Intrusive and excessive government regulations have been reported numerous times in HaulProduce.com and further proof of probably the greatest threat to the trucking industry, and particularly owner operators, comes from Dale Gray of Trenton, ON.
Dale is a veteran and drove a truck in the military before becoming a driver in civlian life in 1997. For over two years now he has been driving for Scotlynn Commodities Inc., of Vittoria, ON a Canadian transportation operation that has a sister company with several farms in Ontario and the USA that grows numerous items ranging from sweet corn to pumpkins.
Trucking both in the states and in Canada, Dale says American “rules are not as lienient.”
Although the hours of service regulations in both countries are similar, he prefers those in Canada because it allows him to be more profitable. For example, he can legally truck 13 hours in his country, compared to only 11 hours in the states.
“I prefer the the 13 hours driving time, because I can drive more hours. It makes a difference if you are paid by the mile,” Dale says.
He also notes he can split his sleeper berth hours by doing 8 1/2-hour increments during the day. In the US, the hours must be in 10-hour blocks.
“I can’t sleep for 10 hours,” he states. “Canadian rules are more user friendly.”
Speed limits are another matter, according to the 57-year-old driver. He notes Canadian speed limits in most of the country are 100 to 110 kilometers (65 – 70 mph). He prefers the higher American speed limits which range from 55 mph in California to 80 mph in Utah (75 mph in North Dakota where this interview took place).
Dale drives a 2012 maroon 386 model Peterbilt powered by a 485 hp Paacar MX diesel. The truck has a 60-inch sleeper with a 244-inch wheelbase and 13 speed tranny with overdrive. He pulls a 53-foot Utility trailer with a 2100 Advance Carrier refrigeration unit. Dale notes the reefer has a 120-gallon fuel tank that will run for a week.
“The reefer unit has a larger fuel tank so it can be shipped by rail,” he says.
Dale’s favorite thing about trucking is even though he is a company driver it is similar to being your own boss. “There is no one looking over your shoulder all of the time. In part of my military career, I was stuck in an office. I didn’t like that,” he states.
The worst part of driving is the attitudes of both four wheelers and truckers seems to have worsened over the years.
Dale hauls a lot of fresh produce grown by Scotlynn, plus he delivers a lot of frozen doughnuts and dry freight. On this particular day he was waiting to pick up a load of macaroni in Grand Forks, ND for delivery in Ontario.