Congress Committee Looks At State Of America's Highways

Topic 24661 | Page 1

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DaveW's Comment
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That America's roadways are a deteriorating mess is no surprise to anybody who has sat behind a wheel any time recently. But the problems of our nation's crumbling infrastructure go far beyond just the discomfort of a jarring ride. Simply put, our country's economic health demands that our roads get an upgrade.

Congress committee looks at state of America's highways

Old School's Comment
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“Most carriers with high turnover do so by design,” said Spencer. “They could deal with driver turnover by offering better wages and benefits and improved working conditions.

This response from OOIDA isn't surprising or new, but it still baffles me. I understand the numbers they use to come to their conclusions, but it defies logic to think that "driver churn" is by corporate design. I remember once my dispatcher somehow got suspicious that I was thinking about moving on to greener pastures (it was a totally false supposition on his part). He contacted me and was basically begging me to assure him I wasn't moving on. These trucking companies need good solid drivers, and there's been plenty of across the board pay increases this year to show they are willing to do what it takes to keep them.

I do agree with their stance against lowering the entry level age of commercial drivers.

Baffle:

A partition or separator within a liquid tank, used to inhibit the flow of fluids within the tank. During acceleration, turning, and braking, a large liquid-filled tank may produce unexpected forces on the vehicle due to the inertia of liquids.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

Hobo's Comment
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Every witness called before a Senate Committee was in favor of raising the federal fuel tax. I'm shocked I tell you, shocked.

Old School's Comment
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Every witness called before a Senate Committee was in favor of raising the federal fuel tax. I'm shocked I tell you, shocked.

I understand what you're saying Hobo, but highway funding is something that's extremely expensive and very important to the future success of the transportation business. It's very difficult to create revenue streams sufficient for the pressing needs before the industry. When trucking companies pay more in fuel taxes it really isn't accounted for as an additional expense that they must absorb. It is accounted for as a cost that must be baked into the price of their freight contracts. We (the consumers) are actually the ones who ultimately pay for increased fuel taxes. Those cost increases always find their way to the final point of purchase. That's a great reason for you to be shocked, which is more than likely what you're saying.

So, how do we stop this continual grab from our pockets? We stop buying all this stuff! It's a simple solution, but will never happen. We just seem to like buying stuff. smile.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
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Spencer’s assessment of the “strategically planned attrition” by the large carriers is a ridiculous comment, irresponsible and perhaps self-serving.

Like Old School, I had a similar experience with Swift (yes, I said “Swift”). At my 12th month of experience I had an offer to work for a local bulk carrier. Since they checked my references, my then Swift Terminal Manager called me into his office. Asked me if there was anything he could do because they didn’t want to lose me...we worked some things out and 5 years later still driving for Swift pulling Wally Wagons delivering groceries.

Just silly...the very people who buy-into Spencer’s notion are the same folks bashing all of our employers on the interweb.

Silly.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
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When Grey Davis was governor of California, he took the fuel tax out of the roads portion and put it into the general fund. When he was impeached, Governor "Arnold " said in his acceptance speech that he would put the money back to get our roads fixed. Well, it didn't happen and California has got have the worst roads out there so far that I have seen. They just had a tax increase "for the road fix" but it went to the bullet train funding. We have voted for 6 cycles to keep them from funding that train and they find some loop hole to fund it and they can't even complete it. Anyway enough b******g. The roads costs are out of this world. They are using inferior material that doesn't last. When I was a teenager growing up in the 60's and 70's California roads were smooth as glass(maybe a little bit much), but they were well maintained by Teickert, then 20 years ago, California decide to just get the materials from them and form Caltrans. They are the laziest and takes them twice as long to do road repairs as Teickert did. And very inferior work.

But something needs to be done. I wish I had a solution.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Other than military, about the the only thing government does well is create committees.

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