At Bison, we love to hear about how and why our professional Drivers got started in the transportation industry. What makes our Drivers tick, what are their thoughts on safety and who do they drive safe for? We are interested in learning about their experiences on the road and even look forward to hearing their favourite place to dine! Here we will feature different stories about our Drivers. Maybe you will see them in the hall, yard or on the road!
Abdul Q Rao, Owner-Operator
Abdul joined Bison in February 2015 and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Mississauga terminal. Abdul says he decided to get into the transportation industry because he wanted to explore North America, and he joined Bison as he liked that it was a large company that offered different types of runs.
Abdul’s favourite part of being a professional Driver - “Interacting with new people from different cultures.”
Safety is important to Abdul, he says, “I inspect the tractor and trailer properly, and if a defect is found, I get it fixed before I hit the road. Bison has given us a choice ‘Right To Decide.’ If a Driver is sleepy and tired or the weather is not good for driving, you can stop at a safe place.”
When Abdul is not on the road, he enjoys visiting with family and dining in restaurants. He would like to acknowledge his wife, “because of her support, I can stay on the road as much as I can.”
Abdul’s advice to other Bison employees – “Come with a positive attitude and keep safety as your first priority.” He would also like to share his winter experience on the highway. “Always remember while changing lanes, carefully keep your tractor and trailer in line, because the trailer has its own momentum. This habit will help protect you from a jackknife.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Abdul – “Think before taking action while driving.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Abdul.
Harjit Singh Chohan, Owner-Operator
Harjit joined Bison in June 2020 and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Mississauga terminal. Harjit decided to get into the transportation industry. “After immigrating to Canada in 2009, I decided to start my career in trucking in B.C. In June 2020, I started with Bison. I heard about Bison from my friend who was working here since 2018. As the trucking industry was seeing a decline in loads due to supply chain issues because of the Covid Pandemic. Bison was the only company which suited me because of its volume.”
Harjit’s favourite part of being a professional Driver – “Being a professional Driver allows me to see the different routes and to visit the places which I always love.”
Harjit’s views on driving safely – “Always keep a safe following distance. Drive according to road conditions, whether it is raining or snowing. If you feel tired, pull off the road, take a nap or a coffee break.” Safety is a core value for me, as a Driver you want to follow anything that contributes to bringing you back home safely. Bison’s ‘Right To Decide’ policy is the best! This helps Drivers to make good decisions when they do not feel safe to drive.”
When Harjit is not on the road, “I enjoy spending time with my family. And my kids are always waiting for me. In the summer I take them to the park and help them do cycling.”
Harjit’s advice to other Bison employees- “Always show a positive attitude towards your given tasks. Set a good example for others.”
Harjit would like to acknowledge his “family and luckily my parents also live with me which helps me a lot at home with taking care of my kids. They also cook a lot of food like cooked vegetables and Indian curries.”
Harjit’s favourite lane is on the E05 fleet. “Running from Mississauga to Carlisle, PA, to Jamesburg, NJ for my reload, and then back to Mississauga. The whole trip takes about two days and I love to be back home every second day while still making miles.”
Harjit favorite meal is “Subway and I always love it when I get a chance to stop at a Pilot truck stop in Duncan, PA or Bath, NY.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Harjit – “Once I was stuck in Riverside, CA, my truck was not starting, and I needed a jump start. I was helpless and asked some drivers to give me a jump, but they all said no has their company policy wouldn’t allow it. Then I found one driver who helped me, and I offered him money, which he would not accept. Instead, he asked me to offer assistance to other drivers who need help on the road.”
Harjit says, “I am very thankful as an employee with Bison as they recognized me as a Driver of the Month for November 2021. It is a very big moment for me as a professional Driver.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Harjit.
Khalid Mahmood, Owner-Operator
Khalid joined Bison in November 2021 and is an Owner-Operator based out of Montreal. Khalid says he decided to get into the transportation industry because, “as a truck driver, freedom is one of the most important benefits. I get to travel a lot, going to different places to see customers. It’s a career with good earnings and a lot of opportunity to advance in the future.”
Khalid’s favourite part of being a professional Driver – “I enjoy the challenges each day brings. No matter if I am going to the same places over again, down the same route, the challenges are always different. I always strive to learn at least one thing a day and challenge myself to improve.”
Khalid’s view on driving safely – “It is important to drive carefully because it can save your life and others.”
When not on the road, Khalid enjoys his time with family. “I enjoy playing sports with my kids and going out to restaurants.”
Khalid’s advice to other Bison employees – “I would emphasize on keeping other employee’s safety first, there is no need to rush, and employees need to ensure safety.”
The Bison core value that resonates most with Khalid is Safety. “Safety is major because of the Right to Decide policy we have at Bison. We get to decide whether it is safe to drive in bad weather conditions.”
Khalid doesn’t have a favourite lane to run, he will drive anywhere! But he does enjoy stopping at his favourite spot on highway 401, Popeyes.
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Khalid – “Mapping out the specifics of the roads ahead of time is the best way to eliminate stress and avoid hazards when driving.”
Khalid’s advice to fellow Drivers, “Start your journey well-rested, when you are on the road and are feeling drowsy find a safe place to pull over and take a short rest.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Khalid.
Siddiq Akbar, Owner-Operator
Siddiq joined Bison in 2017 and is an Owner-Operator based out of Montreal. Siddiq enjoys working in the transportation industry and his friend recommended he apply to Bison! Siddiq says his favourite part of being a professional Driver is “exploring new places.”
Siddiq’s view on driving safely – “You should drive safely all the time and respect safety rules.”
When not on the road, Siddiq enjoys - “spending time with my family and friends.”
One core value of Bison Transport’s that really resonates with Siddiq is Safety. He also likes the quizzes that remind Drivers of the safety rules.
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Siddiq is “after a long drive, take a short walk and do stretches.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Siddiq.
Rajindersing Omkarsingh Saini, Owner-Operator
Rajindersing joined Bison in June 2021, and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Calgary terminal. Rajindersing says he decided to get into the transportation industry as “My family business in my home country has been in restaurants, specifically serving the truckers. I was always fascinated with trucks and the joy of bringing essential commodities to the people far away from bigger cities. The love of travelling and my childhood memories of big rigs not only got me into the industry, but have allowed me to build a career in the best company.”
Rajindersing knew he wanted to join Bison the first time he saw one of our trucks on the road. “I searched for the company’s website. I knew at that very moment my career was destined to be with Bison. However, my dream was not realized until 2021, when I started as a Company Driver and then transitioned to Owner-Operator later in the year.” His buddy AJ suggested he join Bison and Gurjit Bal gave him the reference to get onboard. “These friends were the final motivation for me to join the Bison Transport team.”
Rajindersing says a part of being a professional Driver that he loves to recommend is “Travelling and meeting new people on the road. However, my favourite part has been the flexibility of work and understanding the industry which basically gets the country moving. My smallest contribution of being a professional Driver not only fulfils my personal goals of financial freedom and flexibility, but also provides me an opportunity to serve my country in the best possible way.”
Rajindersing’s view on driving safely – “Being adaptable to changing environments, be it weather-related or man-made, would be my closest view of being safe. Safety can always be compromised by distractions while driving, but a distracted mind can create havoc on the road. My view is to leave your home baggage at the door of the truck, and drive stress-free and vigilantly.”
When not on the road, Rajindersing loves reading novels and is always pleased if he finds time time to read great writings in the most beautiful places while on stops, “A blessing in disguise.” Rajindersing says, “As a professional Driver, you may stay far from your family but building relationships with my fellow brothers and sisters has always given me the spirit to go on driving. I love offbeat locations and if possible, love to take a break to enjoy the beauty of Canada. PS: I love winters too because as strange it may sound; the windy chill has its own experience.”
Rajindersing’s advice to others – “Be courteous to fellow travelers sharing the road and help anyone who needs it, as may you will; one day. On road mechanical breakdowns can be dealt with preventive maintenance in your terminals. The cost of getting stuck on the road is far more than getting it fixed in the yard before departure. Performing a thorough pre-trip will save the company some $$$, which will benefit us in the long run.”
Spirit is key to Rajindersing – “Spirit of supporting the Drivers, not only in their work, but in their personal life has embodied in Bison my trust and loyalty. Flexibility of work and continual appreciation of work with various programs gives a sense of belonging to the Bison community. The core value of Spirit is not just a value on a mission statement but a value in practice.”
Rajindersing would also like to acknowledge his wife Sandeep and their 8-month-old son. “Sandeep belongs to a trucking family who has seen the life of truckers first-hand, with her dad working in Dubai for 45 years. Her belief in God and in my work has always being my support. She has done an incredible job of raising our newborn since he was born during a difficult time when no one was there to support us full-time. I would also like to acknowledge my Canadian family Davinder, Amrit, AJ, and Gurjit who have given me immense support in this field of trucking. Their knowledge and sharing of this knowledge led me to grow my career in trucking as an Owner-Operator.”
His favourite lanes to run, “I have driven Canada-wide most of my career and I love driving to B.C. The mighty mountains are a challenge and show me every trip how unpredictable life is. The beauty of the vast landscape of mountains, rivers, and forests has always compelled me to revisit it.”
Favourite stop/meal while on the road – “I am a non-meat eater so preparing my meals from home has always been my priority. However, I love dining at Denny’s for pancakes and the coffee from Tim Hortons.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Rajindersing – “I got my best advice from my fellow trucker who always taught me to stay calm in situations. Be it driving or backing up at a spot. Follow GOAL (Get Out And Look) and take your time to back up until you feel comfortable. This has helped me to get out of tough places. Staying Calm, following GOAL and being considerate on the road.”
Rajindersing says, “Being considerate to all fellow drivers would be great advice to start with. If you’re driving slower than the posted limit, pull over and let others pass, and if someone is impatient and tailgating you, let them pass as soon as you can. Controlling your emotions and doing the right thing will help everyone get home safely. Helping others suffering from mechanical breakdowns and/or accidents will mean a lot, as you may save someone’s life with your little stop.”
Advice on coping with COVID-19 on the road, “Sanitizing, wearing masks, and social distancing has helped me cope with COVID. I got vaccinated as soon as I had the chance, but am still following all the protocols to keep my fellow brothers and sisters safe. Staying away during the peak of COVID was not an easy task to do, but delivering essential commodities was a far more important task to be completed. This thought gave me the strength to work and to follow all COVID guidelines to keep my family safe.”
One final thought, Rajindersing would like to acknowledge his Fleet Manager, Tyler Rizok. “Tyler has been an important support system in my work at Bison. His regular coaching and being there for any problems have allowed me to work with ease. A big shout-out to the W03 team for their continual effort and support. I would also like to mention all the departments, fleet teams, IT, Safety, Maintenance, Cleaning, HR/Payroll, Operations, Management, fellow Drivers, and customers who work tirelessly to elevate the industry standards of Professional Driving.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Rajindersing.
Bill Leichert, Company Driver
Bill joined Bison in 2005 and is a Company Driver in our refrigerated division, based out of our Regina terminal. Bill decided to get into the transportation industry because he wanted a career where he could work independently, mostly being his own boss. He loved the chance to work alone, and wanted something that was a bit easier on himself. He loves being on the road and loves trucking.
Bill says his favourite part of being a professional Driver is that he enjoys his independent lifestyle and runs the hours he chooses to. He enjoys the freedom, and as long as he gets from point A to point B on time, that no one really bothers him.
Bill’s view on driving safely – “Proper pre- and post-trips make a huge difference in being safe on the road. It’s also important to be very mindful of other drivers around you.”
When not on the road, Bill enjoys, “Sitting down and relaxing and maybe watching some TV or going to my favourite Chinese restaurant.”
His advice for others is “The one thing that would benefit everyone the most is if all Drivers did proper post-trip inspections. It saves so much wasted time and effort when things are taken care of, versus hooking up to a trailer with all sorts of issues.” He says, “Bison does a great job on upkeep of equipment, and if there is an issue that arises it will always get fixed.”
Bill’s favourite place to run to is Texas as he likes the miles, knows the area well and finds the drive very easy.
Bills advice to others – “If you see a Driver stuck or broken down on the side of the road, please stop and check in on the Driver and see if they need assistance.”
Bill would also like to acknowledge his wife, Margarette, for her support and understanding.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Bill.
Harrison Okoli, Company Driver
Harrison joined Bison in 2019, completed our Driver Finishing Program successfully, and became a Company Driver based out of our Calgary terminal. When asked what attracted him to the transportation industry he said, “I love driving, touring new places and meeting people. I thought driving would be the best occupation for me.” His favourite part of being a professional Driver, “The freedom that it gives you, and the great satisfaction that I am helping society by bringing vital supplies to them, especially during the pandemic.”
Harrison’s view on driving safely is quite simple – “Safety is very important and should not be compromised. You must drive safely or do not go out on the road. I would never want to do anything unsafe that might put others in harm’s way.”
When not on the road, Harrison likes to eat out with friends, play soccer and support family in the UK. He calls his family in Nigeria regularly and is hoping to visit them soon. Harrison has a wife, two sons and a daughter. “My wife has been very supportive; she is currently back home but she still supports me 100%.” says Harrison.
Harrison would strongly recommend the Driver Finishing Program to other Drivers, “I have friends on other fleets and even though they have experience from other companies they don’t have the foundation that Bison gives in this program. So, I strongly recommended this program. Bison trainers are always there to answer questions.”
Safety is key for Harrison, he says “from my experience and interaction with other Drivers I would say the safety department is doing a great job, they take the time to explain events and answer questions, because of this all Drivers including myself benefit greatly. I am part of a trucking group on Facebook, and I promote Bison through this and the safety department and the good work they do.”
Harrison would like to acknowledge Dawn Clark, Team Lead, West Highway Operations, “You have always been there for me even after you were not my fleet manager anymore, I remember being stuck at the border and you took up my issue and kept me updated until it was resolved.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Harrison.
Florin Peltea, Owner-Operator
Florin joined Bison in 2020 and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Mississauga terminal. Becoming a truck driver “was purely accidental. I was auditioning for a truck driver role in a short movie that required an AZ license. I had to tell them I had the license, knowing I had a full year to get it before filming began. At that time, in 2017, I was working as a letter carrier full-time. After many days of waking up at 5 a.m. for the driving classes, my road test day arrived. I unfortunately failed my first attempt because of a simple formality that I wasn't properly taught. On my second try, I was pleased to successfully passed the test. Meanwhile, the production had almost given up on me for not sending them my AZ license. I went straight to a different company as I also needed experience driving a standard transmission. So, I started there the second day after getting my truck license. I had inquired with Bison but stayed with the other company at the time, as it was closer to my home. I had never thought of becoming a truck driver, but once I began I embraced the challenge, and 3 years later bought a truck.”
Florin always had his eye on Bison, “a safe company that cares about safety! Safety is my main goal before my salary! Of course, I love to get paid, but I believe in both, safety and gaining at the same time.”
Florin says his favourite part of being a professional Driver is “the fact that every load means new adventure. Just like acting, you're always starting fresh! It’s up to the way you're inspecting your truck and trailer if you're keeping it that way or not.”
Florin’s view on driving safely – “Without safety, you cannot be called a professional Driver! Driving safely means simply obeying traffic laws, performing proper inspections prior to departure, on the road, and upon arrival at the destination. Tires are the first that might deflate while out there, sometimes in as little as 40 minutes. That's why it is important to check your tires frequently, and while checking those tires your eyes are inevitably seeing other potential safety risks while on the road. Slowing down for me is never enough, especially when exiting the highway. There is no rush in what I do, yet I am driving a lot. I never like to rush in this. Everything I’ve done in my life; I've done it with pleasure! If you love what you do, then everything is safe, and you have no reasons to be rushing and be mad and miss important defects during inspections.”
When not on the road, Florin enjoys “playing with my kids, fixing many housing problems to make up for the time spent away, flying a private plane, visiting friends, vacationing and many, many other things!”
His advice for others is “to keep Bison SAFE! Even safer! Proper in-depth inspection is the key to a safe daily trip! Never give up finding the issue if you hear, feel, or believe there is one! All you do makes us all grow safely and efficiently! The only positivity is your attitude towards your professional job! If you love it, you will care for everything and you will be an example for others. Remember, we are strong together! Bison means all of us! You make mistakes? It affects all of us! You are the brick that makes Bison stand out there!”
Florin would like to acknowledge his lovely supporting wife, Annie, and three lovely children, “always a blessing to us!”
Florin’s favourite lanes to run are “Texas, Arizona, California, as many U.S. miles as possible.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Florin – “To always take my time and never be embarrassed to double-check if you're doing the right things (especially when backing). To make sure my tires are not over-inflated. Always watch your tire pressure and deflate them if it’s too hot, or inflate them if it’s cold. Never check tire pressure when the sun is out – this will not give you an accurate reading, and you could blow your tires!” Florin continues, “Bison Drivers should be more united! You're not losing anything if you're being friendly and helpful.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Florin.
Abdul Ghafour El Saadi, Owner-Operator
Abdul joined our Bison team in 2019 as an Owner-Operator, based out of our Montreal terminal. He says he got into the transportation business as a trucker because, “In one of the training courses I took about the transportation industry, it talked about working in every industry, and in transportation you get to know a little about a lot of different industries. You truly need to understand your customer’s business, not just the moving of freight in and out.”
Abdul’s favourite part of being a professional Driver is “Being out doing something I like, being busy, but not stressed.”
Abdul’s view on driving safely is to “Stay focused on your trip; enjoy every single detail and no matter what, never think of your problems when you are driving.”
While not on the road, Abdul is a big fan of nature, “Walking is the best reward for myself; and swimming is something I always try to do as well.”
His advice for others – “Be positive.”
Abdul feels that Bison’s core value of Safety leads to all the other core values.
His favourite lane to run is “Montreal to Comber” and his favourite stop is Flying J, “as it is easy to access in and out.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Abdul was “Always get out and look, for your blind back up.” He continues that he would like to see more fellow drivers share stories and experiences while on the road.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Abdul Ghafour.
Jasbir Singh Jaswal, Owner-Operator
Jasbir joined Bison in 2013 and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Langley terminal. He decided to get into trucking because of the reliable and steady income, “The transportation industry will never go away. People will always need goods and supplies.” He applied at Bison after many encounters with others that offered positive feedback about the company.
Jasbir’s favourite part about being a professional Driver, “Being a Driver at Bison allows me to have home and personal time, to work out and stay fit. I get to spend time with my kids often. There’s always the bonus of open roads and beautiful views.“
Jasbir’s view on driving safely – “When driving heavy trucks it’s important to always follow the 7 second rule and pre-plan your trips. It’s important that I and everyone else on the road goes home to their families each day.”
While not on the road, Jasbir enjoys going to the gym, keeping healthy and active. “I am a huge foodie. I also love spending time with my kids and enjoy outings and vacations with them.”
His advice for others – “Never hesitate to ask questions if you’re not sure what you are doing.”
Jasbir feels that Bison’s Core Value of Safety is key, “Bison has continuous online safety training to ensure all Drivers are up-to-date. They also have a Right to Decide policy, which allows the Drivers to make their own judgment call, never forcing them to drive if they’re uncomfortable.”
Jasbir’s favourite lane to run, “I enjoy running the Langley to Seattle lane, this is my routine run, daily.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Jasbir – “Always be safe, be prepared for anything, whether it’s a breakdown or change in the weather conditions. As a Driver you need to be ready for anything.”
Jasbir says Drivers need to be courteous of one another on the road, especially in poor driving conditions. “Don’t push Drivers from behind if they are going slower, stay back until there is a safe lane to pass them.”
When asked how he is coping with COVID-19 while on the road, Jasbir says, “I personally ensure I bring meals and snacks from home to avoid stops and limit my contact with others. I always wipe down my truck after I finish my trip, always wear a mask during face-to-face interactions, and sanitize my hands after touching any fuel pumps, doors, paperwork, etc.”
Jasbir continues “I am very thankful to be employed by Bison, for all the recognition and awards they have given and nominated me for, including the 2020 Bison Owner-Operator of the Year award (Langley). Simple things like a phone call saying ‘good job’ are small but make me feel appreciated. I look forward to the many years ahead with Bison.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Jasbir.
Gurjeet Bal, Owner-Operator
Gurjeet joined Bison in 2017 and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Calgary terminal. Prior to Bison, Gurjeet worked for a company that hauled loads for Bison. His immediate positive experience with Bison operations led him to apply, with a friend as a reference. Gurjeet says, “Transportation is in my veins, a family lineage of truckers with my father as a torch bearer of this industry. This led me to be a part of the trucking industry not just as an amateur but as an amateur with long time exposure to the trucks. The career of working in the trucking industry started in Dubai and I have since been given a true exposure of professional driving in Canada.”
Gurjeet’s favourite part of being a professional Driver, “Since trucking has been a core culture of my family’s business, being a professional driver led me to learn, as well as gain knowledge of the supply chain in Canada. Also, breaking from the chains of monotony and meeting new people with a smile.”
Gurjeet’s view on driving safely – “Safety is an utmost priority of my work ethic, so that everyone reaches home safe to their families.”
While not on the road, Gurjeet’s favourite hobby is getting under the hood of vehicles and learning the mechanics of how automobiles work. “The sound of an engine is what I love to hear.”
His advice for others – “Learn the basic mechanics of a semi-truck. This will not only benefit employees to move quickly in the event of on-the-road mechanical failures, but also help the company to lower their on-the-road service costs.”
“Bison has empowered our people to put safety first with continuous training, rewards program and by being recognized as the Best Fleet To Drive For in 2021 by Truckload Carriers Association. This value of safety has led Bison to be at the forefront of the competition.” says Gurjeet.
Gurjeet’s favourite lanes are dedicated California runs and beautiful B.C. lanes. His favourite stop while on the road is “The Last Spike rest area, near Sicamous, B.C. It’s one of the quietest places to hang around with beautiful trees and a passing river. With a sip of a double-double coffee, it makes for a nice break.”
The most helpful advice another truck driver has given Gurpreet – “In April 2017, I was stuck at a road closure in Revelstoke BC. I happened to interact with an experienced Canadian professional driver in his 50’s, who gave me really helpful advice of driving to the road conditions. He pointed out the fact that you cannot drive on black ice and should get off the road during the event especially from 02:00 to 06:00 and when traffic is less; there are high chances of black ice on the road. He helped me with information about Drive B.C. apps and planning your trip with weather forecasts.”
Gurpreet mentions helping fellow drivers on the road is important, “Slow down when you see a vehicle with emergency lights on. Helping other drivers with a breakdown or simple assistance will be truly a Canadian thing which would make all truck drivers proud of their profession.”
When asked how he is coping with COVID-19 while on the road, Gurpreet says, “Covid-19 changed how we work and interact with our friends, customers and fellow drivers. The knowledge and assistance provided by the company helped me to stay safe on the road with following safety guidelines like wearing masks, constant sanitization and social distancing. Homemade meals, avoiding public spaces and carrying a 20 L water container with tap for hand washing, has not only helped me to keep working in this pandemic, but be a part of a crucial supply chain of essential commodities for fellow Canadians.”
Gurjeet would like to thank his parents, wife and two kids, who “are the love of my life and who have given me immense confidence to stay away on the road. My father, a long-time trucker himself, has taught me the value of safe driving, which brings one home to them safely.”
Gurpreet finishes with “A job is fun when you love it. The kind of support we get from operations has led me to continue working with the company for more than four years as an Owner-Operator. The ongoing innovations like Herd2Go app have supported immensely to be at the forefront of my day leading me to plan my work schedule.
I would like to mention my fleet manager, Alana Van der Leer, who has been an integral part of my great Bison experience. The personal support during my wife’s illness proves her to be a great person with empathy and just her gesture of being available any time I needed, has made her the best manager ever. The support I have received has helped me to be able to work with low downtimes and high duty utilization of my log hours leading to more loads for myself and the company.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Gurjeet.
Christopher Millar, Company Driver
Christopher joined Bison in 2016 and is a Company Driver based out of our Mississauga terminal. Christopher was working at a warehouse job in Toronto, but had also done some straight truck driving and found he enjoyed that more! So, he went for it and started the process of becoming a professional Driver. After he got his AZ license in Hamilton, Ontario, he called Bison, went to school in Winnipeg and hasn’t looked back since. He thought Bison’s reputation and safety profile made us the best company to work for. Safety is the reason he is with Bison; “You need to be safe so you can keep doing it day in day out.” Christopher goes on to say that Safety is the Core Value that is most important to him, “Everyone talks safety and how the Drivers can choose not to drive if weather goes sideways. I can park the truck and be safe, even if customers are going to be upset. Its ok because I know I’m safe and no one is going to question that.”
Christopher’s favourite part about being a professional Driver is “going out on long-haul runs across the country and the freedom that it gives you to chill to music and audio books and enjoy the continent’s scenery.”
While not on the road, Christopher enjoys travelling and taking scenic pictures of the landscapes and different architectural buildings in different states. Pre-pandemic he enjoyed visiting different restaurants he would never normally be able to go to.
Christopher’s advice for other Bison Drivers – “Focus on safety and be adaptable. Roll with the plans changing and try not to let it stress you out, it only affects your driving.”
Christopher’s favourite lanes to run are anywhere, coast to coast. “Texas or California for sure are my favourites, I get to see a variety of landscapes in a short time.” He likes to stop at a place in Nashville called Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. “Definitely worth checking out!”
Most helpful advice another truck Driver gave Christopher – “Just don’t give a damn about how you look while you drive, just drive as safe as you can. If you’re having trouble backing into a tight spot at a truck stop, don’t worry about the drivers snickering, take your time, get out and look and just do your thing.”
His advice for others – “More courtesy and consideration for other Drivers on the road.”
For Christopher not much has changed due to the pandemic, “I’m just more limited to the truck stops, I can’t go stretch my legs to see some of the sites and check out some of those restaurants.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Christopher.
Harjit Singh, Company Driver
Harjit joined Bison in 2020 and is a Company Driver based out of our Mississauga terminal. Harjit says he got into the transportation industry because “From my childhood on, I have always loved driving. My toys were all cars, trucks and bikes. On my 10th birthday, my father gifted me a wooden truck. I still have that toy truck. Whenever my grandmother cut or peeled fruits and vegetables, I took that garbage and loaded it into the toy truck and dumped it into the garbage bin. From my childhood it was in my mind that I wanted to be a Professional Driver.” Harjit also says, “The day I got my CDL, the first question that came into my mind was, with which company should I start my career? My company of choice was Bison, even my driving school also preferred Bison because of the additional training they offered for newcomers. I first applied in May 2019, but at that time was rejected because of my age. I re-applied in Feb. 2020, but unfortunately due to COVID-19, I once again lost the chance to be a part of Bison. But l was lucky, because in April 2020, Keith Bennett – Driver Recruiter, called me, and I loved the way he said ‘Welcome to Bison’. It took almost a year to get into Bison.”
Harjit’s favourite part of being a professional Driver – “I love travelling and my favourite part of driving is exploring new places, making memories and being alone. I get enough time to talk with myself, and I enjoy the beauty of nature. As a professional Driver, my truck is my bestie. He is everything for me. It has now been almost 7 months with Bison and my truck and I have already travelled from the east coast to the west coast (Newfoundland to B.C.). The best thing - my truck and I, we are both new at Bison.”
Harjit’s view on driving safely - “We cannot clap with one hand. To clap we have to use both of our hands. in the same way, when we start talking about safety on the road, people often target the big rigs. Actually, it should be every single person’s responsibility to drive safe, not just truckers. In 2019, the record shows that in accidents involving commercial vehicles, 87% of the accidents were caused by drivers of cars. Instead of being a super Driver, try to be a safe Driver. When we all want a safe road environment, instead of blaming each other, we should all cooperate and Drive safe.
While not on the road, Harjit says he enjoys, “Every time I return to the yard, my first loving job is to take my truck for a bath. I love to do this. I think that trucks also have feelings, so if you take care of him, he is also going to take care of you on the road, that why I feel lucky that I have Preet (78473) - he is my best buddy. My truck’s name is Preet. The name comes from Pritam Kaur, my grandmother’s name. I think of all I have received in my life because of my grandmother’s blessings. So, whenever I am in my truck, I feel like I am sitting on the lap of my grandmother, just as I was sitting when I was a kid. Other than that, I also enjoy spending time with my elder brother, he is an awesome cook.
Harjit’s suggestions to other Bison employees – “As a younger brother, I want to give a small piece of advice to my colleagues (Drivers). If they want to really enjoy trucking, then first start with loving your truck. Your truck is one of the best friends you will ever get in your life. Wash him by yourself. Take care of him. Then you will see, he will also take care of you. Your truck’s condition speaks to how much you love trucking. For me, Safety is the backbone of the other four core values – Spirit, Service, Sustainability, and Success. The transportation business depends on their Drivers. Bison gives freedom to their Drivers to make decisions to create a good environment such as having the Right to Decide. I want to see an improvement in people’s mindset. From the day ELD’s were regulated, Drivers think if they want to make good money, then they have to drive as much as they can to consume the full 14 hours of shift time. Meanwhile, they forget that their money-making mindset is leading them to an unsafe road culture. The mindset should be: Every single mile makes sense if you run it wisely/safely instead of with greediness.”
Harjit would like to acknowledge, “My uncle, Sr. Rajinder Singh. He is the one who helped me to immigrate to Canada. He recognized my love for driving and advised my father to help me immigrate here. He helped my father financially too. The way he helped me and my family, he is a Saviour to me, like God.”
Harjit says, “All roads where a truck can go are my favourite runs. Dedicated loads are not to my taste. I love to connect with nature instead of traffic. When someone says I do not want to do this load because it’s too far, mountains, snow and dangerous, my preference is to go for it. Let’s enjoy God’s gift, nature.”
Harjit’s favourite stop - “There is one Scenic Outlook which is 80 km northwest of Sault Ste Marie, ON. This is my favorite spot whenever I go to Winnipeg. I stop there every time. Best thing about that spot is, there is no network. No network means no disturbance while talking to nature. The sunset there is priceless. I usually sit on the ground and talk to my truck. I think he also loves this spot.”
Most helpful advice another Driver gave Harjit – “When I was getting trained by John Mitchell - In-Cab Instructor, he gave me powerful advice as a father, he said a son should never forget these three words: Improvise, adapt and overcome. This lesson really helped me out in critical conditions.”
Harjit wants to mention, “Last but not least, I want to thank my team, Fleet E02, my dispatcher, my planner, my manager (Kevin McCready – Fleet Manager) and my supervisor (Derrick Sosu - Manager - East Highway Dispatch). You guys are fantastic. It’s only been 7 months with Bison, but the love and respect I am getting from you guys makes me feel like I have been with Bison for 7 years, or even more than that.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Harjit.
Sajid Hussain, Owner-Operator
Sajid joined Bison in 2017 and is an Owner-Operator based out of our Mississauga terminal. Sajid started his career in transportation because of the reliable growth in the industry, “I welcomed the opportunity to be an Owner-Operator to grow my career, and have a very reliable income.” Sajid learned about Bison while he was working as a driver for another Owner-Operator in 2012. In 2017, he was able to purchase his own truck.
“As a professional Driver, I enjoy working on the road because I get to work independently. I follow road laws, am professional, and I set a good example of being a safe driver,” says Sajid about his favourite parts of being a Driver.
Sajid’s view on driving safely, “Slow down and maintain extra following space. In winter be ready to pull over. Be alert of other vehicles entering onto the road. Follow road conditions and give about 15 seconds space. Plan trips ahead of time. Practice working in your safety zone.”
When not on the road, Sajid said, “Well I enjoy coming home to see my 4 children, they are always waiting. I take them to the park and help with their homeschooling.”
Sajid’s suggestions for other Bison employees - “Encourage employees to understand motoring laws. Have open communication with Drivers. Every Driver is different and has different experiences with weather conditions.” He continues, “My belief is to stay positive and keep an open communication with everyone.”
Sajid’s favourite lanes to run are Mississauga to Midwest USA. He also enjoys going to southeast USA.
Sajid brings all of his meals on the road with him. He is Muslim and requires halal food. He always brings enough for his trips, which usually get him home every 3-4 days.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Sajid.
Darrin Gillmore, Company Driver
Darrin joined Bison in 2015 and is a Company Driver based out of our Mississauga terminal. He started out his working career in a factory, which did not suit him very well. Eventually he chose to get into driving (2004/2005) not for money or heritage (both of his grandfathers were truckers), but it’s something that he’d always loved to do. Drive.
Darrin tells us that in 2014, he was asked to be a master trainer by his former company, “I'd already made up my mind I needed long haul Canada. I searched for a good company and Bison was the first to come up. I applied and aced everything. I was so grateful for the opportunity to be back on the long run. I was hired Nov. 2015.”
Darrin’s favourite part of being a professional Driver, “I guess for me I accepted the responsibility to be safe, and travel is important to me. The equipment at Bison Transport is excellent, although I have been waiting for 1 year now for a new truck. I love the places I go and the people I meet; being free out on the road and seeing the country and nature. I always stop and camp out in the summer. If I can get out to a good spot to fish I will. Plus, there is a certain respect you feel for having the knowledge and skill to drive something so large and heavy.”
Darrin’s view on driving safely – “Very simple. Pay attention ALWAYS. You already have more skills than most everyone on the road. Drive accordingly and you'll get where you need to. It’s a dangerous job sometimes because of others. Don't add to that by being complacent. Focus.”
While not on the road, Darrin enjoys his family. “Kayaking with my daughter and spending time with my lady. in the summer I am in the bush camping and cutting wood and kayaking. Turning up the music really loud. Mostly I love to be the chef when I get home. Everyone is like hey Dad is home there's gonna be an epic meal tonight!” says Darrin.
Darrin’s advice for others, “Always be courteous on the road...we are driving a big giant billboard around.”
Bison’s core value Spirit, resonates the most with Darrin. He says, “Bison goes above and beyond with Driver programs and keeps track of your safety record and rewards those who embody the job by driving safely and getting things done in time. This part is an acknowledgement for an employee, Morgan Winterhalt (Expedited Planner) for always getting me going when I need to and getting me home when needed. She is always there for me and I can't thank her enough.
Darrin would also like to acknowledge, “Without a doubt, Laurie Elizabeth has been my light that guides me home each week. I thank her for her love and friendship and for our daughter, Claire. She makes me hate being away, but every time I come home she is there with open arms to melt away the miles.”
Darrin’s favourite lane and stop while on the road, “Well I've been running Mississauga to Winnipeg for over 5 years now, so I am quite bored with it but every once in a while, I get switched up to something else. My favourite stop is the Sandlot at White Lake Provincial Park. In the summer I will have a campfire and sleep outside of the truck and do some fishing there, if I have extra time.”
The most helpful advice that Darrin has received from another truck driver, “Well that’s easy...when I was new to driving my backing was not very good...I was told not to watch the back of the trailer but to look at the tires because that’s where the trailer is going.”
Darrin’s advice for other drivers, “Helping others on the road is important. Slower drivers need to help others pass them by slowing down more when there is a passing lane, too often they don't. We all drive at a different comfort level and we all need to respect each other's skills.
“Covid19 on the road hasn’t changed things much for me, other than I keep having to go back to the truck because I've forgotten my mask. At home it’s been more difficult. The pandemic prevented me from visiting loved ones, and unfortunately two people very close to me passed away without me being able to visit beforehand. Sometimes life is not fair.”
Darrin is proud to say, “This is my 4th or 5th Driver of the Month award. I am also a TCA Highway Angel for saving a guy from a burning truck after a head-on collision as well. I also received a Police service board citation from Chatham Kent and from the member of parliament. They finally caught up with me for my good deeds on the road, and there have been many, many of them. I have seen a few accidents in my time - some that even haunt my dreams they were so awful. We all need help sometimes and if I am able to help I will, no matter who you are.”
Darrin is currently on the LCV x training list and looking forward to that in the future.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Darrin.
Carrin Cabral, In-cab Instructor and Company Driver
Carrin joined Bison in 2015 and is an In-cab Instructor and Company Driver based out of our Winnipeg terminal. She says the reason she decided to get into the transportation industry is that her father used to drive a 5-ton truck and was a courier in the past, and she liked the freedom of the role. While she was going through driving school to get her class one Driver’s Licence, they recommended she apply at Bison.
Carrin’s favourite part of being a professional Driver is “being able to travel all over North America and being able to escape the bad weather we face in the prairies occasionally and the freedom that comes with it.” Carrin also appreciates having the best technology as it helps her be safer. Carrin also gets to drive with her dog She-ra!
While not on the road, Carrin loves to golf in the summer and take part in a yoga class when it is open.
Carrin’s advice for others, “Driving truck may be intimidating but anything is possible when you put your mind to it.” Carrin would also like to encourage all Drivers to help each other.
Carrin’s favourite lane to run is Virginia and into the Midwest and then up to Ontario. While on the road, she stops at QuikTrips as they have some healthier meal options.
During the pandemic, Carrin says it is important to be mindful of your surroundings. Wiping down the inside of the truck more often and washing and sanitizing her hands more is very important.
You can watch Carrin’s story by clicking here.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Carrin.
Bruno Filipe Da Costa Raposo, Lease Operator
Bruno joined Bison in 2017 and is a Lease Operator based out of our Montreal terminal. He says he learned to drive a truck to pay the bills, but now he loves it.
Bruno’s favourite part of being a professional Driver is “Seeing the country in all seasons and getting to the south when the north has winter.” Bruno also strongly appreciates the Bison core value of Safety, “Bison always goes over and above with their safety, always focusing on Drivers getting home safely, no one is ever rushing us, and the Right to Decide policy is amazing.” To Bruno, “Driving safe is the most important part of our job, to protect others out there on the road, and myself for my family. I want my kids to be able to see their father when I get home.” While not on the road, Bruno enjoys just relaxing at home with his kids. Occasionally he will get out to see a hockey game and take the kids out. Bruno drives to ensure a good childhood for his son and daughter and would like to acknowledge them.
His advice to other Bison Drivers is to “Drive as safe as possible, listen to your alerts on your satellite, observe the following-distance rules. Work with your dispatchers and fleet managers.” The best advice Bruno ever received from another Driver was to “Treat all 4 wheelers like they don’t know how to drive, give them room and always be safe.” He also feels that there may be too many fatigued Drivers, and advises them to “Get off the road. I see too many guys out there getting in trucks and leaving, who look like they haven’t slept in days.”
Recently, Bruno received a TCA Highway Angel award for his quick thinking and compassion while on the road. Click here to learn about his story.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Bruno.
Kevin Gothard, Company LCV Driver
Kevin initially joined Bison in 2002 and is currently a Company LCV Driver based out of our Winnipeg terminal. In becoming a professional Driver, Kevin followed in his father’s footsteps. He says, “Trucking is sort of a family affair. I grew up in a truck. Trucking is in my blood and that was just a natural decision.” Kevin appreciates his dad, who taught him how to drive when he was a child. He has always been there for him and has been in the industry for 45 years, “I’ve had an excellent teacher.”
Kevin is always open to learning, “Trucking is such a volatile industry, there is always something to learn and there’s always something to teach, big or small.” His own number one priority is safety, and he is serious about: “Driving in the mile I am in. I want to return to my family, others want to go to their families, and we all get to share the road.”
The best advice another Driver gave Kevin is “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Never assume things will go your way, always expect the unexpected and be prepared.” His own advice to other Bison employees: “Have an open mind. There are more good days than bad. Everything is so fast-paced, if you are feeling overwhelmed – take a breather. I strongly discourage a breakdown in communication.”
When not on the road, Kevin enjoys being active by going to the gym, trying to get out as much as possible and relaxing and enjoying life, “There is more to life than just work.” Kevin’s current scheduled lane of Winnipeg-Grenfell-Winnipeg is his favourite because it gets him home every day and on weekends.
Kevin shares the One Bison philosophy and thinks of it as A.T.E.A.M – All Together Everyone Achieves More – He completely believes in this motto. “Everyone can go above and beyond and push forward for everyone’s benefit. We all rely on each other and it is a great feeling to be taking pride in your job and the result you bring to the table. I now also recognize that patience is a virtue, and I am learning it now. It is healthy to slow down once in a while.” Kevin would also like to see more Drivers helping each other out on the road. Communication is key, never assume that Drivers know what they are doing. He would like to know that if he had a breakdown, someone would stop to help. Everyone needs to talk more and be more humane. To Kevin, Bison is all one big family. “Bison has always gone above and beyond to help me see my family when it was most important to me,” says Kevin. “That is a comforting feeling to work for a good company.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Kevin.
Our First DFP Team | DFP to LCV
Tarlochan Singh Jawanda’s Story, Company Team Driver
I am originally from India. After graduation in India, I decided to continue my studies abroad and chose to go to Australia in 2008. I studied at university while working part- and full-time jobs and completed my degree; a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting. I then worked in a few different industries and achieved a variety of experience. I thought I was on my path. In fact, everything was going smoothly, and I was working hard. It was my parents who wanted me to come to Canada; to stay with my brother and sister so we could all live together in one country. In 2016 I arrived in Canada. I passed my car road test and received my class 5 Driver’s Licence. About a month later, I found Bison Transport online and applied for their Driver Finishing Program (DFP). Unfortunately, I discovered that I had to hold a Class 5 licence for at least a year before I could apply, so I waited almost a year and re-applied. I then took the class 1 Driver’s Licence course through Professional Driving School in Winnipeg. Once I had my class 1, I passed the road test at Bison, was hired and scheduled to attend the 3-day Driver Orientation, whereby serendipity I was seated next to Abhijeet Singh Gill.
Abhijeet Singh Gill’s Story, Company Team Driver
I came to Canada in 2015 and completed my schooling at Windsor Park Collegiate in Winnipeg. I was very interested in driving professionally as in my family I would be a 3rd or 4th generation professional transport driver. I attended the class 1 driving course at First Class Driving School. I then drove in the city for Meyer Bros Trucking for 10 months, and also worked in various jobs including in the car industry and at a restaurant. I then decided to start my career with Bison Transport. I applied and was hired and scheduled in for the Driver Orientation where I met Tarlochan Singh Jawanda.
Meeting in Orientation
We sat next to each other in Orientation and after talking with each other we came up with the idea that we should try to drive as a team. We discussed this first with Driver Development, and then Driver Services, and finally with the Safety Dept. Everyone was unsure about the idea as we were new Drivers without experience. Eventually we were approved on the condition we would be closely supervised, and that we completed another 13 weeks of training with In-cab Instructors first, which was very helpful. Finally, we became Bison’s first DFP team. For the first few months we drove border crossing runs into USA for fleet C01, and then a scheduled Montreal - Toronto run with fleet X01. After working with fleet X01 for almost 3 years, we were given the opportunity to get trained to drive long-combination vehicles (LCV). We are now running LCV+USA.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Jawanda and Gill.
David Teeuwen, Company LCV Driver
David joined Bison in 2002 and is a Company LCV Driver based out of our Calgary terminal. After leaving the Military, this was a goal he wanted to explore. David began his driving career working for another company, “but Bison was a premier company that a lot of Drivers wanted to work for, so I applied! I was put on a waiting list for 6 months, then got the call, I couldn’t wait to get started!” said David.
David’s favourite part of being a professional Driver is seeing the multitudes and variety of different sceneries, people and places. While not on the road, David enjoys adventure motorcycle riding, computer games and his family.
David says that “professionalism and safety” is the main reason why people want to work at Bison. “There are ups and downs with almost every trucking company, it’s how the company handles these ups and downs that makes it a win. Bison wins almost every time.” David continues, “A lot of companies talk safety, but Bison lives it.”
David would like to acknowledge and thank all of his family for their support. It takes a strong support team to back up a Driver, so that he can tackle his driving and long periods away from home.
David enjoys his east – west run from Calgary to Saskatchewan. Along the way he enjoys fries and gravy from the Esso truck stop in Medicine Hat!
The best advice David has received from another Driver, “I asked once why we see so many trucks in the ditch on the highway after storms, at that time the speed limit was 90KM, I was told that it’s because we slow down and they don’t!”
David would like to acknowledge that when a Driver is recognized for achievements and recognition it is also a reflection of the team behind him. Those that support and give confidence that he’s going the extra is well worth the effort. Bison’s success is my success.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, David.
David Clayton, Company LCV Driver
David Clayton joined Bison in 2001 and is a Company LCV Driver based out of our Winnipeg terminal. David needed a new career path and looked for a new plan. He saw the free truck driver training opportunity through the Manitoba Trucking Association, signed up and completed the course. He chose Bison because of their stability and good reputation. “I have never looked back or elsewhere. One of my best decisions,” says David.
David’s views on driving safely: “Driving safely begins with proper training and a professional attitude. Driving safely is putting that training and attitude to use every single mile.” He believes that safety is the first of Bison’s core values for a reason. We embody safety with outstanding training, the best equipment, maintenance and programs dedicated to getting every Driver home safely after each and every tour.
While not on the road, David enjoys spending time with his family, including their weekly get-togethers and a game or two, which is particularity special for him. David would like to acknowledge his wife of 35 years and son, who deserve so much credit as they support each other no matter what. David’s wife also provides him with homecooked meals while on the road, which helps him especially during this pandemic. He can eat out of his fridge, meals and snacks prepared from home. In that way, he can stay out of stores and truck stops and limit his exposure to the virus.
David’s favourite lane to run as a turnpike Driver is the Canadian prairies, “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” says David.
The best advice David has received from another Driver, “If you don’t know, ask. There are no stupid questions.”
David advice to others, “Be prepared and use your Right To Decide.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, David.
Maksym Zaporozhets, Company LCV Driver
Maksym Zaporozhets joined Bison in 2018, starting out as a Company Driver. He is now an Owner-Operator based out of our Winnipeg terminal and drives team with his wife. Maksym’s father was a Driver so he knew what driving was all about. Circumstances in life led him to follow his father’s path.
Maksym’s favourite part of being a Professional Driver is the satisfaction of successfully completing a trip from the beginning to the end, which involves a lot of activities like taking care of the load, safe driving, and effective communication with customers and border officers.
Maksym’s views on driving safely: “The most important part of driving for me is driving safely because this is what is keeping us working. For me. a safe Driver is one who is not overly confident of himself/herself because that’s when you can misjudge a situation. A safe Driver is kind, able to share the road with others, and predict other people’s behavior according to the situations on the road.”
In the summer months while not on the road, Maksym enjoys nature, camping, fishing and hiking. In winter, he likes skiing, skating and anything that involves physical activity.
When asked what suggestions he has that would benefit other Bison employees, Maksym said. “Be a good communicator, because asking questions gets you answers and make it possible to resolve various problematic situations, especially as Bison gives you the opportunity to express your opinions and give feedback.”
Maksym would like to acknowledge his wife who started driving with him 1.5 years ago. “She is working hard and trying to get as much experience as she can and she’s doing well. We work well complementing one another and enjoy always staying together. We have a son who is working hard on his commercial pilot licence and we’d like to thank Bison because two years in a row he received the John Martin Memorial Scholarship which helps him to reach his goal.”
The best advice Maksym has received from another Driver, “In winter, pour windshield washer fluid under the drive wheels so it melts the ice, giving you more traction to get out - that actually helped me a few times.”
“I’d like to thank Bison for giving us this opportunity to work efficiently and reach our goals despite the world pandemic and economic crisis. Keep up with good job and stay safe everyone.” - Maksym
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Maksym.
Bruce McKechnie, Company Driver
Bruce McKechnie is a Company Driver based out of our Winnipeg terminal and has been driving with Bison since 2004. Bruce decided to get into the transportation industry as he thought it would be a good career to get into to make decent money. Bruce first started with Bison after he responded to an advertisement by an Owner-Operator and decided to participate in Bison’s “Truck Share” program with him, later transitioning to become a Company Driver.
When asked what his favourite part of being a professional Driver is, Bruce says, “I enjoy the responsibility of it. I take pride in operating the equipment safety. I enjoy the flexibility and also seeing the countryside.”
Bruce’s view on safety, “Driving safely is an integral part of my job on a daily basis. I take pride in upholding Bison’s safety standards. Bison ensures that each Driver has adequate training and enables us to make informed decisions such as shutting down in adverse conditions or if we aren’t feeling well enough to continue.”
While not on the road, Bruce enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, as well as his extended family and his pup who is always happy to see him. He likes barbecues, movies nights and playing board games.
Bruce’s suggestion to other Bison Drivers, “Try to maintain your integrity despite obstacles you will face daily. Think about how your actions or inactions will affect the next Driver.”
The most helpful advice Bruce was ever given was from a Manitoba Trucking Industry Education Advisory Committee (MTIEAC) trainer, who said “Never be in a hurry to screw up! Check and double check everything.”
Bruce’s advice to fellow Drivers, “It’s important for Drivers to be more aware that what they miss on post trip or pre-trip inspections costs time and money to the company and the next Drivers. We need to be more diligent, so our fellow Drivers are not inconvenienced.”
During this Covid-19 pandemic Bruce says, “It hasn’t been easy. Due to Covid-19 and the nature of my job (being across the border), I haven’t been able to be at home for five months, other than doing some lawn work and having dinner outside with my family once a week. I also tell myself that these measures are necessary and won’t last forever.
“My situation with not going home due to COVID-19 restrictions - My wife has a home-based daycare with multiple families, and I cannot go inside my house. I have been living out of the truck for weeks and I have been going home every week to tend to yard work. I stay outside. I stay away from my family. When it’s supper a plate is prepared for me. I sit six or more feet away and when I leave all I can do is wave and smile. I have not slept in my own bed, watched my own tv, or enjoyed adequate time with my family. I do my laundry at Bison and I try to book the truck in when I am at home doing yard work so I can be in the truck to go to bed.”
Bruce says he could not do the job that he does without the support and love of his family. “I’m also thankful for the support and resources that Bison has at our disposal. I am thankful for the consistent work during this challenging time. I am proud to work for a strong company,” says Bruce.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Bruce. Bison is proud and thankful for you too.
Dharminder Sidhu, Company Driver
Dharminder Sidhu joined Bison in 2019 as a Company Driver based out of our Langley terminal. Dharminder has been interested in trucking since childhood. Even his dad, uncle and grandfather were in the transportation industry.
Dharminder is proud to deliver loads on time and with safety in mind. He says, “Always keep 100% of your attention on driving, at all times. Do not use your phone. Always slowdown, speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of an accident.”
While not on the road, Dharminder enjoys spending time with his lovely wife. Apart from that, he enjoys watching movies and visiting the temple.
Dharminder believes that Bison’s core value Safety is key and says, “Bison always gives priority to your safety rather than work.”
Dharminder’s favourite lane to run is I5 Washington and region. He also loves to stop in Golden, B.C. and Napavine, Washington.
His advice to other Drivers, “Always keep calm.” He also comments, that it is not easy to face Covid-19 on the road, especially managing being on time and that everything is sanitary.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Dharminder.
Jaspreet Singh, Owner-Operator
Jaspreet Singh joined Bison in 2018 as an Owner-Operator Driver, then became a City Driver and is now a Company LCV Driver based out of our Regina terminal. Jaspreet’s favourite lane to run is Regina to Grenfell to Tompkins and back to Regina.
To Jaspreet, “the best part about being a truck driver, is the freedom of working on your own.” He reminds everyone to “Drive safely and keep your eyes on the road. Focus on driving, always keep 100 per cent of your attention on driving. No multitasking. Build time into your trip schedule to stop for a break.
While not on the road, Jaspreet enjoys spending time with his family, especially his kids.
Jaspreet’s advice to other Drivers, “Do your pre- and post-trip and on route inspections every day. Keep yourself and others beside you safe because everybody has family waiting at home.”
Jaspreet believes that Bison’s core value Success is the key in his life. Bison helps him to be successful and supports everyone.
The most helpful advice that another truck Driver gave to Jaspreet, “Drive safe, drive slow, observe weather conditions, help each other if needed and you have the right to decide.”
During Covid, Jaspreet says, “always keep 6 feet distance from each other, wash your hands, sanitize your truck when you start and finish your trip and if you feel sick, stay at home.”
Jaspreet would like to mention his respect for his fleet, T1. Everyone works as a team, and he is thankful.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Jaspreet.
Terry Griffith, Owner-Operator
Terry Griffith is an Owner-Operator based out of our Calgary terminal. Terry started with Bison in June 2005, took three years off to be a “house dad” and returned one and a half years ago. Terry decided to get into the transportation industry because he was bored in his office job. Now, Terry says is favourite part of being a professional Driver is “the open road and the feeling I get when the job has been done with no damage, a happy customer and there is a new plan ready for me to get started on.” Terry is a PACNW and enjoys northern California through to Washington and Oregon.
Terry’s view on safety, “It is the only way to drive if you want to survive until retirement.”
While not on the road, Terry skies and hikes in the summer. He also enjoys watching his daughter swim, as she is a competitive swimmer.
Terry's suggestions to other Bison employees, “have patience and never phone when it’s possible to email or freeform.”
Safety is very important to Terry. At Bison, he says, “you can see it in how well the equipment is maintained.”
Terry would like to thank and acknowledge is wife for making him meals and salads to take with him on the road.
The most helpful advice that another truck Driver gave to Terry, was from his dad. “My dad was with me one day and I was struggling with a difficult back in, and he said, “get the trailer going where you want it, and then follow it,” and next thing I knew I was safely in the door. Dad started driving trucks during WWII, he hauled fuel to the many airfields all over MB, SK, and AB, as well as on the Alaska highway during the construction in 1942 and 1943.”
During this Covid-19 pandemic Terry says, “Always where a mask in crowded areas or indoors and lots of hand-washing and hand sanitizer.”
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Terry.
Ranpreet Shokar, Owner-Operator
Ranpreet Shokar is an Owner-Operator based out of our Calgary terminal and has been driving with Bison since 2013. Ranpreet decided to get into the transportation industry because it gives him a chance to explore new places and meet new people on the road, while getting paid! But it also provides him with a new challenge every day and he loves the challenge.
Ranpreet’s view on safety, “Driving safely is the main priority everyone should have. This is one of the non-negotiables and cannot be ignored. Your safety, and that of others, is always in your hands.”
While not on the road, Ranpreet loves hot showers, going to the gym (his happy place), his new gardening hobby and watching and playing cricket. He recommends that everyone find a hobby that will keep you healthy outside of work and to find work/life balance.
Ranpreet would like to thank and acknowledge his wife, Navdeep, who is a great support and listener.
The most helpful advice a truck driver ever gave to Ranpreet, “While doing your pre-trip, pay attention to the details and don’t be distracted.” Furthermore, Ranpreet encourages other drivers to follow the posted speed limit, obey the signs and signals and do not get distracted on the road.”
During this pandemic time, Ranpreet has been following guidelines from local, provincial and federal health authorities, using a mask and gloves, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding any unnecessary stops.
Ranpreet would like to thank his fleet manager Jeff Figueroa, he says “Jeff is there to support and guide me. The entire team of Bison Transport and my wife supports and stands by me. These are unprecedented times, but they will pass, and I cannot wait for things to be normal again. Meanwhile, let us adapt to the new normal and stay safe everyone.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Ranpreet.
Opher Kolatkar, Owner-Operator
Opher Kolatkar is an Owner-Operator based out of our Mississauga terminal and has been driving with Bison since 2015. Opher got his start in the transportation industry because of his love of traveling. At Bison he can do just that. He also thought it was a great job opportunity and has been able to learn new skills that are helping him to this day.
To Opher safety is priority, for himself and others around him. His advice to other Drivers, “Be patient and take your time. Be prepared with things you would need in the truck like: food, tools, movies, books, warm clothes and blankets, so you can enjoy and help yourself whenever needed.”
When not on the road, Opher loves spending time with his family. They go to restaurants (favourite food is Mediterranean and Italian), parks, as well as travel and watch Raptors games, whenever given the chance.
Opher feels that that Bison embodies the core value - Success. Bison gives importance to success by improving their web site on a regular basis, communicating with their employees and training them often.
Opher enjoys stopping in at Flying-J and Husky as the service is good and the employees are extremely nice and helpful.
The best advice another truck driver ever gave him – Be safe, calm and enjoy as much as you can.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Opher.
Istvan Balla, Owner-Operator
Istvan Balla is an Owner-Operator based out of our Winnipeg terminal. For Istvan joining the trucking industry was a natural transition when he came from Europe to Canada. Istvan learned about Bison from reading the newspaper and quickly connected with our recruiters and started with Bison in 2013.
Istvan’s favourite part about being a professional Driver is being able to meet different people and speaking different languages. He loves running the Winnipeg>California>Calgary>Winnipeg lane and often goes on long trips near the Mexico border. The route that he takes on these runs is a challenge which he likes. Along the way, he will stop at Fargo Walmart to pick up food for his trip.
Istvan is a very family-oriented man. When not on the road, he is spending time with his son (age 12) and daughter (age 8). He always makes it a priority to be home for their Taekwondo lessons and tournaments. Outside of this, he likes the outdoors with fishing being one of his favorite activities. He plans to get his hunting license soon.
Safety is Istvan’s top priority when on the road and he always makes sure that he is in control to avoid dangerous situations. Istvan never fails to voice all his concerns and makes sure dispatch can address all potential issues before he departs. Istvan’s best piece of advice for other Drivers is to be mindful when going downhill. Do not go fast but go safely. You always want to be in control of the situation. Istvan would like to encourage Drivers to help each other on the road more.
Thank you for letting us get to know you, Istvan.
Simon Moore, Owner-Operator
Simon Moore is an Owner-Operator based out of our Kelowna terminal. Simon joined the transportation industry after being with the Royal Marines in the UK for 12 years. His research found that Bison had a good reputation for safety and consistent work, so he applied in October 2018.
Simon’s favourite part of being a Driver is, “Every day is different. I get to travel Canada and the U.S. seeing various parts of the countries, and literally, to coin the phrase, enjoy my time and space on the open road.” “Safety is paramount, while travelling the busy highways and mountain passes, especially in the winter, can be hazardous. It’s so important to keep your wits about you,” he adds. When not driving, Simon enjoys hiking and long walks with his partner, Anita, and his dog, Shelby. They give him reason to get home safe and well after every trip. He also enjoys being outside, archery, parachute jumping, eating healthy and having fun times with friends. His advice to other Drivers, “Be as professional as possible, sleep well, be flexible, be approachable, positive and communicate always.” Thank you for letting us get to know you, Simon.
Harpreet Thind, Owner-Operator
Harpreet Thind is an Owner-Operator based out of our Winnipeg terminal and has been driving with Bison for almost four years. Harpreet chose trucking because driving is his passion and he enjoys exploring other businesses and visiting new places and people outside of the country. To Harpreet, the best part of being a professional Driver, “is the freedom of working on your own.” As for his message to fellow Drivers, arpreet says, “Always pay attention to the road, follow traffic rules and
speed limits. Eat healthy and stay healthy, sleep properly, don’t forget your pre and post-trip vehicle inspections and never hesitate to ask for help.” When Harpreet is not behind the wheel, he enjoys spending time with his 4-year-old daughter who loves to ride inside his truck. Whenever she sees any Bison truck on the road, she always screams “my dad works for Bison!” Harpreet’s favourite places to stop on the road are: Nelson Bros. Restaurant and Bakery, Clearwater Travel Plaza in Minnesota and Iowa 80 Kitchen, Walcott, Iowa. Thank you for letting us get to know
Ellen Smith, Company Team Driver
Ellen Smith is a Company Team Driver based out of our Calgary terminal. Ellen, and her husband, Dave, started with Bison in 2018 after they sold their truck. She has over 30 years in the trucking industry, and over 25 of them driving with Dave. Ellen decided in her mid-teens to get into trucking, as her uncle had his own company. Ellen’s favourite part of being a Driver, “seeing the different seasons and watching the livestock grow, especially baby calves.” When not on the road, Ellen enjoys meeting friends at the local legion for games of pool and monthly steak night. She also loves seeing her grandchildren. Ellen’s safety advice for other Drivers, “Always double check your mirrors as you never know if someone is going to try and pass you going around a corner.” Bison’s core value that resonates for Ellen is Service. “We are the image for Bison, by how we dress and how we treat our customers. We are also Bison’s eyes and ears.” As her dad used to say, “shiny side up, rubber side down.” Thank you for letting us get to know you, Ellen.
Dave Smith, Company Team Driver
Dave Smith is a Company Team Driver based out of our Calgary terminal. Dave has over 25 years of experience and in 2018 he joined Bison with his wife, Ellen. Dave’s favourite part of being a Driver is seeing the different parts of the country and being a paid tourist. When not on the road, Dave’s hobby is restoring cars (Oldsmobile Cutlass 442) and seeing his family, including two sons and five grandchildren. Dave’s advice to other Drivers, “be safety conscious and pleasant to your fellow Drivers.” Dave very much enjoys driving in the U.S. and is currently on dedicated runs from Calgary to Fort Worth, TX. While on the road, he makes stops at the Petro Plaza for their buffets! Thank you for letting us get to know you, Dave.