Letters: ‘No’ to Natural Gas, Driver Recruiters, Drivers and Lumpers

These Letters to the Editor appear in the Oct. 5 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Say ‘No’ to Natural Gas

Say “no” to the T. Boone Pickens plan and to H.R. 1835, the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act — the NAT GAS Act of 2009 — a bipartisan bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.). The following points about H.R. 1835 are from a Pickens Plan Action Alert:

“This legislation has almost all of the elements for natural gas that we have been pushing for in the Pickens Plan:



“It extends the tax credit for natural gas used as a transportation fuel.

“It provides a tax credit for 80% of the additional cost when purchasing a dedicated natural gas vehicle.

“It extends the tax credit for the installation of natural gas refueling pumps.

“It creates incentives for the major manufacturers to sell natural-gas vehicles (which they already produce for overseas markets) in the United States.”

Congress must not pass the natural gas bill for 18-wheeler trucks. Use natural gas for other uses, but not for trucks. The reasons are shown below:

Diesel-fueled trucks are energy-efficient, safe, clean and economical.

New findings in Europe show that natural gas engines may emit larger numbers of nanoparticles, which are toxic even though the emission appears clean just by looking at it.

A study conducted in the 1990s showed that a compressed natural gas bus costs 20 times more than a diesel-powered bus retrofitted with a diesel particulate filter system when calculating the lifetime service cost. It was because the cost of building CNG infrastructure exceeded our imagination.

We should not waste our nation’s tax money to build a natural gas infrastructure for trucks. We should invest to make our truck fleets cleaner, more fuel-efficient and safer by retrofitting diesel-fueled engines, rather than replacing them with natural gas.

Julius Rim
President
International Metals & Energy Technology Ltd.
Northville, Mich.

Driver Recruiters

As a professional driver and owner-operator currently seeking a lease, I am truly shocked by the attitudes displayed by some trucking company human resources personnel — specifically some of the driver recruiters I have had the unfortunate experience of contacting lately.

Many chief executive officers and chief operating officers read Transport Topics weekly and yet don’t have a clue as to the damage these subordinate team members can do to their company’s reputation and future with their careless and unprofessional actions.

We professional drivers have four very powerful ways of getting the word out about these problems: citizen’s band radio — driver to driver, Internet chat rooms, radio talk shows (such as the Midnight Trucker Show) and, yes, word of mouth.

By way of credentials, I have had eight years of safe, reliable, high performance, over-the-road experience covering low-bed removable gooseneck trailers; flatbed curtain vans; heavy haul, oversize, refrigerated trailers; and dry vans. My education and technical training are up to date.

Please don’t be offended by this letter, which may seem like me telling you CEOs and COOs how to operate your corporation. But all you trucking executives reading this had better put down your newspapers and start monitoring and correcting your human resources personnel. Give them some encouragement that better times are ahead — and give them classes to teach them how to act in a more professional, knowledgeable and responsible way when a prospective driver or owner-operator calls.

I just thought that you folks should know.

David Ritter
Professional Driver
Semper Fi Transport Services
Klamath Falls, Ore.

Drivers and Lumpers

I have been driving trucks since 1970. Things have not gotten any better for the driver with respect to food warehouses.

What bugs me is that we drive all night or all day to get the load delivered on time only to find out that the driver must hire someone to unload the freight. I think that should be up to the shipper and/or the receiver — not the driver.

The driver should be in the bunk sleeping or resting for the next load so that load can picked up and delivered on time, not making phone calls to get the money for a lumper — which seems to be the new system. I don’t deprive someone of working; I just don’t think the driver should be involved in that.

I have run into that kind of situation at 3 a.m. and I do not think it is right. I haven’t gotten involved in this issue before because it’s only four or five years before I retire from driving. I am just looking out for the next guy, because nobody else will. I would like to see drivers get treated fairly and not abused, as they are today.

I think a letter should be sent to all warehouses making the shipper or the receiver responsible for the lumpers.

Name Withheld
Driver
Weatherly, Pa.

 

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