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'Officer Grinch'?: Truck driver slapped with 6 tickets
Trucking News

An Ontario man whose dump truck “concerned” police has been hit with $1,000 in fines from an “officer Grinch,” who ticketed him moments after he dropped off more than 1,000 pounds of food donations.

Mark Hoffman says two officers were watching him while he collected food donations during the Santa Claus parade in New Hamburg, Ont., and that the same officers were waiting for him outside the food bank after he dropped off the donations. Hoffman was issued six tickets totalling approximately $1,000 in fines for various issues including failure to surrender an insurance card, failure to surrender an inspection schedule and improper means of attachment.

“I referred to him as Officer Grinch. I truly can’t understand his mindset,” Hoffman told CTV Kitchener on Tuesday. He says he’s been collecting food donations during the parade for 15 years, and this is the first time he’s ever been ticketed after the parade.

Insp. Mike Haffner, of the Waterloo Regional Police Service, defended the officers’ decision to ticket Hoffman. “Our officers were concerned about the condition of the vehicle,” he told CTV Kitchener.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service says it’s inspected approximately 1,800 large commercial vehicles since April, and that 40 per cent of those inspections lead to vehicles being taken off the road for safety reasons.

“We would hate to be on the other side of this conversation, that this vehicle was deemed unsafe and caused a collision that ended in the death of an individual,” Haffner said.

Despite the fines, Hoffman says he will continue to help the downtrodden by collecting donations again next year.

“It’s good to reach out and help those people,” he said.

He added that he has only one Christmas wish for the Santa Claus parade in 2018: “That every officer that goes out to a parade has to have a cup of cheer before he leaves.”

Source of article click here : CTV NEWS

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Toronto man, 56, killed in 'devastating' Highway 401 crash
Trucking News
Highway 401 westbound at Martin Grove Road was closed for morning rush hour

A spokespersion for the OPP's highway safety division said his initial impression is that it was a

A spokespersion for the OPP's highway safety division said his initial impression is that it was a "rear end-type crash" that left the driver of the smaller vehicle dead and the sedan completely destroyed

A 56-year-old Toronto man is dead after a sedan collided with a loaded flatbed transport truck in the westbound lanes of Highway 401 near Martin Grove Road on Monday morning.

The "rear end-type crash" occurred around 5:20 a.m. in the northwest corner of the city, according to Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

Just minutes before the fatal collision, two cars got into a minor crash in the middle lanes. One of the vehicles was able to make it to the shoulder, however the other driver remained stalled straddling two lanes. It is not clear at this point if the car was disabled or if the driver simply stayed parked on the highway, Schmidt explained. 

Soon after the first crash, a fully-loaded flatbed transport truck hauling steel beams slammed into the back of the sedan in the road, killing 56-year-old Cristinel Murariu,  Schmidt said. 

The male driver was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived, while the truck driver was largely unhurt but "very shaken." He co-operated with police at the scene.

All of the westbound lanes of Highway 401 were closed, as well as the off ramp to Martin Grove Road, throughout the morning commute. The closure has since been cleared, Schmidt said, adding that the incident was "an absolutely devastating crash."

Highway 401 crash Martin Grove Road fatal

OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said it was "an absolutely devastating" collision. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

The OPP's collision reconstruction unit is investigating the collision. Schmidt said that several witnesses have given statements to police, but added that officers would like to speak with several drivers who were supposedly at the scene of the crash earlier but then left.

He advised that drivers should do everything possible to get their vehicles off the road after an accident. 

"If you ever have a breakdown, we really need you to get off the highway ... to avoid this type of situation from happening," he said. 

The collision comes as the OPP prepares to begin a weeks-long transport truck safety blitz following a number of high-profile fatal crashes in recent months. Officers will be riding in unmarked transport trucks on 400 series highways so they can better observe other truck drivers, as well as cars driving dangerously around transports. 

Schmidt commended the professionalism of Ontario's trucking industry, but added that those in the business are held to a higher safety standard than regular motorists.

"When somebody's not paying attention, that last car in line is really sitting there with no protection. And when it's a transport truck driver who's not paying attention, the weight of 80,000 pounds or more slamming into the back of stopped traffic is just completely devastating," he said. 

Martin Grove Road Highway 401 crash truck

The major highway was closed throughout thr morning rush hour.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS
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Parking survey seeks input
Trucking News

TORONTO, ON – Just days away, the Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) mandate in the United States – with a similar law sure to follow in Canada – has brought important issues to the forefront of discussions in the trucking community.

Although Hours of Service (HoS) requirements remain the same, ELD requirements are highlighting a lack of safe parking in areas that line up with driver’s mandated cutoff times – forcing them to lose productive hours in search of a place to stop.

A new survey being conducted to provide information to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation aims to take a look at where parking gaps exist in Southern Ontario and provide information to help inform future infrastructure developments.

Funded by the Government of Ontario, and receiving support from the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, The Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC), and The Women's Trucking Federation of Canada, the questionnaire asks drivers about parking needs both on major highways in Southern Ontario, and on Secondary roads.

The survey is also asking about amenities drivers would like to see and future or upgraded rest stops.

The survey is strictly confidential and is expected to be available until February to get as many responses as possible.

The Ontario Trucking Associations says it is encouraging drivers who travel in this area to complete the survey, even if they are based outside of Ontario.

The survey is available in both English and French. For more information, please contact Ted Harvey at

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Pilot Flying J updates parking app
Trucking News
Pilot Flying J's myPilot app now delivers Live Parking for its guests to view parking space availability in real-time at select locations. Photo provided by Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J's myPilot app now delivers Live Parking for its guests to view parking space availability in real-time at select locations. Photo provided by Pilot Flying J

KNOXVILLE, TN – An updated smartphone application by Pilot Flying J will deliver real-time parking availability information to the truck stop’s customers.

The app called myPilot, developed the updated capabilities in partnership with Sensys Networks, which are being rolled out after 18 months of testing for accuracy and durability, the company says.

Thirty Flying J locations across the I-5 corridor from San Diego to Seattle, and one location in Knoxville – where the company is headquartered – will feature the sensors that collect and distribute the parking information to commercial drivers through myPilot.

Ken Parent, president of Pilot Flying J, says with millions of truckers on the road and only 300,000 public parking spots in the United States, the company wants to do everything it can to help drivers find available spots.

He says the new functionality will help drivers plan more efficiently, cut down on wasted fuel costs, and also increase safety and e-log compliance.

The new features will not only allow drivers the ability to see how many parking spots are available at a given location, it will allow them to secure a spot in advance of arriving at the truck stop.

While the company says it doesn’t have a final timeline yet, it is looking to add the parking sensors to all 750 Flying J locations across North America, with a roll-out continuing through 2018.

This article has been edited to reflect that the app is updated rather than a new launch.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Chinese electric truck manufacturer may set up shop in Ontario
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – A Chinese manufacturer of electric vehicles is considering setting up a plant in Ontario, where it may produce electric-powered refuse and delivery trucks, among other electric vehicles.

BYD Company officials recently met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in China to discuss the opportunities.

“The strength of our technology and commitment to localizing the supply chains explains why we have won over governments and private consumers from our home base in China to Canada and Australia,” said Ted Dowling, vice-president of BYD Canada. “We look forward to working together with the Ontario government to provide environmentally friendly transportation and energy storage options for its residents.”

BYD said in a press release that it is working on many orders that will bring final assembly to the province of Ontario. It said it has partnered with Loblaw to help electrify its fleet. The Globe & Mail reported the company will start its production in Ontario by shipping technology and components from China that will allow it to build garbage and delivery trucks here.

“Ontario is a global leader in the fight against climate change,” said Premier Wynne. “We have taken major actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including eliminating all coal-fired electricity in our province and joining with the state of California and the province of Quebec to create the largest carbon market in North America and second largest in the world. All of the profits from that market in Ontario are re-invested to help families, businesses and buildings become even more energy efficient. Innovative green businesses like BYD are key to continuing our progress, so I was pleased to meet with company leaders today during my third mission to China.”

Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario (middle) and delegation meet with BYD executives.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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Hell truck
Trucking News

Logistics giant DHL has pre-ordered the Tesla electric truck unveiled last month. The new semi is slated for a 2019 rollout, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk promising up to a 500-mile range on a single charge.

DHL, which has already tested some of the semis working closely with Tesla, has placed an order for 10 trucks which it plans to test out on shuttle runs and for same-day customer deliveries. Also looking to trial the vehicles, which are expected to cost between $150,000 and $200,000, are Wal-Mart, JB Hunt Transport and Canada’s Fortigo Freight Services.

Questions remain as to whether Tesla can deliver this electric truck next year. "Between the Model 3 rollout, the gigafactory, the Semi and the Roadster – not to mention the upcoming Model Y and pickup, which Tesla also teased at the event – Tesla has its hands full for the next three years,” says Morgan Stanley analyst Ravi Shanker.

The company, which has yet to produce its electric cars in significant volume, is currently in ‘manufacturing hell’, according to research firm Loupventures, which points out that Tesla may not be able to ramp up production in a profitable way, and will eventually run out of money.

Source of article click here : brand-e

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Budget, we have a problem: Truck gets wedgie at St. Laurent mall
Trucking News

There’s a parking pickle.

The driver of a truck rented by Canada Post for the Christmas rush got the vehicle wedged under a parkade ramp at the St. Laurent Shopping Centre Thursday morning.

Witness Awaleh Ismael was driving his minivan behind the truck when he heard a sudden, loud boom as the truck hit the concrete ramp and got wedged between it and a support column.

A rental truck being used by Canada Post managed to get stuck under a parking lot ramp at the St Laurent Shopping Centre. The driver was following a detour around some road construction in the parking area adjacent to St Laurent Blvd and found himself driving under the ramp that didn’t have enough clearance. Photo Wayne Cuddington/ Postmedia Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia


There it stuck with both passenger-side wheels dangling off the ground.

The driver was able to get out safely, Ismael said.

Canada Post confirmed that one of its employees was involved in the stuck truck mishap.

“As we’re in our busy time and are expecting a record-breaking holiday season, we have invested in our transportation and fleet which includes renting vehicles to help with delivery,” a spokeswoman said.

Ottawa police confirmed that they were called to the mall at 9:48 a.m. and filed a report on the collision.

No charges will be laid.

Source of article click here : Ottawa Citizen

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Truck slams into Highway 99 overpass, causing road closures
Trucking News
152 Street overpass closed in both directions; estimated time of reopening is 5 a.m. Tuesday

RCMP and Ministry of Transportation officials were on scene assessing the structural integrity of the overpass on Monday afternoon.

RCMP and Ministry of Transportation officials were on scene assessing the structural integrity of the overpass on Monday afternoon. (Gary Hanney)

Highway 99 remains closed northbound after a truck slammed into the 152 Street overpass on Monday.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Mike Ingles said the truck was "clearly" over height and crashed heading north.

highway 99 152 street overpass

The truck was "clearly" too tall to fit under the concrete pass, according to RCMP. (Gary Hanney)

The overpass is closed in both directions, with engineers and senior Ministry of Transportation officials on scene assessing the damage.

Traffic is being diverted at 16th Avenue.

Drive B.C. says the estimated time of reopening is 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announces changes
Trucking News

Effective January 1, 2018, the amount the port authority charges container trucking companies that are authorized to operate within the port will be changed to benefit smaller companies.

The changes are being made in response to feedback from smaller trucking companies and government who said the charges were disproportionate.

“We heard concerns from trucking companies and the Government of Canada, including Lower Mainland Members of Parliament,” said Peter Xotta, vice president planning and operations at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “We took that feedback seriously and believe we have now addressed the concerns raised.”

About one third of those companies authorized to access the port, representing the smaller companies, will pay $25,000 per year instead of the previous $35,000. The port authority’s Truck Licensing System is operated on a cost-recovery basis, so the savings realized by the smaller companies will be equally distributed across the largest.

“In setting the new access charges, the port authority proposed three alternative solutions and presented them to local container trucking companies and government for review and discussion,” continued Xotta. ”Changes were made to incorporate what we heard, which ultimately led us to a solution that will benefit the industry overall.”

Image: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Trucking companies were formally advised of the changes to the access charges and provided with amended access agreements on November 1, 2017, providing 60-days written notice before the new structure goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

The new figures are charged to cover the cost of the framework – set up in 2014 by the federal and provincial governments and the port authority – to address driver concerns including compensation. The port authority improved its Truck Licensing System and the province created the Office of the B.C. Trucking Commissioner, including a whistle-blowing mechanism and an audit program that issues financial penalties to trucking companies that do not pay drivers according to agreed wages.

Since that time, the port authority has implemented a number of changes to improve efficiency. Drivers are now compensated by the terminal operators when they are forced to wait at a terminal above acceptable limits. According to a recent report, the Port of Vancouver now has the most efficient container truck operations of any North American West Coast port, with terminal wait times in the port half the average of other West Coast ports. Only about nine per cent of drivers are forced to wait beyond set limits, and since 2014 over $4 million in wait-time penalties has been paid out to these drivers by port terminals.

Xotta went on to say that continued engagement with industry and government is critical to ensuring fairness for drivers and the smooth movement of goods throughout the port and the Lower Mainland. “We are very pleased with the support from our partners in the federal and provincial governments,” he said.

The container trucking sector falls primarily within the jurisdiction of the provincial government, while the port authority controls which trucks can access the port and enforces environmental standards to control air emissions from those trucks. The Office of the B.C. Container Trucking Commissioner manages the enforcement of statutory trip rates, hourly rates and fuel surcharges, the maintenance and enforcement of B.C. License terms, and the establishment and management of the number of tags issued to each company and allocated to the trucks.

Source: Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

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Manitoulin takes over Duckering’s LTL
Trucking News

MISSISSAUGA, ON – Manitoulin Transport has made a big move to expand its business in Alberta.

The company announced today that it has acquired Less than Truckload (LTL) provider Duckering's Transport. The purchase builds on Manitoulin’s other investments in Western Canada in recent years.

Duckering's International Freight Services was not included in the purchase.

Jeff King, president for Manitoulin Transport said the new addition was important for the company because it increases their footprint with over 100 new direct service points, as well as priming them for continued growth.

Duckering's was founded by Clarence Duckering in 1971 and has remained a family-owned business for more than 40 years. Headquartered in Red Deer, it has terminal facilities in Brooks, Calgary, Camrose, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, and Medicine Hat.

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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PepsiCo makes biggest public pre-order of Tesla Semis: 100 trucks
Trucking News
Tesla's new electric semi truck was unveiled in mid-November. PepsiCo says it has reserved 100 of the new vehicles.

Tesla's new electric semi truck was unveiled in mid-November. PepsiCo says it has reserved 100 of the new vehicles.

PepsiCo Inc. has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc.'s new electric Semi trucks, the largest known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday.

Tesla has been trying to convince the trucking community that it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks.

Several transportation firms are holding off on the Tesla for now, citing uncertainty over the time it takes to recharge compared to a diesel fill-up, range, and payload capabilities and how the market for electric commercial vehicles will develop.

About 260,000 heavy-duty Class-8 trucks are produced in North America annually, according to FTR, an industry economics research firm.

Navistar International Corp and Volkswagen AG's Truck and Bus are working to launch an electric medium duty truck by late 2019, while rival Daimler AG has delivered the first of a smaller range of electric trucks to customers in New York.

PepsiCo's 100 trucks add to orders by more than a dozen companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc, fleet operator J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc, and food service distribution company Sysco Corp. Tesla has at least 285 truck reservations in hand, according to a Reuters tally.

PepsiCo intends to deploy Tesla Semis for shipments of snack foods and beverages between manufacturing and distribution facilities and direct to retailers within the 800-kilometre range promised by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk.

The semi-trucks will complement PepsiCo's U.S. fleet of nearly 10,000 big rigs and are a key part of its plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain by a total of at least 20 percent by 2030, said Mike O'Connell, senior director of North American supply chain for PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay.

PepsiCo is analyzing what routes are best for its Tesla trucks but sees a wide range of uses for lighter loads like snacks or shorter shipments of heavier beverages, O'Connell said.

Tesla declined to comment on its customers and potential customers to date.

Tesla unveiled the Semi last month and expects the truck to be in production by 2019.

O'Connell declined to say how much PepsiCo paid to reserve its trucks, when it placed the order, or whether it plans to lease the trucks or buy them outright. Tesla initially asked $5,000 US per truck for pre-orders but that amount has since risen to about $20,000 US.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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How a network of Canadian truckers is reconnecting dog owners with lost pets
Trucking News

When a lost dog is found, most owners feel an immediate sense of relief. But when a lost dog is found hundreds of kilometres away from home, those owners are left with a new problem: How do you get them back?

A national volunteer network has developed a novel way to reunite these far-flung dogs with their owners -- by harnessing the goodwill of truck drivers.

The group, Furry Hobos N Highway Heros, invites dog-loving truckers to transport missing animals back home. Trucking can be a solitary job, and the idea is to provide truckers with canine company while helping out a family in need.

Margaret Foster, a former truck driver herself, started the group in 2013 and says she has reconnected approximately 400 dogs with their owners.

“We call it just paw it forward, eh?” Foster told CTV News, adding that the service is totally free. “If people can only do it for money than you're not doing it for the right reason.”

Among those success stories is Frankie, a therapy dog that disappeared from Spruce Grove, Alta. over the summer. Frankie’s owner, Ashley Power, was in hospital with pneumonia when a dog sitter let Frankie off his leash, and he ran away.

Somehow, the dog ended up more than 1,200 kilometres away in Langley, B.C., just outside Vancouver. It’s unclear how he got that far, but it’s believed that he likely hitched a ride.

Truck driver Scott Stevens volunteered to pick up Frankie and bring him home, he says, because he has a “big soft spot for animals more than humans.” The pair had such a connection that Scott said he wouldn’t mind keeping him.

“If she doesn't want him back, he's a good truck dog, I'll take him,” Stevens said.

No such luck for Stevens.

Power and her three-year-old daughter were overjoyed when they were reunited with Frankie.

“I’m so excited,” Power said.

Judging by the wag of his tale, Frankie was too.

Source of article click here : CTV News

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Blitz results revealed by CVSA
Trucking News

GREENBELT, MD – Inspectors issued 59,193 warnings and citations in Canada and the U.S. during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA’s) Operation Safe Driver Week, which ran from October 15 to 21. And passenger vehicle drivers were more likely than their commercial counterparts to be caught speeding.

State and local moving violations represented 84.2% of the 38,878 warnings and citations for commercial vehicle drivers, with speeding (7.4%), failing to use a seat belt (2.6%), failing to obey a traffic control device (2.5%), and using a handheld phone (0.8%) rounding out the top five.

Among passenger vehicle drivers, the 20,315 citations and warnings involved speeding (43.5%), state and local moving violations (36.2%), failing to use a seat belt (9.4%), failing to obey a traffic control device (2.3%), and improper lane changes (1.5%).

Less than 1% of the warnings and citations were for following too closely.

Nineteen commercial drivers were cited for operating a vehicle while ill or fatigue, and 86 received a warning.

 “Countless lives are tragically lost on our roadways due to unsafe, risky, inattentive or careless acts by drivers,” said CVSA executive director Collin Mooney. “In fact, driver behavior is often the most important factor in crashes. Operation Safe Driver Week raises awareness about safe driver operations in and around trucks and buses.”

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Morrice Transportation hikes pay rates
Trucking News

WINDSOR, Ont. – Morrice Transportation has announced it’s hiking pay rates for drivers.

The increases, set to go into effect Jan. 1, will be about five cents a mile.

“I have had multiple drivers call to ask me about the raise, and are ecstatic to hear that most drivers will be seeing a five cents a mile increase to their base wage alone, on top of which our current accessorial pay and bonuses are factored in,” said Amanda Matalik, human resources manager. “As I have told our drivers, Morrice appreciates the hard work that our drivers commit to every day in order to make operations run smoothly, and hope that their dedication will continue as we grow and expand in the new year.”

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TransCore reports another chart-topping month for load volumes
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont.  – November load volumes are up 57% from last year, tying it with last month’s record-breaking year-over-year volume increase, TransCore Link Logistics reported.

November also marks the sixth consecutive month of record-setting volumes on Loadlink’s network.

Intra-Canada loads accounted for 27% of the total volumes and amounted to a 54% increase year-over-year. Cross-border load postings represented 70% of the data submitted by Loadlink users. Loads leaving Canada to the U.S. increased 72% from 2016, and loads entering Canada went up 57%.

Equipment performance

November’s equipment postings dipped six per cent from last month, and were down 20% year-over-year.

November’s truck-to-load ratio was the lowest year-to-date at 1.61 and the lowest since December 2013. When compared to the previous year, November’s ratios showed a 49% improvement from a 3.18 truck-to-load ratio year-over-year.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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After 20 years, Nisku diner cancels famous Christmas dinner
Trucking News
'It just breaks my heart,' Nisku Truck Stop supervisor says

Customers sit for a meal at the Nisku Truck Stop.

Customers sit for a meal at the Nisku Truck Stop. (Jeff Pedrina)

The phone at the Nisku Truck Stop south of Edmonton used to ring off the hook at this time of year with customers looking to secure their spots for Christmas dinner.

"Put me down on the list, Linda," customers would tell the restaurant's supervisor, Linda Dugdale.

Every Christmas Day for the past 20 years, hundreds of locals, truckers and people with nowhere else to go would line the walls of the restaurant waiting for fresh turkey topped with gravy and mashed potatoes.

After Dugdale would put in a six-hour shift serving customers, she would always meet her family for Christmas dinner at the truck stop off Highway 2.

"This was our Christmas dinner," she told CBC News.

The Nisku Truck Stop is one of the few restaurants in the small hamlet that is open 365 days a year.

But this year, the truck stop is closing its doors for Christmas Day.

Last year alone, the restaurant served approximately 450 people, nearly half of Nisku's total population.

"I don't even know what to say, I have a hard time even thinking about that," Dugdale said. "It just breaks my heart."

Christmas cut because of 'financial difficulties'

The restaurant echoed Dugdale's heartbreak in a statement sent out to its customers. Management said the Christmas Day tradition is stopping "because of financial difficulties."

Sales at the restaurant have been dropping since 2015, manager Leo Koo said. The rising costs of food and delivery, and a crash in the price of oil forced the restaurant to make some changes, he said.

The annual Christmas dinner was provided on a by-donation basis and cost the restaurant between $7,000 and $9,000 every year, Koo said.

In an effort to save the day, Dugdale approached her bosses to see if they would reconsider hosting the dinner, but she said she could not persuade them.

There are other options for Christmas dinner in Nisku, including Blackjacks Roadhouse & Games Room down the road, but it also fills to capacity every year, Dugdale said.

Even though the truck stop won't be hosting Christmas dinner, Dugdale said the community is not giving up.

"We've had a bunch of women come up to us and say, 'We'd cook for you,' " Dugdale said. "All we need is a little hall to host it."

Dugdale said the truck stop will be making a decision in the next week to see if it can host the Christmas dinner elsewhere.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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Trucker killed when his semi hits light post on Anthony Henday
Trucking News
Edmonton police think the driver suffered a 'medical episode' before the collision

Edmonton police are investigating the death of a truck driver whose tractor-trailer left the road and crashed into a light post on Anthony Henday Drive on Monday.

The 2015 Freightliner was eastbound on the Henday at Gateway Boulevard at about 8 a.m. when it veered off the road, police said.

The truck continued down a berm and through a barb-wire fence before coming to a stop about 200 metres from the road. 

The driver was pronounced dead shortly after he was taken to hospital. Police think he suffered a medical episode before the crash.

The driver is Edmonton's 30th traffic fatality of 2017.

Source of article click here : CBC NEWS

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OTA calls for zero tolerance for driver pot use
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is urging the provincial government to ensure a zero tolerance enforcement for truck driver pot use.

In a submission this week to the Standing Committee on Justice Policy, OTA laid out the potential impacts of both recreational and medicinal marijuana legalization on the trucking industry.

“Ontario truck drivers have an exemplary safety record and are statistically far less likely to be driving while impaired than all other vehicle drivers – and we’d like to keep it that way,” says OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “Legalization will carry greater risks for motor carriers and we are asking for the necessary tools to mitigate that risk.”

OTA supports a strict approach that ensures all six classes of commercial driver’s licenses and G class drivers operating commercial vehicles are included in a zero-tolerance policy.

Furthermore, OTA is asking the government to follow the U.S. approach of not differentiating between recreational and medical use of marijuana among drivers.

“If the true goal is public safety for all road users then it shouldn’t matter whether it’s being used for recreational or medicinal purposes,” says Laskowski. “Commercial drivers are already held to the highest standards of safety and this shouldn’t be any different.

“It is imperative employers be allowed to apply workplace measures that will mitigate additional safety risks to employees and the public that legalized marijuana could bring. It is essential Ontario and Canada provide employers legislative and regulatory backing for being proactive and doing the right thing.”

OTA says it looks forward to the government’s response and will continue working with the Canadian Trucking Alliance to spread a similar message across Canada.

Source of article click here : Truck News

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CTA calls for more oversight for marijuana prescribers
Trucking News

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) is calling on Health Canada to restrict commercial truck drivers from using medical marijuana while on the job and says there should be more oversight from the medical community who are prescribing the drug to workers in safety sensitive positions.

In a letter to Health Canada, the CTA restated its position on that there should be a zero tolerance policy for drivers when it comes to operating a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of the drug.

The national lobbying organization said that while truck drivers already have an exemplary safety record, impending legalization will carry greater risks for motor carriers and have a significant impact on society and the workplace.

The CTA is asking the Government of Canada to follow the approach used in the United States and not differentiate between recreation and medical use of marijuana when it comes to truck drivers, in addition to holding prescribing physicians more accountable.

“As we understand it, many prescribing physicians are unaware of what their patients do for a living,” says CTA president Stephen Laskowski. “In turn, some people who are medically authorized to use marijuana might believe this somehow exempts them from impaired driving laws. Obviously in the case of safety sensitive work, such as trucking which shares its workplace with the motoring public, this can be of serious concern.”

The CTA believes prescribing physicians should be required to sign a document saying they are aware of what their patient does for a living.

“If the true goal is public safety for all road users then it shouldn’t matter whether it’s being used for recreational or medicinal purposes,” says Laskowski. “Commercial drivers are already held to the highest standards of safety and this shouldn’t be any different.”

Source of article click here : Today's Trucking

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Bring on Canadian ELD mandate, carrier urges
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – A Canadian regulation mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) can’t come “soon enough,” according to David Carruth, CEO at One For Freight.

He was speaking on the subject of ELDs and trucking technologies during a webinar hosted by Omnitracs. One For Freight has already made the transition to e-logs in advance of a U.S. mandate that takes effect Dec. 18, and he would like to see Canada move more quickly to pass a similar regulation.

“All of the data is there for us to make the right decision,” he said. “All the case studies have been done…My question is, why would we not want to do this and do this sooner rather than later?”

He also said the only resistance will come from “companies that do not have a commitment to safety, and do not have a commitment to overall compliance.”

But Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA), said Canada will not likely have fully implemented an ELD mandate of its own until the end of 2019. The proposed rule first has to be published in Canada Gazette 1, which Laskowski said will hopefully be before the end of the year. Then, a 60-day comment period will likely take place, followed by another three to five months of reviewing those comments. The final rule is likely to be published in Canada Gazette 2, sometime in mid-2018 “optimistically,” noted Laskowski, with hard enforcement unlikely to begin before late 2019.

Laskowski said the industry should welcome the mandate.

“The ELD regulation is bringing to head the inefficiencies in the supply chain, especially those the drivers bear the brunt of,” he said. “Inefficiencies at loading docks, inefficient loading times themselves.”

Carruth said his company has seen many benefits since adopting electronic logs. They’ve given him hard data he can use to raise shipper awareness about inefficiencies, One For Freight’s CVOR violation rate has been cut in half, and drivers are now more productive.

Mike Ham, vice-president and general manager of Omnitracs Canada, said customers who switch to e-logs typically free up two to 2.5 hours of drive time per week for drivers, which was previously spent filling paper logs.

“There’s an additional, maybe 100 miles a week a driver may get,” he said, adding time-consuming internal logbook audits are also automated.

Laskowski said an ELD mandate will be “the great cleansing of our industry,” and will force carriers to compete based on sound business practices and innovation rather than ignoring hours-of-service rules.

“The ELD mandate will bring a lot of great things for drivers,” Laskowski added. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the carriers who do it the right way to thrive, and for those who have not been doing it (right), to change or to exit the industry.”

Tom Cuthbertson, vice-president of regulatory affairs at Omnitracs, said ELDs improve communication between drivers and dispatch, and between carriers and shippers.

“The driver has a tool for planning their day better, their interaction with dispatch is better received,” he explained.

But for fleets just now preparing to comply with the U.S. ELD mandate, Cuthbertson warned training is critical.

“The drivers are important and it’s key to make sure they understand what is in these mandates and how it will affect them. It’s just as important that safety managers understand what is in these regulations, the dispatch people, and even the mechanics,” Cuthbertson warned. For example, mechanics will need to know a truck cannot operate legally in the U.S. without a functioning ELD for more than eight days, so repairs must be handled swiftly.

“This educational process must be on every piece of the organization, not only the driver,” he said.

And when training drivers, Cuthbertson suggested spending some time with them inside the cab for some hands-on training.

“Give drivers 10-15 minutes in the cab, that extra time in the cab really raises their awareness,” he said.

Carruth also spoke of other technologies One For Freight is deploying, including cameras inside and around the cab, and collision mitigation systems.

“All the equipment we are now ordering has the most advanced collision avoidance systems on it,” he said.

The OTA’s Laskowski commended that approach, noting most crashes are still due to driver error.

“If you’re really looking to improve on fleet safety and overall safety on the roadways, it’s dealing with human error,” he said. “Even the best and most professional and most committed drivers are still human beings. We are starting to see more technology out there that really aids the driver as opposed to supplements the driver.”

It’s also important, noted Carruth, to take data generated by technology and use it effectively. He cited the example of fuel economy data generated by two owner-operators who ran similar routes and miles, with one achieving 8.64 mpg and the other 5.4 mpg. The company was able to use that data to have a discussion as to what was causing the variation in fuel economy.

“The difference was $24,000 U.S. a year in their pocket,” said Carruth. “Without having that information, I can’t sit in front of both owner-operators and say great work, or this needs to get better. How are we going to use that data to help all our systems?”

Source of article click here : Truck News

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