Letters to the Editor

| December 12, 2008

NEED PROTECTION, NOT A SUBSIDY
Your editorial about proposed fuel surcharge legislation [“Leave the Market Alone,” May 2005] had me in a fury of disbelief that any trucking editor would have such audacity. I have been around the industry since 1966, and I have been the co-owner of a small trucking company that my late husband and I started in 1987.

The cost of diesel is the straw breaking the camel’s back. You did not consider that as fuel becomes more expensive, up goes the cost of many parts that are petroleum-based. Also going up in price in recent years have been insurance, health care, tolls, fuel taxes, wages, workman’s comp, matching Social Security and unemployment taxes.

Some owner-operators may have received fuel surcharges last year, but I’m betting not on 100 percent of their loads, probably not even 50 percent. More shippers probably pay fuel surcharges than truckers receive fuel surcharges.

We don’t want the government to subsidize us with cash payouts like the farmers or huge grants like big companies. All we want is to have a minimum freight rate, like a minimum wage, and a mandatory fuel surcharge that goes to the man buying the diesel and not anyone else.
KATHY SHATTO
President, Fostoria Truck Transport,
Fostoria, Iowa


GOVERNMENT AID WOULD LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD
Maybe in a perfect world it would be OK to let market forces, instead of the government, take care of fuel surcharges. In the world we live in, the government not only bails out airlines, but also railroads. The airlines’ excuse was Sept. 11. Well, I’ve had my share of Sept. 11 excuses; meanwhile, not a soul has come to my aid. All we are looking for is an even playing field with the large fleets.

Many of the people against the mandated fuel surcharge don’t pass it on to the person who buys the fuel. That’s what the fuel surcharge legislation is about – making sure that the person who buys the fuel gets the surcharge.
TIMOTHY BARRETT SR.
T&J Transportation Services,
Tucson, Ariz.


SURCHARGE: ‘YOU CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS’
I am sure glad to hear someone that agrees with me. I am dead set against the government mandating fuel surcharges. We say we want our freedom and to be independent – but then we want the government to make people give us money?

You can’t have it both ways. If you are not man enough to turn down cheap freight or not take loads that don’t make money, you should go broke. If you can’t run your own business, drive for someone else.

I just wish more owner-operators would wake up and smell the coffee. I want the government off my back and out of my pocket. We will never get that asking for handouts.
HERBERT CARTER
Cocoa, Fla.


CARRIERS, NOT RACE, THE REAL ISSUE
You’re no different from the rest of the media, pulling the race card in your April editorial [“Color Blind?”] while the agenda you’re really pushing has nothing to do with race. The TCA (Truckload Carriers Association) should change its name to TCWA – The Corporate Welfare Alliance. The companies that you and TCA represent have high turnover because of their own mismanagement.

I could go on about how TCA members use your publication as a sounding board for their constant complaints about drivers. And how they so swiftly went through military retirees and women in their agenda to put babies behind the wheel. Foreign labor is the new cash cow for The Corporate Welfare Alliance. It has nothing to do with race. It’s all about corporate greed.
MICHAEL BOWSER,
Bowser Transportation,
Beaver Dam, Wis.


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