This is one in a series of interviews with frontline workers as Today’s Trucking celebrates National Trucking Week, Sept. 5-11.
What can you tell us about your job and the tasks involved?
I am self-employed. That means that when there is no work somewhere I go somewhere else. But there is always work.
I work mostly in Mont-Laurier and Maniwaki, and a little in Saint-Faustin. Right now, I’m at Forex in Ferme-Neuve. And I get up early!
How did you come to work in the trucking industry?
My old man’s name is Eugene Lamoureux. He’s sitting next to me right now. He taught me to drive when I was 12 years old. By 16, I was ready to drive trucks. At 18, I was already in a logging truck and I’ve been doing this for 35 years.
At 85, I can tell you that he would still be able to do it.
What do you like most about your job?
I like working for myself and doing the hours I want. And I have my own truck, a 2019 Western Star.
The beauty of nature is the first thing that comes to mind. In the woods, you see all kinds of animals, like partridges, bears and deer.
What is the biggest challenge facing the trucking industry today?
The insurance rate is hurting the next generation of logging truck drivers. It’s a barrier for young people. When you start out, you have no experience and no money, but you have to pay $20,000-$25,000 in insurance. If you work 10 months a year, that’s $2,500 a month, not including trailer and truck payments. It would take government assistance to help pay for the truck, plates, maintenance… Someone should look into this.
The road inspector don’t always help either. When a father drives a heavy truck and gets a $500 fine for a small mistake in his logbook, it doesn’t encourage the young generation to drive trucks.
Also, it is important to maintain the vehicle and follow up on the paperwork. Many young people spend their weekends at the Baskatong Lake. I’m old school. I’ll go to Baskatong afterwards, when everything is done.
Why do you think the trucking industry should be celebrated?
For the beauty of our trucks and the beauty of the landscape.
It’s hard to find new people, but I encourage young people to get into the business. It would take guys like me to train these young people.