Taking trucking into the future
Saturday Jan 18, 2014

Bison Transport's headquarters looks more like a cutting-edge technology company than a greasy garage

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

By: Randy Turner

It's a scary feeling when the semi-truck you're driving starts to careen into an SUV in the next lane, out of nowhere, and now you're headed straight for a police officer who has another vehicle pulled over on the side of the highway.

Even worse, it's snowing, the highway is greasy, so attempting to avert disaster is the first thing that flashes through your brain.

Bison's Garth Pitzel next to the computerized map that shows the locations of the company's entire fleet.

Somehow, you manage to avoid the cop car, stop the trailer behind you from jack-knifing across the interstate and survive unscathed.

And when you step down from the tractor cab, relieved, a man named Eric Roeder says, "Not bad. Whenever I try that with the snow, usually only one of two drivers keep the truck on the road."

Driving instructor Roeder is standing in a dark room tucked in Winnipeg's Bison Transport head office that contains one of the few semi-truck simulators in North America -- a high-tech contraption not unlike flight simulators used for airplane pilots. Or Disney rides, for that matter.

Bison is one of Canada's largest trucking companies, with more than 1,700 drivers and a support staff of another 640.

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