Maximum 95km Per Hour

Murray Pratt Blog, Life, Trucking

Tim Hortons Truck


I turned right onto the SFPR with my Timmies ‘double-double’ coffee in my cup holder this morning as I left my little hamlet of a bedroom community in the Lower Mainland of BC. The SFPR is like a cool acronym for the bureaucratically boring name – South Fraser Perimeter Road (remember, us Canadians paid some marketing guru to come in and change the name of Revenue Canada to … well… to… Canada Revenue. Not sure what it cost, but all you really needed was someone with dyslexia to help you with that one).

As I turned onto the route, I accelerated to jockey for position before the roadway forked off to two separate tributaries. I came upon a big brown truck moving at a more moderate pace in the right lane, cars adjusting their speed, passing, and some dodging, being a bit too exuberant in this heavier traffic.

As I came upon it, I saw the bold letters in the back stating.

‘This vehicle does not travel over of 95km per hour.’

Hmm. You wonder about the advisability of these signs. Not sure some guy would be able to tell you about the sign on another truck that said:

‘This vehicle does not travel over 35km per hour’…

…before slamming into the back of the darned thing.

But I thought about the irony of the situation. If I ran into the back of this truck, I could just imagine the headline in the newspaper.

Trucking Software executive killed when slamming car into Tim Horton’s truck before even getting one sip of his  morning ‘Double-Double’

It would still be bad if I hit a Starbuck’s truck – but a bit less ironic I feel.

Of course you can imagine all the mess. Timbits strewn all over the roadway, donuts rolling down the SFPR for miles before being scooped up by all the Bald Eagles hanging out by the regional dump… sorry… regional waste management facility.

All I could hope for is that the emergency personnel would focus on the matters at hand and wait until later to enjoy their coffees and donuts in efforts to save me. Apparently this is much tougher on the police than for the other services… at least from what I have heard.

But for the rest of the trip in this morning the sign on the back of the Tim’s truck was a reminder that I should drive safely and appropriately for the road conditions. Besides I get the chance to enjoy the scenery along the way. We have lovely fields with crops like cauliflower, cabbage, corn and of course lots and lots of blueberries. And birds – eagles, herons, hawks, and if you are lucky, an owl.

Rising to east above this is majestic Mount Baker – a live, but dormant, volcano with a glacier head – that I like to keep one eye upon at all times, recalling the Mount St. Helen’s eruption 36-years ago. Just a few hundred miles down the road.

There are a lot of benefits to safety on the roadway. Our trucking software allows companies to keep track of driver infractions and safety record for the entire business.

It thought it was rather prudent and professional of Tim Horton’s to list their commitment to safe driving by posting the maximum speed limit on their trucks. And I am completely fine with the concept as long as my wife doesn’t pick up on the idea with respect to my driving.

I can imagine that it’s a bit onerous – and perhaps a ‘Big Brotherish’ for the driver though.

“Thanks for calling Tim Hortons. Press 1 for Donuts. Press 2 for Cruller Ingredients. Press 3 for Timbit Recipes. Press 4 for Drivers Going Over 95km per hour.”

For the most part, I have found that truck drivers are the champions of safety on the highway. After all, it’s their livelihood. I use the highway as a way to get to work. When a trucker is on the highway, they are at work.

They also have much more at risk. Larger, heavier loads, and they have to anticipate a lot more. Sure there are a few bad apples in every crowd. But when I look at the significant volume of truck traffic going to our container port, and other trucking associated with our port, I appreciate the great job our truckers do in keeping our roadways safe.

I’d like to think that all the ‘civilian’ drivers that were dodging and passing the Tim Horton’s truck this morning were doing it in a way that furthers ‘safe driving’ in our society. But I really think they made sure to be extra careful with a truck full of coffee because it allows them – all of us – to function each and every day.

‘Easy boys… easy boys. Don’t mess with the coffee truck.’

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