AWARDED `02 AUG. 23
When things were slow in the film industry I would drive for Van Kam, supposedly hauling freight but most of the time I hauled groceries.
I am a nomadic Canadian. By that I mean I move from town to town and job to job. Sometimes I change towns to change jobs and other times I change jobs because I change towns.
The longest I have stayed in one town is ten years, the longest I have stayed in one house is eight, and the longest I have stayed with one company is five and even then I shunted from position to position, Cat operator, assistant to the powder man, chokerman, but mostly off highway log truck driver.
I don't move as much as I used to because I am getting older and too lazy to pack. Also companies are more reluctant to hire someone my age and also companies are more reluctant to hire someone with an unstable work history. Although my vast experiences make me valuable as a versatile employee and some companies look for that.
One thing I can usually rely on when job hunting is my experience as a trucker. With a clean driving record and a clean drug test most companies will take me on if they need a driver.
The difference now is that with my experience I am more reluctant to drive. Where I used to be willing to drive for anyone and drive anything just for the thrill of driving I now only drive for companies that have half decent equipment, pay good wages and haul where I want to haul.
I have been burnt by too many companies, I can't begin to tell you how many fly-by-niters still owe me a final paycheck.
Most of my driving has been done in the winter because that is when the best money used to be. A driver could go North to a camp and get free room and board, with excellent meals, and pack away the paycheques until spring break.
In the winter of `96 / `97 I took a break from selling real estate to go North and make some big money and found to my dismay that the big money has gone out of winter logging. Since I was already up there, and I couldn't find a camp job, I took a job driving highway logging truck but it will be my last winter going North.
Now thanks to the Workers Compensation Board forcing off highway truckers to pull smaller loads and put in less hours per day the companies have sold their trucks, closed their camps, and hired contractors with one or two trucks and everyone has to fend for themselves when it comes to finding a place to live.
The big money is gone and so am I. There is no point in going North if there is no money in it. And I don't like driving South as there are too many regulations. I'm a truck driver not a secretary and, though I enjoy writing, I can't stand all the government paper work.
In the Spring of `98 I hung up my real estate license, after nearly five years of going broke, and for the first time in many years accepted a job driving truck in the summer. The following short stories are the chronicles of my trips.
LINKS TO RELATED WEB SITES
DOG'S ESCORT SERVICE
A Pilot Car Service
Lady Trucker 47
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