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ON – Planned changes to the Federal Excise Tax (FET) on diesel fuel
would eliminate exemptions for Temperature Control Units like reefers,
Auxiliary Power Units, bunk heaters, and Power Take-Off units. And that
threatens annual refunds of $800 to $1,000 per tractor-trailer as of
July 1, according to the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA).
“I am extremely disappointed,” says chairman Gene Orlick. “The
decision to drop this rebate is because another industry [airlines]
abused the system, making unique claims for lighting and other
electricity in their operations.”
When the Federal Excise Tax was first added to diesel in 1982, it was
only meant to be applied to transportation fuel, according to a CTA
briefing note citing new language in the federal budget's Notice of Ways
and Means Motion.
“Excise taxes are generally intended to be imposed on luxury products
such as jewelry, tobacco and alcohol. Excise taxes are not meant to
increase the cost of basic provisions such as food, pharmaceuticals and
shelter,” the CTA adds. “Eliminating FET refunds on temperature
controlled and PTO units will increase the transportation cost of the
food and other important products Canadian families rely on.”
The fuel used to heat a building that stores such goods will not be
subject to the tax. Put the storage on wheels and it’s a different
story. And while the diesel used to control in-cab temperatures will be
affected, the fuel used for residential heating or generating
electricity will not. “For many truck drivers who drive across the
continent, their truck cabin is their shelter and home,” CTA says. “The
proposed amendments will result in diesel fuel used in APUs [Auxiliary
Power Units] being subjected to the FET. This is wrong.”
While the Canada Revenue Agency struggled to audit the claims made by
other industries, equipment like that cited by CTA has separate fuel
tanks and meters, making auditing possible.
“If there are problems with a particular sector and technologies,
[the Department of] Finance should identify them and impose sanctions
directly on those sectors, rather than lump in trucking under a blanket
policy,” the CTA briefing note says.
Volvo to pay BC trucking couple $4.8M from negligence suit
VANCOUVER, BC — A British Columbia Supreme Court has awarded a
husband and wife trucking team more than $4.8 million from a lawsuit
that alleged negligence from Volvo Trucks. The claim was in relation to
an electrical system failure that occurred on a Manitoba highway in
According to the court’s judgment, trucking couple Amandeep Hans and
his wife, Pavandeep, of Surrey, B.C., lost all electrical power,
including headlights, interior lights and power steering in their 2009
The trailer swayed wildly and eventually jackknifed on the Trans-Canada Highway.
June 23 court documents
describe the scene further: “Sparks began to fly amid the sound of
screaming tires as the landing gear of the trailer scraped along the
highway. The trailer jack-knifed and came towards the driver’s side of
the truck’s cab. The driver and his wife, who had been resting in a bunk
to the rear of the cab, both feared they would die.”
While the B.C.-based couple escaped serious physical injury, they claim that the incident has left severe psychological trauma.
The pair had been driving as a team since June 2005.
It was admitted by Volvo that the collision was caused by a loose nut on the cab positive terminal.
The Province of British Columbia was also awarded nearly $200,000 from Volvo to cover medical costs.
Second leg of Healthy Fleet Challenge begins July 1
LONDON, Ont. — Leg two of the 2016 Healthy Fleet Challenge is about to get underway July 1.
There will be a fresh leaderboard as the July walking challenge
begins. This year, organizers at Healthy Trucker broke the competition
up into three segments: May 1-May 31, July 1-July 31 and Sept. 1-Sept.
“In May, we saw Stream Logistics take the main title, and Elgin Motor
Freight took the title for teams with over 10 participants. Will they
be able to hold these titles, or will a new contender swoop in and take
over? We’ll have to wait and see!” organizers said.
Participants can track their steps using wearable technologies or by
using their smartphone. Healthy Trucker says many fleets provide or
partially reimburse employees for their devices, to encourage
Other fleets are providing prizes for their most active employees.
For instance, Harold Marcus of Bothwell, Ont. gives a paid day off to
one of its participants, which the company says increased participation.
For those who don’t have the ability to track their steps using a step
tracker or smartphone, a paper activity calendar is available at HealthyFleet.com. For more info, e-mail email@example.com.
OTTAWA — Canadian truckers fear a planned
new border security measure will steer them into a complicated maze of
U.S. law that dents their pocketbooks — or even creates immigration
The Liberal government recently introduced
legislation that would step up the exchange of information with
Washington about people crossing the Canada-U.S. border.
The system involves swapping entry
information collected from travellers at the land border, so that data
on entry to one country serves as a record of exit from the other.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance wants
assurances U.S. authorities won't use the data to unduly argue that
Canadian drivers are spending enough time south of the border to be
considered American residents for tax purposes.
"This could cause some truckers to exit the
market, creating potential capacity shortages in the transborder
trucking space," alliance president David Bradley warned Public Safety
Minister Ralph Goodale in a letter.
"There already is a chronic shortage of truck drivers in Canada."
Under the U.S. Internal Revenue Service's
"substantial presence test," a person can be subject to U.S. tax on
their worldwide income if they spend more than 120 days annually in the
United States, Bradley noted in the November letter, released under the
Access to Information Act.
Someone who spends more than 180 days in the
United States in any 12-month period could face sanctions for being
unlawfully present, he added.
The alliance, which represents some 150,000
workers, says a big part of the problem is that any portion of a 24-hour
period spent on U.S. soil might be chalked up as a day.
"If we count a few minutes to drop off a
load and go back as a day in the United States, that could lead to some
issues," Bradley said in an interview. "So it's a matter of
interpretation. And I think that we would like clarification."
The new system could mean "much more
administration" in terms of route planning for Canadian drivers wary of
surpassing the time thresholds, Bradley said.
"These things are all subject to appeal and
to review and interpretation. But once you get into those processes,
even if you're right, it's costly and time-consuming and really not
Canadians travelling to the United States
have always been responsible for complying with local obligations, said
Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Goodale.
"The federal government continues to work
with stakeholders to grow our economy and help Canadians do business,
and is open to discussing issues of concern to them."
Bradley hinted he has received some positive signals on the issue from Canadian officials.
"I think that, as a general rule, the
government of Canada understands certainly much better than the U.S.
federal government the economic imperative of trade facilitation versus
security. But this is the world we live in, and we're going to have to
see how things play out."
CALGARY, AB -- Ryder System has opened a new "state of the art" pre-owned truck sales facility in Calgary, at 4535 8A Street N.E.
The 7140-sq-ft shop, now open for business, sits on 1.78 acres of
land and will feature a reconditioning operation where pre-owned
vehicles are serviced. The operations included in this new facility were
previously located at a shared Ryder commercial rental location
elsewhere in the city. It will now solely service pre-owned commercial
vehicle sales customers.
“Ryder is committed to offering the greatest selection of pre-owned
commercial vehicles for sale at prices that make sense for our customers
in Canada,” said Michael Cagney, Ryder Canada director for asset
management. “As the Alberta market grows, we’ll grow with it. With our
new facility, we can provide customers in Alberta with more quality
pre-owned commercial vehicle options in a larger, more modern space that
is dedicated solely to their purchasing needs.”
A grand opening event will be held from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on
Wednesday, July 13, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m.
Refreshments and entertainment will be provided.
The new store will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00
p.m. It's conveniently located near the 32nd and Deerfoot intersection.
Ryder sells more than 17,000 vehicles a year from over 59 used truck centers across North America, including six in Canada.
Do you know a truck driving hero? The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
wants to hear the story. Goodyear is accepting nominations for its 34th
Highway Hero Award at the following website, www.goodyeartrucktires.com, through November 29. To nominate a truck driver for the Highway Hero Award, click on this link, fill out the nomination form, and hit the “submit” button, which will send your nomination directly to Goodyear.
The Goodyear Highway Hero Award was established in 1983 to honor
professional truck drivers who put themselves in harm’s way to help
Goodyear will announce the 34th Highway Hero Award winner next March
during the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.
This year’s Goodyear Highway Hero Award winner, Julian Kaczor, a
truck driver from Utica, N.Y., pulled a severely injured motorist from a
flame-engulfed car. Past Goodyear Highway Hero Award winners include a
truck driver who rescued a law enforcement officer who was being
strangled by a prisoner he was transporting, a driver who saved a woman
from a gun-wielding attacker, and others.
“For more than 30 years, the Goodyear Highway Hero Award has honored
professional truck drivers who put their lives on the line to help
others during the course of their daily work,” said Gary Medalis,
marketing director, Goodyear. “If you are aware of a truck driver who
deserves recognition for saving another person from a life-threatening
situation, please let us know.”
To be considered, Goodyear Highway Hero Award candidates must meet the following criteria:
Must be a full-time truck driver.
Must reside in the United States or Canada.
The heroic incident must have happened in the U.S. or Canada.
Nominee’s truck must have had 12 wheels or more at the time of the incident.
Nominee must have been on the job – or on the way to or from work, in his or her truck – at the time of the incident.
Incident must have taken place between Nov. 16, 2015, and Nov. 16, 2016.
A panel of trucking industry judges will ultimately select the 34th
Goodyear Highway Hero from a list of Goodyear Highway Hero Award
finalists. (Final approval of Goodyear Highway Hero Award
semi-finalists, finalists and the Highway Hero Award winner is at
Goodyear’s sole discretion. Finalists must clear background checks to
Distracted driving fines lead OPP's 'Operation Corridor'
ON — The Ontario Provincial Police’s June 16 Operation Corridor
crackdown on commercial trucks netted 52 distracted driving offences,
while officials with the Ministry of Transportation took 11 trucks out
OPP officials reported that when they pulled up alongside one truck
driver, the driver offered police a rude hand gesture while he spoke on
his cell phone. He was charged with distracted driving, a fine of
approximately $490 in Ontario.
Meanwhile, another truck driver, police said, received two cell phone violation in less than an hour during Operation Corridor.
Other notable statistics from the one-day blitz included two drug
seizures; 37 seatbelt charges; 15 speeding charges; two logbook
violations; and five fines for prohibited use of the left lane.
“These numbers are reflective of ongoing issues we see in collisions
involving CMV’s,” said OPP West Region Insp. Lisa Andersen.
Last week, the newly-created Canadian Coalition on Distracted
Driving wrapped up its first ever meeting, a two-day working session in Ottawa where it began work on creating a National Action Plan to combat distracted driving.
Maritime-Ontario adds 250 intermodal containers to fleet
BRAMPTON, Ont. — Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines has announced the purchase of 250 53-ft. domestic intermodal containers.
The addition includes 125 heated and 125 refrigerated containers,
with reefers supplied by Carrier Transicold. The company says the
containers will be deployed by the third quarter.
Each container comes with M-O’s captive beam logistic loading system
and ibright telematics, the company announced. This allows M-O and its
customers to monitor temperatures in real-time while goods are in
They were also spec’d with electric capabilities to reduce emissions.
ON — The days of basically being able to walk in off the street and
take a tractor-trailer test with no training whatsoever are over, said
Ontario Trucking Association head David Bradley, who stood by the
province’s Minister of Transportation Tuesday as he announced a new
driver training plan that aims to boost driver quality and abolish
so-called licensing mills.
Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, and OTA head David Bradley publicly announce MELT Tuesday in Brampton, ON.
Class A mandatory entry-level training, known as MELT, will kick in
for Ontario’s trucking industry on July 1, 2017, announced Minister
Steven Del Duca at a driving test centre in Brampton, ON. While full
details of the new standard will be released in the coming days, Del
Duca noted that the new training will take about four to six weeks to
complete, and that schools approved by the province will have one year
to shift their curriculum to the new provincial training standard.
The new standard is expected to encompass some 100 hours of training
for new drivers. Officials have suggested the standard will include 36.5
hours in the classroom, 17 hours in yard, 18 hours behind the wheel and
off the road, and 32 hours on the road. Another 12 hours of air brake
training is available, but won’t be mandated.
“These people are aspiring to enter a true profession that provides
foundational support for Ontario’s economy, and by raising the standard
[…] the government is recognizing that it’s important for us,” Del Duca
There is currently no Class A minimum training standard, which has
allowed some schools to teach students to pass licensing tests alone.
“In the old days it was, ‘thou shalt be able to back up,’ which
doesn’t provide a whole lot of direction,” said Bradley. “People have
been opting for the $300 special, and then wonder why they can’t get
The Ontario Trucking Association released a statement following the
announcement which addressed the perception that it’s self-defeating to
raise the bar on driver training and licensing at a time when the
industry is facing a long-term, chronic driver shortage. But Bradley
says the stricter training will in fact help the industry to attract
more, better qualified people to the occupation.
“Everyone, from the CTA Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver
Shortage, to the Conference Board of Canada, to just about everyone else
in the industry, has identified the fact that tractor-trailer driving
is erroneously classified as a low-skill occupation, which acts as a
barrier to attracting people to the job,” he said. “Mandatory entry
level training is an essential step in changing that perception and the
In terms of addressing the problem of licence shopping and swapping
through various jurisdictions, Bradley and Del Duca admitted there will
be some work to do.
Bradley said other jurisdictions are taking note of Ontario’s leadership on the MELT front.
“The interest level being generated in other provinces hasn’t existed before,” he said.
Private Motor Truck Council of Canada president Mike Millian echoed Bradley's interest in MELT moving beyond Ontario borders.
“I believe this standard has the real opportunity to be a trendsetter
and something that can hopefully be repeated at other jurisdictions
across this land," said Millian.
Andy Transport opens maintenance center in Boucherville
SALABERRY-DE-VALLEYFIELD, Que. – For the second time in six
months, Andy Transport has acquired a new maintenance center, this time
in Boucherville, Que.
The over 96,000 square foot, 18 bay location is the third to be
strategically placed in the proximity of Andy Transport’s terminals in
Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Montreal and now in Boucherville, each running
at full capacity and providing 24-hour full service maintenance.
Andy Transport has also entered into a partnership with Le Centre du Camion Ste-Marie, a distributor of Mack, Volvo and Isuzu.
“Due to the high demand of our clients, we decided to open the first
Mack dealership on the South Shore of Montreal,” said Marc Tardif,
president of Le Centre du Camion Ste-Marie. “We will be opening a full
service dealership with a sales and a service team for Mack, Volvo and
Llie Crisan, president of Andy Transport, said the partnership was not just strategic, but also a natural fit.
“They will occupy 12 truck bays and we will occupy the rest of the
building,” Crisan said. “It is another big step in our effort to lower
our fleet maintenance operating costs, while reducing the commute and
downtime of our drivers based out of the Boucherville terminal.”
“This new maintenance center enables us to provide an even better
support to our fleet in the South Shore area of Montreal,” added Daniel
Barbu, fleet manager of Andy Transport. “The acquisition and operation
of a first Andy paint shop represents a key milestone in the maintenance
and repair of our fleet. It gives us a competitive edge on the market.”
Trucker gets 10-year sentence for trying to smuggle cocaine and meth over border
A bankrupt trucker who smuggled $6 million worth of drugs into
Canada, in a desperate attempt to reverse his fortunes, was sentenced
Monday to 10 years in prison.
Wayne Douglas Rutherford, 63, who had been free on bail, was taken
into custody as his wife sobbed in the gallery of a Windsor courtroom.
“I know I broke the law, I know I made a mistake,” Rutherford, who is
from Colborne, Ont., told the judge before sentencing. “Most of my life
I never broke the law and I always tried to help my friends. I know I
made a mistake and I know I have to pay for it.”
Rutherford pleaded guilty in March to importing almost 47 kilograms
of cocaine and 17 kilograms of methamphetamine, as well as possession of
both drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The drugs combined had a
street value of more than $6 million.
Federal prosecutor Richard Pollock asked the judge to sentence
Rutherford to 14 years in prison. Rutherford’s Toronto lawyer, Joseph
Caprara, was asking for nine to 12 years.
Superior Court Justice Christopher Bondy said he believed Rutherford,
who has been married 30 years and has three kids, was motivated by
profit after losing his trucking business, two farms and his home to
The judge said it appeared Rutherford wasn’t smuggling the drugs in
search of some high-flying, glamorous lifestyle, but rather to regain
the life he had before his business went bankrupt.
Bondy also noted that Rutherford has expressed remorse and taken responsibility for his crime.
But Bondy added that a strong sentence was required for Rutherford,
who had no previous criminal record, because cocaine and meth have
“devastating effects” on users and society in general.
Rutherford is also facing drug conspiracy charges in Quebec and has said he intends to plead guilty there.
The trucker was caught Aug. 4, 2013 trying to cross the Ambassador
Bridge with the drugs hidden behind a false panel in the trailer of his
Court heard in March that Rutherford had driven to California with
friend Warren William Jeffrey, of St. Catharines. They were carrying a
load of PVC pipes manufactured in Ontario. Court heard they delivered
the pipes, then the drugs were loaded onto the truck in Sacramento.
The two friends also picked up a load of Montreal-bound tomatoes on
Aug. 2. Rutherford dropped Jeffrey off in Michigan as he headed to the
Border officers X-rayed the truck and spotted an anomaly. They took
out the tomatoes and found the false panel where the bricks of drugs
After the sentencing Monday, Pollock withdrew charges against
Jeffrey. When he pleaded guilty in March, Rutherford said his friend
didn’t know anything about the drugs.
Trucking HR Canada expands its efforts focusing on women in the industry
OTTAWA, Ont. – Trucking HR Canada has announced three new
resources – My Toolbox for Mentoring Women, Inventory of Resources and a
women in trucking video – as part of its Women With Drive initiative.
My Toolbox for Mentoring Woman is aimed at helping trucking
employees, association groups, female drivers and others learn practical
approaches to mentorship. It also includes three models – Online Peer
Networks, One-on-One Mentoring Partnerships and Local Women’s Events –
to accommodate various occupations, from drivers to office workers.
“Mentorship is a proven retention tool and we know that women in the
industry are looking for more mentorship opportunities,” said Angela
Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada. “In fact, when we surveyed women in
the industry, offering more mentorship opportunities was cited as one
of the top three things employers can do as a means of supporting
Inventory of Resources has information on organizations, programs and
networks supporting women, including links to programs focused on
training, leadership development, mentorship and online forums.
Finally, the women in trucking video attempts to promote career opportunities in the industry other than driving.
“We highlight all the positive aspects of working in trucking,” said
Splinter. “Supporting our goal in ensuring the industry attracts,
recruits and retains the skilled workforce it needs – and that includes
men and women.”
As I write this column, the news networks are
rightly dominated by coverage of another mass shooting in the US, this
time at an Orlando nightclub. It’s hard at times to comprehend the
hatred that exists in this world anymore.
On a smaller scale, it’s all around us, even within the
trucking industry. YouTube and Facebook and Twitter are full of shaming
videos and images directed at truck drivers. Sadly, many are even posted
by truck drivers. It seems just driving for the wrong company is enough
to earn you the scorn of your peers.
I was recently chatting with a friend who complained of
speeding trucks on Ontario’s Highways 11 and 17. He likes to stick to 90
km/h to maximize his fuel economy but he said the pressure from other
truck drivers to go faster is constant. The belligerence over the CB
radio has become little more than constant noise. Those airwaves used to
be reserved for good-natured conversation and helpful warnings of
potential hazards between drivers.
Fortunately, camaraderie is still on display at certain functions, even if you have to go look for it.
I spent a recent Saturday in Kitchener attending the
Central Ontario Regional Truck Driving Championships. You can read
coverage of that event, as well as the Toronto regionals, in this issue.
What’s refreshing about the championships is that while every driver
competes with hopes of winning, the support that exists among the
participants is incredible.
Drivers help each other prepare, share tips and advice and
root each other on. Back at their terminals they encourage new entrants
to join and often gather prior to the event to practice with one
another. Camaraderie is alive and well at the truck driving
championships and you can find such competitions from coast to coast
across Canada. It’s an event worth supporting.
Another event where camaraderie between drivers will be on
full display is coming up over the Canada Day long weekend. The
Clifford Antique Truck Show put on by the Great Lakes Truck Club will be
held in Clifford, Ont. July 1-3. What a great way to enjoy the long
This event brings together truck enthusiasts from all
over, and from multiple generations. They all share a passion for
classic trucks. And the organizers are strict about the show’s mission.
“Please no aerodynamic trucks newer than 1996,” they say on their
poster. “Only trucks with classic-styled hoods with exposed air cleaners
This diligence about remaining true to their roots is what
helps promote camaraderie at the event. Everyone who attends has a
shared interest in classic iron. As the event has grown, organizers have
resisted the urge to lose sight of their original purpose. The show
isn’t about shiny new trucks or big name music acts or making money.
General admission is $5. I hope to see you there.
No, camaraderie in trucking isn’t dead. You just need to know where to look for it.
Truck fire snarls traffic on Highway 401 near Woodstock, Ont.
Driver escapes without injury after vehicle goes up in flames
A deputy fire chief says a tractor trailor carrying food
products caught fire on Highway 401 near Woodstock, Ont., due to
"mechanical issues." (Colin Butler/CBC)
A tractor trailer that caught on fire caused a backup on the westbound lanes of Highway 401 in Blandford-Blenheim, Ont.
Kevin Harmer, deputy fire chief for the Blandford-Blenheim Township
Fire Department, told CBC News that fire officials got the call Sunday
at 9:40 a.m about a blaze located roughly 125 kilometres west of
He said a tractor trailer carrying food products caught on fire on
the highway due to "mechanical issues," adding that the driver was able
to get out safely and no injuries have been reported.
One lane is open at the scene but two right lanes are expected to be
closed for about three to four hours, according to Harmer, who added
traffic was backed up for several kilometres but should be clearing up
If you are in the stretch of highway approaching Woodstock, Ont., please be sure to move over for emergency vehicles.
Traffic was backed up for several kilometres
on the westbound lanes of Highway 401 after a truck fire Sunday in
Blandford-Blenheim, Ont. (Colin Butler/CBC)
Dicom partners for cross-border LTL and parcel service
IL — Quebec’s Dicom Transportation Group has partnered with U.S.-based
New Penn to include cross-border ground parcel services between the
northeastern U.S. and Canada.
On its website, Dicom states that 95% of its intra-country shipments
deliver next-day, and it expects 95% of cross-border shipments to
deliver on the second day.
“This partnership will offer both Dicom and New Penn customers a
seamless cross-border service with most lanes operating as a 24-hour
service,” announced Dicom CEO Scott Dobak.
Pennsylvannia-based New Penn is celebrating 85 years in transportation service.
Dicom previously announced the expansion of its parcel services into
the U.S., integrating the acquisition of its U.S. parcel network into
its Canadian parcel network. The New Penn partnership allows Dicom to
offer its customers both LTL and parcel services in a large footprint
spanning all of Canada and the northeastern U.S.
Winners of third annual Top Fleet Employers program announced
OTTAWA, Ont. — Thirty-nine Canadian fleets
were recognized in the third annual Top Fleet Employers program,
Trucking HR Canada announced today.
Fleets of every size were rated on topics such
as employee recognition, compensation, lifestyle, employee engagement,
wellness, professional development, recruitment and retention.
“These 39 fleets demonstrate a commitment to effective human
resources approaches, and all have best practices to share,” said Angela
Splinter, chief executive officer of Trucking HR Canada. “These fleets
are leading by example, and we commend them for their leadership in
demonstrating that the trucking industry offers great places to work.”
La Fontaine Tunnel reopened after truck mishap snarls traffic for kilometres
All lanes were reopened at 3 p.m., about 3 hours after accident occurred
Traffic has now started moving again southbound on Highway
25 towards the La Fontaine tunnel, after Transports Québec officials
completed an inspection of a wall struck by a tractor-trailer at around
An accident involving multiple tractor-trailers caused a
kilometres-long traffic jam on the Montreal side of
the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel for about three hours Thursday
Transports Québec said the trucks collided at the southbound entrance of the tunnel around noon.
Two of three lanes were closed in the southbound direction as crews inspected the tunnel wall.
Traffic was backed up for at least eight kilometres.
Sûreté du Québec spokeswoman Sgt. Joyce Kemp said one person was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Several trucks collided at the southbound
entrance to the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel early Thursday
afternoon, causing a kilometres-long traffic jam.