CHEAP FREIGHT IS RUINING INDUSTRY
Are you willing to spend all day unloading and reloading, and then all night driving in exchange for pay that is just slightly above minimum wage? Are you willing to run long and hard for just a few bucks more than the cost of fuel and your truck payment?
Sure, recruiting ads boast of $100,000 going to the truck each year. But once expenses are paid, what is left? Divide your work hours into net pay, after expenses. The result likely won’t end up anywhere near a professional wage.
There are thousands and thousands of small fleets that will haul freight for little or no profit. Shippers and brokers know this. So if you turn down a load, another trucker will come along soon who will haul it. Your only choice is to take the freight or sit there until you go out of business.
Before you run out and buy the biggest hood you can find, determine how you plan to make money with your truck. Unless you have a reliable source for top-dollar freight, there is a good chance that you will be running cheap and complaining about fuel costs.
The only way the industry will ever be profitable again is for all drivers and owner-operators to decide that they will no longer haul freight for chump change.
INCREASING WEIGHTS LOWERS FUEL ECONOMY
In Logbook [May], I read about two senators introducing an energy bill to increase the maximum weight limits to 97,000 pounds and mandate a fuel economy increase in all vehicles, including heavy trucks.
Are these guys on drugs? The faster and heavier you run, the less fuel mileage you get. And what does increasing weight limits have to do with energy, anyway?
In the agricultural trucking business, we already have a difficult enough time keeping our clients’ weights under 28 tons.
No one would want their families on roads crowded with grossly overloaded trucks. I will not subject myself to an accident looking for a place to happen.
Are these two senators on the profit end of overloaded trucks and unconcerned with safety? The overloads are not going to do anything except cause more wrecks and damage our roads and bridges.
LETTING IN MEXICAN TRUCKS IS BIG MISTAKE
I’ve been in trucking for about 30 years, and I have never seen such a poor quality of truckers on the road. I’m not sure how many years ago it was when the CDL requirements went into effect, saying only the best will drive now, but it has to be the biggest joke I have ever heard.
We need to worry about our own trucks on the road, yet we already have so many Mexican truck drivers here now that should not even have a CDL.
It’s getting bad out there, and nobody seems to want to do anything about it. The federal government will be making a big mistake letting Mexican trucks into the United States.
CROSS-BORDER PLAN: A PANDORA’S BOX
I couldn’t disagree more with Linda Longton’s April Viewpoint [“Border Disorder?”]. As an owner-operator of a tandem dump truck in the Denver area, I’ve seen a rise in the number of illegal drivers. Many can’t speak English and run paper license tags much of the year.
The rates for hauling have been kept low by this influx. As fuel and insurance increase, it’s squeezing many legal owner-operators out of business.
By opening the border to Mexican trucking, we will be opening Pandora’s box. Instead of van loads of illegals and cars full of drugs, now we will get trailer loads of both.
As far as the U.S. government keeping an eye on them, I doubt it. The government has proven pretty inept at border security already. Truckers and the motoring public need to stand up and say no to open-border policies.
NO ONE APPRECIATES WHAT TRUCKERS DO FOR OTHERS
“Truck drivers are scumbags.”
At least, that is what the majority of this country – the four-wheeler, the dispatcher, the loader, the shipper, the police, the DOT, the receiver, members of Congress, lawyers and so on – apparently thinks.
Every company offers you the sky and the stars. Every one of them already has devised a system in which a driver will make enough money to pay his bills, but never enough to leave the company because he knows it will put him behind in all his payments.
We are not appreciated, and those few that receive recognition from their bosses are those with more than seven years of pain and suffering under their belts. Is it right that drivers must put work first, work second and family last?
We are the providers of every single thing to make life possible, yet they treat us like scumbags.
Spring Hill, Fla.
Send letters to Write On, Overdrive, P.O. Box 3187, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, or fax to (205) 750-8070, or e-mail [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for length and content.