Keep the Help Coming, Drivers

| April 07, 2005

Elizabeth Meyers
Dayton, Ohio

Going Under

I own one truck and trailer. In the past three years, it has become harder and harder to make ends meet. Fuel prices are about to put me out of business, along with other problems like brokers that double broker loads before you get them and states that charge personal property taxes on trucks that are not even registered in their state. Why do I have to pay personal property tax over and over again? State taxes, federal taxes, and the list goes on. It seems that everyone thinks the trucker has a big wallet, but no more folks, it has been picked too much.

Something has got to be done to raise freight charges, along with the increasing costs of operation. Something must go back into the trucker’s pocket pretty soon, or folks like myself will cease to exist. This country depends on the trucking industry for most of its needs, and it is time to stop sucking the life out of it.

Ben Wall
Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Good Company

When talking about companies and carriers, no one wants to even the playing field. We compare different company’s bottom lines but not the company itself.

I propose the following challenge to the writers of all the freight transportation magazines. Establish a grading point scale by which to judge all companies and carriers. Grade a carrier by the number of overall points they receive. Points are given and subtracted based on items like true mileage rates (loaded and/or empty) or percentage of pay per load, average miles per week company driver vs. owner-operator or fleet owner, average number of miles per run, items deducted from settlement, (road tax, fuel tax, workmen’s comp), required commutations, equipment and costs of use, maintenance escrow account requirements for owner-operators and all the other details that eat into the bottom line of the drivers. Line the items up on a spreadsheet and let the results speak for themselves.

Let’s face facts: advising drivers on the general considerations of how to search for a company is a waste of time and effort. I challenge you to put forth the raw data and let the companies see how they compare with the others. If a company feels insulted by the results, then it is up to them to make a change to improve their ratings. In a time of stiff competition in recruiting drivers and owner-operators to work for – and more importantly with – them, the companies and carriers should be evaluated evenly and openly. As a result, we in the freight transportation industry could only hope that things for drivers and owner-operators would improve.

I have done my own evaluations of companies, and I have my own points scale. This is just one man’s opinion; you the writers and “experts” can put together a complete listing. Maybe this could become an annual event, where companies actually compete for the top 10 or 50 status positions. Numbers speak louder than words, as companies promise the stars and you end up getting only the “moon!” I see this as the best way to advise drivers and other owner-operators on how to pick the right company for them. Give them all the information, let them add up the numbers for themselves and make a decision.

Mark Rhodes
Cleveland, Ohio

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