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Along came a Spider…oh wait…was that a Snake?

February 8, 2013

It seems everyday there are certain things in the trucking industry which get us all riled up. It is like being caught in an area where things that you dislike intensely are also poised and ready to strike like a snake or a hideous looking spider. It makes our blood boil, it makes us depressed, it gets our hearts racing. Imagine, I was reading the Truck West Magazine and they said the average age of a driver is 61! 61 is pretty young. For me that is only another 20 years so things have got to change. My children would barely be 28 and 30 by that time. Whatever the case may be there will always be little irritants that just set us off. I will list some of them as I saw them the other day.

I was driving along through Lake Louise coming up to the boundary of BC/AB. I had just passed 4 RCMP officers who were stationed as they have been for some time now at the entrance to the 70 km zone. I watched as a Blue Truck was catching up to me in a hurry and thought to myself what an ass he was for speeding along so quickly. Literally the guy was doing an easy buck in a 70km construction zone. Quickly he caught up to me as I was doing the 70 not needing a ticket. I figured the guy would settle back and wait until we got past the construction zone and into BC before he would pass me, but no…not only did he go flying by me in a hurry, he was passing in a construction no passing zone. What a moron I must confess i thought to myself. And just as he was passing me I turned on my GoPro to witness him passing me. So #Blueland, if your out there reading this…you’ve been caught on camera being the ass that you are.

The next thing that irritated me was the night before, same place only this time I was headed to Calgary. I was doing well under the 70km speed limit and had just passed the 4 #RCMP that were sitting at the same spot. Only one of them pulled out and followed behind me. I knew and had a feeling he was going to pull me over. Just when we got past the overhead junction where it turns into the 90km zone, I pulled over to the shoulder to clean my headlamps and sure as shoot the lights come on. As it happens, I was being pulled over for a spotcheck of logbook and I.D. 15 minutes later and I was on my way since I had no problems with my logbook and of course I had no arrest warrants for me. What irks me is that while in BC, I already have to face one of the countries’ hardest working CVSE force. These guys have almost every scale open every day. In this case, I went through 3 of them. Hope, Kamloops and Golden. So you would think that if they wanted to check me, any one of those places would have been a good location. But no, the officer has to make a point that he wears the uniform and it is his right to pull over any commercial vehicle and do a roadside inspection. Don’t they have any crime in Lake Louis that needs attending to? Is there not enough people in that area to control that they have to try and take money off those who enter Alberta on a daily basis? Are they targeting BC drivers? It would appear so since there were no defects on my truck and trailer, no logbook violations and my ID was clear. It would appear to me they are specifically targeting non Alberta residents.

There is something that bothers me about scales that I am sure pisses off a lot of drivers. It would seem that the mentality is that since I drive the vehicle I could list and show every defect on a truck. I am also miraculously omniaware of everything that occurs while I drive. So when I cross a scale, I have suddenly transformed myself from a decent hardworking truck driver to someone who should pay for his sins. Someone who has crossed the line. Someone who is a violator!!

Now I dunno about any of you other fellow drivers, but there are a few things I must point out here. I don;t wake up everyday saying piss on society and I’m going to break or circumvent the rules today. I don’t wake up to give the Government my money. But it would appear the Government wakes up or at least the CVSE does and says we are going to take his money today. Now this is where I have a problem. I don’t make it a habit of carrying with me a set of mechanics tools, nor do I carry a creeper in my truck. I don;t carry a 100 foot measuring tape in my truck nor do I have a height pole. But it would appear that the Government provides all these things to their employees in the hopes of having us cough up money to pay for them.

Now I guess you could say I am at a disadvantage here. I am not a qualified mechanic nor am I trained to be one and being able to see defects such as doing the rocking of the wheel to check freeplay…ok…so please tell me how does one check freeplay when they are alone? I mean seriously it takes professional certified mechanics and even CVSE inspectors almost an hour or longer to do a thorough look see and these people know what they are looking for. So I guess what I would like to see is the attitude changed from the Government in regards to what these people actually do. It has changed since the early days of trucking also. Scale inspectors were friends you could chat with. Now they try to chat and you want to tell them to shut the front door up as they pull out the notice and order/violation ticket book with a grin and a smile on their face saying now come on back y’all. A change is required. They should be informing and helping and assisting the trucker also. Instead of pulling out the violation book, lets chat about it. Make a call to the mechanic, get it fixed and be on our way.

I could go on and on, but I will leave it at that for the moment. I would like your thoughts. I plan on asking my member of parliament to address this issue.

Trucker.

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