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Posts by Don Stewart

How Can I Eat Better On The Road?

- by Don Stewart

It’s never too late to rediscover healthy eating habits especially healthy eating for truck drivers. Here are eight tips to help promote better nutrition and healthier eating for truck drivers.

Sure, it’s easy to swing by a truck stop and grab a few cheese-smothered chili dogs or a double cheese burger, but that offers no nutritional benefits to healthy eating for truck drivers. The goal should be to create healthy habits that manifest into a healthy lifestyle change. These habits should be deeper than just what you eat, but also when you eat, what food is doing to your system and how you should shop for your food.

1. How Often Should I Eat?

Before we talk about shopping and cooking we should talk about something extremely important: eating. Our society and the trucking culture has been organized around the idea, that people should only eat three squares a day. For healthy eating for truck drivers, this is not necessarily the best choice.

While this might be more efficient in terms of consuming maximum calories in minimum time and getting back on the road, it is not always the best plan for your health nor the best plan for driving at your optimum and full potential. Instead, aim for around five smaller meals each day. This might seem odd and foreign at first, but studies have shown that smaller meals throughout the day will help your body metabolize food more efficiently.

2. How Our Body Processes Food

Your body is designed to absorb calories, use them for energy and then burn them off. In order for your body to make use of the food, what you eat has to be broken down into a form of sugar called glucose. This is a natural process and for most, the human body does this quite well. You have probably heard people talking about their “blood sugar level”, and what they are referring to is the amount of glucose in their blood.

3. Why Should I Care About My Blood Sugar Levels?

Your body has a normal range for the amount of glucose and blood sugar (between 4.0 and 11.0) and it has a beautiful system for managing that level. Hormones like insulin keep your blood sugar from getting too high and becoming toxic, and another key compound, glucagon keeps your sugar from getting too low and causing your system to shut down. It is something like a highway with really good guard rails that keep a truck from running off the road.

It is possible to overwhelm this excellent system and cause it to crash and fail. Actually, many people are overwhelming it every day. Remaining on that course of poor eating habits and very little exercise, it will likely lead to diabetes later in life. As a society, we are seeing diabetes diagnosis on the rise and we need to take action for ourselves.

So why does this make eating only three times per day (or fewer) a bad idea?

You can end up constantly overwhelming or crashing the system with extreme blood sugar highs and lows. If you wait to eat until you are extremely hungry and have very low blood sugar, your body will send the signal that you are starving, and when you do eat it is often much easier to overeat unhealthy and convenient food. Healthy eating for truck drivers requires you to eat when you’re hungry and avoid a severe dip in blood sugar. Thus the importance of planning your meals and working towards a disciplined routine.

4. How Much Should I Be Eating?

Some people’s beliefs are to simply eat drastically less overall and there is a grain of truth to this. While dramatically reducing your caloric intake does cause the body to burn stored fat to stay alive, it can signal your body to store everything you do eat, which results in rebound weight gain when you do return to a more normal diet. Starving yourself is not the answer! It's simple math, try and not introduce more calories to your body than you're burning in a day. Typically, 2,000–2,573 daily calories are suggested; however, consulting a healthcare professional is the best way to understand what an appropriate daily caloric intake means for your individual health needs.

Thankfully there is a much safer and proven method. Simply, eat a reasonable amount of food more often in the day. Eating five or six smaller and healthier meals per day is like steering down the middle of your lane instead of bouncing your truck off the guard rails all day. This practice will help you feel more content and stop your body from deciding to store fat for hibernation. Of course, if you eat more often and end up eating more food overall you will still have trouble being healthy. The objective is to eat an appropriate amount of food, in a more sustainable way.

For a look at recommended serving sizes, check WebMD’s interactive and downloadable portion size plate

5. What Are the Benefits to Eating More Often?

There is also an enormous safety benefit to eating more often and avoiding the blood sugar spikes: You are less likely to feel drowsy or sluggish at the wheel. Most people have experienced the after dinner slump that makes it all but impossible to keep your eyes open after a big meal. That might be fine after Christmas dinner when you are lounging on the couch at home, but at work, behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound-plus rig, it can end poorly.

6. How Do I Plan My Meals?

You might be wondering: How on earth is it possible to eat five or more meals per day? Who has the time to stop for food that often? There is a way to make your meals much simpler, more healthy, easier to sustain over the long term, and much less expensive! The key is to learn to shop for your own food and cook for yourself on the road!

If you have access to an in-truck refrigerator, stock food and snacks that are healthy for you. Avoid candy bars and chips. Instead, focus on foods that will keep you fuller longer, like string cheese, pretzels, popcorn, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Additionally, look for smart choices when eating at fast food restaurants. Many restaurants now offer baked options, low-fat or low-sodium alternatives, and fresh fruits and salads. Menus often have these options marked for easy identification.

7. Eat What You Want In Moderation

Anyone who has dealt with eating healthier has heard the term portion control. Controlling what, how much, how often you eat and making sensible, sustainable choices is the path to solving many of the health risks of the trucking lifestyle. To eat healthier you don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods and consume a spinach and carrot based diet like a rabbit. Instead of going to the extreme, eating a balanced diet will keep you “between the lines” and on the road to better health. Extremes are by nature quite unsustainable and will not help you.

8. If You Have To Eat At a Restaurant

When eating at a restaurant, especially at buffets, in can be easy, and even tempting, to overeat. But in the long run, the negative effects of overeating will cost more money than you’ll ever save by overeating to “get your money’s worth.” When eating prepackaged food or at a restaurant, eat slowly and only until you are full, and focus on choosing healthier items. Do the same at buffets, and also try using smaller salad plates to ensure proper portion sizes.

Eat more: Salad, non-cream-based-soups, baked or lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat salad dressings, and dessert alternatives (like Jell-O, pudding, and fresh fruit)

Eat less: Mayonnaise-based salads, full-fat salad dressings (like regular ranch dressing), fried foods, foods with gravies or cream sauces, and sugary desserts.

The above are suggestions to help you change your eating habits and become a healthier person and as a healthier person, it stands to reason you become a better truck driver. Changing any habit isn't an easy task, however implementing one little positive change a day, will lead to remarkable results!

If you need any further information, please contact us at:

204 632-6600

 

Winter Trucking Safety Tips For Truck Drivers

- by Don Stewart


Driving a tractor trailer in serious Canadian winter conditions, demands a specific set of skills for all drivers, especially big rig drivers. Too many drivers on the highways do not alter their driving habits, when driving in poor weather conditions. Good maneuvering and skid control skills are essential in poor weather.

Knowledge and implementation of proper, preventative safety skills for driving in poor conditions, can truly separate the seasoned driver vs a driver who is just starting their career. They have the knowledge and experience for making good decisions and are cognisant when conditions are not safe, and when it’s time to ‘get off the road’.

Driving in bad weather, especially in snow and on ice, is risky due to more ‘stop time’ required, poor visibility, poor traction and the increased unpredictability of other drivers on the road. The job of a truck driver becomes increasingly challenging, especially when handling a tractor trailer and a full load in foul winter weather.

Safe Winter Truck Driving Safety Tips

·Slow down – Accidents during suspect conditions are mostly due to excessive speed. Driving at the speed limit may be legal, but is often too fast for snow covered or icy road conditions in our Country. Take as much time as necessary. DO NOT HURRY! Speed is dangerous. This rule should ALWAYS be at the top of any winter trucking safety tips list.

·Keep a safe following distance – Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of your truck, and beside your truck, when possible (approx. 1/4mile).

·Don’t travel as part of a pack – Traffic seems to move in ‘packs’ on the highway. Find a safe way to get away from the pack and travel alone, with the goal being to maximize the distance around your vehicle.

·Don’t follow the tail lights of the vehicle ahead – When the snow is so heavy, visibility is low, seeing the tail lights of the vehicle ahead…means following too closely.

·Keep a safe driving distance back at all times, especially in bad weather. If the leader makes an error, you will too. Trucks can leave the road, and yours could follow the lead truck off the road.

·Use good, solid judgment — If the weather is so severe that you need to get off the road….. do it. Find a place to get off the road safely and wait until conditions are safer for travel.

·Don’t stop on the shoulder of the road –– Especially in low visibility situations, when driving in winter, especially ‘blinding snow’, other vehicles can mistake your position for being on the road and as a result, may slam into the back of your rig.

·Don’t try to be a hero –– When the road conditions are severe, you need to recognize that it’s very dangerous to be out there. Hours of service rules, dispatchers etc., are extra pressures when it a difficult, dangerous position. Don’t feel that you’re letting anyone down by not meeting a scheduled appointment.

·Braking – Some drivers like to use the jake brakes in less than perfect weather conditions. Some don’t. DO NOT ENGAGE THE JAKE BRAKE ON ICY ROADS. Try to avoid overusing your foot brake, unless the entire unit is absolutely ‘straight’ on the road. Don’t over brake when the entire unit isn’t straight… the trailer can slide and spin you out of your position…..the truck slows down, and the trailer does not. This is especially true, when the trailer is empty.

·Ensure ‘all systems’ are a go — Be absolutely certain during your circle checks before you leave, that the defroster and heater are working properly. Wipers, wiper motor, lights, esp. brake and tail lights, washer fluid is topped up, drain moisture from the air tanks, all brakes are set up and windows and mirrors are completely clean before departure.

·Keep fuel tanks topped up, for extra weight over the drive tires, to aid with traction. Good quality lug tires, with the proper tire pressure, are essential for good traction for the best safe winter driving.

·Keep tractor and trailer lights clean — When you’re able to stop in a safe place, clear the lights off of snow and ice, which builds up in foul weather….they are vital, more than ever when visibility is poor. LED lights especially accumulate snow and crud. Keep everything clean, so you can BE SEEN!

If you have any safety tips to share or would like to hear more about Winter Driving.

Please contact: 204 632-6600


 

Now That Cannabis Is Legal Across Canada

- by Don Stewart

The Legal, social and political landscape of Canada has now changed dramatically, as Cannabis is now legal for purchase. The latest data suggest that one in every ten Canadians were cannabis users in the past year, meaning few workplaces across the country will NOT be affected.

With employers still grappling with the complexity or uncertainty of managing existing addictions in the workplace as it pertains to alcohol and other drugs, the legalization of pot will add another layer to not only manage, but to worry about.

Responsibility Of Employers

Employers must update their respective policies and procedures to include the prohibition of cannabis usage in the workplace. For example, employment contracts and company policies typically prohibit substance abuse at work. That must now include cannabis.

According to occupational health and safety legislation across Canada, employers are statutorily required to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace. Because of this, employers must be prepared to devote time and money to train their employees on cannabis consumption in the workplace, and inform them of changes to the terms of their employment in this realm. Additionally, employers must be prepared to extend training to their managerial and supervisory staff to teach them how to address issues of cannabis impairment at work, how to spot such impairment and the appropriate steps that need to be taken in response to concerns being raised.

Lastly, mandatory content in employment policies, requires provisions for disability-based accommodation when an employee brings to the attention of an employer that they require support due to an addiction or medical necessity. Drug and alcohol addictions are typically considered disabilities under human-rights legislation and as such are protected from discriminatory actions by employers and co-workers. Therefore, an addiction to cannabis will likely be considered a disability. Employers need to amend their employment policies to include cannabis, and must be prepared to accommodate an employee or put themselves at risk of being sued.

Impairment And Testing

The issue of testing, and how impairment from cannabis is determined, remains problematic. It is not the same as testing the impairment from other drugs or alcohol. While there are tests to assess the level of THC (the chemical component causing the high) in an individual’s body, an assessment of the exact level of impairment is not definitive.

According to human-rights law, employee drug and alcohol testing may only be permitted when the employees are operating in safety-sensitive employment settings and when a series of additional requirements placed on employers who conduct this testing have been met.

Policies And Procedures

It is important to note that a standard element of employment policies, spanning diversified employment settings, is that employees cannot be impaired while at work and performing the duties of their employment.

Across Canada, law enforcement is also grappling with the issue of testing but the techniques being made available to police officers are unlikely to be permitted in the workplace. Therefore, employers will need to develop their own techniques to assess impairment of their employees.

It is also advisable that the focus be shifted from testing of impairment levels to an assessment of employee conduct. Employers need to familiarize themselves, and their staff, with signs of behaviour in the workplace caused by cannabis use. However, this raises a host of issues regarding who is authorized and qualified to be making these assessments on a daily basis.

Employers will also need to set policies that recognize medicinal cannabis use, including CBD oil (used to treat chronic pain), to ensure that they do not discriminate against employees who benefit from these treatments.

Over the next few months, it is important that employers include cannabis use in their workplace policies as well as procedures for assessing employees. One thing that employers can be sure of is that failing to appreciate the changes the Cannabis Act brings to the workplace will lead to greater human resource management issues and potential lawsuits.

Please note the above is for information purposes only.

If you need more information about Cannabis in the work place, please contact the MTA.

204 632-6600





 

Provincial Carbon Pricing Rescinded..What Does That Mean?

- by Don Stewart

In a recent announcement the Provincial Government has confirmed it is not moving ahead with the proposed $25 per tonne carbon tax. When Premier Brian Pallister was asked about the reversal he stated it was because Manitoba did not receive assurance from the Federal Government that it wouldn’t implement the federal backstop that would eventually bring the rate up to $50/tonne.

The MTA and It's members applaud and Provincial Government’s decision to scrap the Carbon Tax instead focusing on non-tax GHG reduction programming.

While the province won’t be implementing a carbon tax, it will still proceed with its Climate and Green Plan which outlines options to reduce carbon emissions. One of the options under consideration being the MTA’s trucking efficiency plan "The GrEEEner Trucking Fuel Efficiency Initiative”.

With the provincial carbon tax being rescinded members do need to be aware that federal carbon pricing is on the way instead. The federal government has clearly stated it will begin collecting a $20/tonne fee in January 2019 in any province that doesn’t have its own carbon tax structure in place. That fee will increase by $10 per year until it reaches $50/tonne. Outside of the obvious cost challenges, Ottawa has not been as clear on what it intends to do with the carbon tax revenue. While revenue will be returned to the province where it’s collected, it’s unknown at this time whether that will be through a direct payment to individuals, by flowing the money through the provincial government, or another option.

It is clear to the MTA that the Federal Government has, so far, decided to dig in on their support of an annually increasing carbon pricing system. Because of this, work continues to focus on the Provincial Government. The reception the MTA’s GrEEEner plan has received has been universally positive. Members can trust that MTA staff are diligently working to make this program a reality.

Trucking fuel efficiency is not only positive for our industry but those we serve. It also has the added bonus of GHG reductions within our sector. It is believed that work on this project will ultimately be successful, meaning our industry members can offset the cost increases of the federal carbon pricing program by participating in what we know will be a positive provincial initiative.

Members wanting more information on this issue or the GrEEEner Trucking Fuel Efficiency Initiative are encouraged to contact the MTA.

204 632-6600


 

Why Should We Thank Truck Drivers?

- by Don Stewart

National Truck Week has come and gone and the MTA always looks forward to this one week every year. We do our best to celebrate and thank drivers across Canada, not just on National Trucking Week, but all year round. Truck drivers are one of the most critical and important careers we have on the planet.

In honor of National Truck Week, please see the below for some of the reasons you should thank our Canadian Truck Drivers.

1) Tradition That Spans Generations:

In todays world, kids are occupied and focused on electronics in the back seat during a road trip vs counting cows or playing eye spy. What is the one thing that consistently gets kids to pay attention to the world around them on the highway? Looking for and asking truck drivers to blow the big horn! Todays truck drivers still watch for the familiar air horn arm pumping action and will often indulge whenever it is safe and possible to do so.

Thank a truck driver for continuing this tradition and putting smiles on the faces of your kids on a long road trip!

2) Truck Drivers draw from experiences learned driving to flourish outside the industry:

Driving a truck across our Country, Provinces or North America are bound to lead to unique views of the world and create life experiences. Many truck drivers have utilize these experiences as tools to achieve professional goals outside of the industry of trucking. Can you guess which of the below actors were truck drivers, prior to hitting the silver screen?

  • Charles Bronson
  • James Cameron
  • Chevy Chase
  • Sean Connery
  • Rock Hudson
  • Richard Pryor
  • Viggo Mortensen
  • Liam Neeson
  • Elvis Presley

I hope you guessed all of them?! This shows that there are many different personalities and the diversity available on the road. For many truck drivers it is what they do for a living, but doesn't define who they are as people. Many drivers have become incredibly successful in business, politics and the arts.

Thank a truck driver for their persistence to follow their dreams!

3) Truck Drivers are incredibly generous with their time and wallets:

The trucking community sticks together and never more so than in times of need. This type of camaraderie is vital since conventional charities are often unable to meet the unique needs of truck drivers on the road. There are many charities truck drivers donate hard earned money and or their time. During National Trucking Week, our drivers help raise over $100,000 for charities right here in our own back yard. Whether it is participating in the Provincial Truck Driving Championships, Truck Pull or the world's largest Convoy our drivers are present and happy to help others.

Thank a truck driver for being generous in the times of need!

4) Truck Drivers see us through some of our toughest storms.

From hurricanes and snow storms to floods and forest fires, all of these types of potential disasters need supplies for a relief effort. Without truck drivers delivering the majority of these supplies, these type of scenarios would be devastating. Truck drivers are willing to sacrifice themselves to ensure others are safe and well.

Thank a truck driver for helping us through the toughest storms!

5) Truck Drivers put in longer days than most.

Those of us with office jobs generally work between 8-12 hours a day on average. When you're home and playing with the kids or making dinner, a truck driver is still on the road away from their families, while ensuring that our goods are being delivered. Everything you touch has been in a truck at one time or another.

Thank a truck driver for the long hours and the time away from home!

6) Truck Drivers invest in safety day in and day out.

According to MPI statistics, there were a total of 120,355 commercial vehicles registered in Manitoba in 2016 and over 54,000 are heavy trucks. This is an increase of 12% over 2015 and a 53% increase from 2006. Despite the trucking industry's continued growth, the number of commercial vehicles involved in collisions in 2016, decreased overall by 14% compared to the previous five year (2011 to 2015) annual average. In accordance to these statistics, Heavy trucks are the safest vehicles on the roads, especially when you take in to account a trucks exposure or risk to accident over miles driven! These statics are substantiating that drivers are trending in the right direction, towards a goal of zero incidents or accidents.

Thank a truck driver for being a professional and focusing on safety!

7) Truck Drivers move our freight and contribute to the bottom line.

Canadian truck drivers move over 225 billion tonnes-kilometres of freight annually, and over 80% of all freight intra provincially. What are they moving around? Our freight! which would include anything from a toothbrush to building supplies and it is all reliant on truck drivers. Imagine going to the store and not being able to pick up your milk or bread... or you receive a phone call telling you that your holiday to Disney World is cancelled because the fuel didn't get delivered to the aircraft!? Truck drivers play a vital role in our day to day life and a world without truck drivers would be a scary place.

Thank a truck driver for delivering everything you need and for keeping our country moving!

Although kids fantasize about being Spiderman, Wonder woman or Superman, in my mind Truck Drivers are the real heroes of today! We shouldn't only recognise Truck Drivers efforts during National Trucking Week, we should be thanking them everyday!

204 632-6600












 

Change Of Seasons: Back To School

- by Don Stewart

School days bring congestion: Yellow school buses are picking up their students, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school before the bell rings, and harried parents are trying to drop their kids off before work.

It's never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present – especially before and after school.

If You're Dropping Off

Schools often have very specific drop-off procedures for the school year. Make sure you know them for the safety of all kids. More children are hit by cars near schools than at any other location, according to the National Safe Routes to School program. The following apply to all school zones:

·Don't double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles

·Don't load or unload children across the street from the school

·Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school

Sharing the Road with Young Pedestrians

According to research by the National Safety Council, “most of the children who lose their lives in bus-related incidents are 4 to 7 years old, and they're walking. They are hit by the bus, or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.” A few precautions go a long way toward keeping children safe:

·Don't block the crosswalk when stopped at a red light or waiting to make a turn, forcing pedestrians to go around you; this could put them in the path of moving traffic

·In a school zone when flashers are blinking, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection

·Always stop for a school patrol officer or crossing guard holding up a stop sign

·Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas

·Don't honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way

·Never pass a vehicle stopped for pedestrians

·Always use extreme caution to avoid striking pedestrians wherever they may be, no matter who has the right of way

Sharing the Road with School Buses

If you're driving behind a bus, allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind a car. It will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.

·Never pass a bus from behind – or from either direction if you're on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children

·If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic must stop

·The area 10 feet around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to allow them space to safely enter and exit the bus

·Be alert; children often are unpredictable, and they tend to ignore hazards and take risks

Sharing the Road with Bicyclists

On most roads, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicles, but bikes can be hard to see. Children riding bikes create special problems for drivers because usually they are not able to properly determine traffic conditions. The most common cause of collision is a driver turning left in front of a bicyclist.

  • When passing a bicyclist, proceed in the same direction slowly, and leave 3 feet between your car and the cyclist
  • When turning left and a bicyclist is approaching in the opposite direction, wait for the rider to pass
  • If you're turning right and a bicyclists is approaching from behind on the right, let the rider go through the intersection first, and always use your turn signals
  • Watch for bike riders turning in front of you without looking or signaling; children especially have a tendency to do this
  • Be extra vigilant in school zones and residential neighborhoods
  • Watch for bikes coming from driveways or behind parked cars
  • Check side mirrors before opening your door

By exercising a little extra care and caution, drivers and pedestrians can co-exist safely in school zones. Please Slow Down!

 

A Nation Wide Celebration Of Industry

- by Don Stewart

National Truck Week is traditionally a weeklong celebration during the first week of September and the purpose of the weeklong celebration, is to recognize the important contributions made by the 400,000 Canadian women and men who keep the country's freight moving.

Provincial trucking associations, carriers, industry suppliers and other stakeholders are encouraged to undertake activities in their own province to mark the event. In previous years, provincial associations have marked the occasion with newspaper supplements, radio advertising, contests, special promotions, and special events at truck stops and roadside inspection stations.
Carriers and industry suppliers have hosted BBQs, breakfasts, truck washes, offered special giveaways to employees and marked the week event with a wide variety of activities.

The Manitoba Trucking Association participates in the community as much as we can on a year-round basis. National Trucking Week provides us with an opportunity to bring the community together with our industry. We can help worthy causes and help educate the public about our industry at the same time.

MTA Day At The Park: August 29th @ 1900-2130

Although this is not technically during National Truck Week, we are considering this event as our kickoff to NTW. Our ATD Members American Express are hosting a number of our members at the Goldeyes game against the Fargo Red Hawks. This will be a fun event as the Goldeye's are also members of the Association and we look forward to the comradery this will share at the ball park.

Member Visits: September 4th

The MTA will be out and about visiting members, while delivering some gifts and good cheer! Time to get pumped up for the week long celebration! Whoot Whoot!!

Vehicle Maintenance Golf Tournament: September 5th @ 11:00

This years tournament will be hosted by Bridges Golf Course in Starbuck MB. It’s a four-person Texas Scramble best ball tournament that includes 18 holes (with power cart), lunch, dinner and registration gift. Proceeds will go to the MTA scholarship program, which presents MTA members or members children with over $10,000 annually for scholarships.

Headingley Scale BBQ Sponsored By Traction Heavy Duty Truck Parts: September 6th @ 10:00-1500

This long time running event, has been a very rewarding day for all involved. There will be volunteers from Traction and the MTA handing out BBQ food & loot bags for all the drivers, whom pass through the scales. This is a great opportunity to thank the drivers for all they do for us Manitobans. The drivers always look forward to seeing us at the scales!

The MTA Truck Pull for United Way At Assiniboine Park: Friday September 7th @ 1700-2000

What a better way to wrap up National Trucking Week then demonstrating the MB Trucking Industry’s commitment to giving back and creating a better Winnipeg. Join us in making the impossible, possible. By pulling together, we can help kids, families and seniors in our community.

At the 9th Annual MTA Truck Pull for United Way, each team will test its strength by pulling a big rig across the finish line at the Iconic Location Assiniboine Park Pavilion. This family friendly event will bring together food, fun and friends from across MB’s trucking industry, in healthy competition for a good cause: a better Winnipeg.

There will be a kids zone this year that will feature a 28 foot Fire Engine slide and face painters. Join Mick E Moose, Buzz, Boomer and their friends to pull a truck or to cheer on those that are!

Truck Convoy For Special Olympics: New Date September 22nd 11:00-1400

Join Manitoba's compassionate army of truck drivers at the World's Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics! It is a one day event where industry and law enforcement come together in a convoy that tours the perimeter highway starting at 11:00 am. After the convoy there will be a lunch, Silent Auction and Awards.

Starting at a NEW LOCATION! - Trans Canada Centre (1 Rivard St, Ile Des Chenes)

Whether you're in the convoy or lining the side of the perimeter to watch, with approximately 200 trucks our convoy is 6 miles long and it's quite a sight to see!








 

Manitoba: Are We There Yet?

- by Don Stewart

2018 Manitoba Prosperity Report

The Manitoba Employers Council (MEC), established in 1980, is the largest collective of individual employers and employer associations in Manitoba. MEC represents the interests of Manitoba employers in matters relating to employment, including: labour relations, human resource management, employment standards, and workers compensation and workplace safety and health.

Through reviewing and analyzing key indicators MEC can determine whether Manitoba reached its prosperity potential, relative to the neighbouring jurisdictions of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. If that potential wasn’t reached, MEC presents policy recommendations to achieve that prosperity.

The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) has had a long standing relationship with MEC and as a result, the MTA helps steer the direction of the Prosperity Report, while ensure our industries key indicators are considered.

How did Manitoba do in the 4th edition of the 2018 Prosperity Report?

Manitoba performed poorly in several key areas such as:

  • Last in GDP per capita;
  • Last in net interprovincial migration;
  • Highest family taxes;
  • Fewest businesses per capita;
  • Lowest postsecondary graduation rate;
  • Largest public-sector employment;
  • Most expensive provincial government; and
  • Lowest weekly earnings.

A large public sector is very expensive, so it should come as no surprise that Manitoba has the most expensive government and are charged the highest taxes. Although this years report doesn't rate the quality of service that Manitoban's receive from government, but in accordance to other reports and in comparison to other provinces, Manitoba has inferior services. MEC is recommending the Province strongly focus on addressing the below recommendations.

  • Reduce the size and cost of the provincial government;
  • Reduce the province’s debt load and eliminate the deficit;
  • Reverse interprovincial migration losses;
  • Increase high school and post-secondary graduation rates;
  • Increase rates of entrepreneurship;
  • Reduce red tape;
  • Reduce personal income taxes through rate reductions and increasing brackets;
  • Eliminate the payroll tax

The MTA staff have been working in partnership with government on many opportunities and strategies, to help ensure our Industry is a safe, vibrant and healthy industry for years to come in Manitoba. Some of the strategies that the MTA staff have been pursuing, that would address the recommendations from MEC would include:

  • The MTA has actively lobbied for red tape reductions across a number of government departments
  • The MTA is actively engaged with Manitoba Infrastructure’s Service Delivery Review with an aim towards uncovering opportunities to maintain or improve services while reducing size/cost/overhead for government
  • The MTA is an active participant in the Province’s Economic Development Strategy
  • The MTA is seeking to administer a provincial sector council and is also currently developing an industry educational strategy. Both of these items are in support of increased industry training and employment opportunities
  • Finally, the MTA is very aggressively working with the province on taxation and environmental opportunities in an effort to support reasonable and effective taxation that supports economic activity opposed to penalizing it

We encourage you to review the 2018 Manitoba Prosperity Report, for a copy of this report contact the Manitoba Trucking Association at:

204 632-6600


 

Industrial Rail Park Plan Back On Track

- by Don Stewart

An agreement has been struck between the province and CentrePort Canada that has cleared the way for the inland port to finally get started on the development of a unique industrial rail park.

CentrePort has released a request for proposals seeking private-sector partnership for the $100 million-plus development designed to attract rail-intensive industrial tenants who will be able to access Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.’s main line.

The expectation is the facility will be built in phases — that could take as long as 15 years to complete — on a 665-acre parcel of land just west of Sturgeon Road on the north side of CentrePort Canada Way that the province has agreed to sell to CentrePort.

The development will include switching and spur lines connecting to the CP main line that runs through the north part of CentrePort’s 20,000-acre footprint.

The rail park concept has been in the works for years. An anchor tenant was announced more than two years ago, but the company, BroadGrain Commodities, has since gone on to do a development in Saskatchewan.

In the course of its review of provincial business commitments, the province has recently signed off on CentrePort’s business plan, including guaranteeing an additional $1.5 million to CentrePort’s line of credit.


CentrePort CEO Diane Gray said she's confident about the potential for this development. She said in pre-marketing discussions with potential development partners from Canada and the U.S. there has already been interest.

"This is the transformational piece of the inland port," she said.

The provincial government decision to give the go-ahead sets the stage for CentrePort’s future self-sufficiency. Negotiations with potential partners will include ongoing revenue for CentrePort Canada Inc. and a share in the profits of the operation of the rail park.

"What this does is confirm the government support for what is the key priority of our business that then sustains the vision of CentrePort going forward," Gray said.

"The government has put all major economic projects under review. They were entitled to do so. If I was a new government, I would have done the same thing."

Read More: https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/massive-in...

 

10 Ways for Truck Drivers to Stay Healthy While on the Road

- by Don Stewart

Simply put, Truck Drivers should be concerned about health and fitness. While taking weeks or even month long trips, there are lifestyle changes that truck drivers need to follow in order to stay fit. It’s important for truck drivers to ask themselves “How do I stay healthy on the road?” For some, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging because they may not have the resources that people in other professions have, but that’s not to say that living a healthy life as a truck driver isn’t possible.

Tips for Truck Drivers to Stay Healthy

  • Eat breakfast everyday

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, for anyone whether you’re a professional truck driver or not. According to a study done by consumer reports, people who eat breakfast regularly tend to have better diets overall, consuming more fruit, vegetables, milk and whole grains. Eating breakfast increases your blood sugar which gives you energy to start your day. It also prolongs your need to eat lunch and keeps you moving throughout the day, which is important for truck drivers taking long trips.

Some healthy and simple breakfast ideas for truck drivers include oatmeal, fresh fruit, protein bars, or a mixture of different breakfast foods. Some drivers suggest eating a larger breakfast, and then smaller portions (healthier snacks) throughout the rest of the day to stay healthy, while avoiding hunger.

  • Snack on healthy foods to reduce meal portions

Snacking on healthy foods throughout the day will help you cut down on meal portions. Healthier snack foods that truckers can take on the road with them include:

  • Hummus and veggies
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Dried fruits
  • Mixed nuts
  • Jerky
  • Cheese-Not Processed
  • Dark chocolate
  • Yogurt


  • Eat more salad and leafy greens

Eating leafy greens two times per day will increase your focus on the road. Leafy greens are a good source of Vitamin K which prevents certain age related conditions. They also help lower cholesterol and preserve your vision.

  • Drink lots of water

Not drinking enough water can affect a driver’s alertness on the road. Drivers should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day to ensure their bodies are functioning to their full potential.

  • Don’t consume more than 2 cups of coffee per day

Coffee may help drivers stay awake, but consuming too much caffeine isn’t good for anyone. Following all of these other steps while getting an adequate amount of sleep should reduce the need for a lot of coffee. However, two cups of coffee per day is acceptable for drivers to take in.

  • Cut pop out of your diet

Soda dehydrates the body and is abundant in sugar. There are so many healthier beverage options including water, juice and tea.

  • Get enough sleep

Truck drivers should sleep for at least 7 hours per day in a dark and quiet place. Canadian research, 1 in 5 deaths on the roadway are caused by drivers who fell asleep while driving. Sleep is the key to health and safety, especially if you’re working long hours as a truck driver.

  • Take time to rest

To avoid restlessness while driving, take a short break when necessary and safe to do so. Pull to a rest stop and grab a snack or just stretch your legs and do some simple exercises. Small breaks can revamp your drive and give you more energy. You can take a few minutes to just touch your toes, roll out your neck or even do some jumping jacks to get your blood flow circulating properly.

  • Avoid fast food

Truck drivers are often temped with fast food because of its convenience. Try to avoid this unhealthy option at all costs. If you must go through a drive-thru, make a healthier food choice such as a salad or simply avoid the salty condiments and sides.

  • Exercise

Drivers should exercise at least three times per week to avoid being unhealthy. 52 percent of drivers have an issue with weight which is more than double the 21 percent of the general population. There are a myriad of workouts that truck drivers can participate in while on the road. While stopping for rest, drivers can take a short, 15-minute jog or fast pace walk. These exercises do not require any equipment and can be done anywhere. If you need some direction, there are numerous workout routines on YouTube. Some more exercises drivers can do include:

  • 5 minute sprints
  • 4 sets of 10 squats
  • 4 sets of 10 heel rises
  • 2 sets of 12 pushups
  • 4 sets of 15 crunches
  • 2 planks for 30 seconds each
  • 4 sets of 12 abs—touch your knees to your chest
  • 15-minute walk to cool down

No matter how important a load, truck drivers shouldn’t neglect their health and fitness. Following these tips and health guidelines should be an easy way for truck drivers to commit to healthy living.

If you would like to more information concerning truck drivers health, Please contact:

204 632-6600

 

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