Issues taken with oil story
I found “The Bulk Buy” [June], about purchasing engine oil and changing it yourself, to be an insult to my intelligence and that of other truck owners. We are capable of changing oil with our eyes closed and one hand tied behind our back.
I have yet to see a truck engine that needs 1-1⁄2” and 1-3⁄4” sockets to change the oil and a 3⁄4” ratchet with a 1-1⁄2” diameter pipe “cheater handle.” Second, only a fool would use a cheater handle on a ratchet and risk stripping the gears in the ratchet head. Third, we don’t need a $250 torque wrench to tighten the drain plug.
I have never seen anyone puncture an oil filter with a punch to drain it. Simply set it on end and the oil will drain out. And a Rubbermaid pan is not heavy enough to handle seven to eight gallons.
As far as “payback time” goes, needing to buy tools to do the job is a joke. We all have far more tools than that.
Why spend $40 on a container for transporting used oil when all you have to do is pour it into empty five-gallon pails that are always around the shop?
Why spend upwards of $6,000 for a waste oil furnace? I generate about 400 gallons of waste oil a year. Where do I get the other 600 gallons it is going to take to heat my shop?
GREG L. U’REN | Dane West, Inc. | Mt. Horeb, Wis.
Bulk oil buying works
Great article on bulk oil and changing your own [“The Bulk Buy,” June] oil. I have been buying oil in 55-gallon drums from my local supplier for a few years with better than 30 percent savings.
Oil is delivered for free. I put used oil in another drum and it is hauled away when they deliver a new drum. I installed a Fumoto drain valve for $30 in place of the oil pan drain plug. Now I have good drain flow control, and it’s easy getting an oil sample in the process. I need only a filter wrench for the simple, no-mess process.
CLIFF DOWNING | Kellogg, Iowa
Truckers sound off on hours
These comments are excerpted from posts on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s docket regarding a proposed revision to the hours of service regulations. Find it via docket ID FMCSA-2004-19608 at www.regulations.gov. The comment deadline closed June 8.
Fix Pay Model
“The reduction in crashes and lower truck-related fatalities show that the current rules are effective, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance supports their effectiveness as well. I have driven commercially for more than 20 years. The current rules promote more time to maintain my health and to get needed rest.
“If you really want to promote safety, it’s time to work on revocation of the current FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act, which exempts drivers from overtime pay] exemption on the transportation industry. Doing so would give shippers, receivers and carriers the incentive to make the other needed changes for an even safer work environment.”
Sleep apnea a bigger problem
“I think a much larger problem is sleep apnea. I was diagnosed with it three years ago, got treatment and now I sleep well every night. One large fleet estimates that 30 percent of its drivers have the condition. It that’s true, then 30 percent of those drivers will still be fatigued, no matter what hours of service regulations get implemented… Change the direction of the proposed rule to allow and encourage drivers with a sleep problem to get help.”
Consider other safety measures
“We have operated under the same rule since it was changed in 2004. The amazing thing is that the safety numbers are better than they have ever been. If safety is important to federal regulators, they should assess automobile motorists, many of whom don’t know basic rules of the road; require that new drivers go through more training; and assess time wasted at shippers and receivers.”
RANDALL LEE HART
Cedar Spring, Mich.
Economic balance would suffer
“Changing the hours of service regulations would be a very bad idea for these reasons: A reduction in driving time and working hours would result in more inexperienced drivers on the road, and as a result highway safety would suffer. The proposed changes would be hard on the economy. Since the industry would have less capacity to haul freight, rates would rise. My family needs more income, not less.
“Critical parts of the nation’s distribution network would be disrupted because current routes and distribution centers are placed for the current hours of service rules. Fewer driving and working hours amounts to a pay cut at a time when drivers’ families are struggling to make ends meet.”