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International Roadcheck in May to Focus on Driver Requirements
Trucking News

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck 2020 will take place May 5-7.

International Roadcheck is a three-day enforcement initiative, over a 72-hour period, in which commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is on the driver requirements category of a roadside inspection.

“With last year’s federal electronic logging device (ELD)  full-compliance mandate in the U.S., the Alliance decided that this year’s International Roadcheck would be the perfect opportunity to revisit all aspects of roadside inspection driver requirements,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.

During International Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors primarily conduct the North American Standard Level 1 Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes two main inspection categories: an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness. A third category, hazardous materials/dangerous goods, may also be part of a Level I Inspection. Depending on weather conditions, available resources or other factors, inspectors may opt to conduct the Level II Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection, Level III Driver/Credential/Administrative Inspection or Level V Vehicle-Only Inspection.

The vehicle inspection includes checking critical vehicle inspection items such as: brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat (missing), exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers.

If no critical vehicle inspection item violations are found during a Level I or Level V Inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection conducted by a CVSA-certified inspector. However, if a required rear impact guard is inspected during a Level I or Level V Inspection and violations are present, a CVSA decal will not be issued.

If an inspector does identify critical vehicle inspection item violations, he or she may render the vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. This means the vehicle cannot be operated until the vehicle violation(s) are corrected. A driver can also be placed out of service for driver credential-related issues or driver conditions, such as fatigue or impairment.

In the past, International Roadcheck usually took place during the first week of June. However, this year, International Roadcheck was moved up by one month, from June to May, when the weather may be more favorable for many jurisdictions.

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Driver critically injured in Highway 1 collision near Salmon Arm
Trucking News

A driver sustained serious injuries in a collision on Highway 1 west of Salmon Arm.

The collision occurred between Sunnybrae Canoe Point Road and Ford Road around 10:40 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7. RCMP report a transport truck entered the highway to proceed eastbound when a westbound vehicle with two occupants collided with the driver’s side of the trailer.

The driver of the westbound vehicle sustained critical injuries and was airlifted to hospital. Neither the passenger nor the truck driver were injured.

Following the collision, the highway remained closed in both directions for about two hours as emergency services personnel worked at accident scene.

The collision remains under investigation by Trans Canada East Traffic Services (Revelstoke), and anyone with related information who has not spoken with police is asked to call TCETS at 250-344-2221 and quote file 2020-567.

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ATA warns of potential disruptions after DHS cross-border decision
Trucking News

Drivers no longer able to register for expedited travel through the border in New York.

Backups and slowdowns for trucks moving between New York state and Canada could soon result from a decision by the Trump administration to no longer enroll or renew New York-licensed drivers in its Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program, according to the American Trucking Associations.

Initiated after 9/11, FAST allows expedited processing for commercial drivers who have completed the necessary background checks and is open to truck drivers from the United States, Canada and Mexico. It is one of four Trusted Traveler Programs (TTPs) meant to speed cross-border movement among the three countries.

However, under a decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), residents of New York state are no longer eligible to enroll or renew their registrations TPPs, including FAST. The decision, issued on Wednesday, is in response to a law enacted last year in the state allowing individuals to obtain driver’s licenses regardless of their immigration status.

According to a letter from DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), because the New York law prevents DHS from accessing the state’s DMV records to determine if a TTP applicant is eligible, “New York residents will no longer be eligible to enroll or re-enroll in [Customs and Border Patrol’s] Trusted Traveler Programs,” Wolf asserted.

According to DHS, almost 30,000 commercial truck drivers are enrolled in the FAST program at four New York-Canada ports of entry.

“While the immediate impact of this change is unclear, the longer it remains in place, the more the potential for issues at the border and our level of concern will increase,” the ATA said in a statement to FreightWaves.

“Commercial clearance programs like FAST are designed to make border crossings more efficient, and disruption to that will change traffic patterns at ports of entry, which may increase delays and congestion at the border. If drivers are prevented or dissuaded from using FAST lanes it will create delays and force CBP to compensate in order to keep traffic moving.”

Democrats in Congress pushed back against DHS as well, contending that the department was using invalid concerns about security to retaliate against New York state’s immigration policies.

“To be clear, applicants already submit their passport, proof of residence, and fingerprints – and submit to a background check and interview. A driver’s license is not even required to apply,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, in a statement.

“Trusted Traveler programs exist to improve security and travel efficiency, and barring access for millions of Americans will only undermine those goals. Congress needs to respond to this abuse of power — we will not stand by while this Administration repeatedly plays politics with our homeland security.”

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Trump’s ‘new NAFTA’ deal seen as a positive for cross-border trucking activity
Trucking News
vehicles at border crossing

USCMA, which replaces the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, is expected to spur investment in Mexico and help bolster cross-border freight movement.

Out with the old, and in with the new.

The 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement has been scrapped and replaced with an updated trade pact between the U.S. and North American neighbors Canada and Mexico. Congress ratified the pact and President Donald Trump signed it into law late last month.

Simply dubbed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal is largely seen as a positive for U.S. truckers and for cross-border freight movement — in large part by ending the lingering uncertainty surrounding trade with North American trade partners Canada and Mexico since negotiations began in 2017.

“Perhaps one of the most important things with USMCA is we’re going to avoid irrational tariff activity that could significantly disrupt freight movement at both borders,” says Kenny Vieth, president and senior analyst at ACT Research. The deal “makes tweaks to the existing paradigm,” rather than opting for a “whole new way of doing business,” he says.

In 2018, the most recent year for cross-border freight data, trucks moved $772 billion in goods between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That cross-border truck freight movement only stands to benefit from the new deal, says Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations.

“It’s not going to add freight volume overnight,” says Costello, “but in the long-run it will not only add to freight volume in North America, it will help keep freight here.”

One of the chief accomplishments of USMCA, says Costello, is updating NAFTA to prevent the trade pact from going stale. “My concern prior to USMCA was, if we don’t have a modern trade agreement with our two largest trade partners, you could see some of that production leaving North America and going other places,” such as southeast Asia, he says. “If that were to happen, you would not get the truck freight movement across the border like we’re getting today.”

Additionally, the lingering trade dispute between the U.S. and China has spurred greater investment in manufacturing in Mexico, says Jason Seidl, managing director of airfreight and surface transportation at investment firm Cowen Inc. The USMCA deal will spur even more investment in Mexico, says Seidl, likely creating more cross-border freight activity.

Lastly, the USMCA deal retains the cross-border program instituted by NAFTA that allows Mexican-domiciled carriers to obtain operating authority in the U.S., which allows them to operate outside of the commercial border zone.

Though the deal includes provisions to allow the U.S. DOT to cap the number of Mexican carriers who receive authority or put a moratorium on granting authority to Mexican carriers, the annex only allows U.S. regulators to do so if they “determine that limitations are required to address material harm or the threat of material harm to U.S. suppliers, operators, or drivers,” according to the annex text.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) says no such material harm or threat of harm exists currently.

USMCSA retains the prohibition on Mexican carriers hauling freight between points in the United States. All loads must be cross-border loads.

The pact awaits approval by the Canadian government but has been ratified by Mexico and the U.S.

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Altruck wins top International Truck honor
Trucking News

KITCHENER, Ont. — Altruck International Truck Centres has won the International Truck Presidential Award.

The award, introduced in 2018, honors the top International dealerships that achieve the highest level of performance in a number of benchmarks, including customer satisfaction.

“This award is the highest honor an International dealer principal can achieve from the company,” said Mark Belisle, senior vice-president of distribution at Navistar.

He said Altruck is one of only 14 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada, which has earned this recognition in 2019.

“This award is a great honor for everyone at Altruck because it recognizes all the hard work and professionalism we bring to customers in the Ontario area,” said Ryan Kirby, dealer principal.

“Everyone at Altruck is dedicated to providing an outstanding customer experience.”

Altruck, a division of Kirby International Trucks, is a full-service International dealership serving customers in six locations across Ontario.

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5 Canadian Fleets Named TCA 20 ‘Best Fleets to Drive For’
Trucking News

OTA/CTA members Bison Transport, Challenger Motor Freight and Transpro Freight were named part of the 2020 Best Fleets to Drive For by the Truckload Carriers Association, in partnership with CarriersEdge.

The Best Fleets contest is based on driver surveys and interviews conducted by CarriersEdge and seeks to recognize for-hire trucking companies that provide the best workplace experience for drivers. To be considered for the program, fleets must operate at least 10 trucks and be nominated by one of their company drivers or owner-operators. The carriers were then evaluated on various categories, including compensation, benefits, performance management, professional development, advancement opportunities and more.

The other Canadian carriers to make the list were Fortigo Freight Services and Wellington Motor Freight.

Two overall winners — in small and large fleet categories — will be named during TCA’s annual convention March 1-3 in Orlando, Florida.

The full list of the 20 Best Fleets to Drive For are:

  • American Central Transport — Kansas City, Missouri (No. 247 on the CCJ Top 250)
  • America’s Service Line — Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Bison Transport — Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Boyle Transportation — Billerica, Massachusetts
  • Central Oregon Truck Company — Redmond, Oregon
  • Challenger — Cambridge, Ontario
  • — Etobicoke, Ontario
  • Fremont Contract Carriers — Fremont, Nebraska
  • FTC Transportation — Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Garner Trucking — Findlay, Ohio
  • Grand Island Express — Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Halvor Lines — Superior, Wisconsin
  • Load One Transportation & Logistics — Taylor, Michigan
  • Motor Carrier Service — Northwood, Ohio
  • Nussbaum Transportation Services — Hudson, Illinois
  • Prime Inc. — Springfield, Missouri
  • Thomas E. Keller Trucking — Defiance, Ohio
  • TLD Logistics Services — Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Transpro Freight Systems Limited — Milton, Ontario
  • Wellington Motor Freight — Aberfoyle, Ontario
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Refrigerated carrier to close for good by end of month
Trucking News
More than 300 truck drivers will be affected by the trucking company shut down.

Cold Carriers

Hundreds of truck drivers will be affected after a Florida-based trucking company shuts their doors for good by the end of February.

Multiple outlets have reported that Cold Carriers Logistics will permanently wind down operations in the next few weeks.

Cold Carrier Logistics operates approximately 350 trucks and employs around 450 workers.

Cold Carrier Logistics and several affiliated trucking companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2019.

Following the bankruptcy filing, the company was reportedly unable to secure a buyer by the deadline imposed by creditors.

Cold Carriers Logistics was formed after private equity firm KJM acquired several midsize regional carriers including Interide Transport, Gantt Trucking, Blue Sky Logistics, and Sunco Trucking and consolidated them into a single company.

According to the FMCSA’s SAFER website, Gantt Trucking operates 102 trucks, Interide Transport operates 136 trucks, and Sunco Trucking operates 159 trucks. Blue Sky Logistics operates about 30 trucks.

KJM Managing Director Ken Meister described the company’s acquisition strategy in a 2018 interview with Business View Magazine: “… I came to understand that there are a lot of mid-sized, family-owned companies that have not invested in technology for efficiencies, processes, financial reporting, and accounting functions but still have an instinctively well-run business where they know the industry and have been successful for decades. We believed that if we got involved, we could bring our expertise in finance and technology to improve and grow the business through those infrastructure investments.”

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Testing of e-documents for dangerous goods shipments underway
Trucking News

OTTAWA, Ont. – Transport Canada has begun testing the use of electronic documents for dangerous goods shipments, the federal agency announced on its website.

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations currently requires a physical paper shipping document to follow most dangerous goods while they are in transport.

The documents include information on the goods being transported and give first responders the information they need to respond to incidents when they occur.

“Unfortunately, paper documents can be lost or destroyed, which can cause delays in emergency response,” Transport Canada said.

It said electronic documents offer a number of potential benefits, as they can be:

  • Easier to read;
  • Simpler to update;
  • Quicker to share with emergency responders;
  • Integrated with other digital business processes;
  • More flexible and able to give Canadian businesses a competitive edge; and
  • Aligned with international regulations.

The two-year project will look at using electronic documents across four modes of transportation: air, marine, rail, and road.

“No specific technology or system will be imposed by this project, because we are interested in evaluating a variety of platforms and technologies,” Transport Canada said.

The agency is looking for carriers, shippers, first responders, enforcement personnel and other stakeholders to participate in the project. They can do so by submitting feedback or completing questionnaires.

More details are available here.

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Annual private fleet survey open for input
Trucking News

MILTON, Ont. – The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) has launched its fourth-annual private fleet benchmarking survey as it looks to gather deeper insights into those who use trucks to support other core business activities.

The group has partnered with the U.S.-based National Private Truck Council (NPTC) on the research for the past three years, re-introducing the Canadian-specific surveys that had been absent since 2011.

“The NPTC has been producing a private fleet benchmark survey in the U.S.A. annually since 2005, and by partnering with them again the PMTC feels it is guaranteeing another quality and highly respected report,” said PMTC president Mike Millian.

This year, the focus will also include questions about youth employment.

Questions and results are reviewed by Canadian operators.

Members of PMTC receive the results for free, through a sponsorship with the Ontario Truck Driving School, and can also order customized reports to compare their results to industry benchmarks.

A broad overview of results will be provided during the council’s annual conference on June 11, while the full report will be distributed June 12.

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Annual Roadcheck inspection May 5-7; focus on drivers
Trucking News

You’ve got a bit more than 90 days to get ready for the annual intense, three-day inspection blitz of commercial vehicles across North America. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s today announced this year’s International Roadcheck will take place May 5-7.

And, fair warning, inspectors are going to focus on driver requirements including, among other things:

  • current valid CDL and DOT medical certificate
  • record of duty status
  • no drugs or alcohol
  • seat belt use
  • proof of insurance
  • evidence of periodic inspections

(You can see the entire list here.)

“With last year’s federal electronic logging device full-compliance mandate in the U.S., the alliance decided that this year’s International Roadcheck would be the perfect opportunity to revisit all aspects of roadside inspection driver requirements,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.

In the past, Roadcheck usually took place during the first week of June. However, this year, it was moved up by one month, from June to May, when the weather may be more favorable for many jurisdictions, according to the CVSA statement.

During Roadcheck, CVSA-certified inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes two main inspection categories: an examination of driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness, according to a statement from the alliance. A third category, hazardous materials/dangerous goods, may also be part of a Level I Inspection.

According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s fiscal 2019 data (as of Dec. 27, 2019), of the 3.36 million inspections conducted, 944,794 driver violations were discovered, of which 195,545 were out-of-service conditions.

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CTA to be Part of the National Task Force Reviewing Commercial Insurance
Trucking News

Commercial insurance is a popular topic among those in the trucking industry and other commercial sectors in the economy. In response to the increasing attention pertaining to commercial insurance, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) has formed the National Commercial Insurance Task Force, with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) being a key member.

The Task Force will begin meetings this month in Alberta and travelling across the rest of the country in the Winter-Spring of 2020. The IBC Task Force has a mandate to:

  • Educate and inform consumers, governments and stakeholders on the factors contributing to the current availability and affordability challenges with commercial insurance;
  • Learn from different industry partners, consumers and stakeholders about their experiences related to challenges around insurance availability and affordability;
  • Develop a report with recommendations that aim to improve insurance availability and affordability for industry partners, consumers and stakeholders.

“The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) thanks and applauds IBC for taking leadership on this issue and establishing this process,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “This is an opportunity to explore with the insurance industry what changes the membership would like to see in the area of commercial insurance.”

In preparation for this process, CTA has begun surveying its membership on potential areas for improvement they would like to see in commercial insurance.

“Early responses highlighted by members include issues related to insurance fraud, trucking sector specific issues, insurance personnel training, and length of claim process,” said CTA’s Senior VP Policy Geoff Wood. “Members will have an opportunity to be engaged in this process through CTA staff, or in some cases more directly by attending regional meetings of the Task Force. Either way we encourage the membership to get involved.”

To learn more about this important initiative, please click here.

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‘Extreme’ language emerging in trucking contracts
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – Contracts define responsibilities in any business relationship. But Rui Fernandes is seeing a growing number of documents using “extreme” language that favors shippers.

“They’re trying to transfer all liability to the other side, whether it’s the carrier or another vendor,” said the Fernandes Hearn partner, during the firm’s annual conference in Toronto.

“The verdicts can exceed insurance coverage or even the amount of the company, especially in the U.S.”

The troublesome contract language can come in many forms: An exclusion of liability; limitation of liability; indemnification clauses; insurance clauses; a lack of any need to salvage cargo after a collision; on-time performance clauses and penalties. And when the examples are particularly extreme, he advises clients not to sign the documents.

Review shipper-carrier contracts

The trend has him cautioning fleets to take a closer look at all their contracts.

References to “full indemnity”, for example, transfer all liability for damage to the motor carrier, even when an incident results from the shipper’s negligence. Damage that’s linked to inadequate packaging is an example of that, he said.

While more than 34 states have passed “anti-indemnification” language that nullifies such contract clauses, there is no such protection in Canada.

“It might breach an insurance policy you have,” he said.

Rather than seeing phrases like “the carrier shall hold and save harmless and shall indemnify the shipper for any and all damages”, he’d rather see “the carrier shall hold and save harmless and shall indemnify the shippers from any losses or damages arising from the negligence of the carrier.”

“Some of the clauses will say you are responsible for any consequential damages, loss of profits, loss of good will. Essentially, all costs,” Fernandes said. “If you agree to it, it’s hard to anticipate what those consequential losses will be.”

In a business relationship like that, judges can differ when deciding whether a carrier is limited to paying $2 per pound or $250,000 for the full value of the load. Insurance extension clauses also require a fleet’s insurer to cover everything.

“No subrogation” clauses, meanwhile, limit the ability to chase after a shipper’s affiliates and subcontractors who may have actually been responsible for the damage.

Defining jurisdictions can make a difference of its own. “If you don’t have a clause that says the law of Ontario applies or law of Canada applies, then you’re leaving things to chance,” Fernandes said. “What law has the closest and most-real connection to the facts?”

The details matter. Thirty years ago, the preamble of many contracts included an array of statements of facts, each identified with its own “whereas”. Those disappeared as courts pushed for plain language in contracts. But they have returned because the statements clearly identify intentions, he said.

“You’ve given the court a grounding … The contract can be properly interpreted if there’s an issue.”

Arbitration as a solution

One positive change that he’s seen has come in the form of an increase in arbitration clauses that offer an alternative to pricy litigation.

The court system is expensive and slow, Fernandes said, referring to cases that can drag on for years. Each step introduces an extra cost. A filing fee and serving fee can be $1,000; the claim of defence 43,500; examinations for discovery $10,000; mediation $5,000; pre-trial work is $5,000; and the trial itself $15,000.

An arbitrator might cost $4,000 per day along with another $3,500 for the lawyer. “But the average case, even for multi-million cases, is no more than five days,” he said. “It’s confidential. It’s speedy.”

The awards can also be enforced anywhere in the world. Those who draft the clauses simply need to define what Act applies, where the arbitration will take place. The latter point can be particularly important if a shipper defines a jurisdiction known for large verdicts against businesses.

“For commercial you should be using arbitration in all contracts,” he said.

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What are the most profitable trucking jobs in 2020?
Trucking News

Trucking can be a lucrative career. Drivers can make upwards of $60,000 a year, depending on their load type, mileage, licensing and experience. Whether you’re interested in joining the industry or are experienced and looking for new work, you probably want to know what the best driving jobs are.

Many of the highest-paying trucking jobs involve moving dangerous or difficult loads or navigating riskier terrain. Generally speaking, the more skill required to do a job, the higher it will pay. If you have the right experience and certifications, there are many valuable opportunities in the trucking business.

Here are nine of the highest-paying jobs in trucking you may consider.

1. Ice road trucking

Ice road truckers can earn between $30,000 and $40,000 in just three months, making them some of the highest-paid drivers there are. However, this impressive salary comes at a cost. Ice road trucking can be a dangerous job.

These truckers drive across frozen roads in northern Canada to deliver goods to miners in winter. Given the danger of these roads, the drivers who navigate them must be highly qualified. Different shipping companies have varied qualifications, but most truckers who apply for these positions don’t get the job.

If you do have the right qualifications and get hired, ice road trucking, although seasonal, can be notably lucrative.

2. Hazmat hauling

Another more dangerous but profitable trucking job is hazmat hauling. Hazmat trucking involves transporting hazardous materials such as gases, flammable liquids or corrosive substances. These volatile loads require extra care to deliver safely, so drivers are compensated well.

If this is what you want to do, you’ll need hazmat endorsement on top of your CDL. This requires an application and passing a test, but many companies will pay for you to get certified since these drivers are in demand.

3. Tanker hauling

Liquids don’t have to be hazardous for you to get paid well for shipping them. While some tanker drivers do haul dangerous liquids, some deliver things like water or milk. A significant amount of any fluid can be difficult to transport, which is why tanker truckers earn $60,000 a year on average.

To drive a tanker truck, you’ll need one of two certifications: an N endorsement or an X endorsement. An N endorsement qualifies you to drive loads of 1,000 gallons or more. An X endorsement includes an N endorsement and a hazmat certification.

4. Oversized load hauling

Another trucking job requiring additional certifications is oversized load hauling. These truckers deal with extra large loads, such as shipping heavy construction equipment or even small houses. Unsurprisingly, pulling these enormous payloads requires a high level of skill, which is why oversized load truckers get competitive pay.
Oversized load truckers make an average of more than $54,000 a year, and can even make six figures with the right experience, company and drive time.

5. Luxury car hauling

It stands to reason that the more expensive your cargo, the more it pays to deliver it. This is undoubtedly the case with luxury cars, as truckers transporting them can earn $100,000 annually under the right circumstances.
Hauling expensive cars is an understandably meticulous job. While you don’t need any certifications to perform this job, you do need to have demonstrable skills. Companies will likely not hire you for this kind of trucking unless you have an impressive driving record.

6. Team driving

To shorten shipping times, many companies hire drivers in pairs. In team driving, one person takes the wheel while the other sleeps, allowing them to travel longer distances in shorter periods. These positions often pay more than solo jobs due to the higher mileage.

Team driving jobs are widely available and offer competitive pay, but may not be ideal for everyone. The long stretches away from home may be unappealing. If you don’t get along well with your partner, it can be an unnecessarily stressful job.

If you don’t mind being in close quarters with others or being on the road a lot, team driving can be a profitable career.

7. Owner-operator jobs

Although most truckers work directly for a larger trucking company, this isn’t the only way to make a living as a driver. Owner-operators own their trucks and trailers, instead of using equipment belonging to the company, and can either operate independently or lease to another company. This independence comes with higher expenses, but could also pay more.

Most owner-operators have been in the trucking business for several years before becoming independent. Owning your equipment means having to pay maintenance costs out of pocket, which may be an unattractive prospect to some drivers.

If you can handle the initial expenses, becoming an owner-operator can pay enough that maintenance becomes less of an issue.

8. Private fleets

Many businesses use shipping services offered by trucking companies, but some large corporations hire their own drivers. Because they don’t have to pay shipping companies, these private fleets can often afford to pay their drivers a higher salary.

Not only are these jobs lucrative, but they’re also readily available. Walmart employs more truck drivers than any other company, with more than 8,000 truckers on its payroll. Private fleets often expect more out of their drivers, such as a cleaner driving record, but offer tempting pay.

9. Mining industry trucking

Mining companies require talented drivers to take material such as coal safely out of the mines and up to the surface. Sudden movements or bumps could potentially lead to a collapse, so these jobs can be risky. Because of this, mining truck jobs tend to pay well, often falling just behind ice road truckers in terms of compensation for specific tasks.

Find the best driving job for you

Most of the best-paying trucking jobs involve danger or more challenging work. If you’re willing to take on the challenges, there are plenty of profitable positions available.

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Driver Inc. consequences ‘significant’, says transportation lawyer
Trucking News

TORONTO, Ont. – An Ontario-based transportation lawyer is warning carriers to “proceed with extreme caution” if they are using the ‘Driver Inc.’ business model – a structure that attempts to classify employed drivers as independent contractors.

“The consequences to the carrier of engaging Driver Inc. are significant,” said Carole McAfee Wallace of Toronto-based Fernandes Hearn, during a presentation at the firm’s annual conference in Toronto.

Drivers working under this business model are under the misconception that the structure will leave more money in their pockets, she said. “They’re not a corporation with the expenses as write-offs.” Instead, the Canada Revenue Agency would define them as personal service businesses and will tax accordingly

It has admittedly left carriers in an uncomfortable position, McAfee Wallace said, noting that some operations feel they are “held hostage” as valuable recruits ask for the pay structure. Meanwhile, the “less-honorable” carriers among them are using the business model to avoid paying employee benefits or vacation pay.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), responding to questions raised by the Ontario Trucking Association, has confirmed the Driver Inc. personnel are in fact employees, McAfee Wallace stressed. And in the case of federally regulated carriers they will be entitled to all benefits established under the Canada Labour Code.

The observations come as the federal government is preparing to roll out fines and other enforcement initiatives to act on those who run afoul of the rules. Targeted carrier inspections are also planned.

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Drivers not slowing down and moving over, putting others at risk
Trucking News

WorkSafeBC clearly promotes a worker’s right to refuse unsafe work, be it on a worksite or along our highways.

The Workers Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act defines what needs to happen if this right is invoked.

On top of this, Canada has the Motor Vehicle Act, to be enforced by the police in any given area.

Under this act there is a law, known as Slow Down, Move Over, which states drivers must reduce their travelling speed, to 70 km/h if the posted speed is more than 80 km/h, for all vehicles stopped alongside the road that have flashing red, blue or yellow lights.

I say posted speed because most drivers add at least 10 km/h to the posted speed.

Drivers are also required to change lanes if safe to do so.

So why is it a tow truck driver was recently seriously injured in Malakwa one night after being struck by a vehicle traveling on a four-lane highway in a snowstorm?

I need to share my humble conclusions of driver mentality driving through our mountains.

You are in too much of a hurry and our highway is not a racetrack.

It is your responsibility to watch for any warning lights of roadside workers.

Under the law, you are required to slow down to 70-km/h.

I suggest in a snowstorm, or when passing through the mountains, that you slow down some more — there is no law against it.

Forget your phone and drive defensively if you are in a mountains snowstorm.

Even our local police complain our Slow Down, Move Over law is not respected. There is not enough manpower to sit at every roadside worksite.

This law came into effect in 2009 and was ratified in 2015. The time for education is over.

Roadside workers, tow truck drivers, service providers, be it phone, hydro or road construction and maintenance — refuse unsafe work.

Demand traffic control at your job site. Do nothing until proper controls are in place to keep you, your equipment and other road users from harm.

It’s the law.

Pass the cost of proper traffic control services to your client.

Proper use of traffic control services in this instance would have given more than a kilometre of warning, reduced traveling speed and shifted oncoming traffic safely into the other lane and provide a buffer vehicle.

Accidents are preventable.

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Illinois officials warn drivers about 10 month interstate closure
Trucking News

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is warning drivers to find alternate routes around a major interstate closure that begins this weekend and will continue through most of 2020.

Starting on February 1, 2020, a seven mile stretch of I-255 in the metro St. Louis area will be shut down for a rehabilitation and resurfacing project, IDOT says. The closure will take place between Collinsville Road and Route 15.

The project is projected to finish in about 10 months to allow the reopening of I-255 on November 24, 2020.

IDOT says that the total closure of both directions of the interstate (instead of carrying out the project in stages) will reduce the project completion time to 10 months instead of 4 years and will protect road workers from traffic. It is also expected to save taxpayers $14 million.

The project is expected to cost $64 million.

For detour maps from IDOT, click here.

For more information on the interstate closure, please click here.

You can also follow IDOT on Facebook for the latest updates on the closure.

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Trucker in hospital after being shot in his truck in Mayerthorpe, Alta.
Trucking News

Victim taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after shooting early Tuesday

A 50-year-old trucker is recovering in hospital after being shot while sitting in his parked tractor-trailer early Tuesday in Mayerthorpe.

Mayerthorpe RCMP were called about a shooting in an industrial area at Highway 43 and 50th Street around 1:30 a.m., police said in a news release Tuesday.

RCMP said the trucker, from Sangudo, Alta., was sitting alone in his parked truck when an unknown suspect or suspects shot at the vehicle and then drove off.

The trucker was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. He remains in hospital in serious but stable condition, police said.

The suspect vehicle is believed to be a dark-coloured Dodge Ram pick-up truck.

Mayerthorpe RCMP and RCMP Forensic Identification Services are investigating.

Anyone who may have seen the suspect vehicle in the area at the time is asked to contact RCMP.

Mayerthorpe is about 140 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

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Penner International To Keep On Trucking Under New Leadership
Trucking News

The day-to-day operations of Penner International will not be changing even though they have been purchased by the sixth-largest trucking company in Canada.

On Monday, it was announced that a Quebec Incorporation called C.A.T. Global had bought the Steinbach firm with the hope of further extending its reach into western Canada. Penner International President Allan Penner says, as he begins considering his retirement, he wanted to pass the company off to one with similar values and ambition. He believes C.A.T. is that company.

“I was hoping to be able to sell to someone who believes in and instills family culture and treats their employees with respect,” says Penner, “and I wanted to ensure that whoever would be my successor had proven experience to grow our business. C.A.T. will be a very good fit for Penner International.”

On the outside, Penner notes, everything will appear the same; current branding will remain and all employees will be encouraged to stay. The only difference for Steinbach will be more available jobs. Penner says additional staff and trucks will be needed as the company continues to expand.

This transition will bring Penner International’s 97-year reign as a family-owned business to a close. C.A.T., meanwhile, has been family owned and operated since its inception 40 years ago and has been recognized as one of Canada’s best-managed companies for five years in a row. With this in mind, Penner feels they are in good hands.

“We are very pleased that C.A.T. saw the potential in our business and chose to acquire our company. We look forward to focusing on new growth and being part of this new team.”

Penner says he will continue serving as president of the Steinbach division for the time being.

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Watch for autonomous trucks being tested in Texas, NM
Trucking News

If you truck through Texas and/or New Mexico, expect to share the roads with some tractor-trailers equipped with experimental autonomous technology.

Waymo tweeted late last week that it will begin testing its trucks in these states, saying highways there are “interesting and promising commercial routes.”

TuSimple, another truck tech company, has tested its autonomous vehicles in Texas and New Mexico, especially along Interstate 10.

Waymo is part of the Alphabet conglomerate, which is the parent company of Google.

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Canadian truck driver who shares last name with Iranian general says he can'
Trucking News

A Canadian truck driver says he's worried about his livelihood after he was denied entry to the United States by border guards who questioned him about his last name — one he happens to share with an assassinated Iranian general.

Babak Soleimani is a Canadian citizen who left Iran in 2009. He says he has no connection, familial or otherwise, to Qasem Soleimani, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general who was killed on Jan. 3 in U.S. drone strike.

"I tried to explain it for U.S. border [guards], and I want to explain it for you — this is a very popular last name in [the] Middle East," Soleimani told As It Happens host Carol Off. 

"I'm a truck driver. I'm not part of any government. I'm not a part of any political system."

Questioned about his name, military record and opinions 

The Toronto resident has been working for a cross-border shipping company for the last four years and says he's never had any trouble crossing the border before this month.

But on Jan. 10, he says he was stopped at the crossing between Windsor, Ont., and Detroit, Mich., where he was held for seven hours and questioned repeatedly about his name, before being denied entry and sent back to Canada.

"The worst thing is that my wife, she was very worried about me," he said. 

I have a newborn girl and that's the big problem for us right now. I'm worried for her. She got my last name too."​​​​​

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed in an email that Soleimani was "deemed inadmissible and was refused entry into the United States" at the Detroit crossing on Jan. 10, but did not say why.

"Applicants must demonstrate they are admissible into the U.S. by overcoming all grounds of inadmissibility including health-related grounds, criminality, security reasons, public charge, labour certification, illegal entrants and immigration violations, documentation requirements, and miscellaneous grounds," CBP said.

Soleimani showed As It Happens his Notice of Refusal of Admission slip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which also says that he was denied entry without citing a reason. 

The Canada Border Services Agency declined to comment, directing questions to the CBP.

According to an email from a U.S. border officer obtained by CBC News, U.S. border officers working at multiple Canada-U.S. border crossings were instructed to target and interrogate Iranian-born travellers in early January.


Soleimani says U.S. border agents took away his phone and passport. Then, he says a man who was not wearing a uniform questioned him about his last name, his Iranian military record and his political opinions. 

Soleimani says he served two years in the Iranian military when he was 18, which is mandatory in Iran.

But he says he hasn't had any contact with the Iranian military since. In fact, he says he left the country to get away from the Iranian regime, of which he was an outspoken opponent.

"I am a Canadian. When I'm going anywhere. I'm going to introduce myself [as] Canadian," he said. "I thought that I'm escaping Iran, I'm running from all madness in Iran."


When the agents asked him his opinion about the ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States, Soleimani says he told them that Trump ordering the execution of Gen. Soleimani led to Iran shooting down Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 on Jan. 8.

Of the 176 passengers and crew killed, 57 were Canadian citizens and 29 were permanent residents.

"I answered them honestly," he said. "Maybe that's my fault."

A newborn at home 

Soleimani says he hoped this incident at the border was an outlier. But when he tried to cross again the next day between Port Erie, Ont., and Buffalo, N.Y., he says he was turned away by two men who identified themselves as FBI agents and told him not to return to the United States. 

Now he says he's worried about his employment prospects in the future.

"I cannot cross the border," he said. "They try to keep me as a local driver around Toronto, but definitely I cannot make the same money I make before. But I have no idea about [the] future and how long they can keep me like this."

Soleimani's employer, a cross-border shipping company, did not respond to a request for comment.

In the meantime, he says he's most worried about his family. 

"I have a newborn girl and that's the big problem for us right now," he said. "I'm worried for her. She got my last name too."

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Old Articles

Wednesday, January 29
· Ford recalling nearly 90,000 pickup trucks in Canada over tailgate issue
· Quebec truck driver injured after ice smashes through his windshield
· Yukon truck driver avoids moose, hits ditch, spills fuel
· Roadcheck 2020 to Focus on Driver Inspections
· Pre-approved extraordinary permit project just a start, says BCTA
· CTA calls for new steps to ease driver shortage
Thursday, January 23
· Shelburne County company receives safety excellence award from NSTSA
· 30 cows dead after crash involving 2 semi-trucks south of Edmonton
· Ice flying off transport truck shatters GO bus windshield on Hwy. 401
· This kitten survived a two-hour drive in a truck engine

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