2017 Manitoba Driver of the Year Announced

- by Aaron Dolyniuk

Saturday, June-17-17- Winnipeg, MB -The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) and Volvo Trucks Canada are pleased to announce that this year’s Manitoba Driver of the Year is – Ronald J. Rodych of Gordon Food Service. This year the award was presented by John Mauseth of Beaver Truck Centre on behalf of Volvo Trucks Canada at the Victoria Inn Hotel in Winnipeg.

The Driver of the Year is presented annually, and is selected from the Industry Excellence Award recipients from the previous year. The recipient is chosen based on commitment to the industry, safety, outstanding acts, and customer service.

Annually the Manitoba Driver of the Year is selected from the 10 Industry Excellence recipients by a panel of judges that include industry and law enforcement.

A driver with over 28 years with Gordon Food Service, Ron has received numerous awards as a professional driver.

As the Provincial Driver of the Year, Ron is now eligible for the Canadian Trucking Alliance/ Volvo Trucks Canada National Driver of the Year Award.


For more information, please contact:

Terry Shaw

Executive Director



2017 Manitoba PTDC Winners Announced

- by Aaron Dolyniuk

Saturday, June-17-17- Winnipeg, MB –Commercial Drivers from all over Manitoba came together for the 2017 Professional Truck Driving Championships (PTDC) held at Peterbilt Manitoba located at 1895 Brookside Boulevard.

The PTDC is where commercial drives in our province compete by demonstrating their skill on numerous levels including a written text, trip inspection station, and of course the driving track.

Winners for 2017 were announced later that evening at the Driver Awards Banquet held at the Victoria Inn Hotel in Winnipeg. Winners are as follows:

  • Straight Truck: Bruce McKechnie (Bison Transport)
  • Single-Single: Brian Hrabarchuk (Canadian Freightways)
  • Single-Tandem: Frank Klassen (Penner International)
  • Tandem-Tandem: Rodney Birdsbill (Bison Transport)
  • Super B Train: David Henry (REK Express)

Other event winners recognized at the banquet included:

  • J.O. Dutton Award: Denis Roberts (TST Overland Express)
  • First Time Entrant: Charlie Thompson Jr. (Arnold Bros. Transport)
  • Team Award: Canadian Freightways
  • Hal Bjornson Memorial Award: Brian Hrabarchuk (Canadian Freightways)
  • Grand Champion: Rodney Birdsbill (Bison Transport)

Included in the evening was also the presentation of the MTA-Custom Truck Sales Inc./Kenworth Truck Company Industry Excellence Award. To be selected to receive an Industry Excellence Award, a driver must have demonstrated a commitment to the trucking industry, safety, customer service, and even may have performed acts of outstanding bravery or courage, risking their own lives to save others.

Congratulations to the Industry Excellence Award recipients. They are: Tim Reimer (Steve’s Livestock), Terry Wright (Arnold Bros. Transport), Marcito Kehler (Steve’s Livestock), Ron Rodych (Gordon Food Service), Darren Bray (Arnold Bros. Transport), Myron Penner (Steve’s Livestock), Cass Nicbride (Bison Transport), Robert Goulet (Arnold Bros. Transport), Sheryl McLean (Kindersley Transportation), and Robert McLean (Kindersley Transportation). From this pool of award winners, the annual Volvo Trucks Canada Manitoba Driver of the Year is selected.


For more information, please contact:

Terry Shaw

Executive Director



The Changing Role Of HR

- by Don Stewart

“You can take my factories, burn my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll bring my business right back again.” —Henry Ford

Henry Ford’s moving assembly lines revolutionized manufacturing and changed the way people work. Automation meant the company could produce a complete car every 10 seconds of every working day. Ford was able to cut prices, build a better product, and still make a profit.

But he also recognized that his biggest advantage was his people. He doubled their minimum daily wage to $5 and made sure they had the skills to keep up with the pace of change.

Any time an industry or business faces monumental and rapid change, employees experience them, too—and the importance of HR intensifies.

Successful fleets today are aligning their organizational goals and HR planning. It is especially true among small fleets: in our 2017 Top Fleet Employer program, 18 of the 48 fleets recognized are small fleets, and 50% of them have an HR lead on staff. While those responsible for HR at the other 50% may not have “HR” in their job title, they’re clearly in charge of HR management.

The HR role has evolved beyond payroll and other administrative tasks and today should be part of your strategic management team, giving a competent manager or executive the insight necessary to link your business goals to recruitment, retention, compensation, and training.

If you want to remain competitive in a changing market, make sure your HR function is evolving along in step. Let’s look at three ways the trucking industry is evolving and how an HR manager can help:

Workforce Demographics

Millennials (employees under 35) are the largest cohort in Canada’s workforce yet baby boomers and Generation X still dominate managerial positions. We are witnessing more generational tension that can negatively impact morale, productivity, and overall workplace culture.

The large number of projected retirements combined with an influx of younger workers means that a lot of young people with limited experience will be taking on management-level positions at an accelerated pace.

Also, our workforce is more diverse than ever as new Canadians, women, and people from a variety of backgrounds enter the industry.

Your HR person can help with approaches to support all of the above, from assessing your workforce demographics to managing your pipeline of talent to helping you build a workplace where all employees feel welcome.


Technology like telematics and automation is putting pressure on fleets to assess their options and determine what will work for them—meaning an increased focus on data analysis.

New technologies also bring new training requirements. And, as many people are misled about autonomous technologies, we are seeing an urgent need to manage messaging around the continued importance of the driver occupation.

Your HR people can help identify the skills and competencies you need in order to assess new technologies, determine training requirements, and ensure that employees are engaged, informed, and aware of their role in the organization.


Our federal government is committed to amending the Canada Labour Code to provide workers in federally regulated industries the right to request flexible work arrangements from their employers. It is also committed to developing new accessibility legislation that will have impacts on the workplace.

The impending legalization of marijuana will have a significant impact on the workplace, and on the trucking industry in particular. It will have a direct impact on occupational requirements for safety-sensitive positions; human rights; the provision of workplace accommodations; and public perception.

As employers, you need to be educated and armed to address all of the above. When it comes to workplace issues, the assembly line isn’t slowly down. Competent HR managers can help you keep up—and keep your people on board.

By Angela Splinter, CEO of Trucking HR Canada


Let Government Know You Want A Fix to Recurrent Border Blackouts

- by Don Stewart

Since January 1, 2017, there have been about 30 outages of CBSA’s EDI/portal systems due to an antiquated computer system. Despite CBSA’s best efforts to mitigate these incidents, the system crashes keep happening with no easily-attainable solution in sight. Meanwhile, trucking companies, their drivers, as well as customers are being significantly impacted by these outages.

The MTA in collaboration with the CTA, have created a messaging campaign that allows carriers to send a form email each time the system goes down, reminding the ministers from Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, International Trade, Finance and the Treasury Board how system outages are hurting our industry and weakening cross-border commerce. The email urges the ministries responsible for the border to increase support to CBSA and fix these recurrent problems.

“The EDI/Portal outages are a significant threat to the financial health of our members and their customers,” said CTA President Stephen Laskowski. “The membership needs to remind these ministers their efforts in ensuring efficient trade, including upcoming negotiations with Washington on the future of NAFTA, will be greatly undermined if we don’t first deal with our internal border problems in our own backyard.”

The letter campaign also reminds the ministers that CBSA staffing shortages at various commercial ports – a historic (and growing) problem – needs to be dealt with along with EDI/Portal Outages.

All our regional associations are currently requesting that officials respond to the Alliance and their regional associations with short and long-term plans to fix these systems outages.

Starting today – and to be repeated each time CBSA’s system shuts down – please click here to send an automatic email to the ministries responsible for CBSA and border policies. (Click here for French).

Carriers are encouraged to fill out the System Outages Survey, which will provide CBSA information on operational challenges and extra costs carriers face when system issues occur.

To take the survey click on this link:

For further information please contact:

Terry Shaw

Manitoba Trucking Association

204 632-6600


Weed In The Work Place: An Employers Road Map

- by Don Stewart

A commentary by Trucking HR Canada


Employers need to review their workplaces and identify situations or areas where impairment would be either problematic or dangerous. The legal regime currently provides protections to employees even in workplaces that are highly safety sensitive. This includes industries involving transportation or employing heavy machinery, hazardous materials or chemicals.

There are cases which support the proposition that in the workplace, random drug or alcohol testing is not allowed in non-hazardous environments even where actual impairment exists. Termination for cause in these instances appears to require progressive discipline first. In hazardous environments, unless an employer can establish that the job site is safety sensitive and there is at least a general issue of drug use and impairment at work, the imposition of random testing and summary termination is problematic. Tests which provide evidence of drug usage, but dononot establish actual impairment, often dononot support termination for cause. Employers need to be aware of these issues and undertake appropriate reviews.


In view of the limitations on employers, even where safety is an issue, policies and procedures must be created or enhanced to deal with dope-induced impairment. Behaviours that will not be tolerated need to be listed. Clear disciplinary procedures need to be identified. By doing so, in the absence of situations where cause might exist, an employer may take preventative and remedial action, such as suspension or progressive discipline. Even in safety sensitive workplaces, employers should begin the work to create or strengthen infrastructures that will respond to these concerns. Most decisions have been in the unionized environment. They indicate that the more forgiving and supportive a drug policy is, the more likely it is that discipline and intrusive testing will be accepted. For instance, zero tolerance policies have been dealt with more harshly by arbitrators than those which offer other options before discipline is imposed.


All staff must be kept advised of the development or modification of any policy and they should be aware of its contents. This can be done by means of general meeting or information bulletins on internal websites. Employers must keep on top of the inevitable legal changes that will occur as the legal landscape evolves. The failure to do so will be costly, particularly if a policy or procedure is inadequate or wrong. Huge penalties or damage awards could prove catastrophic, not to mention the negative impact on a companyyys reputation. Where fair and clearly worded policies exist, the courts and tribunals tend to be more disposed to render favourable decisions.

The road ahead will be bumpy. If companies carefully develop a road map, there will be fewer blind alleys and detours on the journey for employers and human resource professionals to negotiate.

If any of our members are wishing to read the submission paper in regards to HR Challenges of Marijuana in the Workplace are encouraged to contact:

Terry Shaw

Manitoba Trucking Association

204 632-6600


MTA to Host Industry Round Table with Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program

- by Aaron Dolyniuk

On Thursday May 11th the MTA will host a round table discussion where together with officials from the Provincial nominee Program MTA member employers can have meaningful discussion to determine what the primary needs are for the Provincial Nominee Program for the next five years.

This event is open MTA members only. Registration is on a first come first serve basis and there are limited spaces available so please register now.

Click Here to Register


MTA 85th Annual General Meeting

- by Aaron Dolyniuk


Friday, April-7-17- Winnipeg, MB - The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) today held its 85th Annual General Meeting at the RBC Convention Center. This year’s President's report focused on positive regulatory changes, current advocacy and industry promotion.

The AGM opened with the Presidents Report and election of the new Board of Directors and Executive Committee, they are as follows:

John Erik Albrechtsen - Paul's Hauling Limited

Gary Arnold - Arnold Bros. Transport Limited
Jasvir Singh Brar - 4Tracks Ltd.
John Curcio - Manitoulin Transport Inc
Bruce Danylchuk - E.B.D. Enterprises Inc.
Dave Davis - Keystone Western Inc.
Ed Dillon - Kleysen Group LP
Bernie Driedger - Portage Transport
Jason Dubois - Len Dubois Trucking
Darrin Fiske - Kleysen Group LP
Kyle Harris - Harris Transport Ltd.
Scott Kinley - Gladstone Transfer
Derek Lachaine - TransX Group of Companies
Darren Lane - Fast lane Freight Services Inc.
Peter McDonald - TransX Group of Companies
Thomas McKee - Payne Transportation Ltd.
Marc Meyer - Meyer Bros. Trucking Ltd
Ryan Mitchell - Wildwood Transport Inc.
Jeff Odway - Prairie Intl. Container & Dray Services
Rob Penner - Bison Transport Inc..

PJ Singh - 4Tracks Ltd.

Kevin Small - Agri-Tel Transport

Dave Tyrchniewicz - Turk Enterprises Ltd.
Pauline Wiebe-Peters - Payne Transportation Ltd.
Steve Zokvic - Bison Transport Inc.
Ray Samaroo - Gardewine

Following the formal portion of the AGM there was a presentation from Angela Splinter Executive Director of Trucking HR Canada as well as two panel discussions discussing Major Technological Changes and Human Resources and Operations. The MTA would like to thank this year's event sponsor BFL Canada Insurance Service Inc.
For more information, please contact:
Terry Shaw
Executive Director


Do you want trucking recognized as a skill?

- by Don Stewart

Driving a truck is not formally recognized as a skilled occupation. Many people are shocked to learn this. But there is no mistaking it. Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code –which groups more than 40,000 occupations into one of four skill levels – lists truck drivers as “low skilled”.

Why does this matter? A “low skilled” NOC code limits the access to training and retraining funds. Experienced drivers in other countries cannot be recruited through traditional immigration channels. There is also a matter of pride. Everyone wants to be recognized for the skills they bring to the job.

Every career ad that claims “no education required” or “no experience necessary” it leads people to believe that the job of a truck driver is easier than it really is. Potential recruits are left with a negative opinion of the career. Under-trained employees become discouraged when they are unable to secure work with reputable carriers. Employers can change this situation. Canada makes structural changes to NOC codes every 10 years, and researchers are now reviewing job descriptions and career ads to identify the skills that the trucking industry actually requires. The way you describe jobs today will demonstrate your actual needs.

If you would like more information please see the below links or contact:


204 632-6600


What Are The Benefits Of Industry Specific Safety Programs?

- by Don Stewart

RPM Trucking Industry Safety program was established in 2015 and is here to provide employers, supervisors, and workers within the Manitoba trucking industry with health and safety expertise, which will in turn allow them to create healthy, safe, productive workplaces and an integrated culture of safety.

A solid safety program not only keeps workers safe, it further reduces costs to the business with improved productivity and opportunities for further reductions in WCB premiums.

Each year approximately 1,100 workers are injured in our industry. In addition to the very real and potentially tragic human cost to our workers, direct and indirect costs to our industry are estimated to exceed ninety million annually.

In 2016, RPM became a Certifying Partner with Safe Work Manitobababs safety certification program. RPM provides certification courses and advisory services to assist companies to become Safe Work Certified.

For a reduction of 15% on your annual WCB premiums, Please contact:

The Manitoba Trucking Association or www.RPMSafety.CA

25 Bunting Street

Winnipeg, MB R2X-2P5

204 632-6600


Manitoba Trucking Association Board of Directors at Work for Industry

- by Don Stewart

The MTA Board of Directors convened in February to discuss over 12 Industry topics of relevance to our rapidly growing industry, would you like to know what some of those discussions involved?

Carbon Pricing In Manitoba:

The MTA has been focused on the hot topic of Carbon Tax in Manitoba and what that will look like for our industry. Our Executive has met with the Senior Advisor on Climate Change for the Province of Manitoba. This was a very informative meeting for everyone involved and great dialogue between the province’s representative and our Executive. Discussions on strategies moving forward are ongoing, along with the MTA’s white paper being amended to convey the impact of Carbon Tax on our industry in Manitoba. Members wanting to access a copy of that white paper can contact the MTA office.

Plessis Road – Safety and Access:

It has always been the MTA’s default position to support the safe and efficient flow of traffic. In our industry, we prefer the elimination of traffic control devices and are in favor of underpasses and other means to keep traffic moving. The MTA was approached by a few members regarding access to the CN facility on Plessis road. After a review of the situation, it was determined that a set of lights and a request for reduced speeds at the intersection would be the most effective resolution. Staff will take this information and reach out to their contacts at the City of Winnipeg. As we hear from our contacts at the city we’ll keep members posted.

Road Safety and the Perimeter Highway:

Last year the MTA took a position in support of closing access to the Oak Bluff Industrial Park from the Perimeter Highway. The MTA’s position at the time stated:

“The MTA supports making MacDonald Road a Truck Route and the intersection across the Perimeter Highway at Oakland road should be closed to crossing traffic.”

In support of this position MTA staff contacted the Reeve and staff of the RM of Macdonald. A meeting was held and the RM staff advised they are also concerned with safety at this intersection. They did however advise that they would not support in specific the MTA’s current position on this item. Macdonald Road at it is adjacent to a residential area and they also suggested the turn geometry is challenging.

An alternative was suggested, which was that heavy truck traffic be routed via a service road which can be accessed from the Wilkes overpass. The Board disagreed with that assessment however so conversations with the RM to solidify an alternative route are ongoing.

If you have any questions or information you wish to share, please don't hesitate to contact:

25 Bunting Street

Winnipeg, MB R2X 2P5

P: 204 632-6600


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