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Newspaper about trucks, cars, and ground transportation. Published monthly and distributed in Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.
2013 Volvo Trucks Canada-OTA Truck Driver of the Year: A Man of Many Callings

Whether it's on the road, on the ice or under a steeple, 40 year old truck driver Chris Bender is someone who people look to for guidance and leadership.

Bender, a truckload driver for Steed Standard Transport in Stratford, Ont., was named the 2013 Volvo Trucks Canada-OTA Driver of the Year for Ontario. With his wife Brenda by his side, Bender, 40, proudly accepted the award during a ceremony at the Ontario Trucking Association's 87th annual conference in Toronto. The presentation of the award – which is given every year to an Ontario commercial truck driver who exhibits an exemplary safety record and dedication to the profession as well as his or her community - was made by Peter Currie, Ontario district manager, Volvo Trucks Canada.

"My fascination with trucking goes back to my childhood when I spent hours pretending to be a truck driver hauling sand from one end of the sandbox to the other," says Bender. "It's no wonder to those who know me where I ended up. Some days I feel guilty going to work because there's nothing else I'd rather be doing."

Over his 16-year driving career, Chris has amassed about 2 million collision-free kilometers and has received the Steed Standard Transport Driver Appreciation Award four years in a row. In addition to his driving duties, he is a designated driver trainer and has become a mentor to many of the company's new drivers.

Chris is a passionate advocate for safety in trucking and says he wants to change the negative way the industry is sometimes portrayed in the media. Chris is a hard-working member of the OTA Road Knights team, spending many hours educating school children and others about the industry.

He is also an inspirational figure in his community, serving as a chaplain at his local Legion, hospital and nursing homes. He is also very much in demand by area community groups as a motivational speaker. Somewhere in his busy calendar, Chris also finds the time to coach boys and girls minor hockey.

"Truck drivers, by nature, are strong individuals who are used to tackling and completing tasks all on their own. Chris is that kind of person, but he also excels in serving others and his community. He's someone who others gravitate towards for support and guidance," says Currie. "This is why Volvo has sponsored this award for years – to recognize outstanding truck drivers like Chris who make this industry great."

"Chris is exactly the kind of person we are proud to have in our industry," says OTA President David Bradley. "He personifies the Driver of the Year Award."

For being named the 2013 Driver of the Year, Chris took home a keepsake trophy and a cash prize.

"Chris is an exceptional class A driver," said James Steed, president of Steed Standard Transport. "We're honored to have Chris as a part of our team and we thank him for his continuous dedication to safety and customer service."


Trucking groups once again note hours rule problems, call for overturning

Two of the loudest voices of the trucking industry's battle against the new hours-of-service rule...


Trucking groups once again note hours rule problems, call for overturning

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Two of the loudest voices of the trucking industry's battle against the new hours-of-service rule — the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association — both have reiterated their stances against the restart and break provisions of the rule and their support for essentially repealing the rules. ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said in ATA's announcement that Congress should support the TRUE Safety Act, the House bill that would delay the July 1 hours rule until the Government Accountability Office could study the methodology used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create the hours rule.

The bill, he said, "will put the brakes on these rules until they can be thoroughly vetted," Graves said. "We're confident that once they are independently and objectively reviewed, FMCSA will have no choice but to undo what it has done." A report released Nov. 20 by OOIDA — similar to a report released this week by the American Transportation Research Institute — said 65 percent of driver respondents to its membership survey said they have seen their pay decrease since the new provisions took effect. Moreover, 56 percent of the 4,000 drivers surveyed said they'd lost miles, and 46 percent said they have felt more fatigued since the July 1 effective date. Graves said ATA "was confident" since the creation of the rule that it was about politics and not based on data. "Well now we're seeing mounting evidence that rather than solving anything, these rules are creating many problems for drivers and fleets alike," he said.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said FMCSA needs to stop "micromanaging" drivers' time, and that the new rules decrease drivers home time and cause them more stress, in addition to cutting their pay and miles. The rules also cause drivers to have to run in the most congested hours of the day. "Instead of providing the flexibility to drive when rested and stop when tired, the new rules have put drivers in the position of driving more hours than ever and in the worst traffic conditions, and spending less time at home," Spencer said. "How is that safe?"