Crossing To And From Canada

Topic 18831 | Page 3

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Dan E.'s Comment
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Im going to quebec tomorrow, about 1 hour north of montreal. bonjour?

i hope the receiver speaks a little english. might have to bring out google translate lol.

Michael S.'s Comment
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Im going to quebec tomorrow, about 1 hour north of montreal. bonjour?

i hope the receiver speaks a little english. might have to bring out google translate lol.

Dan E. you may have more trouble with the first street lights you encounter than the receiver << they're sideways in Quebec.

Bryn J.'s Comment
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Poutine, enough said.

French fries covered in cheese curds, with a savoury gravy over the top.


Kenneth G.'s Comment
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My first trip to Canada, got pulled in for an inspection! Not worried, just ate 90 min of clock. 3rd trip now, no issues, on the 401 in, and the 402 back, due to 75s being closed. Thanks for all the advice, it helped.

Kenneth G.'s Comment
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Is it Canadians,? or does every truck governed 1/2 mi an hour over you, take 2 miles to pass you

clawJAMMER's Comment
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Here's my 2 cents Kenneth G. about running Canada...

Beautiful rig by the way in your avatar if that's what you're rolling in.

I ran Canada for 4 yrs. Ontario & Quebec both. I crossed the border 4-5-6 times a week. Depending on what you're hauling back & forth will determine how often you'll get delayed at the border coming or going. Or both.

Some of the responses above already have mentioned a few good ideas but here's my suggestions from my personal experience:

1. If you can cross through Sarnia instead of Windsor definitely go that route. It's only 7 miles further through Sarnia and A LOT less hassle coming and going. Windsor is a customs training facility and it's not uncommon to get held up frequently at the border crossing through Windsor back into the U.S. Sometimes for hours! Seriously, avoid Windsor.

2. Yes, it is much more difficult getting back into the U.S than it is crossing into Canada. Whether your a U.S. citizen or not makes no difference to US Customs & they'll treat you like you have grenades strapped to your chest every time you cross in Windsor (and why I recommend Sarnia) no matter what time of day or night you cross EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

3. NEVER cross the border coming back into the U.S. if you have less than 2 hours left on your clock or you're asking for trouble. See above ^

4. The D.O.T. often cruises the U.S. customs parking lots and near by pulling trucks over. If you cross often enough eventually they'll get your number.

5. Crossing through Sarnia is much more relaxed than Windsor is. Windsor being a training location for new customs agents you're bound to run into some newbie at 3am who wants to run you through the ringer just because he can. Most of those pinheads at customs were probably bullied in high school and now they can carry a weapon and are on a power trip. Some of the seasoned guys are ok but many of them are flat out pricks and will treat you like you stole their girlfriend from them at the prom & left them alone to walk home.

6. Eventually you will get sent to customs inspection & xray. It's a numbers game & I know from a Customs official I got to know cause I crossed so often that at certain times they'll pull in a certain number of trucks, say for the next hour every 7th truck they'll send to xray & every 10th truck they'll send to inspection. Once the line diminishes they'll do it again & change up the sequence. Expect a couple hours wait - at least. See #3 above.

7. If you have any kind of criminal record in your past - anything - they'll know about it at the border when you pull up to the booth. I don't care if you did something in high school that got the cops involved (my minor incident in 1984 that I was never arrested for but was fined for would frequently come up at the booths by the newbie customs officials.). Back child support, anything they'll know on the screen they're looking at & they'll ask you to see if your honest and if you play dumb or act like you have no idea what they're talking about what you did 38 years ago on Oct 17th (like I did. I'm lucky to remember what I ate for dinner a week ago much less WTF I did on a certain date 38 yrs ago) they'll make a note in the computer, send you off to inspection or xray and the next several times you cross your sphincter will tighten when you pull up to the booth. Especially if it's the same agent.

8. I've sat for 5 hours on the Ambassador Bridge crossing back into the U.S. swaying back & forth because they locked down the border because some cementheaded driver crossing into the U.S. thought he could smuggle in some contraband (either drugs or weapons or both) & they'll just close down the border, all the booths, & you'll sit there in line & watch your clock tick away & nothing you can do about it. 5 hours was the most, many times I've been stuck in line for several hours at a standstill. See #1 above.

9. Do NOT get out of your truck while in line at US Customs. I once got out of my rig to shut off my reefer unit before I got up to the booth so the agent could hear me & I could hear him. Big mistake. I got the royal treatment & bent over right there at the booth. Sirens went off, customs agents in cars with their lights flashing like a Criminal Minds episode came roaring up. A K9 dog was brought out, they asked me why I got out of my truck. I told them to shut off my reefer unit so I could hear the agent at the booth. They screamed at me up & down to NEVER get out of my rig while I'm in line cause they didn't know if I was planting a bomb or what. Seriously? They tore my truck apart right there at the booth. Nobody in line behind me moved for 25 min while they opened up my trailer, climbed inside, rifled through the cab & through all my belongings, ran a dog around my truck. All the while they make you stand there at the back of your trailer & just watch. And don't put your hands in your pockets either. I learned that the hard way too. Then the a**h***s sent me to xray where I waited another 90 min in line. When you cross the border at Windsor, it's like your in basic training & the high and mighty agents are like drill instructors. And they'll treat you that way. So if you're in line waiting to cross, don't get out of your truck. If you have to whizz, do it before you get to the border cause you just never know if you'll get hung up or not. Or if the guy in front of you in line will get hung up.

10. Canada customs are cordial. U.S. customs isn't.

Good luck

P & D:

Pickup & Delivery

Local drivers that stay around their area, usually within 100 mile radius of a terminal, picking up and delivering loads.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers for instance will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.


A refrigerated trailer.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Kat H.'s Comment
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@ clawJAMMER excellent inside info- will remember! thanks

Kenneth G.'s Comment
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Wow, thanks for the info. have crossed about 10 times now, ambasador in , sarnia out. one time 1/2 way to buffalo, turned me around to cross at sarnia, so i could pick up in detroit, but a manifest said buffalo..... yea , x-ray, and counter to clear border, but it was 200 and slow, so didn't delay much. just told them i'm newer, asked what i could do to make life easier for all, and wasn't to bad. what about east of lake erie, crossing by the falls?


Bill of Lading

An accurate record of everything being shipped on a truck, often times used as a checklist during unloading.

Kenneth G.'s Comment
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No, Wish that was my rig. I'm in a pos freightliner (09) it's very well maintained, but, at 700k, it rattles and rolls down the road.

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