Professional, Polite, Prepared to Kill

Exclusive: Don’t Blame ‘Fred the Basset Hound’ for High Fuel Prices

By: Mark R. Taylor

As Congress continues to badger oil companies, placing the blame of high gas prices squarely on the executives’ shoulders while ignoring their own liability, the trucking industry saw the demise of Jevic Transportation. Jevic, based in Delanco, New Jersey, announced on May 19th it was parking its trucks and shutting its doors due to increased diesel fuel costs, economic downturn and increasing insurance rates.Founded in 1981 and employing 1,230 truck drivers, the company has filed for Chapter 11.

While the trucking industry is seeing record numbers of small trucking companies collapse under the increasing cost of diesel fuel, larger carriers are resorting to “drastic” measures to cut costs. Crete Carrier and its reefer division, Shaffer Trucking, (located in Lincoln, Nebraska) recently banned pets from their trucks in order to reduce idling.The average truck burns a gallon of diesel fuel per hour when idling and, according to the new policy, a driver with a pet idles 4% more than those without. This means, of course, many drivers have lost the trusted, furry companion who provides friendship and security to the trucker who often spends weeks away from home. Many drivers have left Crete/Shaffer instead of abandoning their pet, while others have either found new homes for them and, in one extreme case overheard at the Wilmer, Texas Shaffer terminal, a driver with no family had to have his dog put to sleep in order to keep his job in the tight driver market.It is a “blame Fred the basset hound” solution that does nothing but create animosity and stress to a workforce (the American trucker) already overloaded with rules and regulations that go beyond what would be expected from the average office worker.Imagine the outrage if the climate controlled air conditioning system housing the dispatch office was turned off during each lunch break and at the end of the workday. Full article here


May 27, 2008 - Posted by | economy, trucking | , , , , , ,

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