Commercial vehicles still rely heavily on diesel fuel and will for some time; however, more sustainable technology is on the way and already being deployed. (Metro Creative)

National Trucking Week 2019: Changemakers Wanted

By Dave Earle,

President and CEO

The trucking industry has been grappling with a shortage of workers over many years. Right now unemployment is low, many millennials remain uninterested in trades and heavy-duty diesel trucks are viewed as significant contributors to climate change. These are trends we need help to address. Since September 1 to 7 is National Trucking Week, I’d like to mark it with a message about the industry for career seekers. We need your passion and commitment and courage to step up and take part in redefining an industry that serves everyone.

We’re also thinking ahead about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit. If you are planning your career or looking to switch and want to make a difference, the trucking industry needs you. Whether designing or building new equipment or bringing your skills and dedication to make the truck you drive a model of efficiency and sustainability, your help is welcome. The big picture, the amount of change that’s required, can be overwhelming, but we’re all granted an individual sphere of influence. Your contribution added to others can create something remarkable

While commercial vehicles still rely heavily on diesel fuel and will for some time, more sustainable technology is on the way and already being deployed. Battery-electric trucks are being piloted in small numbers in California, with more coming for the companies who purchased them. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and natural gas hybrids are also being evaluated – really, invented – in the field.

We’ll have to wait for these trucks to completely change the landscape of the industry. But in the meantime, professional truck drivers remain the number one factor in achieving fuel efficiency with a heavy-duty diesel vehicle.

Trucking companies know this, since fuel efficiency is not only desirable environmentally, it leads to substantial savings for businesses. Fuel is often the primary cost for companies. Young people who are drawn to the good things about trucking careers – independence, the trucks themselves and the chance to travel – may also appreciate the thought that responsible carriers put into sustainable practices for their fleets. And into building a company culture that rewards drivers who are determined to make a difference day to day with their performance.

Many fleets proactively encourage their drivers to meet fuel-saving targets. They may use speed limiters to cap the speed at which their vehicles can travel and track indicators like hard braking and acceleration in order to coach drivers who need it. Many reward drivers for fuel-efficiency gains, taking steps to retain those who understand and practice fuel-efficient driving techniques. Career seekers curious about driving truck should research not only what the job is about but which fleets value their drivers’ contribution and how. In Canada and B.C., a great resource is the list of employers who are honoured annually as Top Fleet Employers by Trucking HR Canada, a partner organization for industry on human resources issues. There are 63 employers across Canada on this list, many located or with terminals in B.C., who have received recognition for best HR practices among applicants. The list grows each year. In our province this summer, four Top Fleet Employers had openings for Class 1 drivers in Burns Lake, Chilliwack, Chetwynd, Grand Forks, Langley, Kamloops and Kelowna.

Imagine the contribution you could make. Truck driving is only one job among many the industry needs to fill, but changes are happening throughout companies and fleets, with technology, a focus on HR, and the attitude that we can adapt, especially if enough changemakers join us. Happy National Trucking Week to the industry and to those thinking about trucking careers. We look forward to your support.

About the BC Trucking Association

The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) isa member-based, non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization, is the recognised voice of the provincial motor carrier industry, representing over 1200 truck and bus fleets and over 250 suppliers to the industry. BCTA members operate over 13,000 vehicles, employ 26,000 people, and generate over $2 billion in revenue annually in British Columbia.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kamloops RCMP look for man who may have been heading to 100 Mile House

Rudolph “Rudy” Kobzey was planning to head to 100 Mile House to visit a friend

Clearwater mayor unimpressed with Forest Minister’s inaction on local tenure transfer

Mayor Merlin Blackwell says he’s ready to lead delegation to Victoria

Valley Voice: Remembering the tools of yesteryear

Barriere and District Heritage Society talks about a few mundane modern tasks that were once laborous and time consuming

Replacement of Beaton Road Bridge in Kamloops set to begin

Construction will begin March 2, closing the east end of the road to all traffic

Moose Hide campaign goes into third year

Event will be held at the Dutch Lake Community Centre on Feb. 24

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

‘It’s like he just vanished’: Quesnel man still missing, last seen two months ago

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

COLUMN: Forestry no longer close to top of B.C.’s economy

Our reactions to a forestry downturn reflect the past, not the present

Caught on camera: Police release video of man who allegedly stole seaplane in Vancouver

Police say the man broke into the Harbour Air terminal and then got into one of the seaplanes in the harbour

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Most Read