"I started hauling cattle from feedlots to a processing plant in Utah about 2 months ago. It's hard work and I’m not sure why I’m doing it at my age. But I like a challenge. I also like working with animals." Photo: Mike Murchison

Humility, and all that crap…

Loading cows into a trailer (a semi-confined space) is not natural to them. They get nervous and anything to calm them down helps.

Me! I talk to them, sing to them. Treat ‘em like I’d want to be treated. Then when I have them loaded, I ease on the accelerator, softly on the brake, gently round the curves.

We don’t want any cows falling. That’s called a ‘downer’. And if one goes down it can get trampled by the others. I’ve been lucky or smart. None down on my loads.

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Breaking down

Winter can seem longer when there’s no heat. Worse when its dark.

You think life is picking on you, and you can drift into the Negative realm of your mental capacities.

Breaking down in what seems “The Middle of Nowhere” (don’t bother punching it in Google Maps) can seem inconvenient and maybe cruel.

“Why me? Why now?’”


Breaking down near the house doesn’t really count in my books. You’ve got to be at least 150 miles from anything for it to count on your fortitude scale.

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Montana says "good night." Mike Murchison

Cowboys and Truckers, running against the wind

It’s out here that Cowboys did and still do make a go of it. Moving the stock from one grazing pasture to another. Punching holes in the watering hole so cattle can access the water. Spreading hay bales across a white landscape to feed the herd.

It still goes on, and I see it all the time. Day and night. The art and business of cowboyography is alive and well. You just need to know where to look.
Trucking is similar in many ways. You’re out there. Cutting through those windswept acres in the dead of winter on a concrete trail.

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Growing up Canadian, to Ian Tyson’s music

Ian Tyson was 89 when he passed away December 29th. He will be missed by those who knew him, loved him and those who absorbed his music. Ian Tyson was a phenomenal songwriter and a great singer up until a medical issue took his voice. But even then, he kept singing, playing and recording.

What did he do for me? His music and his words helped a young kid from a big city settle his nerves and showed him, little by little, that he could make a new home. A fresh start in this “Land of Shining Mountains” under that big Alberta sky.

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Everybody wants what’s on the Truck, but nobody wants the Truck parking anywhere

In my last article I discussed the federal government’s desire to start levying fines on drivers for violating the Hours-of-Service rules (HOS). Now I’m not an expert on what branch of government handles what and how they work together. Nor do I know the intricate details of how our tax dollars once collected get dispersed once they are collected. But I do have some ideas I’d like to offer on how drivers can comply with the HOS rules and how the different branches of government can help.

We have established that there is a shortage of rest areas, safe havens and just plain acceptable places for drivers to pull into to take their breaks and rest areas.

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Canada should provide more rest areas before it writes tickets for Hours of Service violations

So. The Hours of Service (HOS) have come up again in the halls of government.

On November 24th, Road Warrior News wrote about the fact that the federal government wants to start issuing fines to violators of the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

This is nothing new. Provincial jurisdictions have been doing this for a number of years and still continue to do so. Just roll into to your friendly neighbourhood weigh station/inspection facility with a falsified HOS log and see what happens.

Yes, the Inspection Officer can issue a ticket with a monetary fine. Which, depending on much falsifying you’ve done, could blow your Christmas shopping budget in one shot.

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Wrap your hands around a steering wheel, or a copy of the Canadian constitution: the choice is yours

I have heard the term “segregation” my whole life; I never fully identified with it until I was refused use of washrooms in truck stops in Northern Ontario, or made to stand out in the cold at a drive-through window at a fast-food joint. Standing in the drive-through lane with cars, I felt very out of place. Segregated.

  For a while, certain places wouldn’t handle my cash because I travel for a living. Restaurants closed, or downsized to “take-out only” service. I was eating out of paper bags while working and sleeping for days on the road: in the summer heat, and frigid cold of winter.

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