May 2006 Letters

Should’ve folded
The February 2006 Land Line article, “Hold ’em or fold ’em” on used trucks was right on.

However, it was too late for me. I lost more than $11,000 on the fleet truck I purchased in Pennsylvania.

Steve Borghese
Manchester, NH

Let’s put the heat on brokers
I believe that brokers are the downfall of trucking. As you know, there were 5,578 carriers that closed their doors in just one year. Why do you think this happened? Then in the same year, of all the carriers that went out, there were more than 1,500 brokers that opened a new office.

Let’s take a look at the broker. They are needed in trucking. With the Internet, loads are more easily found, but the rates are not there. I don’t know how many times I have been told by some company what they are paying to get the load moved, just to find out that a broker was making 20 to 40 percent on the load.

I believe that brokers are taking more than they should. I don’t even know if there is a law stating what the average is. It must be “how cheap can I get it moved.”

When a broker gives a shipper a cheap rate it makes it that much harder for me to get paid what I need. Shippers say they don’t like using brokers, but you try to give them a rate and they will say you are moving it cheaper than that now.

I know that we are in the same boat and I feel the boat is sinking fast.

Stefhan Shelton
Chuckey, TN

Editor’s note: At the urging of OOIDA, the FMCSA announced more than a year ago it would start the process that could address the inadequate broker bond situation. That hasn’t started yet, so OOIDA has now filed a supplemental petition requesting the agency get going on the rulemaking. We’ll keep you posted.

Shame on TIA for not endorsing OOIDA’s model contract
We have a small truck line and brokerage in Des Moines, IA, and I have been privileged to be an OOIDA member since 1992. OOIDA has been essential to our growth and the success of the owner-operators who have joined our company. I am upset that TIA did not embrace OOIDA’s opinion. Recently, I joined TIA and was concerned when I read the list of directors was dominated by large brokerages.

But before we throw the baby out with the bath water, a bad TIA contract is better than 99 percent of the other broker contracts. To be able to have one uniform “fair” contract beats the heck out of fighting with a few hundred bad contracts and being coerced into signing them. Thanks for 14 great years and many more.

Jack Sawyer 
Des Moines, IA

Thanks for quality radio programming
I want to thank “Land Line Now” for the shows that were done on the software for your PC. I also see the links on the Web site, which are very helpful. Thanks for what you all do and from all of us out here trying to make a good life for our loved ones. Keep up the good work “Land Line Now.”

Michael Card
Winchester, KY

Speed limiters: Just a trick
My comment is on the mandatory speed limiters that some groups are trying to impose upon truck drivers. I believe that the speed limiter rule is just a trick to lure drivers to companies who have governed, or slow trucks – rather, elephants. Also, I believe that it will be unsafe. It will be nothing but a bunch of elephants, or obstacles, going down the road.

Jeffrey Green
Lake Havasu City, AZ

Run compliant is still the best answer
After listening to the discussions on HOS and black boxes on “Land Line Now” and after some long and arduous thought, my conclusion is still the same. Run compliant and abide by the posted speed limits. Let the problems of delivery schedules and delays fall on the shippers and receivers. Let’s not create more problems for ourselves, but rather place it back on their shoulders. Thank you so very much for what you do to help the trucking industry.

Tom Bulifant
Bremen, GA

Speed limiters for whom?
With whom does the cause of speeding accidents with fatalities fall upon? The big trucks or four-wheelers? Who is at fault the most, statistically? Why is it we are always the ones that have to sacrifice?

Yes, at times we are at fault. But to date, mandated laws for just us and not the general public has yet to work. They just keep making new rules for us and it keeps getting worse. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the general public needs to change, not just us.

If speed limiters become regulated, I guess I will just keep fixing this old truck or retire from the trucking business all together.

Janice Drouin
New Port Richey, FL

Don’t worry about other states
I am a Life Member of OOIDA. I think the governor of Texas should mind his own business and quit listening to these other states with left lane restrictions on trucks. And I don’t think we need toll roads. Don’t worry about what the Joneses are doing – in other words. Thank you OOIDA and Land Line.

Eddie L. Conrad
Odessa, TX

Ask us – we’ll tell you what we want
Someone needs to tell these people with all these so called bright ideas about idling alternatives to go to the horse’s mouth – the truck driver or owner.

I would prefer an electric source. I, like many other truck owners, don’t use the IdleAire setups because we have already wired our trucks to do what we want them to do.

With my setup, I have TV, VCR, DVD, microwave, coffee pot, heater in winter, window air conditioning for summer and a fridge. I even have my block heater. I use a gas generator that cost me $750, not the $3,500 to $10,000 diesel units cost.

I have used this method for the past two years and when the generator craps out I’ll salvage what I can and go buy another one at home depot for less than a couple payments on one of those “big time units.”

Now, if rest areas and truck stops had a spot that I could plug into and run all the stuff I have for my comforts that I choose, and pay a few bucks to use, I’m sure that would do what we need to cut down on pollution, fuel use and idling.

My generator runs 14 hours on four gallons of gas – plenty of time for rest, etc. And I get to choose what I want or don’t want. Most time I don’t even run it for more than a few hours.

Thanks for what you do at OOIDA and keep on trucking safe.

Timothy L. Barrett Sr. 
Tucson, AZ