Counting heavy haulers on Hwy. 88 is becoming a bit of a hobby at The Leader. We did a 15-minute count on Nov. 9 and went back early last week to see how things compared. As it turned out, we chose a bad day. It was 11 degrees above zero on Dec. 7, which meant hardly any log hauling was going on. So that skewed the results considerably.
As for the number of other types of rigs, we counted 19 in that 15-minutes span. Those included trucks hauling pipe going north, grain going south and those bags of chemicals evidently on their way to the diamond mines of the Northwest Territory. Only one log truck went by.
On Nov. 9, the total number of trucks was 22, with 10 of them being log haulers and the rest being of the ‘other’ category.
So, despite the weather, the general haulers were up about 40 per cent on Dec. 7. And also because of the weather, a 90 per cent drop in log haulers.
Warm weather in winter, as we’ve reported numerous times over the years, is not the friend of the logger or the log hauler.
For what it’s worth, if a similar flow of trucks kept up for say, 12 hours on the day of the count, it would have been 924 units. That number was 1,056 based on the Nov. 9 count. But had a chinook not been blowing last week, it would have been much higher. At the same log haul rate as in the early November count, the total number of trucks would have been close to 1,500.
What this all points to is that lots of hauling is going on, and jobs in that field are available. That’s the message that keeps coming through from industry and government. Just recently, the provincial government announced an additional training subsidy for people who want take advantage of the job opportunities.
The other thing the brisk hauling traffic points to is the continued deterioration of area highways, and Hwy. 88 in particular. The town and M.D. have been lobbying the provincial government to do something about it, but the best they’ve got from the province is that the situation is being ‘monitored.’