With the encouragement and support of many truck drivers, well-known drivers Kim Wylie and Trent LaIone, have started a “Trucking is a Trade” Facebook page. There are no dues or fees to join, but you may make a difference in the Industry by joining this Facebook Page. The purpose is to get truck drivers recognized, trained and paid like the professional people they are. For all the posturing of politicians, the only thing that makes them sit up and take notice is the number of members in a group. Votes are the only thing that is important to them. Truck driver is still the most common occupation listed on the Canadian Census, which means the untapped influence truckers could have as a group is enormous. Trucking associations that represent the trucking companies can influence government policy because they have large memberships. There is no reason truckers can not do the same because our numbers are much higher.
If the government recognizes trucking as a trade, drivers will have to be paid as tradespeople. This will level the playing field and eliminate the fly-by-night companies that undercut rates on the backs of poorly paid employees. The current practice drives rates down, keeps wages low, and can lead to accidents. You will never eliminate human error, but proper education and training will greatly reduce the number of tragedies like the Humboldt crash.
Professional Trucking and Insurance companies require a bare minimum of two years (6,000 hours) of experience before they will hire, or insure a driver. They do this because they know it requires several thousand hours to become a reasonably safe driver. It then takes several thousands more hours to become what those in the Industry recognize as a professional driver. With so many different loads and trailer configurations, professional drivers readily admit they never stop learning.
Most of the things you currently see online focus on what truckers do wrong. “Trucking is a Trade” is about what truck drivers do right, the efforts we make and the obstacles we endure. You can post pictures of your truck or stories of your travels and the people who have helped you along the way.
By making trucking a trade, we will be able to create a path for people to enter the Industry, get professionally trained, and have a safe and secure career. It’s not easy convincing politicians, even in spite of all the high-profile truck wrecks involving inexperienced drivers. The only thing that will make a politician take notice is the number of votes a group has. If you agree with the aim of the group, it is easy to sign up and be part of the solution.