that trucking leaders are working with government negotiators to figure out how some of the finer details of the deal will be ironed out. After all, the deal “really came together quite quickly there at the end so it will probably be a few more months and phone calls before we fully understand how this will impact us at a micro and a macro level.”

Getting the deal’s language right is vital for Canada’s logistics industry, as more than US$544-billion in freight was moved between the three North American countries in 2016 – two-thirds of it rumbling down the roads in trucks. The Ambassador Bridge alone, which links Windsor, Ont., and Detroit, and is considered the busiest trade crossing between Canada and the United States, sees about 7,000 trucks traverse it each day.

Mr. Shoan says he hopes some border processing improvements that could be embedded in the deal might help to mitigate the growing driver shortage the industry is facing. No one likes sitting in traffic at the border, but for drivers, time is money.

“Drivers get frustrated when they’re not moving,” he explains.

Especially now. As of 2017, all Canadian trucks entering the United States must use electronic logging devices that keep track of time on the road down to the minute. (Trucks in Canada will be required to use them by the end of 2019, too, Mr. Lak says.) Under Canadian regulations, drivers aren’t allowed to be behind the wheel and driving for more than 13 hours a day in this country. In the United States, that number drops to 11 hours. The stipulations are meant to fight driver fatigue and deter some time-pressed drivers from driving longer than is safe.

But major delays at border crossings can mean quickly running out of drivable hours and force drivers to park their trucks. For those who are paid by the hour or kilometre, that lost time means lost money – and one more hurdle for companies needing to recruit and retain drivers.

While governments have been coming up with ways to move goods across borders faster by creating electronic data tracking systems and creating dedicated lanes for commercial vehicles, trucking companies are also trying to keep things moving on their end without taxing much-needed drivers unnecessarily.

Garth Pitzel, director of safety and driver development at Bison, says the company now has a dedicated team of about 20 employees who work on customs issues to ease the burden. And instead of phoning brokers to grease the wheels as happened in the past, updates arrive in the office electronically.

“We have invested an awful lot of computer techie time to make sure that we have these updates flowing through to our driver to make it seamless,” says Mr. Pitzel, who explains that a driver then gets a notification when a shipment has cleared and he or she can then cross the border quickly.

There is also the FAST (Free and Secure Trade) card system, a Nexus-like program for truck drivers that expedites crossings. The driver passes the FAST card to the officer, it’s scanned and all the information on the product, equipment and driver appears. Today, more trucking companies are investing in FAST cards, especially for drivers willing to do numerous runs into the United States, not always an easy sell.

But the FAST system isn’t perfect.

“The unfortunate part is we don’t have enough of those fast lanes and it’s not being done at every border crossing across the network,” Mr. Pitzel says. That means drivers, even those holding cards, can get stuck in long lines of traffic before they ever hit those coveted designated lanes.

Fortunately, at least for the Windsor and Detroit crossing, changing is coming. The new Gordie Howe International Bridge will be opening in 2024 and will be making commercial traffic a priority. The six-lane, 2.5-km bridge – which could be expanded to eight lanes – will give vehicles a seamless highway-to-bridge link. No more slow and congested municipal roads. What’s more, there will be more dedicated lanes for trucks, as well as technology to keep shipments moving.

Ultimately, no matter how many infrastructure and technology changes go live as the new North American trade deal rolls out in the coming years, Mr. Pitzel says the real challenge for the trucking industry will lie in its flexibility to deal with how customers are affected, whether they’re in dairy, automotive or other goods.

“There are going to be industries that will create extra volumes and others that might reduce volumes or areas where their products go,” he says. “We, as an industry, have to be able to react to that.”

 Source of article click here : the Globe and Mail

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Canada: Employment Law And The Emerging Notion Of The Dependent Contractor
Trucking News

Employers are generally familiar with the distinction between an employee and an independent contractor.  A third category of worker, known as the “dependent contractor”, is beginning to be more widely recognized by Canadian courts.

A dependent contractor falls between an employee and an independent contractor.  A dependent contractor is typically found to be a contractor that is economically dependent on its principal.  A written agreement setting out how the parties wish to label and identify their working relationship is not determinative of the matter, as the courts will look behind the label to determine the true nature of the working relationship.  The primary factor the courts will consider in determining whether a contractor is dependent is whether the contractor is working predominantly for one principal.

If the working relationship between a contractor and the principal is found to be dependent, the principal must provide the dependent contractor with reasonable notice of termination, similar to an employer/employee relationship, although the amount of notice may be different depending on the circumstances.

In Khan v. All-Can Express Ltd., (2014 BCSC 1429), for example, the Supreme Court of British Columbia found the existence of a dependent contractor relationship where Khan, an owner-operator of his own truck, entered into a contract whereby he worked nearly exclusive for the Defendant courier company.  Although Khan signed a contract providing that he was an independent contractor responsible for the maintenance of his truck, and that he was required to hire a replacement driver when he was not available, the court found he was a dependent contractor because Khan had a nearly exclusive, long term (5 year), indefinite relationship with the courier company, had to wear it’s uniform, and was required to follow its policies and procedures.

More recently, in 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that determining the “status” of the worker is essential in determining an employer’s obligations upon termination. The dependent contractor status was recently affirmed by the Court in Keenan (c.o.b. Keenan Cabinetry) v. Canac Kitchens, a Division of Kohler Ltd (“Canac”) 2016 ONCA 79.

Lawrence Keenan was the principal of Keenan Cabinetry and worked for Canac for 32 years installing kitchen cabinets.  Keenan’s wife, Marilyn also worked for Canac as a foreperson for 25 years.   During their early years, the Keenans were listed as employees of Canac, but in 1987 Canac informed the Keenan’s they would be independent contractors rather than employees.  The Keenans subsequently signed a document setting out that they were subcontractors of Canac. Between 1987 and 2007, the Keenans worked almost exclusively for Canac, wore shirts with company logos and carried Canac business cards.  In 2007 business slowed down and the Keenans began doing some minor for one of Canac’s competitor’s to supplement their earnings.

The Ontario court found the Keenans were dependent contractors of Canac because other than some occasional minor work, they worked almost exclusively for Canac. Although the Keenans owned some of their own tools, they effectively worked out of Canac’s business premises and were Canac’s employees or exclusive contractors to the outside world.

Actions seeking damages on behalf of dependent contractors have also been successful in Alberta in Drew Oliphant Professional Corp. v. Harrison (2011 ABQB 216), Weber v. Coco Homes Inc. (2013 ABQB) and most recently in Nova Scotia in Shaham v. Airline Employee Travel Consulting Inc. (2018 NSSM 18).

Although the legal concept of dependent contractors has yet to be formally recognized in other Canadian courts besides Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Nova Scotia, their recognition in the remaining provinces is likely inevitable and can be applied to an employer retroactively so long as the claim is commenced within the provinces’ applicable limitation period.

 Source of article click here : McKercher

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Diesel Slips 2.1 Cents to $3.317 a Gallon Amid Oil’s Steep Drop
Trucking News
diesel fuel hose

The U.S. average retail price of diesel dropped 2.1 cents to $3.317 a gallon Nov. 13 as the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell to an 11-month low. Investors see demand softening, supplies building and potential global tensions.

It was the fourth consecutive weekly decline in the price of diesel.

Still, trucking’s main fuel costs 40.2 cents a gallon more than it did a year ago, when the price was $2.915, the Department of Energy said a day after the Veterans Day holiday.

Fuel price graphic

Average prices fell in all regions of the country, and by the most in California — 2.8 cents a gallon to $4.04.

The national average price for regular gasoline plunged 6.7 cents to $2.686 a gallon, DOE’s Energy Information Administration said. The average is 9.4 cents higher than it was a year ago.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at $55.23 per barrel Nov. 12 compared with $62.85 on Nov. 5.

Meanwhile, one small fleet operator posted online that his fuel-efficient truck, at one point, actually made the cost of fuel free on a recent run.

He went 495 miles, fueled up for $140.04 and got 10.31 miles per gallon.

“Twenty-nine cents to run per mile and the surcharge pays 40. Not only is fuel cost-free, I made 11 cents a mile back, that’s where the easy money is kids,” Jamie Hagen wrote.

He owns Stratford, S.D.-based Hell Bent Xpress, which operates three trucks and food-grade tankers to haul vegetable oils, milk, molasses, fructose, corn syrup, tallow and similar commodities.


“That was a particularly hot day and it was virtually windless as I headed south down Interstate 29 from Wahpeton, N.D., to Sioux City, Iowa, where I fueled. I was actually loaded for 90% of those miles. Talk about a best-case scenario,” Hagen told Transport Topics.

His truck is a 2016 Mack Pinnacle outfitted with the Super Econodyne MP8 engine set to 445HP. It has a single overdrive mDrive transmission and a 2.67 ratio single rear end with tag axle chaser, he said.

“We run all over the U.S. and Canada. The bulk of our miles is Midwest though, as most of our shippers are there. Just out, then back to get another one. I’m typically loaded on average 72% of all miles. With bulk that means I’m 80,000 pounds or empty — no light loads as it were,” he said.

His latest average fuel mileage over 90 days is 8.63.

For 30 days, it’s 8.33 mpg.

“Since it’s been getting colder out, the mileage has started declining, which is common for winter,” Hagen said.

In the meantime, OPEC, in its latest monthly report on conditions in the oil market, noted 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements, which could have “repercussions” for global oil demand and lead to “widening the gap between supply and demand” next year.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said Nov. 12 that the resurgence of non-OPEC supply was beginning to look “alarming,” Bloomberg News reported.

He added that he saw the need for the group and its allies to agree on a cut of 1 million barrels a day when the cartel meets next month. While no decision to reduce supply was taken over the weekend, this month’s report will add to the chorus of views within the group, pushing for new cuts.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, also unveiled a plan to reduce its own shipments by about 500,000 barrels a day next month.

Oil’s unprecedented decline deepened as investors fled a market hammered by swelling excess supplies, a darkening demand outlook and President Donald Trump’s Twitter critique of the world’s biggest crude exporter, according to Bloomberg.

Trump admonished Saudi Arabia for planning to curb output and lamented prices that settled below $56 a barrel.

 Source of article click here : Transport Topics

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Yukon trucking company worried about impacts of carbon tax
Trucking News

'There are no electric tractors that can go up the Alaska Highway,' says Pacific Northwest owner

A freight company in the Yukon says it's worried about the impact of the carbon tax because it doesn't have details on how the rebates will work.

The tax comes into effect on July 1, 2019 in Yukon. 

Sheldon King, president and owner of Pacific Northwest, says his company makes 30 trips a week into the territory, primarily from Edmonton, and four weekly trips between Whitehorse and Dawson City.

King says it's what he doesn't know about the carbon tax that makes him nervous. 

"There hasn't been a whole lot laid out to us on what it's going to look like," he said. "We kinda know how much, but don't know what the rebates are going to be at all, who gets them, how much they get, anything like that."

99.9 per cent of the things in the Yukon are trucked up here. So everything is going to be more expensive.
- Sheldon King, president of Pacific Northwest

King estimates he'll use about 3.5 million litres of diesel fuel next year, and roughly calculates the carbon tax will cost the company about $147,000 in the first year. The carbon tax is set to increase in following years.

He says those costs will have to be passed on to the consumer.

"Pretty much everything that comes to the Yukon, the food that you eat at restaurants, that you pick up at the grocery store — 99.9 per cent of the things in the Yukon are trucked up here. So everything is going to be more expensive." 

What about exemptions?

King says he's met with his MLA, Richard Mostyn, and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver to express his concerns, but says he didn't come away with answers. One of his big questions is why some industries, such as aviation and placer mining,  have been given exemptions.

"Air North flies to Mayo and to Dawson City and they haul freight. They don't have to charge their customers carbon tax.

"I haul to those two places as well, as do other trucking companies in Whitehorse — we're going to have to charge our customers the carbon tax. That doesn't seem fair to us."

 

Silver has assured placer miners that they will be rebated "100 per cent" on the costs they incur operating equipment used to work their claims.

King says the transportation industry is also dependent on equipment that uses fossil fuels. 

"There are no electric tractors that can go up the Alaska Highway 1,989 kilometres from Edmonton, there's nothing invented like that."

 

Premier working with chamber of commerce

King says he asked Silver how other industries qualified for exemptions. He says he didn't get an answer.  

King's concerns were raised in the Yukon Legislature on Thursday. Silver said the exceptions for other industries came from the federal government.

 

Yukon Party Leader Stacey Hassard pressed Silver for details.

"How will these rebates work for trucking companies? Will it be dollar for dollar, the same as the placer industry?"

Silver said he is addressing the concerns of the transportation industry.

"We are happy to be working with the [Yukon] chamber of commerce when it comes to how we will rebate the money that is collected, back to these companies."

Silver has said he has explained "the lion's share" of the carbon tax details but has also said he is still waiting for the federal government to give him more specifics.

 Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

 

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Quebec trucker sentenced to 6 years in prison for 401 crash that killed 4
Trucking News

Mohinder Singh Saini, 76, 'failed to take responsibility' and denied he did anything wrong, judge said

A judge has sentenced a Quebec truck driver to six years in prison for his role in a 2015 multi-vehicle crash that killed four people and injured 11 others in Whitby, Ont., saying the convicted dangerous driver "failed to take responsibility."

Mohinder Singh Saini, 76, was found guilty of four counts of dangerous driving causing death and nine counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. 

The collision happened three years ago in a construction zone on Highway 401, east of Lake Ridge Road.

 

Saini was driving a fully-loaded commercial transport truck that failed to slow down entering a construction zone.

He was travelling almost 105 km/h when he rammed into the back of a vehicle, according to court documents. A domino effect followed, creating a 21 vehicle pileup. 

Three transport trucks sustained significant damage and other vehicles, some carrying children, were struck, a police report said.

 

Three people, including a 12-year-old boy, died at the scene. A 10-year-old boy was pronounced dead in hospital two days later.

Police identified the victims as a Pickering couple — Carl Laws, 67, and Jacqueline Laws, 63, — and the two boys as Jesus Alberto Duran-Florez, 12, and Cuauhtemoc Duran-Florez, 10. The brothers were visiting Canada with their family from Mexico when they died. 

The heartbreak of all the victims is a tragedy almost beyond comprehension.
- Justice Bryan Shaughnessy

Eleven other people were injured in the crash, some severely. 

"The heartbreak of all the victims is a tragedy almost beyond comprehension," Ontario Superior Court Justice Bryan Shaughnessy said in his sentencing at an Oshawa court late Friday afternoon. 

'A departure of care,' judge says 

The dangerous driving sentence stipulates that Saini will be banned from driving for 10 years once released from custody.

"He doesn't take responsibility for the [crash] and even put the blame on another truck driver," Shaughnessy said when delivering his decision, also noting the driver contradicted himself in court and repeatedly denied that he did anything wrong.

Throughout the trial, the judge claimed, Saini said: "The [crash] could have happened to anyone."

 

As Saini approached the stopped vehicles on Canada's busiest highway, the judge said, he ignored numerous signs, flashing lights and other warnings telling drivers to slow down.

"He failed to apply the brakes and observe traffic stop signs," Shaughnessy said, pointing out that traffic was reduced to a single westbound lane, from three, at the time. Saini plowed into the back of a Ford Fiesta more than one kilometre into the construction zone. 

He stated: "It was a departure of care expected from a reasonable person."

 

Shaughnessy explained in his decision that the sentence must send a message to others — an argument that was put forward by the Crown when they asked that Saini be sentenced to seven years. 

Saini had never been convicted of a criminal offence until he was found guilty on Sept. 18 and didn't have any prior driving infractions, according to the judge.

 Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

 

 

 

 

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Driver Shortage, Poor Roads Creates Headaches For Manitoba Trucking Industry
Trucking News

E2 Trucking Owner Evan Erlandson

There are many challenges facing Manitoba's cross-border trucking industry.

Evan Erlandson, owner of E2 Trucking near Altona, spoke about the topic earlier this month at the Fields on Wheels Conference held in Winnipeg.

He notes his company does most of its driving in the U.S., simply because U.S. roads are better to drive on.

"The state of a lot of our secondary highways is such that it certainly influenced our decision to spend more time in the States than in Manitoba or the other Prairie provinces, simply from a repair and maintenance perspective. That cost for us is certainly lower because we're spending most of our time and miles on the south side of the border."

A shortage of drivers and changing regulations were also highlighted by Erlandson as some of the challenges currently facing the industry.

 Source of article click here : Pembina Valley


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Hunter under fire for displaying deer carcass on back of truck
Trucking News

A hunter has come under fire for the way he transported his kill on the back of his truck.

A picture circulating on social media, which shows a deer carcass hanging off the rear of the vehicle, has sparked outrage among some in Saskatoon.

Julia Rempel, who commented on the Facebook post, told CTV Saskatoon she found it “disrespectful.”

VIDEO

“Usually it’s in the back of a truck, not on display for everyone to see,” she said.

“Good for you, I’m glad your family isn’t going to be hungry tonight.”

The post has had lots of reaction. While some don’t see any fault, others called it distasteful.

A conservation officer said that while it was not common practice it was not illegal, and he reminded hunters to be considerate.

“There are those that are opposed to hunting and this could just add fuel to the fire,” Rich Hildebrand said.

The picture also shows a quad bike taking up most of the room in the back of the truck and Rempel suggested taking two trips for it and the deer.

“Hunting is necessary to keep the population of deer down, I think it’s a big part of Saskatchewan culture, but there’s a better way to take your prize home,” she said.

 Source of article click here :CTV News

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Stayin’ small
Trucking News

GUELPH, Ont. — For some, the road to success is a winding one. For others, it’s one that’s straight and narrow.

Flash Freight Systems’ road falls closer to the latter.

The business was started in 1998 as a part of Spruce Brook Farms – a supplier of agricultural commodities and ingredients. In 2004, the Gerber family, who had been in the transportation industry for years, purchased Flash Freight.

In 2004, Flash Freight had 13 trucks and 18 trailers. Today, co-owners David, Geoff, and Tony, have 53 trucks and 120 trailers.

“Not ridiculous, rapid growth,” Tony Gerber said of Flash Freight. “But consistent, sustainable growth, which has really become kind of our mantra here.”
Flash Freight, unsurprisingly, is still tied to its roots, and hauls agricultural products across the continental U.S., as well as Canada. It also hauls pet food and pet supplies as well as office furniture.

“It took us 10 years to tweak that mix, but we are happy with where we’ve landed,” Gerber said. “It’s a freight mix that has eliminated seasonality for us, which is good all around.”

As far as drivers go, Gerber said all Flash Freight drivers are company drivers, and are paid as employees, not contractors.

“We are not fans of the Driver Inc. model at all,” he adds.

Most of Flash Freight’s drivers have been with the company for almost a decade and its turnover rate is lower than 20%. And this is for a variety of reasons, according to Gerber.

“I think overall, why our drivers stay, is the same reason why our customer turnover is low as well,” he said. “It’s our focus on accountability, integrity and service.

Our pay package is extremely competitive. We offer a good mix of miles and home time, which is one of the holy grails in trucking. Our goal is to ensure our drivers utilize the maximum amount of hours available and can still have resets at home with their family. We are not a trucking company that expects our drivers to be out for three to four weeks at a time.”

The other thing Gerber hears often from drivers is that they appreciate the honesty that Flash Freight expresses throughout a driver’s tenure with the company.

“We always do what we say we’re going to do,” he said. “And there’s no change from recruitment to qualification, to the first trip, to the 10th year. There’s not a lot of smoke and mirrors here. We are pretty realistic about the negative things that happen in the industry.”

The company also makes sure its drivers have a pain-free experience when crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

“We are on the national carriers list for a number of brokers, and we work hard to make sure we are proactive in making sure by the time the driver reaches the border, the shipment has already cleared,” he said. “We don’t ask the driver to handle any clearances themselves.”

As for its success, the company wouldn’t be where it is today, Gerber says, if it wasn’t for Flash Freight’s people, and their “commitment to our vision of service excellence.”

“And it’s not just our drivers I’m talking about,” he said. “It’s our operations staff, administrative staff, and warehouse staff, too.”

He recalls one time when a customer, a large food distributor, ran into some problems in 2008. The company was switching warehouse facilities and ran a few days behind schedule.

“At this point, we were using almost 25 trucks per day for them,” he said. “And as soon as we heard about the problem, our operations staff left the office, moved their computers and desks to the customer’s warehouse and spent the next week and a half making sure there were no barriers to communication or barriers to keep our drivers moving. Ultimately, our people knew there was a problem, jumped in and said ‘We won’t leave until it’s fixed.’”

But its not all rosy at Flash Freight. It still has challenges, like every other carrier out there. For Flash Freight, Gerber says the biggest challenge it deals with today in the industry is low barriers to entry.

“There’s far too many shortcuts for compliance,” he said. “And far too many shortcuts for building sustainable business models – and pricing can be impacted by companies that take those shortcuts.”

He also said that while the company isn’t feeling the full effect of the driver shortage yet, he is starting to see the impact.

“With our low turnover rate, we don’t feel the shortage quite as acutely,” he said. “What we’re seeing now is a lower availability of higher quality drivers. We used to be fully seated and today we’re not. And of course, we’re not looking at a large number of trucks parked up against the fence, but we can tell there’s a shift. And I think it’s mainly to do with the demographic of typical drivers, who are all starting to retire now.”

In the future, Gerber said his one hope, which normally raises a few eyebrows, is to “not be on the Top 100 list.”

“Because truthfully, I believe one of the things that I think has helped us build our success is the fact that we are genuinely a small family business,” he explained.

“So, my hope for the future is to have that same, consistent, solid growth, organically. And to get it more in a manner that enables us to deliver a higher quality of life for our employees, rather than growth for the sake of growth.”

 Source of article click here : Truck News

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Trucker says he was assaulted by ex-boss in Burnside after pay complaint
Trucking News
Trucker Ronald Walker was beaten up by his former employer after filing a complaint to labour standards board.

Trucker Ronald Walker claims he was beaten up by his former employer after filing a complaint against the company with
Employment and Social Development Canada’s labour program.

Ronald Walker was hoping to get paid but instead he says his old boss assaulted him.

“I said, ‘Hey, when are you guys going to pay me?’” recalled Walker. “He pushed me right in the chest with both fists and I went through two doorways, into the bathroom and landed on the shower. He kept at it for a good two to three minutes before he eventually stopped.”

Until a couple of weeks ago, Walker had been planning to testify against Rian Saarloos, operations manager of Sky Freightlines, in an assault trial stemming from the July 25 incident at the Petro Pass Truck Stop in Burnside. Walker said he was shocked to get a call from the Crown attorney’s office in Halifax two weeks ago informing him that the trial scheduled for Tuesday at Dartmouth provincial court had been cancelled and an assault conviction against Saarloos was out of the question.

“They got a hold of me and said we’ve given him a peace bond,” said Walker. “I said, ‘What do you mean? No, no, no!’ It was the first time I heard from them since the incident. They never told me anything.”

The plea bargain was made official in Dartmouth provincial court on Tuesday. Saarloos, the son of former Halifax Regional Police officer Rudi Saarloos Sr., agreed to abide to the peace bond and in exchange the Crown agreed to dismiss the assault charge as well as another mischief charge in connection with the July incident. The peace bond requires Saarloos to stay away from Walker for a 12 month period, but it is not an admission of guilt under the law.

Halifax Regional Police had conducted the investigation and laid the charges against Saarloos. The Chronicle Herald asked Saarloos and his lawyer about the incident and the plea bargain but neither would comment. Sky Freightlines is owned by Rian Saarloos’s brother Rodi Saarloos.

The Herald also spoke to an employee at the Burnside truck stop where the alleged assault occurred, who said surveillance cameras captured Saarloos pushing Walker. The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she didn’t witness the assault but saw the footage, which was turned over to Halifax Regional Police. The bathroom of the truck stop where Walker said part of the assault occurred is not camera monitored, said the woman.

Walker, who’s since found work with another trucking company, says he’s still waiting on money owed to him for two long-haul contracts he’d done for the Dartmouth-based company in April and July. He’s since filed a complaint against the company with Employment and Social Development Canada’s labour program, seeking payment of wages, overtime and holiday and vacation pay.

In fact, the alleged assault happened nine days after he filed the complaint on July 16, he said.

The Chronicle Herald obtained a copy of the letter issued by the federal government agency to the company on Oct. 5 requesting he pay the outstanding debt or contest the allegations in writing by Oct. 22.

“I feel like now Saarloos thinks he can beat someone up for complaining about the company and he doesn’t have to worry about it,” said Walker.

Walker also says that two months after the alleged assault he was threatened by both Saarloos brothers.

The first incident involved Rian and unfolded just outside the Sackville Public Library on Sept. 24, said Walker. He said he was walking to the library when he encountered Rian in his black Dodge Ram truck. Rian had the passenger’s side window down and extended his arm at Walker, making a shooting motion. Walker called 911 and reported the incident. But he said no one from the RCMP followed up with him to get more details.

Two days later he said he was tailed by Rian’s brother while driving along Hammonds Plains Road. Again, he said, he called 911 before locating a police car. He said he was able to get the attention of the officer before Rodi left the scene.

Walker said he reported both incidents to the Crown attorney’s office in Halifax but never received a follow up call.

Walker said he was so furious after learning of Saarloos’s plea deal that he demanded to speak to Paul Carver, chief Crown attorney for the Halifax region. That conversation happened last Thursday when Carver repeated the bad news.

“I told him, ‘You have to be kidding me,’” recalled Walker. “I’m sickened by this.”

Senior Crown attorney Rick Hartlen said he couldn’t talk about the plea bargain or the case but said it’s not uncommon for the Crown to resolve common assaults and less serious mischief charges through a peace bond.

“But we don’t publicly divulge the particulars of any circumstance short of the matter either going to a preliminary inquiry, or trial or some other evidentiary hearing,” said Hartlen. “Sometimes it takes an impartial arbitrator to decide what should happen before it gets to trial or a formal hearing. Ultimately, it’s the judge’s decision but before that it’s ours.”

The Chronicle Herald made repeated attempts to reach Saarloos before the provincial court appearance for comment but he did not respond.

Meanwhile, Walker says he still fears for his safety.

“This is a man that has threatened me while he’s ordered to stay away from me,” said Walker. “He’s not going to respect this peace bond.”

 Source of article click here : The Chronicle Herald


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Will The New NAFTA Prevent Mexican Trucks From Entering The U.S.?
Trucking News

A long-running dispute might be reignited in the near future thanks to the trade deal reached between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Officially called the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement, the deal is supposed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Assuming the deal is ratified, the three countries should be able to get back to more normal trade relationships soon.

While most of the deal is an update to NAFTA, there is one paragraph that could disrupt cross-border trade via truck.

Annex II of the agreement includes a Land Transportation section that states:

“Notwithstanding Annex I-US-8, the United States reserves the right to adopt or maintain limitations on grants of authority for persons of Mexico to provide cross-border long-haul truck services in the territory of the United States outside the border commercial zones if the United States determines that limitations are required to address material harm or the threat of material harm to U.S. suppliers, operators, or drivers. The United States may only adopt such limitations on existing grants of authority if it determines that a change in circumstances warrants the limitation and if the limitation is required to address material harm. The Parties shall meet no later than five years after the entry into force of this agreement to exchange views on the operation of this entry.”

There is also no reciprocal language for U.S. trucks entering Mexico.

While this doesn’t implicitly state that the U.S. would halt the current cross-border trucking program, which allows approved Mexican-based carriers to operate outside the current commercialized zone along the border, it does seem to suggest that the U.S. could end the controversial program if it chooses.

That would be a win for the Teamsters and other anti-Mexican trucking groups. There is speculation that once the agreement is formally approved, the Teamsters may make a renewed push to get Mexican trucks off U.S. roads for good.

The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association is supportive of the language in the paragraph. OOIDA spokesperson Norita Taylor stated, “We support the current annex language and will watch to see if it remains.”

Reports out of Mexico are that the Cámara Nacional del Autotransporte de Carga, the Mexican equivalent of the American Trucking Associations, is lobbying the incoming government of president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador to ensure that the status quo remains for Mexican trucks. Lopez Obrador takes office on Dec. 1. The U.S. and Mexico want to get the deal officially approved before then.

Under current rules, authorized Mexican trucks are allowed to travel into the heart of the United States to move loads. They then must immediately leave the U.S., although they can reload at their destination point. The ability of Mexican trucks to operate in a commercialization zone along the border remains unaffected.

If the new deal ultimately results in a cancellation of the long-haul Mexican truck program, it could cause disruptions in the supply chain, in part because of the complex process of moving cross-border freight, and in part because both the U.S. and Mexico are facing a lack of drivers.

The ability of Mexican-domiciled motor carriers traveling on U.S. highways has been a long-debated and legislated affair. Back in 2007, the U.S. sought to solve a technical violation of NAFTA by allowing Mexican carriers to operate on U.S. roadways under the Cross-Border Trucking Demonstration project. At that time, and still to this day, Mexican trucks can operate anywhere within a 25-mile border zone, but they can’t leave that area.

The introduction of the demonstration project sought to correct what many said was a violation of free trade under terms of NAFTA. The U.S. lost a court battle over it and the demonstration pilot was the result. It was heavily criticized by those who claimed that Mexican carriers were unsafe, drivers were not qualified, and they would take U.S. truck driving jobs.

At the conclusion of the three-year project, which ended in 2014, Congress declined to fund a permanent program, effectively ending the ability of Mexican trucks to haul goods much inside the border regions. Mexico retaliated with a $6 billion and over $2 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, mostly agricultural products.

Eventually, the two countries reached a settlement that allowed approved Mexican carriers to operate in the U.S. assuming their vehicles and drivers met all U.S. regulations, including driver drug testing, as of 2015. The vehicles were even required to have electronic logging devices installed before they were mandated for U.S. carriers.

For more information, read the full story at Freight Waves.

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Manitoulin acquires Express Havre St-Pierre
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. — Manitoulin Transport has acquired Express Havre St-Pierre (EHSP) of Quebec.

The acquisition builds out Manitoulin’s coverage in Central and Eastern Quebec, particularly in the province’s rural areas, the company said in a release.

Express Havre St-Pierre provides truckload (TL) and less-than-truckload (LTL), dangerous goods, temperature controlled, and white glove services, for a wide variety of industrial and commercial customers. Headquartered in Havre-St-Pierre, the company has terminals in Quebec City, Varennes, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, and Chicoutimi, and also in Labrador City, Nfld.

“Express Havre St-Pierre has stood the test of time and built a solid name for itself as a well-run, customer-centric business,” said Jeff King, president, Manitoulin Transport. “Having served the Quebec marketplace for more than forty years, their knowledge of its communities, roads, and the unique needs of its industries, is second to none. This depth of experience, combined with their broad range of equipment and process-oriented operations have been key to EHSP providing consistent, quality service for many years.”

“We look forward to combining our knowledge and experience with Manitoulin’s,” said Félix Bélanger, general manager, Express Havre St-Pierre. “We believe our customers will be delighted with their easy access to Manitoulin’s various transportation and logistics services and global reach.”

“This acquisition demonstrates Manitoulin’s commitment to ensuring strong coverage in Quebec,” said Gord Smith, chief executive officer, Manitoulin Group of Companies. “Further, it is another example of our commitment to building out our coverage across Canada. Businesses in rural and remote communities need reliable transportation and logistics services just as much as those in cities. We are delighted that through the acquisition of EHSP, Manitoulin can provide enhanced coverage to our customers, with immediate effect.”

EHSP will operate as a stand-alone entity with the current management team remaining in place.

 Source of article click here : Truck News

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Wednesday, November 07
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