Cost of life in Canada

Old Nov 21st 2011, 6:14 am
  #31  
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

I agree that the Unions will only change pay and conditions if there is 100% driver commitment. But I think there is a place for them regarding driver retention. If there is a laid out path for grievences to be dealt with, then I'm sure it would stop companies losing good drivers for silly little reasons. I know Swift have some sort of feedback process from senior drivers, maybe something like that is needed everywhere.
I admit that I do make an effort to be "Presentable", especially at the border, and I think it helps. I also avoid giving my profession as "Truck-driver." I refer to myself as a writer, well I wrote this didn't I, and I find it's working very well on Internet dating sites.
I find that companies are loath to paying for waiting time if they cannot get it back from the customer. They have the "Trucks not earning-then you're not earning" stance and with very narrow profit-margins, it's understandable. Luckily, where I am, I've not had any unreasonable delays; yet.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 6:30 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

I agree that things won't change, not at the vast majority of companies, but as in The UK, decent drivers will be able to find decent jobs, it's the way of the free market, law of the jungle, whatever.

To carry on the jungle reference, a group of chimpanzees will have a bunch that rise above their peers, they're the Alpha Males and they get the best looking monkey girls, they get first pick of the bunch of bananas etc etc, the same happens in the trucking industry, the better drivers get the better jobs.

Now I'm going to make a statement that, at first, seems selfish, but if everybody adopted the same philosophy it would be better for everyone.

I look after number one, I work hard, I do the job to the best of my ability at all times, I'm polite and diplomatic at customers, I look after my truck, so I expect decent wages and conditions in return. I set my stall out quite clearly as to what I will or will not do, so I don't really have any problems, sure s**t happens once in a while, but that's life.

I have friends at work, I speak to them sometimes and think 'they wouldn't have asked me to do that' and they don't need to ask me, because there's always an idiot out there somewhere who will be exploited.

I used to run a traffic office, I had over a hundred drivers on days and fifty plus at night, I used to allocate the work to both sets of drivers, there were some that would do anything I gave them, others were a bit more choosy, yet the choosy ones did a very good job, they realised their value and made me realise it too and once I allocated them a job I could forget about it, the other, more willing drivers needed constant monitoring, they always seemed to have problems, so even though the 'better' drivers were a pain in the arse at times, they ultimately made my life easier. Any decent company will recognise this and therefore decent drivers will always be able to get a decent job.

The end

Last edited by Chicken lights and chrome; Nov 21st 2011 at 6:32 am. Reason: typo
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 6:57 am
  #33  
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

It's true that cream does rise to the top, but you cannot keep creaming off all the choice jobs without, sooner or later, coming in to find a "work-mate" has pulled your pin.
In this job, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get the chance to stick your tongue down the throat of a princess.
It's all to do with figures; ie: making money for the boss.
If you can force yourself and your truck into the top 20% of your companies profit-makers then they would be foolish not to use you to your full potential.
If you have goose that lays a golden egg then you feed it well and hope it lays some more.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 10:10 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Ahh the pulling the pin thing, that underlines my point about drivers being thick, if that's done because they perceive me as supertrucker, well that's their problem, they could quite easily be the same, but their shoddy attitude to the job keeps them way down the food chain, you reap what you sew
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 10:28 am
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Trouble is............ those at the top of the ladder are not regarded as some one to be looked-up to and admired. They are seen as targets to be brought down. And there are an awful lot drivers bobbing along at the bottom of the work pool who would love you to join them there.
Similar attitude to how the tabloid press treats any successful Brit.
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Old Nov 21st 2011, 11:32 am
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

That's society in general I'm afraid, the entitlement mentality, it's all me me me and want want want nowadays.

Bring back national service I say

I actually hope that the situation gets worse, that nobody except total retards want to be truck drivers, it just makes drivers like me more valuable and will give me plenty of material for my columns, I'll be laughing all the way to the bank
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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Originally Posted by Chicken lights and chrome
Actually he can move pretty fast..........if there's a free pie involved
Or pint


I have just been shocked at how much it actually costs to live on the road. I have never took notice of how much I spend as it is just part of the job but I recently took to cooking in the cab. I have the fridge, microwave, kettle etc and for quite a bit less than $100 could buy enough to last me a week
Until this week I had to take another truck out on a short trip while mine was in the sick bay and couldn't be bothered moving all my gear so went with wallet and bedding. The $100 didn't last too long and the food was crap, I was limited to when and where I ate and hated the whole trip because of this.
So there is certainly a lot of money to be saved by cooking in the cab, although that was never the reason I started doing it I now prefer it and I am totally converted to it.
Wonder if I could get away with home brew in there too
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Old Nov 22nd 2011, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Can cost an awful lot on longhaul.I had a fridge freezer in the old VN,so when wifey cooked at home she would always do a supper for me,it worked well as I could defrost a meal of choice throughout the day then whack in the m/wave wherever I happened to stop at night,on the customers dock or the arse end of nowhere ,lovely jubbly
Bought a black and decker coffee maker from Wallymart for $15,a toaster for even less,fresh fruit juice in the fridge etc.Would take a bag of salad and some cold meats for lunch,probably never eaten so well in my life
Now as I'm only out for 4 days at a time,it's a case of buying a coffee where I can,grab a sub for lunch,then a half decent restaurant for supper(on expenses of course),unless like tonight as my truck is sick and in the shop,so it's feet up in front of the fire with a nice lasagne washed down with a couple of Kokanees finest. Rose tinted glasses,oh yes.
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Old Nov 27th 2011, 7:36 am
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

The difference in price when you cross the border also has to be taken into account.
I will always pick up my supplies in USA if I can.
I have been told the trailer park is cheap too
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Old Nov 29th 2011, 10:54 am
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

I dine in cab too most of the time, not only for the financial gain, but because I got sick to death of eating the same old crap night after night, it's all about quantity not quality and not only that, I am appalled at the way people eat over here, they lack the ability to hold a knife and fork at the same time, chew with their mouths open and gorge themselves to the point of morbid obesity, it puts me off my food

Today I had some Oatmeal for breakfast, this evening I have had Chicken Tangine and Cous Cous, all done in the truck, much tastier than I could've got in a truckstop, far cheaper and I ate when I wanted to, not when I could

Now, back to the subject, well not THE subject, but the tangent we went off at

Money, or the lack of in this job and how it affects us ex pats specifically. Many have tried to get out of the long haul jobs, for whatever reason, some have managed to stick at local work, but taken a pay cut and a subsequent drop in standard of living as a result, I know some have been lucky, but for the most part, city driving does not pay enough, oh the people that do it say it does, but they're either lying or working 18hrs a day, 7 days a week

I have heard that one bloke gave up a city job to go long haul to save on cigarettes from Duty Free and the $60 a week it was costing in gas, but I only heard, so I could be barking up the wrong tree. If that instance is true, nobody smokes that much and $60 gas a week would only cause a problem if you were on really bad money, so it would appear that on general haulage at least, we're stuck on long haul if we want to earn decent money.

Personally I'm ok with that, I came here to do long haul, but for those who came, or are thinking of coming, just to get out of Britain, it'll make for a few shattered dreams
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Old Nov 29th 2011, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Not all doom and gloom though matey,just remember the big fat cheque that comes from Revenue Canada every spring to compensate us for the hardship of food a la camion .
Roadking Edmonton tomorrow night if anyones around.
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Old Nov 29th 2011, 11:27 am
  #42  
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Originally Posted by flat to the mat
Not all doom and gloom though matey,just remember the big fat cheque that comes from Revenue Canada every spring to compensate us for the hardship of food a la camion .
Roadking Edmonton tomorrow night if anyones around.
I'm in Ontario, hanging with my rock star friends

I was working out my miles for the year earlier, averaging about 12k a month and I've had loads of time off this year, a couple of weeks in Jan to move house, went back for a fortnight of kebabs and pints of Stella in March, had another fortnight off in August and plenty of long weekends too.

Of course, with an average like that and that amount of home time, I don't mess around when I'm at work, but having a decent job helps with that, I've only had a few days (paid)layover this whole year and most of them have been somewhere hot and sunny, so a lot easier to swallow. I have done a few 36hr resets at home and gone out again, but even then I've managed to get back early on the day I stop and start late when I come back in, so had two nights cuddled up with Mrs Chicken Lights
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Old Nov 29th 2011, 11:52 am
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LOL,so does that mean you're in Regina on Dec 11th? Wifey would be very grateful,not THAT much,but she might cough up enough for a few cold ones whilst she swoons and dribbles uncontrollably inside the arena
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Old Nov 29th 2011, 11:56 am
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Originally Posted by flat to the mat
LOL,so does that mean you're in Regina on Dec 11th? Wifey would be very grateful,not THAT much,but she might cough up enough for a few cold ones whilst she swoons and dribbles uncontrollably inside the arena
I'm swerving Northern ON, MB and SK, I pick it back up again in Edmonton and finish off in Victoria BC.

I'll see what I can do though, you never know........
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Old Nov 29th 2011, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Cost of life in Canada

Tnx Mark,hope you're taking advantage and making another diary/blog whilst hanging out with the chosen few. Enjoy
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