From The Stone Age To The Industrial Age

Topic 4076 | Page 1

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Old School's Comment
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I get a kick out of the variety of things that get loaded on my trailer - recently I even had to haul another trailer loaded on top of my trailer. This week I visited a rock quarry in Eden Wisconsin to pick up a load of rocks, yes it reminded me of when I was a kid playing in the sand box loading up my Tonka Truck with rocks. Kind of felt like Fred Flintstone pulling out of that quarry loaded down to a little over 79,000 pounds with a bunch of rocks! The sky over head was beautiful as the sun was struggling to get through the storm clouds that lingered from the evening's storms as I rolled out onto the nearest roadway to make my way down into Iowa where someone will be doing a major landscaping project with this load.

trucking photo of stormy sky and sun sceneryflatbed trailer with rock slabs strapped to it

Then when I delivered that load in Des Moines I headed right over to Pella Iowa and picked up these large rollers that go to a copper mine in Morenci Arizona. It tickled me that I hauled something so "low tech as rocks" and then went right to get something manufactured for precision and durability to be used in American industry. There's a lot of variety to this job, and that's one of the things that make it so interesting.

large copper mine rollers strapped to flatbed trailer

Jopa's Comment
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"Too Cool!" Old School . . . that wasn't meant to rhyme, it just did . . . nice photos AND sentiments about the lifestyle, eh?

Jopa

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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There's a lot of variety to this job, and that's one of the things that make it so interesting.

That was absolutely one of my favorite parts of trucking - you never knew what would happen next. You never knew what would lie around the next bend, where the next load was going, or who you were going to sit next to for lunch at the truck stop counter. You didn't know what you'd be hauling, when the next traffic jam would happen, or how beautiful the scenery might be at any given time.

Every minute of every day was unique and there is always an endless stream of variables coming at you from every direction. You have to be able to handle the pressure, think on the fly, and make smart decisions in an instant - every single day without exception. That's why it takes a strong person who is highly motivated, fiercely independent, patient, cool under pressure, and eager for a challenge to thrive in this career. Sure, there are a number of lazy knuckleheads out there. But the top-tier drivers have certain characteristics they share because that's what it takes to do this job at a high level.

Eric G.'s Comment
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I live in railroad central here in Elkhart County, IN so I always think it is funny when trains carry inter modals... which are intended for the big rigs to haul... or trailers..... Its funny because railroad companies don't like the trucking industry because the more trucks that are on the road the more chance the railroad isn't as profitable. Its an interesting love-hate relationship.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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The trucking industry and railroads can operate really well side-by-side because they have different offerings....different strengths and weaknesses.

The railroads move freight at a much cheaper rate than trucking companies. They can also store a lot of product for quite a period of time during the trips which helps shippers and receivers cut back on warehouse space. Unfortunately railroads can rarely pickup or deliver a product straight to or from the customer's premises unless they're shipping a massive amount of materials and they're located close to train routes. They also take much longer to transport goods.

The trucking companies can move freight far more quickly and can always do it doorstep to doorstep. They can also adjust more quickly on the fly to changes in shipping schedules and freight quantities. Unfortunately the cost of moving freight is much higher for trucking companies than it is for the railroads.

So the railroads are perfect for some circumstances, the trucking industry is perfect for others. There's an endless flux between the two as the economic circumstances change.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Jopa's Comment
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The trucking industry and railroads can operate really well side-by-side because they have different offerings....different strengths and weaknesses.

The railroads move freight at a much cheaper rate than trucking companies. They can also store a lot of product for quite a period of time during the trips which helps shippers and receivers cut back on warehouse space. Unfortunately railroads can rarely pickup or deliver a product straight to or from the customer's premises unless they're shipping a massive amount of materials and they're located close to train routes. They also take much longer to transport goods.

The trucking companies can move freight far more quickly and can always do it doorstep to doorstep. They can also adjust more quickly on the fly to changes in shipping schedules and freight quantities. Unfortunately the cost of moving freight is much higher for trucking companies than it is for the railroads.

So the railroads are perfect for some circumstances, the trucking industry is perfect for others. There's an endless flux between the two as the economic circumstances change.

Well said, Brett . . . me thinks you are an economics professor in disguise . . . the "economy of scale" is the reason railroads can haul freight at a significant discount over trucks . . . what is also amazing is that BARGES beat railroads hands down in the same way . . . river freight enjoys an advantage over railroads in the way railroads beat out trucks . . . there was an organization way back in the early teens of last century who proposed a national network of canals in the same vein as the national railroad infrastructure . . . they could never make their case and trucking has taken us in the opposite direction . . . .it's all economics in the end . . .

Jopa

smile.gif

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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