Channel 19

Todd Dills

Christmas bonus

| December 18, 2008

It’s official: one week prior to the arrival of one large bearded man in a red hat and hauling a grab bag of stuff for the nation’s citizens, the number one request from the truck drivers of said nation cuts to the core of the trucking business. That’s right, lower fuel prices topped our eTrucker.com poll probing the desirability of certain Christmas wishes. If yesterday’s NYMEX crude-price close at $40.06 a barrel is to be taken into consideration, looks like Santa came early this year. (Full results below.)

But logistics magazine DC Velocity‘s Clifford Lynch, in his annual letter to Santa, seconded many truckers’ bafflement over the current price differential between gas and diesel when he noted crude’s dramatic price drop (which he asked the red-suited man for last year) and diesel’s current levels: “>It appears that someone in your workshop is mathematically challenged,” he wrote, noting that the price of oil had dropped 14.9 percent since the same period last year but that diesel remained up 16 percent. “Please tell whichever elf handles pricing that, according to the Department of Energy, crude oil accounts for 64 percent of the retail price of diesel fuel. If that is true (would the government lie to us?), the price of diesel should have come down 9.5 percent.”

In other Christmas-gift news, Volvo recently announced that for drivers working on Christmas Eve, they’d be footing the dinner bill at 163 participating Flying J truck stops between 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 24. For more, follow this link. Now if we could just get that free coffee, too. . .

What do you want most from Santa this year?
Lower fuel prices. 28%
Angelina Jolie as riding partner. 27%
A month’s vacation. 18%
Free coffee at all truckstops. 12%
Mandatory detention for tailgaters. 7%
A $10k media system for my truck. 6%
Brad Pitt as riding partner. 1%

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to tdills@randallreilly.com or via phone at 205-907-2481.

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