BUSINESS PLAN HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR RATE, FUEL REGULATION
I have a number of problems with the specifics in “Planning for Success” [June, 2004]. The overall principles are good. However, anybody reading that article should take a good long look at who they are leased to and the revenue they generate.
First, 90 cents per mile is above average for the per-mile pay companies. Besides that, you are assuming $1.20 per gallon for fuel. Most companies are not offering a fuel surcharge great enough to offset the fuel price enough to bring it down to that level. Also, I see no health insurance listed.
When you look at the bottom line, this driver is wearing his truck out so he can earn 24 cents per mile. Why? You can get a company driving job with 401(k), health insurance, paid vacation and earn 32 to 44 cents per mile. And you don’t even have to work on the truck on the weekend.
I’m all for deregulation and free market, but the Constitution grants Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce. With all the regulations and costs mandated on this already borderline-bankrupt industry, there needs to be a mandated minimum rate standard and fuel surcharge.
“Dueling With ATMs” [August 2004] was very informative and useful. However, one important fact was left out. If money is withdrawn for business or travel expense, the fees assessed with these machines are tax-deductible. Too many drivers are not aware of this and become notified only at tax time, by which time they have discarded their receipts.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER IDLERS?
Anti-idling – give me a break! Has the Department of Energy ever considered how much fuel is wasted in automobiles that sit at drive-thru windows? They place an order, sit, get the order then park and eat in the car. Stopping or limiting this would certainly decrease the emissions in our air, not to mention the savings of billions of gallons of gasoline each year.
Maybe the government should implement a road-use tax on oversized SUVs, such as the Ford Excursion and the H2. After all, they are not the most efficient vehicles being popped out of Detroit.
I wanted to commend Overdrive for the August 2004 issue. It is awesome! You cover so many issues that affect the drivers and their families. Positive steps are a definite need in the trucking industry, in so many aspects, and with encouragement, maybe some changes of heart can occur.
Bentley, Alberta, Canada
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