Monday, September 25, 2023

On the Road with Mike Murchison

Alberta trucker Mike Murchison shares his experiences on the road through music, photography and humour.

Photo: "Around the Bay" by Mike Murchison
On the Road with Mike MurchisonTrucking

This is God’s country

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I’ve travelled from one end of this country to the other and talked to many people from many walks of life, countries, ethic, and cultural backgrounds.

Rich, poor, middle class and those on the fringe of whatever edge they’re on. And one thing I I’ve learned is this: this is God’s Country.

Jammin’ gears, serving fries, diggin’ ditches. Whether folks are inputting numbers, selling products, or studying in the halls of our institutes of learning.

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Photo: "Men at Work" Mike Murchison
On the Road with Mike MurchisonTrucking

No one wants to work anymore

Can’t find anybody to work. Or no one wants to work anymore. It’s a common thread. Not just where I live, but seemingly every place I travel.

I cover Alberta and the Northwest US states, and this discussion has crossed my table a lot. Employers can’t find anyone to work.

 I’m sure there are a variant of factors involved. The wage that’s being offered, the hours as well as the expectations. Tie that into the cost of living and you might just have a perfect storm brewing.

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The first time some new drivers drive in snow, they are driving a truck through Northern Ontario. Photo: "Somewhere Out There," Mike Murchison
On the Road with Mike MurchisonOpinion/ColumnRoad Safety DiscussionTrucking

40 years waiting for Northern Ontario roads to be improved: “Not in my lifetime,” career driver says

by Mike Murchison So, let’s weigh in on the shape of the highways in Northern Ontario. I’m referring to Highways 11 and 17. The “Trans Canada” highway. The main east-west corridor that gets you from the Manitoba border down to

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"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
Laugh a LittleOn the Road with Mike MurchisonOpinion/Column

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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On the Road with Mike MurchisonTrucking

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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