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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Property claims

One claims issue that is seldom talked about but can have a huge financial impact is claims from property damage, such as hitting trees, fixed objects, parked vehicles, bridges, and running over lawns, to name a few. One would think that avoiding such claims would be a simple matter, but every day claims departments have to deal with a driver or drivers calling in to report property damage that is completely avoidable. There are instances where property damage has occurred where the driver was totally blameless. I had one in New York City where a building hit me. I was parked, truck shut off, and I was in the building when the canopy fell from the building and hit the truck. For the most part, property damage claims are easily avoided by paying attention to your surroundings and knowing where the truck and trailer, or trailers, will fit, and where they won't. One example of a “no-brainer” is the driver who tried taking a 53 ft trailer through a fast-food drive-thru window. That ended badly and cost the driver a lot of money. Knowing your vehicle’s dimensions and characteristics can help prevent property damage claims. If you know your vehicle is...

OD permits

Attached is a screenshot from my dash camera of a load that struck a bridge in North Dakota yesterday. The driver's permit contained an error, and he didn't catch it until his 15 ft high load didn't make it under a 14 ft 10 in bridge. We've covered this topic before, but OD (overdimension) loads seem to be a hot topic again. OD loads come in all different shapes and sizes and are not limited to open deck trailers, although most do travel on open deck trailers. OD is anything that exceeds industry standards regarding height, length, width, and weight. All such loads generally require a permit for every state and province they travel through, and the permit requirements and restrictions vary from one jurisdiction to the next. So before starting your trip, make sure you have the permits in hand and that you have read and understand every single requirement. Some places won't even load you until you have all the needed permits. Carry a yellow highlighter to highlight the pertinent sections for easier reference. If you're over width, then the requirements for over height and over length don't really apply to you. Make sure the information regarding the...

Minister of Transport announces new client identification database for the transportation of dangerous goods in Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to promoting public safety and security, including when dangerous goods are being handled or transported in Canada. Today, the Minister of Transport, Pablo Rodriguez, announced the launch of new registration requirements and a new Client Identification Database to reduce risks associated with dangerous goods. These new requirements will give Transport Canada more current, accurate, and complete information about persons or organizations who are involved in the transportation of dangerous goods. They demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to promoting public safety, including when dangerous goods are handled or transported in Canada. Under these new regulations, which are coming into force today, applicable persons or organizations must provide, in the new database, information regarding dangerous goods they are importing, offering for transport, handling, or transporting. They must also provide information about sites where dangerous goods are being imported, offered for transport, handled, or transported. This information must be updated annually. The Client Identification Database is a new online platform for registering and identifying persons and organizations who import, offer to transport, handle, or transport dangerous goods in Canada. After the Client Identification Database has been in place for one year, penalties may be imposed for non-compliance, up to...

Trailer jack knife

A trailer jackknife occurs when the truck reduces speed, but for whatever reason the trailer doesn’t and the trailer tires break traction. It can occur on bare dry pavement, but then it is almost always caused by improper loading of the trailer (all of the weight up front in the trailer) and badly out-of-adjustment brakes. Recovering from this particular scenario is pretty easy. Just release the brake pedal, and everything should line up properly again. In adverse weather conditions though, it gets a lot more complicated. Again, you have 2 or 3 seconds to react properly, or you’re just along for the ride. First and foremost, always drive on the road and in weather conditions. Just because the posted speed limit is 90 km/h doesn’t mean you need to drive that fast. If the road is covered in snow or ice, SLOW DOWN! If you notice your trailer is trying to slide out from behind you, you will need to fight the urge and instinct to apply the brakes. Doing so will only make the situation worse, and will make recovery impossible. Some people will tell you to apply light pressure to the trailer brakes using the hand valve. In...

Truck jack knife

One of the worst situations you can find yourself in is a jackknife. They come on fast, and usually by the time you realize what is happening, it’s already too late to take corrective action. There are 2 different types of jack knives: A truck jack knife, where your drives break traction, and a trailer jackknife, where the trailer breaks traction. For this article, we’ll look at the more serious of the 2, the truck jack knife. What causes a truck jack knife? Simply put, the trailer is pushing the truck out of its way. This could be caused by poorly adjusted brakes on the trailer, improperly secured cargo shifting, poor road conditions, or bad driver reactions to name a few, but the bottom line is, that the truck is trying to slow down and the trailer isn’t, so the trailer is just pushing the truck off to the side. The only way to correct this is to get the truck and trailer back in a straight line. The biggest problem is, that once a jack knife reaches 15°, the chances of recovery are less than 1%. You’re basically just along for the ride. Speaking from experience, it’s not a...

Freedom Convoy 2022 Trial Continues into Day 17 in Ottawa

Monday was day 17 of the trial of Tamara Lich and Chris Barber, the self-proclaimed Freedom 2022 Truck Convoy organizers. They are each charged with mischief, counseling others to commit mischief, intimidation, and obstructing police. The Crown is trying to establish that Lich and Barber had "control and influence" over the crowds and encouraged others to join the protests while also continuing their fundraising. The trial entered a contentious stage after the judge allowed local witnesses to be called by Crown lawyers, along with business owners and other residents affected by the demonstration and is trying to illustrate the scope, nature, and consequences of the protests and that it was peaceful. Taking the stand was Zexi Li, a young public servant who gained notoriety when she filed a multi-million dollar class action against the Freedom Convoy organizers. During the height of the protests in February 2022, she obtained a court injunction banning honking in downtown Ottawa. She accomplished what Ottawa police could not do and silenced the convoy protesters. Yesterday, she claimed that horns blared "most commonly" between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., with occasional blasts of horns throughout the night. She also described a "deafening" noise reminiscent of an air raid horn. After...

Winter supplies

As winter looms large and ugly, it’s time to move our winter supplies back into the truck.  We’ve covered winter clothing already, but there’s more to winter survival than just warm clothing. This is in no way a full complete list, as that would require a small encyclopedia, but what follows is a list of the bare essentials. Trying to decide what is the most important fact is a matter of personal opinion, so here are a few items to be followed religiously in no particular order: Maintain at least 1/2 tank of fuel at all times. A collision or bad weather could have to stranded in the middle of nowhere for days, forcing you to idle the truck to stay warm. Use winter fuel when appropriate. If winter fuel is unavailable, keep a good supply of fuel conditioner to prevent fuel gelling. Gelling will starve the engine of fuel, and it will shut down. Most trucks these day have “heated fuel tanks”, allowing you to run summer fuel in the winter.  Well, not exactly. The tanks are not actually heated. The engine draws more fuel from the tanks that it needs. This excess fuel is warmed by the...

Winter work wear

We recently covered the ins and outs of tire chains in preparation for the upcoming winter driving season, so now we’ll go over some other things we need to have in order to have a safe and productive winter. For some, this will be a simple reminder, and for those drivers who are about to experience their first North American winter, especially in Canada, this information could easily mean the difference between life and death. First and foremost, always remember:  You are in control of the truck, and you alone decides when it moves, and when it doesn’t.  If and when you feel the weather and/or road conditions are beyond your capability, DO NOT DRIVE!   Your company may try and push, beg, plead, coerce or even threaten you to get moving, but if you don’t feel safe and comfortable driving, then just stay parked.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.  Don’t go by what other drivers are doing, especially if it’s your first winter.  Most of the other drivers in the truck stop will have years, if not decades of winter driving experience. Before the snow starts to fly, equip your truck with the essential clothing for winter weather. ...


Frostbite is an extremely dangerous and excruciatingly painful condition that occurs during Canadian winters, especially in western Canada, in particular Northwestern Ontario and the prairie provinces, and in the north US. So what is frostbite?  Frostbite occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can generate heat. As your body loses heat to the environment, your heat pumps more blood through your circulatory system to maintain a proper temperature.  If your heat loss gets too high, your body will reduce the blood flow to non essential parts to ensure that it can supply enough blood to the essential systems.  If the situation gets too bad, then the blood flow to non essential areas will be cut off entirely. Basically, your body will sacrifice some body parts to help protect others.  The first to be sacrificed are the extremities:  Toes, fingers, ears and nose.  That’s why in cold weather, these parts get cold first.  If the temperature is -20°, with a wind chill making it feel like -30°, frostbite to exposed skin can occur in as little as 5 minutes.  To help prevent frostbite, proper winter outer wear is a must, especially foot wear.  You have fewer nerve endings in...

Invitation au Symposium multimodal sur les pénuries de main-d’œuvre et de compétences

Invitation au Symposium multimodal sur les pénuries de main-d’œuvre et de compétences Bonjour, Transports Canada vous invite à participer à un Symposium multimodal virtuel sur les pénuries de main-d’œuvre et de compétences dans le secteur des transports. Le thème du Symposium est remédier aux pénuries de main-d’œuvre et de compétences en augmentant la participation des groupes sous-représentés.  Le Symposium réunira des représentants de l’industrie, du milieu universitaire, des gouvernements et d’autres représentants afin de remédier les pénuries de main-d’œuvre et de compétences dans le secteur des transports. La discussion portera sur les obstacles et les solutions pour accroître la participation des groupes sous-représentés (y compris les jeunes, les femmes, les peuples autochtones et les minorités ethniques ou raciales) à la main-d’œuvre du secteur.  Renseignements sur l’événement :  Le symposium se déroulera virtuellement sur deux demi-journées. La première journée aura lieu le 22 novembre de 10 h à 15 h (HNE).  La deuxième journée aura lieu le 23 novembre de 10 h à 15 h (HNE).  Veuillez trouver ci-joint le projet d’ordre du jour.  Veuillez-vous inscrire à l'adresse suivante : Symposium multimodal sur les pénuries de main-d'œuvre et de compétences dans le secteur des transports  Nous vous invitons à partager ce lien d'inscription avec d'autres membres de votre organisation, des associations régionales pertinentes, ainsi que des entreprises qui s'engagent activement à...

Multi-Modal Labour and Skills Shortages Symposium Invitation

Multi-Modal Labour and Skills Shortages Symposium Invitation Hello,  Transport Canada would like to invite you to attend a virtual Multi-Modal Symposium on Labour and Skills Shortages in the transportation sector. The theme of the Symposium is “addressing labour and skills shortages by increasing participation of underrepresented groups.”  The Symposium will bring together industry, academia, government, and other representatives to discuss labour and skills shortages in the transportation sector. Discussion will focus on the barriers and solutions to increase the participation of underrepresented groups (including youth, women, Indigenous Persons, and ethnic or racial minorities) in the sector.   Event details:  The Symposium will be held virtually over two half-days. Please find attached the draft agenda.  Day 1 will be held on November 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST).  Day 2 will be held on November 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST).  Agenda (attached).  Register your attendance at: Multi-Modal Symposium on Labour and Skills Shortages in the Transportation Sector  We invite you to share this registration link with others in your organization, relevant regional associations, and any companies that are actively engaged in advancing the participation of underrepresented groups. Additionally, we request that you register before Wednesday, November 8th.   Why you should attend:  Increase your knowledge and awareness of government actions to address...

Canadian Truckers in Texas Beware of a New Law That Cracks Down on Fake CDLs

Canadian truckers driving into Texas need to be aware of a new law in the state that affects Canadian commercial drivers. The news out of the Lone Star State of Texas is that a new law is now in effect that will aid efforts to combat illegal truck driving. It came into effect on September 1 of this year. The new law will require individuals with valid Mexican or Canadian commercial driver's licenses to possess a U.S. government-issued work visa when operating in Texas. You might think the law is trying to crack down unreasonably on Canadian drivers because more Mexican truckers come into Texas than Canadian ones. However, research shows that fraudulent Commercial Drivers Licenses have been a problem in the past for Canadian authorities. According to a report by the CBC in 2014, thousands of driver's licenses with fake names have been circulating in Ontario. Many are being used in a new type of fraud that's plaguing the financial industry, growing exponentially, and costing Canadians up to a billion dollars a year, say experts. These fake licenses are an integral part of what's known as synthetic identity fraud. The fake licenses in Canada have fictitious names and identities. They are used...

Construction Zone Safety: The Numbers, Controls, and Consequences

Construction zones on our highways are frequent sights, but they can also be danger zones for drivers and construction workers. Safety in these areas isn't merely a suggestion; it's a moral and legal imperative. To highlight the critical significance of construction zone safety, we delve into the compelling statistics, the pivotal controls that can prevent collisions, and the nuclear verdict consequences that await those who fail to heed the warnings. In this article, we embark on a journey through numbers, measures, and outcomes to underscore the gravity of safe driving in construction zones. Let's begin with the most poignant numbers—the lives in the balance. In the United States alone, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recorded 842 work zone fatalities in 2019. Each of these 842 lives represents a tragic loss, a void in a family, and a somber reminder of the stakes involved. Additionally, thousands of construction workers and motorists suffer injuries each year within these zones. These statistics are a grim testament to the inherent risks of construction zones, making it undeniably clear that safety measures and controls are non-negotiable. Excessive speed in construction zones is a potent catalyst for disaster. Data from the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse...

Navigating Winter Challenges: Driving in Cold Conditions

For seasoned truck drivers, winter is a formidable adversary on the road. Snow, ice, and plunging temperatures demand a higher level of skill and preparedness. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of winter driving for experienced truckers. We'll equip you with the knowledge and strategies that can help you not only endure but excel during this challenging season. Experienced truckers know that a well-prepared vehicle is the first line of defense against winter's onslaught. Ensure your tires are up to the task with proper tread depth and inflation. The use of snow chains when facing snowfall is required in some jurisdictions; they too should be inspected and placed on the rig. Keep your rig in top shape with regular maintenance, focusing on brakes, lights, and wipers. Don't skimp on essentials like antifreeze and windshield washer fluid; these can be your lifelines in extreme cold. Winter-specific equipment can be a game-changer. Invest in an engine block heater to make those cold starts easier. Anti-icing agents for your trailer can simplify loading and unloading operations. And if you frequently encounter heavy snow, a snowplow attachment can be a valuable addition. When it comes to winter driving, finesse is key. Avoid abrupt braking;...
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