Trucking isn’t simply about climbing into your cab and driving off into the sunset. I think some folks might have that romanticized notion of a free and easy life, seeing sights along the way while driving cross-country. While there’s an element of admiring the scenery along the way, the reality is drivers are on a schedule, must take the fastest and most fuel efficient route, and often the only scenery they see is whatever surrounds the truck stop they park at to grab some shut eye! In fact, there are a myriad of current issues facing both truckers and trucking companies these days: issues that can impact driver safety, company profits, the lifestyle of drivers and the ability to serve customers quickly and efficiently using the very latest in technology. We did a recent survey of what’s current in trucking and here is just a short “highlight reel” of topics that truckers and trucking companies need to stay on top of:
- Carbon Taxes – Carriers have a legal obligation to register with the CRA despite concerns from the industry about double-taxation and fuel surcharges. The Canadian Trucking Alliance is asking, on behalf of the industry that at the very least the government funnel the income from taxation back into the industry saying: “If the revenues generated from the carbon tax by industry are not used to support faster market penetration of carbon reducing technologies for diesel trucks, then it’s quite difficult for carriers to comprehend what purpose carbon taxation has on our sector.” (1)
- Potential changes to the speed limit in Ontario – While these changes are only proposed at the moment, and we have already been told they will not apply to truckers (mandated not to exceed 105 km/hr) this should certainly be a concern for truckers. The increased speed of other vehicles on the road might lead to a higher accident rate. This could impact truckers themselves or result in missing appointment times, downtime and lost income from the inevitable traffic delays.
- New Training Money Available – Changes in the most recent federal budget could have a promising impact on the trucking industry with potentially more money available for training, as wage supplements, in wage subsidies or in EI premium rebates for trucking companies. For a complete look at what’s being proposed consider visiting this website for more information: http://cantruck.ca/editorial-federal-skills-and-training-budget-overview/
- The rising cost of fuel – again! This one simply never goes away. For drivers and the companies who employ or contract work out to them, the rising cost of fuel is a constant concern that demands the most efficient possible use of route planning tools and more.
- ELD’s – We’ve blogged about this before and many have already implemented the technology but officially, the time is almost here. The industry will require fully compliant use of ELD’s (Electronic Logging Devices) beginning with an official roll – out in June of this year and with full compliance required by June of 2020.
- Training for Drivers – after the terrible tragedy that took place in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, there have been consistent and renewed calls for enhanced driver training opportunities and for consistency in training practices across all provinces.
- Driver shortages – there continues to be, across North America, a shortage of men and women who consider driving as a viable career option. The industry in general, working together with the Canadian government and even High Schools with a focus on trades, need to do a better job of highlighting the many positives of working in this field because despite this list – there’s plenty of reason to still consider a career in trucking!
- Cannabis – it might be legal in Ontario now but it isn’t across the border! Drivers shouldn’t be participating anyway – for what we are confidant are obvious reasons – but you’d better not be carrying any either – especially if you haul across the US border.
- Delays at the Border – speaking of borders, it’s anticipated that the recent redeployment of over 500 border patrol officers to the southern US to assist with increased border patrols in that location might lead to longer delays in border crossings closer to home. The Canadian Trucking Alliance is asking drivers to report on any excessive delays they might be experiencing.
Despite these developments that the industry is being asked to consider, it’s not all doom and gloom. These concerns should simply serve as a reminder to both drivers and Trucking companies that it’s important to stay ahead of the curve by doing research, implementing new technology and understanding and making adaptations that best suit rising customer expectations. A focus on maintaining driver safety and driver retention will also serve you well. At Service Pro Truck Lines we have all new facilities with enhanced 24 hr access and security, five new rigs ideal for team drivers, and much more, all tied to increasing our ability to better meet and exceed customer expectations. Call us today. Service Pro Truck Lines – the Future of Trucking!
also with “cantruck.ca” and “trucknews.com”