Coffee, costs, photos, repairing CSA: Reader roundup

| January 04, 2013

Loading strong
This amazing shot of a 2011 Kenworth tank hauler was sent in by reader Don Christner, and we quote: “Getting ready to go trucking. At the loading rack in Cheyenne, Wyo.” Find more of Christner’s photos via his blog.

Fix CSA now
Inequities in the system need/needed to be met. Just like the hours of service, one size does not fit all. It is good to see efforts are being made, but as we keep subdividing the categories we move to a micro-management level. This adds confusion and frustration for everyone (law enforcement, business owners, truckers and those trying to interpret the scores).

These changes along with the DOT medical card and examiner qualifications are just giving Big Brother a firmer hand in the industry. While governance is needed, there are limitations. We all want to be safe. Anyone who is a true professional, company or driver, does not want to be a party to accidents or violations. I understand the needs for laws, but we also need a reality check when implementing and imposing regulations.

Soon, the industry will be so regulation-heavy that the trucks won’t be able to move. The driver shortage will only get worse with all the new sleep apnea, BMI and med-card regs. I already lose drivers because of e-Logs and e-dispatch systems. They are not comfortable with the “new” technology. It is not due to the tracking — the “in-cab babysitter” — but just that it is technology. We lose good “old-school” drivers each time new rules are implemented. Look how many good drivers we lost when the CDL came into effect, simply due to fear or misunderstanding when taking the test. Twenty-thirty-year veterans walked away from the industry to be replaced by rookies.

The government must want us all to return to rail and ocean/waterway moves, or they would not regulate us to death. California’s rules are just another example.

Sure, get rid of big rigs and the highway may be a little less congested, but how are you going to get all your material goods? If we rail- and water-ship everything, at least straight trucks or local rigs will be needed to move the items to a distribution center. Then straight trucks or vans can deliver to the stores, but you still need truckers. If such happened, think of the increase in cost of the delivery of the product? Of course, it is passed to the consumer, and we all pay. We all pay for these excessive regulations. –Andrea Sitler

Hot costs
reader Paul Syruk, calculating his year-end costs, shared a figure on Overdrive‘s Facebook page that turned a few heads. He spent $545 on coffee throughout the year spent on the road. How’d he get there? With refills at $1.50 a cup, that’s $45/month, multiplied by 12 = $545. We bet there are more than a few of you — and us — who spend more…