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Shut em down boys

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Shut em down boys

Unread postby ampjr88 on Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:51 pm

BOSTON (WBZ) ― When you begin your commute Tuesday, you may find something noticeably missing: some of the big rigs. With diesel fuel prices at an all-time high, some independent truck drivers across the nation are planning a strike beginning Tuesday.

Those taking part in the protest are being urged to pull over or even worse for commuters - drive extra slow - on April 1.

The national average for a gallon of diesel fuel broke $4 a gallon in March, nearly double the prices of a year ago. That compares to a national average of $3.28 for unleaded fuel, according to AAA. In Massachusetts diesel is costing drivers even more than the national average: $4.12 a gallon according to AAA of Southern New England.

Word of the protest started to spread in early March, through email and social web sites like MySpace.com and OvertimeTruckers.com. The strike is not a mandatory union-sponsored protest, but rather a grassroots effort by independent truck owner-operators. They are hoping to raise attention in Washington.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby skipnchar on Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:59 pm

You just have to feel for folks who HAVE to drive to make a living. At least when we take the RV on the highway it's a voluntary thing but those guys have no choice. Probably hurting the independents more than most since it would be more difficult to pass the costs along.
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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:17 pm

As a commercial driver myself (although a company driver, not a broker) I can understand the pain that the independents are feeling right now.

Unfortunately the reality is that the trucking industry and those who work in it can be their own worst enemy.

What do I mean?

1/ Some brokers/independents are putting their goal of keeping the wheels turning ahead of making an acceptable wage for their miles. When some shippers are putting bad paying freight out for bids and 15 brokers jump at it for what will result in pennies on the mile of profit, shippers will continue to get their freight moved on the cheap.

Drivers (and companies alike!) need to let cheap paying freight rot on shippers docks and look for better paying freight. The cheap shippers will either suffer, or (eventually) raise what they're willing to pay, meaning the brokers/companies can make a decent profit.

2/ There's plenty of fleets (or small two-bit companies) out there doing the same, but with lower costs then even some brokers (due to skimping on maintenance or experience low-paid inexperienced drivers) they're running on an even thinner margin. This further screws up the industry.

Fuel increases are real, but unfortunately I think that it's a reality that the industry needs to begin to adjust to, instead of the cost of fuel adjusting to fit the industry.
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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby ponyboy1995 on Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:58 pm

Did anything come of this? I read this and heard about it from several people. I didn't see or hear anything actually happening in South Carolina. I live in the capitol and all the main interstates run through our area. I was just wondering if anything has heard if this took place.

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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby Limey on Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:09 am

It was pretty much a bust here in Colorado - we saw just as many trucks on the road as any other day. I heard somewhere that it was better supported back east, however.
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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby ponyboy1995 on Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:27 am

They will probably need a drivers union supported strike for it to make any real difference. Those can get ugly for the truckers that don't strike though.

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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby skipnchar on Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:50 pm

WE happened to be on the highway on the day and DID notice a big reduction in the NUMBER of trucks but the ones we DID see were tooling along about normal speed on the Interstate. I think the difference was certainly enough to be noticed but the problem with these things is they KNOW they'll be back on the road again tomorrow. It DOES draw attention to the problem though even if it doesn't solve anything by itself.
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Re: Shut em down boys

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:36 am

ponyboy1995 wrote:They will probably need a drivers union supported strike for it to make any real difference. Those can get ugly for the truckers that don't strike though.

Joe


Problem with that is that most (if not all) collective agreements don't have clauses that allow the drivers to walk out because of fuel prices. Considering that most commercial drivers that are unionized to begin with are company drivers, not brokers, the cost of fuel really has little effect on them to begin with since the company is who's paying for it.

I suppose if the company agreed to let the drivers strike then that would change the situation, but unfortunately in this industry you can't get two companies to agree that the earth is round, nevermind strike together.

With all the cutthroat companies out there that wouldn't support it, the companies that are sitting home on strike would simply get hosed by all the companies who would just run in and snap up their work. Unfortunately it's a real dog-eat-dog industry that is it's own worst enemy (as I mentioned) sometimes.

I don't believe that there's any one trucking-oriented company union out there that would have a big enough clout in any strike (nationwide) to have much of an effect.
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