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Travels of a Trucker Essential Communications

August 6, 2012

Continuing on with the theme of this months special is communication devices in Trucks. Communication devices can include Satellite technology, Cell Phones, Computers with Internet Stick Technology, VHF`s or CB Radios. Two things to note. When travelling East of Manitoba be sure to have a CB Radio as VHF technology is not as popular East of Manitoba as it is in the Prairie provinces and Westwards into BC. As a matter of fact you would be hard pressed to find any trucker on the CB radio anywhere within the Province of BC. Most truckers in BC are on the “Big Radio”.

So to make my point I will relate three short stories to you about the need for essential communication regardless of whether it is in a truck or a passenger vehicle. A few weeks ago I was travelling to Calgary on a run that had left Sunday. I was happy to be starting on a Sunday since it meant a shorter work week for me meaning I would have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. However, on my way up the Roger’s Pass my fan belt broke and my engine overheated spilling the majority of my coolant out the overheat reservoir. It was only 8pm at night when this happened and being on the Roger’s phone network I did not have reliable communication. As a point I had no cell service until I went well past the Golden Scale which is within 35 Kilometers of Golden. Of course I had VHF so drivers could communicate with me, but essentially I was on my own until I could get within the range of town. It took me from 8pm to 1:30am to reach Golden which was only a 60 Kilometer stretch, but due to the fact that the truck has a shut off protection, I wouldn;t get more than 500 meters before the truck overheated and the engine would shut off again and again and countless times before I could find a decent pullout to leave my trailer and bobtail the rest of the way facing the same problems all the way into town. A few drivers stopped and I went through over10 Gallons of water reaching Golden before it was fixed in the morning.

The second short story was a gentleman was broken down on the side of the highway just East of Mount Robson going into the double Lane (also known as Shale Hill). He had a broken axle and of course he would have no repairs until later since it was the holiday weekend coming. I stopped and he asked me if I could radio for a tow truck. Since I was within range of Valemount I had another driver get ahold of the local towing company.

The third incident that occured was on my way back for the holiday weekend. It was late Friday night and I was within the same area of Golden I had broken down only this time it was a group of 4 young adults who needed a boost. I radio’d other drivers who also alerted others that they needed a boost. The area they were stopped in was not conducive for trucks to stop and assist but I heard on the radio someone in a 4 wheeler had managed to stop and assist.

As you can see having a communication tool in place is essential when travelling. I do have some recommendations. Bell Canada or Telus when travelling with Cell Phones or internet sticks. A VHF when travelling through BC or the Prairie Provinces and a CB when travelling East of Manitoba going down into Southern Ontario. When you have a guaranteed communication device it puts your mind at ease in times of difficulty or breakdowns.

Thanks for reading Travels of a Trucker.

 

Trucker.

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