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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:26 PM
Original message
CNN: Story on Shortage of Truckers
Increased need, yet labor pool shrinking. Transportation costs will be rising.

I have a question on this (please forgive my ignorance):

Would the earth be better off if we went back to using trains to transport more stuff than trucks?

Truckers would still be needed - to get the stuff to the stores from the depots, but since there is a shortage of drivers - are trains more environmentally friendly?
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Maybe * can cut a deal with the UAE
to send over some truckers.
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Harper_is_Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Too many got blowed up in Iraq? n/t
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SPKrazy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. Fuel Costs!
fuel costs are the crux of this problem

independent truckers are a dying breed

big trucking companies rule the roads

fuel costs and lower pay from the big companies make truck driving less attractive
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. nailed it
The indie's I know have a hard time keeping on the road.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. If trucking companies had to pay for road maintenance
like the railroads pay for theirs, it would be by a long shot. The fuel tax doesn't come near to cover the cost of highway damage done by trucks.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #4
25. Do you reallly know how much OTR trucks pay for fuel? I don't
think you do. Try an average of 500+ gal a week. YOu do the math.


One tractor in Cal pays an av of $4000. in registration fees alone not counting the trailers or any other connecting equiptment that needs a lic.
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Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. Maybe those are the jobs that Americans
won't do any more because we are to elite?
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aden_nak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. No sleep, poor pay, no medical, LONG drives, soaring gas prices. . .
Can't figure out why we have a shortage of truckers. No sir.
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raysr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. And EVERTHING that
happens is the truck drivers fault! I was one!
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I thought of this - I always hear people complain about trucks on the road
my standard response is "whatever you see in a store - anywhere - was brought there by a truck. If they get off the road, you have nothing to buy."
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ristruck Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. The JIT world would not allow this.
In theory this is true and if we had looked ahead even just a little we would have been able to create the infrastructure to do this. American business has moved almost exclusively to the "Just in time" model and it would take decades to build the logistics network, the rail system, and the warwhouse space to accomodate the more time consuming rail process.

Rail is much more efficient and it has grown significantly. It is currently stretched to it's near limits now.

You raise a great question but we are a long way off from being able to grow the rail system














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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. Bu$h will outsource the jobs to India!
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. Railroad network just sucks nowadays.
And try making depot deliveries in the cities. Those tracks became history decades ago. Even Europe, with it's amazing rail network, relies heavily on trucks for deliveries.
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intrepid_wanderer Donating Member (559 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. my mom is a trucker...
and I've asked the same sort of questions.... since she's got a bit of 'insider awareness'


What I've got out of my reading & discussions with mom is that trains could be used more efficiently to limit the need for longer-haul trucking, much like the oceanic shipping realms improvements by longshoremen and shippers in that they have really improved the equipment they have and use to track and specifically transfer cargo between ships & between ships and other modes of travel/shipping.


Unfortunately, she's convinced me that any shift away from long-haul trucking would likely cause a significant increase in the costs of what we buy... This would be because of lengthened shipping times (~3-5 days for long east-to-west travel with trucking... and ~1-4 weeks for rail travel).


The time increase would cause a need for greater inventories (wether held by the producer, distribution corporations, or re-sellers) which means both more money tied up and money tied up longer....


I only wish that my conclusions and my moms' are dead wrong... rail seems like a more sensible overall alternative for the long-hauls

:bounce: /now shifting back to normal human mode

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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. thank you for this perspective.
I know we have been shutting down our rail lines for a long time, and don't know how many are still usable.

Hmmm..
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. Our friend, who is a trucker had a terrible experience
There was this guy who wanted to kill himself so he put a sign around his neck and jumped in front of the first big rig he could find. It happened to be our friend's truck and he can't drive anymore.
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. That's pretty awful
But what did the sign say?
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dogday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. His personal information, so they would know who
he was...
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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. Trains can't handle the entire load...
of all the goods being transported. They're mainly being used to haul commodities, and there used to be problems with through bills of lading in intermodal transportation. Dunno if that's been dealth with. Anyway, although it may seem to make sense for trains to do the long haul and trucks moving goods locally, it hasn't worked out. Not the least of the problems is that the rail lines get backed up and it can take longer to ship across country by rail than by truck. And the railroads lose stuff.

So, after years of some truckers causing problems and new licensing procedures-- truckers have to get the CDL, the hazmat or other certificates... drivers are being paid less than they were before the new licenses. Like bus drivers, cab drivers, couriers, and pretty much everyone else in the business, you get paid by the mile or the trip no matter how long it takes, what problems you have, or what it costs you. No benefits, cops every mile who can take away your living, and not nearly enough money even in the best times to make it worth the bother, much less the risk.




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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
18. I am looking up statistics
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 01:07 PM by hfojvt
For 1999 railroads moved 1,499 billion ton-miles of freight. ICC trucks (inter-city) moved 499 billion ton-miles of freight and local trucks moved 594 billion. Trucking has been growing faster since 1980 - in 1980 the numbers were 932 (trains) 242 (ICC trucks) and 313 (local trucks)

Just by dollar cost railroads are much cheaper. Total spending on railroads in 1980 was 30.1 billion compared to 162.3 for ICC trucks and 108.4 for local trucks (and trains were moving 3 times as much freight-distance). In 1999 it was 35.9 to 304.6 and 152.1.

All of that is dwarfed by what America spends on Passenger transportation. In 1980 it was 507.3 billion on privated autos for 1,468 billion passenger miles, compared to 1.8 billion and 27 billion for busses and 4.6 billion and 11 billion for rail. In 1999 it was 787.4 billion for autos 5.6 billion for trains 1.8 billion for busses for passenger miles of 1,850; 35; and 14. Figures for bus do not include urban busses which cost 21.7 billion and school busses which cost 10.3. And not to mention 41,700 automobile deaths and 3,236,000 automobiles injuries in 1999. Railroads accidents cost 530 lives - less than the 734 of recreational boating.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. wow - where are you getting this great information
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 01:12 PM by FLDem5
http://sev.prnewswire.com/transportation-trucking-railr...

Strong Economy Feeds Industrial Development on Norfolk Southern
<snip>
During the past 10 years, Norfolk Southern's industrial development department has participated in the location or expansion of 1,098 industries, which invested $24.5 billion and created nearly 63,000 customer jobs in the territory served by the railroad.



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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. shoulda added that on my edit
my usual home source SAUS 2001 (Statistical Abstract of the US). Their source is Eno Transportation Foundation - Transportation in America, annual.
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greendog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
20. There's no shortage of drivers...
...just a shortage of pay for drivers.

What you will start to hear, is that they need to use non-citizens to haul this freight because Americans find this type of work "beneath" them. They'll start asking for some version of H1b visas for transportation workers. This will cause driver wages to drop, which will create the need for more non-citizens.

It's a cheap labor scam. There would be no driver shortage if the pay was fair.
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Coexist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. the man they were interviewing was representing drivers
and mentioned low pay, long hours, rising fuel costs and no benefits as reasons why new recruits were hard to find.

This sounds like a category ripe for that argument.
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ristruck Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. Bingo
Drivers are not paid for all their work. Many have to "eat" hours and hours of waiting time with not pay. I would say that the average OTR driver "eats" 8-10 hours per week that they should get paid.

This adds to the main problem which is a quality of like issue. These people are away from home most of their life and having to "eat" so much of this time for free is beyond what the average person is willing to do.
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
23. Trucks deliver from manufacturer right to your door.
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