Blame the Road Maintenance

Road ConstructionI exchanged Tweets last week with a commercial truck driver who was less than impressed with the winter maintenance of BC's highways. There is no doubt in my mind that when your livelihood depends on being able to keep your truck moving road maintenance is a subject near and dear to your heart. My question is, was this gentleman speaking from emotion or was he being realistic?

If money was no object, we could hire enough people and equipment that snow removal vehicles would pass by you on any highway in BC like transit buses in downtown Vancouver at rush hour. This is not realistic of course. Our taxes would not support it and what would you do with all that manpower and machinery when the snow wasn't falling?

When I travel in winter, part of the plan includes the decision on whether it is appropriate to travel at all. If it is, and I run into an unforeseen situation, it's up to me to have some stake in being able to look after myself. Good winter tires, chains, jumper cables, a shovel, some sand, breakdown warnings, you get the idea. I cannot and should not place 100% of the job on the shoulders of the road maintenance contractors.

Yes, sometimes road maintenance is not ideal. People get sick and can't come to work, equipment breaks down and Mother Nature just dumps more snow out of the sky than even the best can cope with. It's all a compromise and in my experience the crews seem to do quite well more often than not. Enough that I am still procrastinating about buying the set of chains for my truck that I swore I would by after getting stuck on an unploughed road a couple of years ago.

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Comments

Blame?

As a professional driver myself I would be willing to bet that this driver probably was speaking from emotion, somewhat. That being said, as a former police officer, you should know how powerful and how wrong the implications you just made are.

You know as well as we do that commercial vehicles MUST carry chains during the winter season. You also know that with driving on our Canadian highways, commercial drivers have no choice but to "take care of themselves ". I must agree that road maintenance is lacking considering the amount of taxes we pay. The reason I say this is there has been many occasions where you can travel hundreds of kilometres and not see one snowplow. Of course there has to be realistic expectations, but shouldn't that be from both sides?

As far as deciding whether or not to travel, it's really not that simple for us. If we don't continue on and put our lives at risk, then you go without. Your groceries don't come in, you won't get the new computer to type your messages on to the internet, and the chains you need for your truck simply won't get there.

I will say again, as a former police officer you know the power of implications. You held a position that commands respect from a large part of our society. You protect us and our best interests. My profession is taken for granted and generally looked down upon usually with great disdain. For you to infer that he wasn't being realistic and wasn't taking care of himself is very frustrating and disappointing. You seem to have the same mentality as most of society. This makes me very sad because I hold someone in your position to a higher standard.

Dear Krofte

Whats with laying it down heavy dood?

If all the truckers just quit today, next week we'll have trains and automated electric delivery dollies shooting from stations to grocery shops. Computers would be delivered by flying drones, and you would be permanently out of the job. Get ready for it.
Trucking is the least ecological, the least effective, the most infrastructure damaging way to operate the movement of goods to and from places in this century. If we as a society decided to build a pneumatic tube delivery system across the continent and to each dwelling - it would still be more ecological and more efficient than trucking. The sole reason "truckkin" is still around is because of your lobbies and unions and persons in high positions perpetually continuing the myth that life will stop with trucks.
That was the emotional part.

Don't you lay down so heavy on the person who voices the true and natural principle of "Saving the life from drowning is primarily the business of those who are drowning". You are antiquated in your view of the Police character, and this site's host is  one of the very few who actually meet the highest standards, more so than any other officer I've had the pleasure to deal with.
 

What kind of maintenance?

What about the potholes and exposed manholes?

How many times I've had or seen my friends had to repair/replace their wheels and tires, it's a yearly thing.  Sometimes ICBC covers it, but most of the time they don't.  If you have expensive wheels/tires, getting 3rd party insurance is a must I find.

But really, the roads should be maintained better.  The $1800 I pay every 4 years ($450 a year) would be better suited to pay the government to fix things such as giant potholes quickly, or at least fill them temporarily until they can be fixed.  I remember one time driving through the George Massey tunnel in my 1993 Civic hatchback when I drove though an unavoidable pothole about the size of a coffee table and maybe 2 or more feet dip.  The side of my car literally dipped what felt like 45 degrees and I could hear the bottom of my car getting scratched very loudly.  Fortunately, besides some scratches, no damage to the wheels or tires.

On the other hand, when I lived in Germany, I don't actually remember seeing something like a pothole.  Maybe they were there, but just not big enough to notice.  You do pay an additional "tax" just for use of the roads there, but in exchange the roads are immaculate.  Even in remote villages, up in the mountains or deep in the valleys through cave tunnels, I would be surprised to find even a rock on the road.  I'm not sure how they do it, whether it's just a ton of maintenance or different concrete, but all the roads are so nice and pretty, and the paint on them (lane division, turn directions, etc) always looks fresh, never faded.  Maybe it's just the price we pay to have such a large country.  I'm sure all the roads in Germany are like 1% of what we have in Canada.

But back to Canada, I'd really be willing to pay more for better roads.  Mostly the potholes that cause yearly damage.  I've heard from cyclists even worse stories.  This guy had to pay $1,200 for his truck: http://www.burnabynow.com/news/driver-protests-pothole-policy-1.410954

Look around the room you're in ...

... and see if you can figure out what every item in that room has in common.

If all the truckers just quit today, next week we'll have trains and automated electric delivery dollies shooting from stations to grocery shops. Computers would be delivered by flying drones, and you would be permanently out of the job. Get ready for it.
Trucking is the least ecological, the least effective, the most infrastructure damaging way to operate the movement of goods to and from places in this century.

Yup, each item was, at some point, delivered on a truck.  If the truckers just quit today, the economy would grind to an abrupt halt.  That's just the way it is.

And as for being the least ecological, etc, think on this: if you FedEx something from Vancouver to Seattle, they can get it there next day.  But it will go via Knoxville Tennessee in an airplane or two to get there!

 

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