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March 9, 2009 8:00 AM, EDT

Letters: CARB After Reefers, Scanning Containers, Freight Brokers

These Letters to the Editor appear in the March 9 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

CARB After Reefers



The Environmental Protection Agency has approved California’s new limits on refrigerated trailers entering and operating inside the “Golden State,” giving truck owners and drivers about five months to prepare before enforcement hits July 17.

California is the only state allowed to create emission standards stricter than federal ones, although it must obtain a waiver from the EPA. After such a waiver is granted, other states can adopt California’s regulations.

In 2010, the California Air Resources Board wants to tell us what type of tires to run on trucks and trailers. By 2012, all trucks and trailers must comply. And the state of Wisconsin is looking to follow CARB’s tire rules.

What we — the trucking community — need to start doing now is to institute a CARB surcharge for any and all miles run in any state that adopts CARB’s rules. I suggest $1 a mile loaded/empty — or whatever. 

They are hitting us in our wallets, so let’s charge them for it, because the way it looks, I will have to replace my 2004 tractor or retrofit to meet their rules. Both are very expensive operations.

C.E. Guintard

Owner-Operator

WHP Enterprises

Grand Lake, La.

Scanning Containers

It just blows me away that the incompetence of the U.S. government is such that they cannot get scanners for ports before 2012 (TTNews.com, 2-26, “Napolitano: Homeland Security Can’t Screen All Cargo by 2012”; click here for previous article). I am also surprised at the money that was set aside for this.

I haul containers and have picked up scrap metal at a processing yard in Marshall, Minn., that had a scanner for radiation at the yard. The Marshall operation is not a gigantic recycling yard by any means, just an average size one. I asked them if their scanner really worked and how sensitive it was. They stated that it would go off if a container had held any medical supplies that had been with anything radioactive.

If a small scrap yard can do this, why can’t the U.S. government?

The point is that if “We the People of the United States” rely on the federal government to get anything done and done right, we are going to be disappointed. Now the government wants to run our health care, among other things. I think the federal government should do two things only: They have the best military in the world, and it seems to work pretty well. The other is to collect taxes — but only if they do it in a fair way.

Rick Crosby

Owner

Tykatie Transport

Ramsey, Minn.

Freight Brokers

I work for a family-owned trucking company as a dispatcher. We have about 25 trucks and operate in all 48 contiguous states.

Unfortunately, we must deal with freight brokers more frequently. They are absolutely driving trucking companies into the ground because of the cheap rates they offer.

Brokers don’t seem to understand the costs associated with moving trucks across the country. Operating costs include truck and trailer payments, equipment insurance, health insurance, driver wages, etc.

Freight brokers have no assets; therefore, they can afford to quote shippers these cheap rates and try to pass them along to the trucks. We cannot afford to operate trucks on less than a dollar a mile.

Sooner or later, these brokers will see the light — when there isn’t anyone left to haul the freight. I am not quite sure how much longer we can operate if they keep skimming the fuel surcharge and some of the rates off the top.

Jenny Powers

Dispatcher

[Company Name Withheld By Request]

U.S. Midwest