CTA president Stephen Laskowski recently underscored the five areas that need to level to playing field in the trucking industry while addressing the Alberta Motor Transport Association’s (AMTA) 80th annual Leadership Conference and AGM in Banff, Alta.
For starters, Truck West reported Laskowski as saying that Driver Inc. – when a truck driver is hired by a company and then incorporates him/herself without any equipment (unlike an owner-operator, with no source deductions – is a practice CTA is working with governments to end.
“There’s no free lunch, everybody pays taxes,” said Laskowski, adding that labour is currently the trucking industry’s biggest struggle and there are no consequences for those participating in Driver Inc. “This is the biggest issue we need to fix and it’s fixable.”
Delete kits – which have stemmed from frustrations with cold starting and breakdowns – was the next issue raised by Laskowski.
The CTA president said the industry should be proud that it is the leading freight transportation sector investing in environmental equipment, and carrier cannot pick and choose their principles.
“You can’t play that game as an organization,” Laskowski said, adding that the CTA has brought this issue to the federal government.
Hours-of-service (HOS) and electronic logging devices (ELDs) is another issue.
Underscoring that ELDs do not change HOS regulation but rather moves them from paper to electronic platforms, Laskowski said in the past it was the customer that benefitted from non-compliance.
“I don’t think we can be defeated by the past, but we can learn from it,” he said, confirming that the industry does not want drivers who are fatigued and non-compliant.
Fleet safety compliance is another area that will help level the playing field for the industry.
Laskowski said the industry’s dedication to safety is evident, in that since the mid-90s there has been a 66% decline in the fatality rate from large truck collisions despite a 75% increase in truck traffic.
Labor compliance was the final aspect of the CTA’s five leveling the playing field effort.