Big rig weekend

BY Larry D'Argis. Jun 09 03:00 am

Last weekend, the annual Canadian Trucking Show rolled through Winnipeg. Held at the Red River Exhibition Park, more than 60 displays showcased some of the major businesses and services that support the trucking and transportation industry.

Locally, more than 25,000 Manitobans are directly employed in the industry and those numbers continue to grow each year. Evident at the show is the current and ongoing recruitment and training of new drivers, with booths set up by Professional Transport Driver Training School and First Class Training Centre with their virtual driving simulator, which gave a hands-on look at what drivers face on the road.

Others in attendance included the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada. A non-profit organization established to encourage the employment of women in the transportation industry and show the diverse roles women play in the field.

Sales displays of new trucks, tractors and trailers, from Beaver Truck Centre and River City Ford, along with the supply-chain logistics services to manage and warehouse goods were also on hand.

As well as highlighting some of the new and current industry trends, booths dedicated to the promotion of new local products. Farmery Estate Brewery was on hand with their beers, iced tea, lemonade, bread cake and flapjack mixes.

MADD Winnipeg had an informative display geared toward stopping impaired driving and the support mechanisms available to victims of this violent crime. Along the same lines of bringing awareness to driver impairment was the Last Responder Project spreading the dangers of texting and driving.

Organized by Canadian Trucking Magazine publisher and editor Dave MacKenzie and his crew of dedicated volunteers, they presented a trade show unlike any other, which included a full stage show headlined by the Danny Thompson Band.

Another key component of this year’s show was the introduction of the Cancer Fighting Convoy. With everything from big rigs to half-tons and everything in between, participants helped raise much-needed money for treatment and research. Ron Schuler, minister of Crown services addressed the crowd about the effects of this indiscriminate disease, before assuming his role as grand marshal. The convoy formed a solid line of vehicles that stretched from Exhibition Park to the Headingley weigh scales and back.

Planning for next year’s show is already in the works and promises to be bigger and better, including a convoy of cancer fighters that could possibly circle the Perimeter Highway. Now that’s a lot of trucks and a lot of support for Canadian Cancer Research.

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