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GREENBELT, Md. – The annual Roadcheck inspection blitz will run
from June 5 to 7 this year, and compliance with hours of service will
be a special focus in the wake of a new U.S. mandate for electronic
logging devices (ELDs).
“The top reason drivers were placed out of service during 2017
International Roadcheck was for hours of service violations,” says
Christopher Turner, president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
(CVSA), which coordinates the blitz. “Thirty-two percent of drivers who
were placed out of service during last year’s three-day International
Roadcheck were removed from our roadways due to violations related to
hours-of-service regulations. It’s definitely an area we need to call
attention to this year.”
While hours of service rules remain unchanged, the ELD mandate that
took hold on Dec. 18 places a “spotlight” on compliance, he said. “We
thought this year would be a perfect opportunity to focus on the
importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”
During the blitz, inspectors across North America will largely
follow the 37-step procedures for North American Standard Level 1
inspections, examining drivers and vehicle fitness.
Checks will include brake systems, cargo securement, coupling
devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel
systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van
and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield
wipers. Additional items for buses include emergency exits, electrical
cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating.
Inspectors will also be watching for factors including seat belt use and impairment by drugs or alcohol.
About 17 trucks and buses are inspected per minute during the annual
event, which includes Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Since 1988 more than
1.5 million roadside inspections have been conducted during Roadcheck
Pooches and pickup truck stolen in Edmonton found in central Alberta
"Rocky" and "Jersey," two Old English Bulldogs stolen recently, are
shown in this undated handout photo. Two dogs stolen last Monday were
reunited with their owners this weekend after they were located unharmed
in Rimbey, Alberta.
RIMBEY, Alta. — Two old English bulldogs named
Rocky and Jersey who were in a pickup that was stolen last week have
been reunited with their owners after being found in central Alberta.
Jersey, a brown three-year-old female, and
Rocky, a six-month-old black-and-white male, were in the cab when the
truck was taken from outside a business in Edmonton on March 12.
The owner was inside for about 20 minutes and,
when she came out, the vehicle was gone and there was nothing left but
glass on the ground.
The truck, which was also hauling an all-terrain vehicle, was found on Friday morning in a rural area by Rimbey RCMP.
Residents found Rocky and Jersey roaming around the next day.
They were unharmed.
No suspects are in custody and police continue to investigate.
They say the stolen ATV has not been found. It's a black-and-yellow 2016 Can-Am DS 90 with Alberta plate GDA50.
OTTAWA, Ont. – Ottawa Police are searching for an ex-truck driver who has gone missing.
According to reports, Nicole Lenz, 43, was last seen on February 4 at
around 8:30 p.m. in Ottawa near Carling Avenue and Merivale Road. She
was a patient at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.
Lenz is Caucasian, 5’6” with brown hair and brown eyes.
Her husband of 20 years, Ioannis Ziegler, a truck driver, is
currently reaching out to the trucking community to help locate her. He
has placed missing person flyers with photos of Lenz up and down the
Trans-Canada Highway in an effort to help locate her. Ziegler says his
wife has no identification, cell phone, or money on her person.
Ziegler added he believes his wife could be with other truck drivers
as being an ex-driver herself, she feels very comfortable around big
Anyone who know where Lenz could be is urged to called the Ottawa
Police Service Missing Persons Unit at (613) 236-1222 ext. 2355.
TomTom Introduces New GPS Device for Truckers in North America
Mid-America Trucking Show -- TomTom (TOM2)
today announced the launch of the new TomTom TRUCKER – a GPS navigation
device specifically developed to help truckers get to their destination
more efficiently. The new GPS device, which comes in two sizes, comes
with a Lifetime TomTom Truck Maps subscription for the US and Canada,
now updatable over Wi-Fi, as well as tailored routing which guides
drivers to carefully selected points of interest (POIs) for trucks such
as fuel stops and travel centers. The TomTom TRUCKER is compatible with
Siri voice recognition software and Google Now – allowing truckers to
access their personal assistant with their smartphone safely tucked away.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
More Efficient Journeys The TomTom TRUCKER ensures
efficient journeys by providing customized routes for a truck’s
dimensions, weight, cargo and max speed, while giving a realistic
arrival time. The GPS device includes over 1,500 travel center POIs.
Predict and avoid traffic Traffic – both on highways and
secondary roads – can be avoided with the TomTom TRUCKER, and alerts for
imminent traffic ahead helps avoid sudden braking. The GPS navigation
device also shows how far ahead the stopped traffic or accident
blackspot points are, as well as locations where accidents are more
Mike Schoofs, Managing Director, TomTom Consumer, comments: "With the
new TomTom TRUCKER, life on the road has just got that little bit more
relaxed with traffic predictions, alerts and routes tailored to the size
and weight of your vehicle – and even the cargo that you’re hauling.
Plus, we’ve added Wi-Fi, so keeping your maps up to date is easier than
Availability The TomTom TRUCKER 620, with its 6” screen is
available to purchase on the TomTom webstore, Amazon, and at select
National Travel Centers and truck stops. It retails for $329.99 USD /
$429.99 CAD. The TomTom TRUCKER 520, which has a 5” screen, is available
to purchase on the TomTom webstore and Amazon for $299.99 USD / $399.99
Ontario Trucking Group Asks to be Considered for Immigrant Workforce Program
Ontario Trucking Association has asked to be included in a government
program that allows immigrants who work in certain sectors to be
considered for permanent resident status.
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, through which
provinces nominate immigrants who contribute to the workforce for
permanent resident status, is geared toward jobs requiring “in-demand
The trucking group needs such skills. It wrote to Ontario
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Laura Albanese asking whether
trucking could eventually be considered to participate in the pilot.
“I think trucking has as good a case as any for inclusion
in this,” OTA Policy and Public Affairs Director Jonathan Blackham told
Transport Topics. “I think some will see this as a way to recruit and
attract more labor.”
Ontario uses the National Occupational Classification
(NOC) system to indicate jobs based on skill level. The main job groups
are divided into five levels: 0, A, B, C and D.
NOC level 0 refers to management positions, such as
restaurant managers or shore captains. Level A jobs are those that
require a university degree, like doctors and architects. Level B
encompasses jobs that require trade school, such as chefs, plumbers and
electricians. Level C positions require high school degrees and
job-specific training and include butchers, food servers and truck
drivers. Level D refers to labor with on-site training, such as fruit
pickers and oil field workers.
The program, while usually restricted to NOC levels A, B,
and 0, is being opened to seven C- and D-level occupations in the
agriculture and construction sectors for the pilot.
“The NOC codes selected for this stream were based on
labor market needs and input from trade unions, employers and other key
partners,” said Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
spokeswoman Sara Amash. “The province of Ontario will closely monitor
the pilot and make adjustments as necessary to ensure it meets the needs
Trucking, which is classified level C, has had scant access to this program.
Trucking representatives have taken umbrage at the
industry’s C-level classification. Blackham said that this
classification means “essentially unskilled” is a misrepresentation of
what it takes to be a commercial driver.
Blackham said that OTA and its parent group, the Canadian
Trucking Alliance, have long argued for truck driving to get upgraded to
NOC level B. He noted that, while every province’s immigrant nominee
program is slightly different, some provinces allow truck drivers to
participate in such programs.
“Our goal as the association has been actively lobbying to
have truck drivers upgraded in terms of their skills classification,”
Blackham said. “In the meantime, when it comes to [the Ontario Immigrant
Nominee Program], the fact that they’re now willing to look at class C
for some jobs mean we have a glimmer of hope.”
Like America, Ontario struggles with a truck driver
shortage. According to the Conference Board of Canada and the
transportation research firm Canadian Pacific Consulting Services, the
industry is on pace for a truck driver shortage of 34,000 drivers by
Although Blackham said trucking’s admittance into program
probably would not fix the driver shortage completely, he did say it
would make an important difference.
“We’ve got a severe driver shortage here. I don’t think
this will be the silver bullet to solve the driver shortage here, by any
means, but I do think that this is something that companies can take
advantage of if they’d like,” Blackham said. “It’s so pronounced that I
don’t think that any one program could just solve the driver shortage. I
do think that carriers are looking for all the ways to recruit drivers
that they can.”
Amash said that the Ministry is engaging with partners and
weighing feedback from employers to determine the success of the pilot
program. The agency recently hosted its annual Minister’s Employers
Tables event to present the pilot program and garner feedback on how to
improve the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program. Blackham attended and
made a case for trucking, mentioning the driver shortage. He said that
Albanese and her staff listened and asked questions.
Amash said the administration has not arrived on a
decision as to whether the trucking association will be admitted to
participate in the program in the future.
“[It’s] too early at [this] stage, but we always consult with various stakeholders through any pilot project,” Amash said.
Spring truck weight restrictions start in central frost zone
Spring truck weight restrictions in the central frost zone will start
Friday, March 16, according to the Minnesota Department of
Winter load increases have ended and spring load
restrictions are already in place in the south, southeast and metro
Road restriction maps showing the locations of
weight-restricted routes and those state highways open to maximum 10-ton
axle weights are listed at www.mndot.gov/loadlimits.
Click on “seasonal load limits,” and then “spring load restrictions.”
Also available is a text list of the restricted segments and exceptions
to the map.
permits for more than 80,000 pound gross vehicle weight will continue
and new permits will be issued if all axle and group weights are legal.
to full-summer overweight permits can be issued during the spring load
restriction period only on interstate through movements.
overweight permits become available within each frost zone when spring
load restrictions are lifted. Full-summer overweight permits become
available two to three weeks after spring load restrictions are lifted.
Ending dates for spring load restrictions are variable and based on how weather is affecting roadway strength.
questions about the legal weight and size “heavy haul” trucking call
MnDOT’s Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations department at
651-296-6000. For enforcement questions, call the State Patrol’s
Commercial Vehicle Enforcement at 651-405-6196 and select Option 3 and
then Option 3.
MnDOT will report dates on its 24-hour automated
message center at 1 800 723 6543 for the U.S. and Canada, and locally at
651 366 5400 for the Minneapolis/St.Paul area.
OPP begin week-long blitz to curb distracted driving
TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are once again
heading out in their Class 8 truck to try to catch distracted drivers
across the province.
OPP Superintendent Tony Cristilli said the police service would use
every tool available to it to run a week-long blitz to help bring
awareness to distracted driving.
Highway Safety Division (HSD) Staff Sgt. Kerry Schmidt posted a video
to his Twitter showing the white OPP tractor ready to go out on the
road moments before a Monday press conference in the Greater Toronto
Area (GTA) announcing the campaign.
The OPP has two of the Class 8 tractors. Earlier this year they were
unveiled as an additional tool for patrolling highways in the GTA. When
they aren’t being used for enforcement, the trucks are normally used to
haul police cars between divisions.
Schmidt has said in the past that using the Class 8 trucks as patrol
vehicles gives officers the advantage of height, allowing them to see
into the cabs of other trucks, as well as giving them a bird’s eye view
on unsuspecting drivers in passenger vehicles.
While other recent blitzes have focused on commercial motor vehicles,
the current enforcement initiative is not targeting any specific kind
of driver, but all road users, Cristilli said.
Police will not just be looking for cell phone users behind the
wheel, but for any activity, such as eating or reading, that takes a
driver’s focus off the road.
The penalty for being caught driving while distracted is a $490 fine, and three demerit points for a first offence.
“In 2017, the Ontario provincial police investigated 83 motor vehicle
deaths in which inattentiveness was an underlying factor,” said
Cristilli. “Since 2009 – the year when Ontario’s distracted driving laws
took effect – 692 people have died at the hands of inattentive drivers.
Distracted driving is a danger to all road users.”
Increasing regular blitzes focusing on distracted driving are one of
the methods the OPP is using in its attempt to raise awareness about the
issue and bring the number of collisions caused by inattentiveness too
Class D renewal requirements change in Ontario July 1
TORONTO, Ont. – Class D license holders in Ontario will have new medical and road test requirements beginning July 1, 2018.
The Ministry of Transportation released its new guidelines for
medical reports and testing for Class D license holders, bringing them
in line with other commercial driver licenses in the province.
Starting on July 1 Class D license holders up to age 80 will be
required to complete a knowledge test and vision test every five years
when renewing their driver’s licenses. Previously no knowledge and
vision tests were required for drivers under the age of 65, although
they’re required for other license classes.
Class D licence holders will also be required to complete a medical
report every five years if they are under the age of 46, every three
years from ages 46-65, and annually for drivers aged 65 and older. Under
the old regulations medical and vision tests were not required for
Class D licenses until drivers turned 80.
Drivers operating with their Class D licenses in the United States
will see no changes to that county’s regulations and are still required
to provide proof of medical certification.
Those drivers who fail to provide the proper medical documentation on
time to the Ministry of Transportation could see their Class D license
downgraded to a Class G license, the ministry said.
The road test requirements for the license remain unchanged, and will
still only be required if drivers accumulate three demerit points or
have an at-fault collision until they reach the age of 80, when a road
test becomes an annual requirement.
The ministry says the new requirements bring the Class D license in
line with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA)
standards, which are the basis for the Canada/U.S. medical reciprocity
A ministry spokesperson said ensuring Class D drivers are held to the
highest medical filing standards will strengthen road safety.
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America showed a battery-electric N-Series
cabover at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis that's now serving as a
research vehicle to allow the manufacturer to gauge interest from fleets
who would use the truck for certain applications.
regular cab NPR has been equipped with battery technology that's still
under development and would be rated as a Class 5 vehicle with a
19,500-lb. gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). The vehicle at the show
was modified by Nordresa, a Laval, Quebec, Canada company that
manufactures electrified powertrains for commercial vehicles.
continues to develop and grow in order to support a new generation of
transportation needs and address escalating customer requests for a
potential electrical truck," said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu
Commercial Truck of America and Isuzu Commercial Truck of Canada.
"Commercial truck customer needs vary by market."
The company has begun discussions with its fleet customers who have requested a battery-electric cabover, Skinner said.
deploying this truck that utilizes an EV system engineered by one of
the North American companies we are working with, and other companies
with different electrical systems, we will be able to develop the right
trucks for our customers’ needs," Skinner said. "There is no doubt that
all-electric trucks are part of the future of commercial vehicles; they
are part of our future as well."
Driver dead after 3-vehicle crash on Route 11 near Six Roads, north of Tracadie
Passenger in the vehicle is taken to hospital with serious injuries
RCMP say the driver of the transport truck went down an
enbankment, stopping about 20 feet (about six metres) from a nearby road
after being involved in a three-vehicle crash
A man was killed in a three-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on Route
11 near Six Roads, about 15 kilometres north of Tracadie, police say.
RCMP said it appears the man was driving a vehicle that crossed the
centre line and collided with a transport truck hauling logs south on
The man, from Cantons-de-Basque, died at the scene. A female passenger in the car was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The crash happened at about 1:30 p.m.
Sgt. Marc Beaupre said the driver of the transport lost control after
the front wheels of the truck came off. The transport went off the
overpass across the Chemin Grand Carey and dropped down an embankment
about 100 feet (about 30 metres).
The transport driver suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash. (RCMP)
"The transport finally came to a stop about twenty feet from the road but the transport landed on the snowmobile trail."
Beaupre said it was fortunate no snowmobiles were travelling on the trail.
He said the 43-year-old driver was taken to hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the third vehicle, a 27-year-old woman, could not avoid
the collision, but she and her two children, both under the age of
five, were not injured, police said.
An RCMP accident reconstruction team went to the scene.
Traffic was detoured around the area at Losier Settlement on Route 150 until Chemin Grand Carey for most of the afternoon.
Thousands of boxes of cereal donated to Glace Bay Food Bank
Donation arranged by Cape Breton native who returns annually for hockey tournament
An 18-wheeler filled with cereal and other Kellogg products was unloaded Tuesday at the Glace Bay Food Bank.
A man who left Glace Bay, N.S., as a 16-year-old to play hockey in
the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League now returns every winter to lace
up for the area's annual Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament.
And Fraser MacAulay doesn't come empty-handed.
MacAulay, 59, is retired from the shipping and receiving
department of the now-closed Kellogg distribution centre in London, Ont.
Over the last 22 years, he has arranged for the donation and delivery
of thousands of boxes of cereal and other Kellogg's products to the
Glace Bay Food Bank.
On Tuesday, he was on hand as about 50 volunteers unloaded an 18-wheeler packed front-to-back with Kellogg products.
"It means a lot, you know what I mean?" said MacAulay. "You can hear
about stuff like this here, but when you're actually hands-on and you
see it, it's a huge eye-opener, so it's great that Kellogg is great
enough to be able do stuff like this here."
Fraser MacAulay, 59, is retired from the
shipping and receiving department of the now-closed Kellogg distribution
centre in London, Ont. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)
Food bank co-ordinator Kimberly MacPherson watched the boxes being unloaded.
"It gives so much community spirit and smiles," she said. "Everybody here is laughing, smiling and helping their community.
"We're so thankful for all the cereal for the community. It's not
just for us, but it's for other food banks in the community, daycares.
It's also for camps in the summertime."
Even the transportation is donated. For more than 10 years,
Sydney-based S&M Trucking has been sending an 18-wheeler to Ontario
to bring back the donation.
"It's been absolutely amazing to not have to buy it," MacPherson said. "You look at some of the cereals, it can be $5, $6 a box.
"There's some families that can't afford it and they may have six
children at home. There's some schools that use it for their breakfast
program, so it's just awesome. It's incredible."
Once the food bank donation is wrapped up, MacAulay will turn his
focus to the Vince Ryan hockey tournament, billed as one of the largest
recreational adult tournaments in the world.
Admittedly, he said, at his age the tournament is more a social than a sporting event.
"It's nice to get back to see your friends," he said. "You kind of
feel like a kid again, no responsibilities. Come down, play some hockey,
tell some stories, and visit these folks down here [at the food bank.
In previous stories we’ve looked at how to become a truck driver. To
recap you need a CDL license available through a school or through a
trucking company which operates their own school. Research carefully as
Pennsylvania schools are not licensed or regulated so consider those
that offer national accreditation or Professional Truck Driver Institute
(PTDI) Certification. For more information visit Professional Truck Driving Institute. You’ll receive a combination of classroom/lab hours and behind-the-wheel instruction.
But what’s it like to BE a driver?
Bill Schuler who has worked for Erb Transport in Elverson, PA, since
August 2011. This isn’t Bill’s first stint behind the wheel. His
previous driving was for his produce business, either hauling his own
produce or picking up at the Baltimore docks to sell at farmers’
markets. After closing his business, Schuler wasn’t ready to retire and,
with his he CDL license already in hand, was hired by Erb Transport.
Erb Transport is Canadian-based and with most loads going to Canada,
this is the start of every run Schuler makes. From there he’ll pick up
another load and either head back to the U.S. or elsewhere in Canada. A
third load will follow and at that point he usually heads home. Normally
he’s on the road anywhere from 12 to 14 days and once in a while three
Not every load is direct or a full trailer. If he’s hauling
LTL – Less Than Load – meaning each shipment is less than a full
truckload, he may stop four to six times in a general area before
picking up another shipment and heading to a new destination.
his first year alone Schuler was in the 48 contiguous states and all 12
Canadian provinces, and a trip out west is usually a two-week run. And
his 2015 truck? It has over 400,000 miles on it already. “It’s something
I enjoy,” Schuler says, “but I understand that not all drivers care for
In that case Erb Transport works with drivers’ preferences
for length of time away and distance where possible. As an example the
Canadian trips are an option. While many want to go, there is an
opportunity to choose as driving to Canada requires additional paperwork
and approval to cross the border among other extras. Schuler says,
“They’re very workable.”
How long Schuler is home depends on how
long he’s been gone. He’s usually home one to two days after a one week
trip; for a two week or longer run, it’s three days off, sometimes four.
on the road works just fine for Schuler. Figuring out where the truck
stops and rest areas are comes with experience (as well a book that
details them). This has become more important with the advent of
electronic logs as it is harder to find a place to park as more drivers
are stopping when they should.
His cab has all the comforts of
home. Seriously. Microwave, grill, refrigerator, double bunk, laptop,
heat and air conditioning. Even a TV that has its own antenna in the
truck. He takes most of his food with him, not only to cut expenses from
eating out, but also to have a healthier diet.
So what’s not to
like? Schuler as an older driver (he’s 66), prefers day driving. His
biggest complaint? “Other drivers that try to take advantage such as
pulling out in front of you. Trucks carrying 80,000 pounds driving 60
miles per hour can’t just stop,” he says.
As far as Erb Transport
goes, Schuler couldn’t be happier. “They’re very good to work for, very
conscientious. The people are polite and courteous.” He feels assured
knowing they run excellent and fairly new equipment. His 2015 truck
should be replaced with a 2018 soon. His truck is always serviced and
ready to go to minimize breakdowns. Any concerns are dealt with quickly.
Schuler may want to stay closer to home sometime in the future, he has
no plans to retire. “I don’t know what I’d do if I retired,” he says.
“I get enjoyment and pleasure from working, but am happy to be home for a
couple of days rest in between trips.”
Challenger joins forces with Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada
CAMBRIDGE, Ont. — Challenger Motor Freight announced today that
it will be covering the cost of any initial 12-month membership to the
Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) for all of its female
“We were very excited when Challenger approached us with this idea.
It shows how committed Challenger is in supporting WTFC and women in the
trucking industry. The goal of the WTFC is to recruit, support and
mentor women in a profession that is overwhelmingly male,” said Shelley
Uvanille-Hesch, founder of the WFTC. “I encourage other companies to
follow Challenger’s lead.”
Benefits of becoming a member of the WTFC include being part of a
social committee where you will help encourage the employment of women
and promote their accomplishments, access to helpful perspectives and
success stories from other professional drivers, exclusive information
on how to live a better life on the road
with health and safety tips.
Kim Gould, recruiting manager of Challenger Motor Freight headed up the initiative.
“At Challenger, we recognize the importance of women in the
transportation industry, and understand the obstacles often facing
female drivers. Challenger is proud to support their drivers and their
involvement with the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada,” she said.
LA SARRE, Que. – Kenworth La Sarre has moved into a new 12,000 sq.-ft. facility to support its customers in Northwestern Quebec.
The dealership sits on 5.7 acres, about six kilometers southeast of
its previous site. It offers lots of parking space, a 5,200 sq.-ft.
parts warehouse, and 800 sq.-ft. of parts display. It also has a six-bay
Kenworth La Sarre’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday
through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. The dealership is
located at 745 Route 111 East. The phone number is 819-333-2251.
Two lines of semi trucks wait to clear customs at the U.S. Border crossing at Pembina, ND, this week.
GRAND FORKS—The loonie isn't stretching its wings quite like it used to.
least, that's part of the story told by statistics from U.S. Customs
and Border Protection and backed up by observers in Grand Forks who say
border crossings from Canada have ebbed over recent years as a weak
Canadian dollar—known by many in the north as the loonie—has kept
Manitoban visitors home.
assistant area port director for the CBP, has been working on the border
for the past two decades. Though he says there are other factors that
influence the flow of traffic from Canada into Minnesota and North
Dakota, he points to the relative strength of the currency as a strongly
"When the Canadian dollar is strong, car
traffic seems to be up—and when it gets fairly weak, car traffic goes
the same," Misson said. "Whatever year the dollar started to decline,
the traffic started to decline."
The reduction in Canadian
visitors, who come to the U.S. border states for recreation, shopping
and business, is felt in local economies that have welcomed spending
from their northern neighbors. And last fall, CBP proposed reducing
hours at two of its Minnesota ports, at Lancaster and Roseau, citing
lagging rates of traffic.
Despite the weakening of the loonie,
commercial traffic into the U.S. held relatively steady over the
four-year period between the start of fiscal year 2014 and the end of
The port in Pembina, N.D., sees the most truck traffic of
all the U.S. ports of entry in the two-state region and logged a total
of almost 214,220 vehicles through the most recently completed fiscal
year. That's down about 14,700 from the total counted in fiscal year
The largest declines are in the number of passenger vehicles
that move across the border, a statistic that might reflect the more
price-conscious mindset of recreational travelers. Those drivers seem to
most often enter the U.S. by way of the port in International Falls,
That port ended 2014 with more than 520,000 passenger cars
making the crossing. It closed out the last full fiscal year with just
about 413,500, making for a 20 percent decline over the four-year
Crossings in Pembina, the second-biggest port for
automobiles, saw a decrease in volume of almost 25 percent over that
same period, hitting just under 277,250 cars for fiscal year 2017.
Traffic through Grand Portage, Minn., the third-largest port, shrank by
24 percent in that time to land at just over 235,000 vehicles.
The close ties between economic trends and cross-border travel isn't a
new phenomenon, Misson says, and has been something he's noted
throughout his career.
The Canadian dollar can be exchanged now
for about 77 cents American. It got up above 80 cents in January but
hasn't been at par with U.S. currency since 2013, which is about when
traffic started falling off at ports of entry.
The reduced flow of
visitors has trickled down Interstate 29 to Grand Forks, which courts
both recreational and business interests from Manitoba. The province has
been targeted both by local ads and, thanks in part to the strong U.S.
dollar, by a statewide push to brand North Dakota as a tourist
Julie Rygg is executive director of the Grand Forks
Convention and Visitors Bureau, which draws funding from local
hospitality taxes. As such, she has a finger well on the pulse of the
local tourism scene, which has long benefitted from Canadian residents
on weekend getaways.
Rygg says 2015 seems to be the year when
metrics like occupancy rates started levelling off in Grand Forks,
followed by a steady decline the year after.
She thinks the exchange rate has a lot to do with that.
Wilfahrt, president and CEO of the local Chamber, also points to the
loonie when talking about Canadian travel, adding that he believes that
80 cents to the dollar is the price point to watch.
gets below that mark, it has an impact on people coming down," he said.
"I'd rather see it at 90 cents, or even at par."
Insurers’ tips to trucking clients: how not to lose your loads
If you want to keep your cargo safe, it’s best to keep it moving, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) warns.
to the involvement of organized crime, cargo theft is described as an
“epidemic” in Canada, with a total loss of $181 million in stolen cargo
and equipment between 2014 and 2017.
“Any loaded trailer with cargo in it that’s sitting is at risk,” says
Wayne Hummel, a cargo and auto theft investigator for IBC. “My
suggestion to anybody with a load, don’t leave it sitting. If you have
to leave it sitting, have some kind of security on it, especially if
it’s an expensive load. They will take anything, they can sell anything.
They can move anything.”
Many heists occur when trucks and trailers are parked for the night
in trucking yards, Hummel says. While unsecured yards can be “a
free-for-all,” thefts can occur in secured yards, too.
Much of what gets stolen does not sit around for long.
“These loads move very quickly,” Hummel says. “We lose loads of meat
on a monthly basis. Sometimes they are sold before they are stolen. Or
as soon as they see it, they know where to get rid of it.”
To keep things moving, some companies use multiple drivers for the
same trip. The drivers rotate or sleep in shifts so that they don’t have
to park the truck over long-haul trips. “I can guarantee you, those
people rarely lose loads, because they are not unattended,” Hummel says.
Another popular method of theft is to take advantage of a network of
companies that bid on contracts to drive loads for clients – and then
take off with the cargo.
“Fraud is becoming a bigger part of it — all the online brokerage
stuff,” said Hummel. “The brokers put their loads out to be
sub-brokered, and somebody will bid on that load. They end up winning
the bid, they pick it up, they are a fictitious company, and your load’s
just been stolen.”
One of the primary ways to combat cargo theft is to report it, Hummel
says. IBC’s investigative services division has been operating the
Cargo Theft Reporting program since 2014. Many occurrences of cargo
crime go unreported by vendors, IBC notes, because transport companies
do not want their insurance premiums to increase if they report a loss.
When cargo has been reported stolen, police have been able to recover
the load with a fair degree of success, considering that organized
crime rings are able to sell loads quickly, Hummel says.
In 2017, the IBC cargo unit issued 1,632 alerts of thefts to law
enforcement. Of those, 445 involved cargo. The value assigned to the
stolen merchandise was over $46 million. As for recoveries last year,
law enforcement was able to recover 223 loads at a value of over $17
Thieves aren’t discriminating about the loads they sell off, although
organized criminals involved in cargo theft like to target grocery or
food products. These are the easiest products to offer for resale
quickly and efficiently.
That said, with non-perishable products such as brand-name products,
the thieves can afford to keep the product stored somewhere and try and
negotiate a better price for the load. If it’s a brand-name product,
they know somebody is going to buy. “They can unload that trailer into a
warehouse and they can keep that property,” Hummel says.
IBC’s Cargo Theft Reporting program is still relatively new, so it
will take some time to establish enough baseline information about
thefts to be able to identify whether there are any trends up or down.
OTA implores government to include truck drivers in nominee pilot program
TORONTO, Ont. — The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) is
asking the provincial government to remember truck drivers as it reviews
its stance on how it classifies certain occupations under the Ontario
Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).
Historically, Ontario has restricted the use of the OINP – which
allows workers to be brought in with permanent resident status – to
occupations classified in NOC skill level A, B and 0.
With truck drivers being classified as NOC ‘C’, the Ontario trucking
industry has had very limited access to this program since it was
founded. However, the government has launched a limited trial pilot
being conducted with a few select NOC ‘C’ occupations in the
construction and agriculture sectors.
The Ontario Trucking Association has written to Ontario Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese, asking whether trucking
could also be eventually considered since it is currently experiencing
an acute driver shortage.
Since the next opportunity to change this classification does not
arise until 2021, the OTA said it is asking the government to include
truck drivers as part of the ‘In-Demand Skills’ stream pilot of the
“While the industry remains committed to our longer-term goal of
moving from NOC C to B, access to the OINP could play an important role
for some Ontario carriers to bridge their current labour shortage,” said
OTA Jonathan Blackham, director of policy and public affairs.
OTA emphasized how trucking is grappling with a shortage of professional workers unparalleled by most industries.
“Unlike other industries, such as manufacturing, truck driving is an
occupation that cannot be offshored or shipped overseas. Overall, demand
for trucking remains strong, with the industry’s share of the total
transportation sector only growing. As well, with one of the oldest
workforces in the country, the trucking industry is facing a
‘demographic tsunami,’” the letter points out.
Trucking Industry Stakeholders Call for Canadian Govt’s to Move Quickly on ELDs
TORONTO, March 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Teamsters
Canada, the Private Motor Truck of Canada and the Canadian Trucking
Alliance are calling on governments to move quickly in the
implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. The major
groups representing trucking interests across Canada are asking the
federal and provincial governments to all commit to a process that would
see a publication of the final rule by June 2018 and the ELD rule
enforced in each province by December 2019.
The three groups believe the safety benefits of
ELDS cannot be delayed and that an 18-month transition will allow
industry and governments to properly transition to the mandate.
The groups issued the following mutual public statement:
majority of carriers and drivers have and will always put safety first.
However, ELDs will end the supply chain encouraging and turning a
blind-eye to companies and drivers breaking hours of service rules to
meet shipment needs by falsifying paper log books. By forcing all
companies and drivers to obey federal hours of service rules we are
making Canada’s roads safer. As a result of ELDs, drivers and carriers
will be more compliant with HOS regulations, contributing to reduced
collisions and other negative activity associated with distracted
driving. We are encouraging all levels of government to expedite this
regulation through their legislative process by making it a top
Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) on Thursday raised its full-year revenue and truck delivery forecasts amid strong market demand.
truck maker said it now expects 2018 revenue in the range of $9.25
billion to $9.75 billion, compared with its previous guidance of $9
billion to $9.5 billion.
The company raised its forecast
for deliveries of Class 6-8 trucks and buses in the United States and
Canada to between 360,000 and 390,000 units, from 345,000 to 375,000
"We expect market conditions to remain robust and
we are determined to take advantage of opportunities to grow share
while delivering strong margin performance," Chief Executive Troy Clarke
said in a statement.
Orders for Class 8 semi-trucks in North America jumped more
than 76 percent in February as trucking companies rushed to add capacity
in a tight U.S. freight market, FTR, a company that tracks the
industry, said on Sunday.
Navistar also said revenue in
the truck business, the company’s biggest, jumped 21.8 percent to $1.25
billion in the first quarter.