Baden, ON, November 8, 2022 – The Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra and MP Tim Louis made their round of visits in the Waterloo Region on November 7; among these visits, The Erb Group of Companies. Minister Alghabra and MP Louis were guests of The Erb Group’s executives, accompanied by Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) President Stephen Laskowski and OTA Chairman James Steed, where they discussed key industry issues and toured The Erb Group’s main shop.
Wendell Erb, President and CEO of The Erb Group of Companies, expressed his gratitude for The Minister’s decision to address the Driver Inc. model issue and the need of the industry for the government to follow through in taking action to help correct this injustice.
Driver Inc. is a business model using employee misclassification that allows trucking companies not to contribute their appropriate amount of taxes and source deductions. Industry experts describe it as a “billion-dollar scam.” This directly affects our economy and puts trucking companies who conduct their business playing by the rules at a disadvantage.
The Minister reaffirmed his commitment to work together with trucking businesses and industry associations to correct this. He commended the industry for its essential contributions to the economy and Canadian society, especially during lockdowns and the heat of COVID. “You, your drivers, equipment and teams kept going, and people didn’t pause to think about how their grocery stores stayed full or what it took to have food at their tables.” He reflected.
In addition, they discussed equipment delays and the effects of supply chain issues on inflation. Laskowski urged the government to prioritize the trucking industry when planning new immigration strategies and reminded them that all industries and our economy depend on truck drivers to remain strong.
Every year on November 11th, we take a moment to pause and reflect on the sacrifice made by thousands of brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our Nation. This Remembrance Day, we invited our Erb employees to share their family’s stories and memories of our heroes who served. Here are a few stories of loved ones they are honouring this Remembrance Day! Whether you’re a Veteran, a friend or a loved one, tell us who you are remembering and honouring today in the comments below.
Earlier this month we hosted our 28th annual Charity Golf Tournament, raising over $25,000 for local charities Aldaview Services, Wilmot Family Resource Centre, and Interfaith Counselling Centre. Since starting the tournament in 1994, with the help of our industry partner’s we have raised $494,000. Previously, this event was held in June but because of COVID-19 regulations, we have held it in September for the last two years. This year, once again, we were only permitted 100 golfers but we’re grateful we were still able to raise a significant contribution for these great causes.
The day started off foggy but ended with some great golfing weather. Golfers began to arrive at 7:00 am on Friday, September 17, and were greeted at our drive-thru registration with gift bags and hand sanitizers. The shotgun event began at 8:30 am and off everyone went to enjoy a fun, and competitive day of golf.
This year, our President and CEO, Wendell Erb, golfed closely behind the infamous Baden Shop team, “The frequent tournament winners, Ryan Maue, Ben Yates, Jeremy Fulton, and Jason Shantz golfed right ahead of me, and I can assure you their winning score of minus eleven was legit! We had a great day, and the weather was fantastic.”
We were able to resume our previous format and have golfers attend a banquet and awards ceremony after the tournament. With safety top of mind for everyone, tables were properly distanced, and all public health regulations were closely followed. Despite added safety precautions, everyone was able to have a great time and connect after so long.
Erb has been in business for over 60 years, and our commitment to giving back to our surrounding communities has never wavered. We are fortunate to have great suppliers and business partners in the industry who share our values of giving back and help us make this charity event possible.
Thank you again to our suppliers and business partners for their generosity and support!
The Summer 2021 edition of The Erban Report Newsletter is now available online! As a company that has drivers on the road and terminals spread throughout the country, The Erban Report is great way to bring our employees, regardless of location, together. To read this issue click here.
Our employees rely on various types of equipment to bring food to your table and having the best equipment available for our employees is always a priority. Senior Corporate Fleet Director, Jim Pinder, is constantly researching the latest trends and designs and isn’t afraid to embrace new technologies to help our team. Providing the right tools for our employees allows them to be efficient, stay safe and provide great service to our customers as a company.
This past Spring, Erb began a Pilot Project to test a lighter roll-up rear door option for straight trucks . Rear doors can be quite heavy and on average weigh a couple hundred pounds, overtime they absorb water and rust, becoming even heavier. Opening and closing these doors can be a strain on drivers and dock workers and may especially be an issue for employees who have been injured.
Erb acquired a couple new doors from McLaren Doors, a company here in Ontario that specializes in manufacturing PVC roll-up overhead truck doors. Their doors are lightweight, weighing approximately 100lbs – 150lbs less than traditional doors, and are designed more ergonomically minded, enhancing employee safety. Doors are engineered to reduce water absorption and rust, so they remain light for their entire lifetime.
“McLaren Doors are a good option in the after-market, we’re not seeing it as an option from the manufacturer at this time.” Says Senior Corporate Fleet Director, Jim Pinder. “We are relying on drivers for their feedback and longevity of the equipment. We are anticipating they will be quite good because of the structural enhancements they’ve made these days.”
Along with being lighter, McLaren Doors offer many other benefits. They protect the cargo from any debris and are made with 94% eco foam insulation, making them more sustainable for the environment.
“Unlike other traditional doors in the market, our doors are designed for today’s environment to help fleets address today’s trucking issues such as maintenance costs, corrosion issues, reducing emissions, employee safety and protecting against water damaged cargo.” says Melanie Bell, Director of Business Development at McLaren Doors.
Erb will be closely monitoring the performance of McLaren Doors and the feedback of the drivers who have been using this equipment. Currently the Pilot Doors are being used out of our Baden and Trenton terminals. We are proud to participate in many new initiatives within our industry and are looking forward to sharing the results of this Pilot Program.
Our professional drivers know that the truck they drive and trailer they pull carry significant weight, size and power. This means they have an immense responsibility and sense of duty to be cautious while driving, to ensure that they keep those around them safe. Being proactive about safety is crucial for our drivers and something we, at Erb, take pride in doing. However, every now and then, being reminded of those fundamental safety tips doesn’t hurt. In fact, they could spare future headaches, keep clean driving records, and even save lives.
Here are some safety tips you should always remember:
Plan your routes: Before you hit the road, plan your route. Know exactly where you are going, to avoid going down narrow roads or dead-ends that leave you no choice but to back-out out of them. Plan where you will stop to eat, fuel and sleep. Know the route to the shipper and study it. If you haven’t been to this shipper don’t be afraid to ask other peers about what their loading areas are like. This can provide you with some valuable insight on potential challenges or hazards. Whenever possible, park in a safe area and walk into the delivery location to get a better idea of where you will be backing in. Take a mental picture and assess all obstacles and curves to navigate the area strategically and ensure you know exactly what to expect.
Avoid Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause in road collisions.In parts of Canada, fatalities caused by distracted driving have surpassed those caused by impaired driving. Drivers can be distracted for a variety of reasons: eating while driving to save some time, reaching for a sweater, lighting a cigarette, checking a route, talking on the phone or texting. All drivers but, especially professional drivers operating large vehicles, must be extra alert and not let themselves get distracted. It takes trucks more time to decelerate, it’s harder for them to make quick maneuvers and they have more blind spots or “no zones.”
Be aware of your surroundings: Spot hazards early by scanning the road 10-15 seconds ahead of you. Don’t just stare directly at the road in front of you, this could be dangerous. Be aware and alert of the vehicles all around you. When on the highway, watch for turning signals and drivers merging from on-ramps. If you are in the city, be mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and of course all the road signs providing you with directions and warnings. By being aware of your surroundings you can spot and react to things such as a ball rolling onto the road or a vehicle door opening with more anticipation.
Know what is behind you: It is very important to check behind you before you change lanes. Look over your shoulder to make sure you are not getting in the way of vehicles in the lane you want to enter. Always be sure to reduce your speed. Take a quick glance in your mirrors. Also check your mirrors when you are preparing to turn into a side road or driveway and when you are stopping to pull into a parking space. Be aware of the vehicles behind you before you drive down a long or steep hill. It’s especially important to watch for large vehicles because they can gather speed very quickly. And of course, before backing up anywhere, check behind you. Backing up is always dangerous because it is hard to see behind your vehicle. When you are backing out of a parking space “Get Out And Look” (GOAL) before backing up check in front and behind the vehicle before you get in. Do not depend only on your mirrors or only looking out a side window. Turn and look over your right and left shoulders before you begin backing. As a safety measure, also look over your right and left shoulders again while backing. Reverse slowly to avoid collisions.
Keep a safe distance: As you know, slowing down takes much longer for large commercial vehicles and I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear most rear end collisions are caused by tailgating. Make sure to always keep a safe distance between yourself and the driver in front of you, especially when the ground is wet, or if your visibility is obstructed by weather. If you are in a situation where you were following too closely and a driver “cuts” you off, just take your foot off the gas to slow down instead of slamming on your brakes or swerving into another lane. Always be mindful of weather, traffic, and road conditions; ensuring to adjust your speed and distances when necessary. Lastly, avoid driving side-by-side with other large trucks, leave some space. Whether this means speeding up a bit or slowing down to create an adequate gap.
Fatigue Management: The Hours-of-Service rules are meant to help minimize fatigue, protect you and increase road safety. Follow these guidelines and regulations closely to help ensure you are receiving adequate rest.Take some time to learn ways to improve your quality of sleep, and when necessary, pull over and take a power nap. Not a napper? Click here for some tips and the benefits of a quick power nap.
Don’t rush: Easier said than done. Many accidents occur in moments where you feel under pressure and in a rush. Whether it’s a vehicle tailgating you, or vehicles waiting for you to make a tight turn, don’t let the pressure of drivers around you cause you to make a mistake. Always take your time, 80,000 pounds of equipment should not be taken lightly. You might cause someone a couple seconds of delay or frustration but always remember, you are a professional driver, by taking your time you are ensuring the greater good for all those sharing the road with you. The same goes for entering and leaving a truck stop or backing into a loading dock. Move slowly, play it smart, be safe.
Refreshing your memory regularly on the fundamentals of safe driving will keep other road users around you safe and will get you home safely to your family. Remember they are depending on you to practise safety first and have a successful career. The dedication our drivers display is celebrated in the safety acknowledgements we have been awarded year after year. Thank you for your dedication to safety and making cool moves with us! Be sure to leave a safety tip for your fellow drivers and don’t forget to share!
Travis Rose began his career at The Erb of Companies at our Baden terminal in March 2017, after being referred to the company by one of his parent’s friends. Ever since Travis was a kid, he was mechanically inclined and enjoyed hands-on activities. He grew up in Waterford racing dirt bikes, breaking them down and putting them back together again. When he heard of the opportunity to become a 310 J Trailer Technician at Erb, he knew it was a good move for him and said goodbye to his job in construction.
“Erb’s a good place to work, it has a good atmosphere and good people,” says Travis about what it’s like to work at Erb. Travis came on board at Erb as an Apprentice and is now waiting to complete his Journey Person Test to become a fully licensed mechanic. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions and limitations he has had his test cancelled and is waiting to hear when his new test will be scheduled.
Being a 310 J Trailer Technician requires a lot of independent work, which he enjoys. He gets to work at his own pace and keep busy. Every now and then he’ll work with another technician on a big job and he enjoys how the work and days vary. As we’re sure comes as no surprise, Fridays are busier, so he says they prepare and plan for this.
When asked if there is someone on his team he particularly looked up to, he highlighted Gerry Spachman, Erb’s Baden Trailer Shop Foreman/Supervisor. He said, “Any questions I have, Gerry is always happy to answer. He’s always willing to give you a hand, he’s an overall good guy.” Travis enjoys working with his shop team, and the work culture. New to the trucking industry, Travis was surprised by how big the industry was and yet how small the community felt. He enjoys how connected Erb is to the industry, and how tightly knit it is.
If you are looking to join an essential industry with a great company, make a change of career, or want to be a part of our award-winning team, then contact one of our recruiters today to find out more about our open positions: email@example.com or 1-800-461-5299. If you would like to learn more about why Erb is the coolest place to be, then head over to our website! We are currently looking for a wide range of 310 J Trailer and 310 T Truck and Coach Technicians, however we only have a few apprentice openings left, so make sure you reach out to us soon and get started on making another cool move. When asked what he would tell someone considering a mechanical career Travis said, “If you’re a hands-on kind of person, a mechanical career could definitely be right for you!”
* Erb Employees – Earn a lump sum of $2000 when you refer a certified Technician to a full time job. To learn more talk to your supervisor today!
Day after day, we have been following and listening to ever-changing public health recommendations. And although collectively we are putting our best foot forward in doing what we can to end this pandemic, many of us are feeling tired. With so many uncertainties, all we can do is focus on the things we have power over. Living a healthy lifestyle is one of those things we can control right now. We have put together some exercises drivers can do while out on the road, or you can try at home to help keep you healthy and focused on becoming a better you!
Sit-ups: Sit-ups are a traditional, simple and effective core exercise. This workout strengthens your core which also reduces your chances of back pain or injury. It also helps your balance and stability which reduces your chances of falling.When doing sit-ups make sure you have the right form so that you’re using the right muscle groups.
Squats: Squats strengthen your glutes, legs, and lower back and as we’ve learned before, back injuries are the most common workplace injury. Squats can easily be done in a truck, outside or in your living room! This exercise can be modified by supporting yourself on a wall or other object and it can be made more challenging by holding a weight. To make sure you are doing this exercise correctlyclick here.
Knee raises: Knees up! Give those hip flexors a workout by lifting your knees to your hands at waist level from left to right for 30-60 seconds.
Jumping jacks: Yes, jumping jacks. This classic exercise is never going out of style. It has so many benefits; good for your cardiovascular health, arms, legs and core!
Walking/Running: If you have time while parked at a truck stop, walking or running will be beneficial to your overall health. A 30-minute walk is good for your heart, joints, immune system and so much more!
It’s a great way to strengthen muscles in your core as well, while building your leg muscles and burning calories.
Wherever you may be, your health is something that travels with you. Challenge yourself to create an exercise routine you can do 3-5 times a week and watch your overall health and mood improve! Make yourself and your health a priority during these strange times and make sure to have fun with it. If you have any good workout routines, tips, or videos you recommend leave a comment!
It’s clear that the best strategy to avoid workplace injuries is prevention. Being proactive about staying safe is a much better option than having to work through healing an injury. Nobody wants to have to take days or weeks off to recover from an injury and attend many doctor appointments and physiotherapy sessions. Here at the Erb Group of Companies, safety is always our top priority. We are proud to be recognized with numerous awards for our commitment to safety and are proud to reward our employees for their dedication to working safely with our Safe Driver Program and our newly launched Safe Worker Recognition Program.
Safety is top of mind for us at Erb, and it should be a priority for you too. Injuries can be prevented if we follow safe working practices and bring any concerns to the proper personnel. Here are some tips to help you stay safe at work and wherever you may be:
It might feel silly but warming up your muscles before performing physical tasks at work is necessary. Do some light stretches or walking before beginning any physical tasks.
Pace of Work
Ensure you give yourself enough time to complete your tasks. Working under stress and in a hurry creates tension, not just mentally but physically as well, increasing your risk of injury.
Wear the right clothing
Make sure you’re dressed appropriately to do your daily tasks! Wearing clothing that feels tight, stiff and restricted may cause you to overexert yourself to complete your duties and can result in a strained muscle or injury. Factor in the temperature of your work environment, whether it’s outdoor and always changing or consistent in one of our cold storage facilities, be sure to keep your muscles and organs protected. And don’t forget your footwear! Only approved footwear may be worn while on duty, if safety footwear is required, it must be CSA Grade 1 approved green label.
I think we’ve all heard this one before and yet often fail to do it, “Lift with your legs, not with your back.” Let your legs do the work for you! When lifting, stand close to the item you intend to lift and face the direction you will be moving it to. Bend your legs to ensure you do not strain your back and keep your stance wide to stay balanced. Make sure you have a tight grip on the item, keep your arms straight and tighten your abdominal muscles and then lift close to your body — using your leg muscles. Avoid twisting and bending and if you are unsure you can handle the weight of the item safely, ask for help!
It’s important to be able to clearly see what you are doing. Be certain you have enough lighting to complete your tasks. Drivers, when you are on the road, choose parking places that are clearly illuminated and have a flashlight with you when walking outdoors in the evening. Wear a high visibility vest or reflective clothing when you are in a yard, on a dock or in poorly lit environments.
Paying close attention to workplace hazards and recommendations during training is a must to stay safe at work and keep your peers safe. Training is given to equip you with knowledge and skills to be able to perform tasks safely and identify any potential hazards. If you are unsure on the safest way to complete a task, ask! Your supervisors, managers, and safety department are here to help you and keep you safe. They’re able to get you the information and assurance you need to feel and be safe.
Rest and recharge
Give your body breaks and time to rest. Make stretching part of your regular nightly routine. Did you know here at Erb you get 20 massages a year covered in your benefits package? Use them! Schedule regular massages and physiotherapy sessions as needed. By looking after your body and muscles you will ensure you are in your best state to complete any physical task.
When it comes to workplace safety, we all have a role to play. Make sure to follow all training and recommendations to eliminate preventable injuries. If you identify a potential hazard or concern, please speak to your supervisor or manager immediately. Sharing these concerns could help keep you safe in the future — and your peers! We can work together to create a culture of safety and promote safe work environments.