Mike grew up on a beef farm in rural Southwestern Ontario in Huron County. Mike began his career in the Trucking Industry in 1990 at the age of 18, spending three years working for a local carrier Hauling Livestock and bulk agriculture products. At the age of 21 Mike went to work for a long Haul Refrigerated and general freight carrier and spent 5 years hauling all sorts of freight in all 48 US Mainland States and 6 Canadian Provinces. The Carrier then opened a Certified Driver Training School in 1998 and Mike came off the road and become one of the Schools first Certified Driver Trainers. In 2000 Mike Transitioned into Safety and Compliance for the Fleet, while still working part time as a Trainer for the School. In 2002 Mike moved over to a Private Fleet and became the Safety, Compliance, Maintenance and Training manger for the Hensall District Co-operative’s Commercial Trucking Fleet. Mike spent the next 12.5 years with Hensall and oversaw the Fleets as it grew from 40 Trucks in 2002 to over 140 in 2015. In January of 2015 Mike moved into the Trucking Association business and was named the President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, where he remains in his current role.

While traveling to Ottawa recently I had the opportunity to listen to a talk radio program geared towards the Canadian Transportation Industry called Trucker Radio News and Talk. On this particular show, a driver phoned in to raise an issue that should concern all of us in the industry. The driver had arrived at his location where he was to pick up his load. Once the driver backed into the dock he settled in to wait while he was loaded. After awhile the driver asked if he could use the bathroom, to which he was told no, we do not allow drivers to enter our facility. The driver ended up being on site for 15 hours, was granted no use of a bathroom facility, and was not allowed to leave the premises while being loaded. I would love to say this is an isolated incident, however those of us who have been in the industry and on the road, are fully aware that this is not a one off. There are two main issues here that are of a major concern. One is the fact that a driver is being denied access to a washroom facility while on site. Trucking companies themselves generally will always have facilities, the issue arises when their drivers are at shippers and receiver’s premises. It is deplorable that a driver can be denied access to a bathroom in 2017. This amounts to a complete lack of respect for the driver, and no basic understanding of human decency. How can you hold someone on site for hours and not expect them to need to use the facilities? Carriers must demand better treatment of their drivers. If a carrier is aware of customers who treat their drivers this way, they need to deal with it and hold their feet to the fire. Work with them and demand that they find a way to allow your drivers access to facilities. If they refuse, then perhaps you need to remove them as your customer…if you don’t, you are telling your drivers that the money is more important than their basic human rights…and that is a hell of a message to send to your employee’s. I understand if you don’t make money, you don’t exist, however if you don’t stand up for the rights of your drivers, you will lose the good ones you have, and then what kind of shape are you in?

The other major issue in this case is the driver being held on site for 15 hours to be loaded. How on earth can we allow this type of delay to occur? I certainly hope the driver was compensated for his time, and that the trucking company demanded compensation for the down time of it’s driver and equipment. Even if the driver and carrier were paid, this does not relieve the main problem. With HOS rules, the driver in all likelihood was out of hours once loaded, and would then have to wait another 8 hours to reset his clock. Even if paid, how would you like to spend a whole day sitting around doing nothing but waiting? I wish I could also say long wait times are a rare occurrence , however we all know this occurs far to often..not to the extreme of 15 hours, but hours of delays at docks are not uncommon. No business should have to accept or put up with this type of delay, and neither should any driver.   As an industry, we go on about the lack of youth coming into our Industry, the lack of females we employ, and a looming driver shortage. Would stories like this one attract you to the industry? We always talk about an image problem we need to fix…well this is a prime example of why we have that image problem. I am sure most reputable carriers deal with issues like this, and would never allow their drivers to be treated this way. In most cases Private Carriers are insulated from this issue as their deliveries and pick ups are made from their own facilities. To the rest of you, if you ever want to solve our impending shortage, and recruit young new talent to our industry, wake up, get your head out of the sand and demand fair treatment and respect for your workers….otherwise do the rest of us in the industry a favour…please leave….

 

 

Mike grew up on a beef farm in rural Southwestern Ontario in Huron County. Mike began his career in the Trucking Industry in 1990 at the age of 18, spending three years working for a local carrier Hauling Livestock and bulk agriculture products. At the age of 21 Mike went to work for a long Haul Refrigerated and general freight carrier and spent 5 years hauling all sorts of freight in all 48 US Mainland States and 6 Canadian Provinces. The Carrier then opened a Certified Driver Training School in 1998 and Mike came off the road and become one of the Schools first Certified Driver Trainers. In 2000 Mike Transitioned into Safety and Compliance for the Fleet, while still working part time as a Trainer for the School. In 2002 Mike moved over to a Private Fleet and became the Safety, Compliance, Maintenance and Training manger for the Hensall District Co-operative’s Commercial Trucking Fleet. Mike spent the next 12.5 years with Hensall and oversaw the Fleets as it grew from 40 Trucks in 2002 to over 140 in 2015. In January of 2015 Mike moved into the Trucking Association business and was named the President of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada, where he remains in his current role.