Posts by Don Stewart
- by Don Stewart
Prepare For The Winter Season:
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 cognizant 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. 1/4 mile).
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 sometimes extra pressures. 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.
Tire Chains- With the rising cost fines in our mountainous regions, ensuring your tire chains are in working order and utilizing them during mandatory periods, is paramount in the safety of your truck.
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
- by Don Stewart
With The Return To School Around The Corner, Please Slow Down!
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!
- by Don Stewart
National Truck Week is traditionally a week-long celebration during the first week of September and the purpose of the week-long 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 28th @ 1900-2130
Although this is not technically during National Truck Week, we are considering this event as our kickoff to NTW again this year. Our Members American Express are hosting over 150 of our Industry members at the Goldeyes game against the Gary SouthShore RailCats. This will be a fun event as the Goldeye's are also members of the Association and we look forward to the camaraderie this will share at the ball park.
Member Visits: September 3rd
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 4th @ 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/Emmerson Scale BBQ in partnership with HyLife Foods, Bison Transport and Inland/CTS: September 5th @ 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: Friday September 6th @ 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. We are hosting the event this year in front of the MTA office at 25 Bunting Street.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 14th 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 the - 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!
- by Don Stewart
Provincial Truck Driving Championship Winners Announced
The Professional Truck Driving Championship is a competition for professional truck drivers to showcase their incredible driving skills. They must drive through a prescribed obstacle course, perform a timed pre trip inspection and complete a written test. The winners in each category will become the MB Champion in their class and will receive a trophy and prize.
The 2019 Manitoba Professional Truck Driving Championships are officially in the books! This event was Held on June 15, at the Headingley Husky.
First Place Winners:
- Single/Tandem: Bruce McKechnie of Bison Transport Inc.
- Tandem/Tandem: Brian Hrabarchuk of Canadian Freightways Ltd.
- Super B: David Henry of REK Express
- Turn Pike: Roy Dillon of TransX Group of Companies
- Single/Tandem: Mario Tyszuk of Bison Transport
- Tandem/Tandem: Sergii Linkevych of Bison Transport (Saskatchewan Competitor)
- Super B: David Greschuk of Arnold Bros. Transportation Academy
- Turn Pike: David Phillips of Bison Transport
- Single/Tandem: Jason Novak of Canadian Freightways
- Tandem/Tandem: Jasvinder Brar of Bison Transport
- Super B: Rodney Birdsbill of Bison Transport
- Turn Pike: Darren Cassan of Arnold Bros. Transport
- 1st Place Team: Bison #1
- 2nd Place Team: Bison # 2
- 3rd Place Team: Arnold Bros. Transport
Other Competition Winners:
- First Time Entrant: Darren Cassan of Arnold Bros. Transport Ltd.
- Hal Bjornson Memorial Award: Brian Hrabarchuk of Canadian Freightways Ltd.
- Grand Champion: Brian Hrabarchuk of Canadian Freightways Ltd.
- Partner Competition: Cayla McKechnie (Bison Transport Inc)
- by Don Stewart
As most members are aware the federal government has imposed a carbon tax on inter-provincial carriers operating into, out of, and through – Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick (and in the Yukon and Nunavut as of July 1, 2019). Below and attached are resources to help carriers.
List of resources from CRA to assist carriers with this policy.
- CRA’s PowerPoint presentation on the carbon tax and registration system: RoadCarriers_PP_public
- CRA memo on carbon tax: Road Carrier_SDM_public
- General information page – https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/...
- Information on where you can find forms and other documents – https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/t...
- Email: If you send questions to this email, the CRA will respond with answers (Note: due to volume it may take a few days for a response) —FuelCharge@cra-arc.gc.ca
- Atlantic Region Excise Duties and Taxes Post Office Box 638 Halifax NSB3J 2T5 Phone: 1-888-327-7999 Fax: 1-902-450-8559
- Ontario Region Excise Duties and Taxes 5800 Hurontario St Mississauga ONL5R 4B4 Phone: 1-866-667-9851 Fax: 1-905-615-2814
- Quebec Region Excise Duties and Taxes Section 492 Post Office Box 32305 René-Lévesque Blvd W Montreal QCH2Z 1A6 Phone: 1-833-240-2476
- Prairie Region Excise Duties and Taxes Room 232220 4th Avenue SE Calgary ABT2G 0L1Phone: 1-866-439-4202 Fax 1-403-292-4075
- Pacific Region Excise Duties and Taxes c/o 468 Terminal Ave 3rd floor 9755 King George Blvd Surrey BCV3T 5E1 Phone: 1-833-532-9908 Fax:1-604-658-8660
If you have any further questions about the new Carbon Tax, Please contact:
- by Don Stewart
Please be advised that the Manitoba Trucking Association office will be closed on Friday April 5th, as we are hosting our 87th Annual AGM.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we will re open on Monday April 8th at 08:30am.
- by Don Stewart
The Top Fleet Employers program is open to fleets of every size and type. A panel of trucking and logistics industry experts and a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) validated the Top Fleet Employer Program’s rating criteria. The rating criteria reflect Canadian human resources issues, trends and working environments, and Trucking HR Canada’s standards of excellence.
The criteria consider every position in a fleet. They also take into account special considerations affecting different types of fleets. For example, the criteria applied to for-hire fleets are firmly rooted in the core values of the Canadian Trucking Alliance’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver Shortage. The criteria and evaluation of private fleets and fleet services account for their unique working environments and requirements within the overarching criteria of the program.
Fleet employers apply and participate in a rigorous three-part review of their human resources policies and programs. The review includes the completion of a pre-application, a comprehensive online submission (which may or may not include follow up discussions with the company) and a Trucking HR Canada survey of the company’s employees. The review assesses the scope of an employer’s formal HR policies and programs in four key categories: Basics, Respect, Training and Family.
Congratulations to our members who have been recognised as Top Fleet Employers in 2018, what an incredible honor.
Fleets Of Distinction
SLH Transport Canada
Arnold Bros. Transport
Q-Line Trucking Ltd.
Trailer Wizards Ltd.
Payne Transportation Ltd.
New This Year:
Fast Lane Freight Services
- by Don Stewart
The Provinces Spring Road Restrictions Program (SRR) is upon us, with the start date scheduled for March 15, 2019.
The purpose of Spring Road Restrictions is to protect Manitoba's surfaced pavements from undue damage by reducing allowable axle weights during the spring thawing season. In consultation with those affected by these weight reductions, Manitoba Infrastructure periodically revises its policies and procedures to reflect the current transportation trends, industry needs and weather patterns. Up to date policies and procedures help industry improve trip planning while minimizing the impact of loads to the weak pavement structures when they are at their most vulnerable conditions.
The SRR official start and end dates have been published and available below:
The Province Issues Notification Of Affected Highways
Spring road restrictions are determined through collection and analysis of data from the previous year, resulting in the evaluation and determination of which roads will be subject to restriction in the upcoming spring season. To assist motor carriers, farmers, businesses and other interested parties in preparation, the SRR order is what identifies the affected roadways, This order is made available on the MI website in the fall with subsequent update(s) as required. Advertisements announcing that the upcoming spring road restrictions order is available throughout the year, and information on how to obtain the Order, are published in the fall and in February in various publications.
If you're unaware of the Spring Road Restrictions Order, please use the link below:
You can also access the SRR Order via:
- contacting Permit Services at (204) 945-3961, or toll free at 1-877-812-0009
- contacting local Manitoba Infrastructure Offices and Weigh Stations (PDF)
To print complete map of SRR:
If you require any further information, please contact:
- by Don Stewart
When Should "Jake Brakes" Be Used?
Use of Engine Retarder Brakes:
Engine retarder brakes are used in many heavy trucks as a supplement to the vehicles service brakes. The principle behind the engine retarder brake is that it changes the action of the exhaust valves, turning the engine into an air compressor. Engine brakes use the characteristics of the diesel engine to produce a significant amount of drag through the vehicles drive train to the wheels. This allows the service brakes to stay cool and ready for emergencies. Retarders serve to slow the vehicles, or maintain a steady speed while traveling down a hill, and help prevent the vehicle from "running away" by accelerating down the hill.
Engine retarder brakes provide increased driving safety in difficult weather and road conditions, including ice, snow and wet or gravel road surfaces and especially when travelling downhill.
Engine retarder brakes can help provide:
Faster, steadier, more efficient braking performance.
Reduced wear on engine, tires, and service brakes.
Less vehicle downtime.
Enhanced driver confidence.
When Shouldn't "Jake Brakes" Be Used?
Actions restricting the use of engine retarder brakes will have legal and safety implications since truck drivers often rely on engine brakes in controlling their vehicles under various situations.
In 1998, the City of Winnipeg enacted a by-law which prohibits the use of engine retarder brakes (Jake brakes) within the city boundaries.
A person must not
(a) except in any emergency, engage, operate, apply or otherwise use an engine retarder brake in any vehicle driven within the City of Winnipeg;
Additionally, the City of Winnipeg has posted signs at the outskirts of the city to advise drivers of this by-law.
Unfortunately some drivers choose to ignore the by-law and signs, and continue to use their engine retarder brakes within the city limits. As members can appreciate, the resulting noise can be a great annoyance to residents in the close proximity.
We must do our best to respect the rights of our city residents and to this end the MTA is requesting that members remind their drivers of this by-law and also to advise them not to use this braking system within the City of Winnipeg boundaries.
Your cooperation and assistance in addressing this issue, is greatly appreciated.
If you would like more information about Engine Retarder Brakes, please contact:
- by Don Stewart
The Canadian Trucking Alliance produced a multimedia toolkit to assist industry, governments as well as injury prevention stakeholders in promoting truck driver safety at workplaces and shipping facilities.
The media toolkit features ‘whiteboard’ animation videos and digital infographics in English and French, which provide facility operators helpful tips on improving safety and reducing injury risk to flatbed truck drivers in particular.
Through the whiteboard video and infographics, CTA illustrates ‘best’ and ‘poor’ practices at workplaces facilities and reminds site operators of their responsibilities to ensure safety on their premises.
While the media material focuses mostly on flatbed drivers, many of these types of issues are relevant in other sectors. For example, grain haulers are often forced to clean residual grain from their vehicles in unsafe environments as well.
“CTA encourages carriers to share this information with their customers to promote best practices when loading and unloading flatbed trucks,” said Stephen Laskowski, president, CTA. “For our part, the Alliance requests ESDC works with CTA to encourage shippers and receivers to create safer workplaces and to work with provincial authorities to enforce the law against those who create dangerous conditions for drivers of flatbed trucks as well as other configurations requiring drivers to work in situations covered by fall protection regulations.”
To view the video, Keeping Flatbed Truck Drivers Safe, click here: