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…

  • James Deboard

    Another reason Im glad I retired from driving in April 2012.Prices Keep going up on everything on the road but Pay still the same for drivers,Too many rules & Laws to follow and too many crooked law enforcement officials. Trucking companies taking care of office staff but ignoring needs of their drivers.

  • disqus_w9c6NF37lV

    Pilot is one of the most egregious when it comes to coffee prices. I use a 20 oz mug, as I find that plenty big enough to get me started in the morning and to keep me going during the day. At some Pilots I pay as much as $160.00. When visiting Pilots, I always feel as if I am viewed as a dollar sigh with legs. STOP GOUGING US FOR COFFEE, PILOT!!!

  • Mike

    This industry will have such a shortage of drivers in 3 years or less, if something is not done soon. I call it the risk verses the reward. So many new risks, costs, regulations, each cities big truck enforcement(which is about revenue,and not safety) and such much more. Put that up against the lack of increase in rates, the rise in detention, and the brokers that are raping the industry, and and the average trucker will find other means within 3 years. Then companies will be left with inexperienced drivers, and the FMSCA will have a nightmare on there hands. Good bye truck drivers, and hello to much higher prices for all goods needed. I’m looking forward to that locomotive stopping at my front door with my packages and food.

  • Patrick Montgomery

    Coffee is one thing, meals on the road are even worse or more costly how about the trucker discounts we used to get in the old days of this industry?

  • Danny Murdock

    It used to be coffee was free with fuel.Anywhere that would offer that again would definitely get considered for my business.

  • Gordon Alkire

    Coffee. I quit drinking it years ago. Love the smell . Coffee with a fill up or even a smile was free back in the day. Remember when you told the person at the fuel desk where you parked and what time you needed to be woke up and how you liked your coffee? They tapped on your door with a cup of coffee in their hand. We will never see those days again unless I open a truck stop and limit it’s clientele. One reason we will never see those days again is the type of driver that has emerged in this industry and the things that go on in the lots now. Not safe no matter the lighting or where your parked.
    MIKE, no shortage of drives as the southern border will be opened up . The government is working on it as we speak and I think that this CSA BS is part of the scam.

  • Myron Lind

    Easy fix for coffee. Make your own. Its easy. Problem solved.

  • Ann Davis

    I take exception with the thought that it is just the technology that drivers don’t like about e-logs. The 14 hour rule is a killer. The regulations forced on us are getting to be too much to accept without a major increase in pay. Everything we need to live on the road is extremely expensive, yet we’re not compensated. I’m making approximately the same as I was 10 years ago. It’s time we JUST SAY NO!

  • castle trucking

    Dont be stupid drivers. Make your own its better and you save alot of $$$$

  • castle trucking

    why stop there.

  • disqus_w9c6NF37lV

    I usually go to TA but sometimes it just works out that going there is the most convenient. But I do (in protest) avoid buying my coffee there when possible.

  • fed up

    Mandatory 10 hour break, 14 hour rule and then e-logs. It does not take rocket scientist to know with the three of these you sit more than drive, unless you have 1000 wagons and it`s all drop and hook.Not even the new guys are this stupid, if you sit more than drive and your not home, who in the hell is gonna do this job. The big drop and hook cos. have lobbied to get edge on this business and now they see they will not keep drivers as no one is gonna sit in a dang big truck away from home for the chicken feed they pay their drivers. Instead of spending your money on elogs and lobbiests try putting this money in their pockets for change..I`m sure if they got paid a decent wage they would not be crying about the price of coffee. I`m sick and tired of hearing these E-log cos` tellling the media that their drivers just love the E-logs, get out the office and out here on the road and those broke company drivrs are telling a different story..This is simple business, quit low balling freight, get government off our backs and all you big cos. work together towards driver relations and good pay and maybe things will change….Bottom of the barrel new truck drivers don`t care if they run over a whole family, they aren`t that smart…

  • Josef

    Very well said Andrea. Thank you.

  • Josef

    Amen Mike

  • Josef

    We all need to get united and go on strike. It is predicted that america will colapse after three days, some institutions even sooner.Come on, it’s not gone hurt us to be without the pay for three days. It will be worted for what we can gain.

  • Cheapskate

    I see you are not going to Starbuck for coffee! That would be $1300 plus. Personally, I will never understand the fee for coffee, or that drivers pay BILLIONS to the truckstops for fuel, then take the gouging. There is one chain that is much less unreasonable for coffee.

    “They tapped on your door with a cup of coffee in their hand.”

    They couldn’t do that now- they would be met with too many heart attacks, or S&W! But wouldn’t that be a nice “service” thing, like someone appreciated their customers.


  • Dragnfly

    The bottom line is we need to force them to abolish the FLSA exemption. Once they have to pay for every hour worked a lot will change.
    And this can be accomplished by one person, yes no congress no president no bipartisanship. The Secretary of Transportation has the power vested in him to regulate weather or not the trucking industry gets the FLSA exemption.

  • MCMM

    whether…… but good point. I personally refill my cup, wave and smile and walk out the door.

  • John

    Till we come to term that the FMCSA is out for one thing that is to get it the drivers pockets with all these taxes as I call them. As a owner operator I had enough and parked my truck a year ago. Low Freight and high fuel plus the sleep doctor want to get their hand it our pockets. I just had enough. It is not about safety but how to take more of are hard earn money. Miss the driving but not all the rules that don’t have common sense. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.