gall and gumption

Monday, April 28, 2008

Who Pays?

This morning at 9 a.m. a convoy of truckers will arrive in front of the Capitol to protest fuel prices. Last night on NBC news I heard the local reporter say that about 300 were estimated to be arriving.

It should make an impressive display, even though 300 truck drivers isn’t very many. I suspect that many more truckers, all over the country, will simply turn their trucks in. One of those is my brother.

My brother lives in New Mexico and he’s worked as a long haul trucker for about four years. On his last long run he drove to Boston, New York, North Carolina, before returning west to do some more runs out there. In that one week he drove something like 100 hours. The company pays my brother by the mile, and operating costs such as fuel are deducted from his paycheck. And when his truck payment, maintenance and fuel costs were all added up after that long, long run, he ended up owing a couple hundred dollars. Until a few months ago my brother was making a reasonable living driving his truck. There were other reasons my brother needed to give up the truck, but before those reasons came along in the last two weeks, it was becoming impossible.

If my brother had been able to continue trucking, he would have finished paying off his truck in two years or so. The company he drives for is based in Denver, and the owner has been good to my brother, because my brother is so reliable, smart, and so completely not a hassle to deal with. So this isn’t a case of someone having been mean to him. The impact of this thing has hit the owner-operators first. It will be interesting to see how the companies respond.

The cost of diesel has more than doubled in the last year. Here in Virginia it is selling for over $4 a gallon. Remember when diesel was the cheap fuel? So what I see is a whole industry, critical to the consumer and to business, that absolutely depends for its functioning not on fuel, but specifically on cheap fuel. When the cost of fuel puts the driver into debt to basically his employer, you have a business relationship that is just unsustainable, even in the very short term. The owner-operator starts to look less like an independent business owner and more like a fuel peon, owing more and more to the company gas station every week. Before they go down that road, a lot of drivers, like my brother, will turn their trucks back in. What would be their incentive to stay?

My brother quite likes driving a truck; however, he can’t afford to pay to keep trucking companies in the style to which they are accustomed. Someone will have to bear the increased cost. Right now, among owner-operators, it’s basically the truckers. And they can’t do it. Not "won't." Can't.

5 Comments:

At 6:41 AM, OpenID kmcleod56 said...

Has American truckers' situations become so bad that they contract out to Halliburton to drive through Iraqi war zones? Yes.

 
At 9:53 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

christian louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, true religion, coach outlet, gucci handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, christian louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, prada handbags, nike outlet, polo ralph lauren, ray ban outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet store, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton, cheap oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, chanel handbags, tiffany and co jewelry, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, oakley vault, prada outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, coach outlet store online, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, nike air max, michael kors handbags, longchamp outlet online, kate spade outlet online, burberry outlet online, longchamp handbags, kate spade outlet, jordan shoes, red bottom shoes, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet online, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, coach purses, tiffany jewelry

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

louis vuitton pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, vans pas cher, lululemon, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, air max, abercrombie and fitch, timberland, nike free pas cher, sac michael kors, louis vuitton uk, north face, new balance pas cher, barbour, north face pas cher, tn pas cher, nike roshe run, burberry pas cher, hollister, ray ban pas cher, nike air force, true religion outlet, ralph lauren, mulberry, nike air max, oakley pas cher, nike free, longchamp, chaussure louboutin, nike roshe, michael kors canada, air max pas cher, true religion jeans, sac louis vuitton, longchamp pas cher, hollister, michael kors uk, converse pas cher, air jordan, louis vuitton, scarpe hogan, ray ban uk, nike blazer pas cher, guess pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, hermes pas cher

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

mont blanc pens, canada goose, uggs outlet, p90x workout, reebok shoes, chi flat iron, babyliss, soccer jerseys, valentino shoes, instyler ionic styler, insanity workout, bottega veneta, north face jackets, ugg soldes, canada goose outlet, beats headphones, hollister, uggs outlet, soccer shoes, new balance outlet, asics shoes, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, wedding dresses, ugg boots, canada goose outlet, lululemon outlet, ugg outlet, celine handbags, birkin bag, replica watches, nike roshe, nfl jerseys, north face jackets, vans outlet, nike trainers, ugg, ghd, ferragamo shoes, canada goose outlet, mac cosmetics, ugg boots, longchamp, giuseppe zanotti, herve leger, nike huarache, uggs on sale, jimmy choo shoes, marc jacobs outlet

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger oakleyses said...

links of london uk, swarovski jewelry, moncler, pandora uk, canada goose, supra shoes, ray ban, timberland shoes, hollister, juicy couture outlet, moncler outlet, thomas sabo uk, coach outlet, vans, gucci, hollister canada, parajumpers outlet, oakley, canada goose, moncler, swarovski uk, montre femme, louis vuitton canada, moncler, wedding dress, uggs canada, converse shoes, air max, lancel, toms outlet, juicy couture outlet, hollister clothing, moncler, baseball bats, pandora charms, louboutin, ralph lauren, replica watches, converse, ugg, moncler outlet, canada goose, karen millen, iphone 6 case, moncler, nike air max, pandora jewelry, canada goose pas cher

 

Post a Comment

<< Home