Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

Trucking in British Columbia

An Illustrated History

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: A Century of Trucking

2. From Wagon Roads to Highways

3. Horses to Horsepower

4. Life on the Road

5. All in the Family

6. Truckers Get Organized

7. Government and Trucking

8. The Industry Looks Ahead

Trucks are everywhere—crowding the highways, lining up for the ferries, roaring down dusty logging roads—and yet trucking is often left off the list when talk turns to British Columbia’s major industries. It shouldn’t be, as this gorgeous new illustrated history celebrating the BC Trucking Association’s 100th anniversary shows. With annual revenues of $1.88 billion and 60,000 employees, trucking is among BC’s five largest industries.

Accompanied by hundreds of previously unpublished archival and contemporary photographs, award-winning historian Daniel Francis delivers a fascinating account of the last hundred years of trucking in BC. Beginning in Vancouver with James Stark’s first delivery van in 1907, motorized transport exploded in the province, soon traversing every dirt track, hauling logs on temporary plank roads and leading to a frenzy of experimentation and innovation— from the failed Renard Road Train and early battery-operated vehicles to some truly impressive purpose-built trucks, many of them manufactured in BC.

From hair-raising tales of the road by trucking legends like the scholarly Andy Craig and the bombastic Cog Harrington to important infrastructure projects and vital innovations for the future, here is a story never told before—a road less travelled, so to speak—but an important and an exciting chapter in British Columbia’s history.


"Anybody who loves trucks, history, photographs or good yarns will love it, no matter where they live." - Today's Trucking

"This is a superb book, but to be fair to everyone, plan to read it twice. The first time, explore the photographs, page by page, to get that out of your system. The second time, read what Francis has to say. Who would have guessed that trucking could have been this interesting?" - Victoria Times Colonist


Shortlisted: Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (2013)

Honourable Mention, BC Historical Federation 2012 Historical Writing Competition