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Truckers ‘going broke’ and threatening to strike

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posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 04:34 PM
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Posted 20 March 2008 09:50 PM
Truckers ‘going broke’ and threatening to strike


What started as a small, online grassroots effort now appears to have the potential for something bigger.

Dan Little, the owner/operator of a livestock hauling company in Carrollton, Mo., estimated Tuesday that at least 1,000 other truckers from across the United States have committed so far to joining him in a strike on April 1.

Although none of the truckers interviewed Tuesday at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop, Walcott, which is just off Interstate 80 west of Davenport, has heard of the intended strike, some said they would shut down, too.

Weldon Kinnison, a Virginia trucker who was hauling soft drink from Indiana to Denver, heard about the plans for a strike for the first time Tuesday while stopping at Walcott.

“I’m an owner/operator with the American Truckers Association,” he said. “I’d park my truck for a week with the cattle haulers.

“The fuel is too high, and there’s no reason for it. I don’t listen to the CB (radio) that much, but I guess I’ll start now.”

At issue is the rising cost of diesel fuel, which has reached or exceeded $4 per gallon in at least 17 states. But Little does not expect his strike to bring down the per-gallon price of gas, nor does he expect to have any effect on the oil companies.

“What I would personally like to see is our federal and state governments, until our economy recovers, suspend federal and state fuel taxes,” the 49-year-old said. “The second thing I’d like to see is an oversight committee for truck insurance, which is part of what’s taking us down.

“The average owner/operator is paying $600 to $800 a month for truck insurance. It’s based on personal credit, which means the monthly cost is going up for a lot of truckers because their credit is going down.

“Everything in the world is going up (in price), except for what we do. I lose money if I start my truck, and that truck is paid for — free and clear.”

Mike Hills, a driver from Wyoming, Iowa, said he also would shut down to support Little and the others — if he could.

“I can’t strike with them because I’m company,” he said while at the Walcott truck stop. “If I owned the truck, I’d strike with them. As far as I’m concerned, the gas prices are driving the economy.

“It might be a good thing if the drivers strike. They can’t make payments. Maybe if the oil companies bought all the trucks, things would change. Everything in this country is trucked.”

Hills then removed his wristwatch, using it to explain his point of view: “Every piece of this watch was trucked from somewhere. If you can’t keep up with the trucks, we’re all screwed — not just this country, but the world.”

Keith Deblieck, the owner of a trucking company out of Geneseo, Ill., said that, for many drivers, the time for a strike has come.

“They ought to strike,” he said. “We all ought to. They lose money every day they go out.”

But officials from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association are encouraging truckers to find options to a strike. The trade group represents the interests of more than 160,000 small business trucking companies and drivers.

“If we told our operators to shut down, we’d be slapped with a lawsuit because of anti-trust,” said association spokeswoman Norita Taylor, adding that a poor economic outlook and rising fuel prices are creating “a lot of emotions” among truckers.

“It’s hurting these people who are living paycheck to paycheck,” she said. “People are upset. What can we do?”

One thing the association is trying to do is talk to lawmakers and truckers about making sure that surcharges being charged to shippers are getting back to the people who paid for the gas. Surcharges are supposed to compensate for high fuel charges, but they must be negotiated with each shipper, and the truckers who pay at the pump aren’t always first in line to receive the surcharges.

Even when the surcharges do make it back to the driver, they are not enough.

“I turn down loads every day,” Little said. “The loads aren’t the problem — never have been.

“It’s the only thing I know how to do, driving a truck. But I sold my trailer the other day, and I’m not buying another one until something gets done.

“In no way, shape or form do truckers want to hurt this country. My whole deal on this thing is that I’m shutting down on April 1. Call it a strike, a shutdown or just flat-ass going broke.”

Jim Johnston, president of Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, warned that a strike “is not the answer,” saying, “Calling for a strike without the support of the majority would show weakness rather than strength, and the result would be increased economic hardship to the small percentage of truckers who do participate in the shutdown with no gains to justify their sacrifice.”

Little said he has no other choice.

“Our federal government is subsidizing railroads, airlines, banks and farmers,” he said. “Meanwhile, we’re being taxed to death.”

www.qctimes.com...

[edit on 21-3-2008 by bamaoutlaw]

[edit on 21-3-2008 by bamaoutlaw]




posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 05:03 PM
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I really feel for those truckers, but I think a strike would play right into the hands of the overlords. They don't want independents on the road anymore. They want all of them to go to work for the corporate companies. As soon as that happens, truckers will get paid as much as burger-flippers.



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 05:36 PM
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The one thing a trucker strike will do is boost rail service transporting trailers to feeder stop container yards and mega carriers picking up the slack. The cost to ship by rail is lower and shippers will eat it right up for a later delivery time. Big companies like Schneider and jb hunt use rail for long haul and only run long haul teams for logistical movement that cannot wait to be transported. They also buy bulk fuel and have there own fuel supply networks keeping down the cost for fuel.

Shippers know the score and so do receivers. They will play the game as it unfolds. I remember there was a prediction in 1986 that in 2000 something, I can't remember the exact date, there will only be five mega carriers trucking. Funny thing, that sounds just like the airlines and rail lines of today.

The trucking industry needs to be subsidized with federal cash like the banks are getting over the foreclosure debacle. Diesel is a buy product of cracking oil for gas and there was a time it cost less than gasoline. Now, because it is a fact diesel is a profit driven commodity, the monkeys on wall street speculating with refineries strategically blowing up, want that profit in there pockets first.

The whole transportation industry, like the housing market, is upside down right now. People are losing there homes and O/Os are losing there trucks and homes since, once the money maker is gone, so is the money.

An old trucker saying went like this, a truck payment over $1,200 a month and the truck works you, a payment under $1,200 and you work the truck. I don't know if thats true anymore.



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 05:59 PM
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Well if they can bail out Bear Sterns, or Citigroup then why not truckers ?

But ultimately fuel subsidies are not the answer.

The real problem is commodity speculation on the price of oil. USA needs to reform commodity speculation.

The price of oil is not currently dictated by under supply. It's dictated by speculative sentiments about global insecurity.




posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 06:00 PM
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Begins on April 1st, huh?

Sorry, April fools. This gag story has been circulating in various forms since the mid 90's.

www.snopes.com...


The fact is, if truckers weren't making money, there would be no more truckers...... People don't do something when they know they will lose money.
The company that pays you to haul cargo also pays for gas. Truckers arent hurting, its the shippers that are hurting.

[edit on 21-3-2008 by Lotiki]



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 06:04 PM
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reply to post by Lotiki
 


Might be a web joke, but it's not a joke to the truckers who are losing their shirts.

EDIT to add: I've known several truckers who have lost their rigs and their homes and were forced to drive for one of the big companies. I am looking at going with Schneider myself.



[edit on 3/21/0808 by jackinthebox]



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 06:09 PM
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reply to post by Lotiki
 


Care to put some money on that? My company has slashed 700 trucks in the last few months and are slashing more. We go through periods where we let 200+ drivers go in a week. Freight is slower than normal for this time of year, and fuel costs are going through the roof. We have a counter we use in my orientation class, and by 9:45-10am we have spent over $70,000 THAT DAY on fuel for trucks that are sitting parked and idling. By the afternoon some days it can be over $200,000.



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by Lotiki
 


Sorry bub, but this is no gag. This isn't the Weekly World News here; it's an actual news article, and your Snopes link has nothing to do with April 1st.

Edit: Looks like some truckers in Georgia are already starting...

[edit on 3/21/08 by redmage]



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 07:21 PM
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Truckers losing money. Did it when OPEC had the oil embargo also. Old news, been there, seen it.

There will be a lot of bitching and moaning, fuels prices still go up, cost of everything will rise; more bitching and moaning, etc....

Some independent drivers will go broke, others will thrive. The market will balance it out if the government doesn't try to control it. Price increases passed onto the consumer.

What this really boils down to is Americans want to eat fresh summer grown food in the middle of winter with no transportation cost from God only knows what part of the world it came from. Americans want to have cheap Asian products imported with no transportation cost imposed. (it may become cheaper to make stuff here if transportation costs raise enough)



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 08:32 PM
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i myself have never been a big rig trucker, but do use 1 ton trucks to deliver my goods. i have always thought truckers were disrespected by the average joe and thought it would be interesting for them to strike for a week just so all those gripe about them could see how essential they are. remember, if you've got it, a truck brought it



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 08:47 PM
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There are two groups of workers paramount to America: the trucker and the farmer. Screw with either group and the country is in big trouble. Any and everything tangible that you can think of has spent some point as raw supply or finished product on a truck in this country and that truck requires a driver which means he must make a profit that is worth his time be it an owner or company driver.

Also, the production of food be it local, cross-counrty or from around the world has a farmer that must make a profit as well unless they hang it up.

Even with corn at $4.25 per bushel, farmers in the southwest determined their maximum price they could pay for diesel would be $3.50/gal. and still make a profit. Right now farmers debate if they should plant this year.

I have driven a truck for both a company and for an owner (in which I paid the fuel). Our split of the profit was 65% to me and 35% to the owner. In addition I retained all fuel surcharges. In 2006, I lost about $1500 in two months due to fuel costs and low freight load. Diesel was about $2.85-$3.20 then. In todays prices that would be close to $1100 per month loss.

But like the song says, It's just another brick on the wall.



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by Lotiki
 

I drive a truck for a living. It's no joke. I wouldn't call it a strike either, more of a forced industry shutdown.

Diesel in GA just topped $4 a gallon. My pay has dropped due to less loads going to the stores (I haul dedicated retail right now). I make about half of what I made 3-4 years ago. Thank God I drive a company truck.

An O/O that lives close to me just told me a week ago that he is bringing home, after truck costs and fuel, the same thing I am. He's got close to $100,000 invested, in order to make as much as a company driver. He is close to shutting down himself, and is actively talking to companies about a company job.

Why don't they just shut down? Many of them have driven all their life and know nothing else. I would quit in a moment, but I can't find a different job locally. Most drivers know that if they shut down, the economy doesn't even exist. So they keep going, begging for relief. So far none has come, and I suspect, should many of them read your post, they will finally call it quits. Little money, no respect, and now apathy? Read my signature, friend.

For those who have spoken in defense of the truckers, thank you... from all of us.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by bamaoutlaw
 


Truckers will have much difficulty organizing an effective strike. Reason - government subsidy. The government has been providing guaranteed money to driver trainging schools in order to inundate the industry with driver trainees. Then it has been subsidizing the larger companies to hire these inexeperienced drivers on by the thousands with no heavy risks.

They are preparing for this very event when all the supertruckers decide they've had it, well they've got a bunch of little Billy Big Riggers lined up to replace them. The roads might become more dangerous, but the freight will keep moving.



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 09:04 PM
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Originally posted by hinky
Truckers losing money. Did it when OPEC had the oil embargo also. Old news, been there, seen it.

There will be a lot of bitching and moaning, fuels prices still go up, cost of everything will rise; more bitching and moaning, etc....

Some independent drivers will go broke, others will thrive. The market will balance it out if the government doesn't try to control it. Price increases passed onto the consumer.


'IF' the government doesn't try to control it? Check this link. They already do.

And no one is thriving in this situation. I meet hundreds of drivers every day, in the truck stops, and on the CB. All are having trouble.

TheRedneck



posted on Mar, 21 2008 @ 10:16 PM
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reply to post by bamaoutlaw
 


Great thread!!
S&F
Just saw a piece on the local news on how the trucker's expenses are killing delivery costs. They interviewed a local restaurant owner who claims that he has seen an increase of 350% on his delivery charges. They then showed a trucker filling up his gas tank. I believe I saw the number at 327$dollars and still climbing. Unreal. The test for the restaurants is to not increase the meal costs to the consumer to ensure constant business.
things are getting out of control and I second what jackinthebox states. The independents are not wanted on the road. So much for independent ownership in that industry.



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 08:07 AM
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What about us little guys who don't drive trucks.Anything we can do? After all the truck is the backbone of America. I'm personally tired of people banding together for useless ideals such as the pansie writers strike in hollywood.They're not making millions enough writing fictitous fantasies which cloud and corrupt the judgement of our youth?

If anybody should band together this would be the proper cause. First of all they're raping you guys blind along with the rest of the men and women who make and build this country. We are the ones who should be making a comfortable living,not the losers who contribute negative influences which polute and dimoralize our values for each generation.

I kill myself in construction for the last 20 years and have nothing.I'm also personally tired of getting paid like an illegal immagrant.It truly is time to break the chains of modern day slavery and bring our corrupt, conspiring governments back to the realizations that We ar The People and without us they have NOTHING !!!! No military,No supplies, No housing. Lets see them eat their oil,sleep in their oil and transport on their oil when nobody's around.

Everyone shall be humbled at one point or another. Look at the Romans, which to me seems to be the way this country is heading for collapse.



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 09:16 AM
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Semi-trailers have a lot of surface area. Why aren't they covered in solar panels? Logistically, trucks don't always need to travel quickly, so long as they arrive regularly. Slower moving, solar-paneled trucks, of course, would mean more people would need to drive trucks. We certainly have plenty of people looking for work. And while slower traffic on the highways might irritate some drivers, it would make a dent in the 40,000 annual highway deaths (and the associated economic costs of insurance payments, lost wages, etc.) if commuters were given the option to choose effective inter-city mass transit.



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 09:33 AM
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Wow.. this seems bad already. My question is, when NAFTA opens up and all the trucking jobs go to Mexico for half to a quarter of what they are paying people in the states, then what..? Things seem so a))backwards these days.



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 09:53 AM
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I didn't think much about the food shortage threads enough to even open them. Now that this thread has been posted it's starting to come together for me.



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 09:54 AM
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They aren't opening jobs to Mexico. Mexican truckers are only allowed to go from Mexico to a distribution center and back. They do NOT go to anywhere else. US trucks still take things from the DC to the store or wherever it's going to.



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