I have just done a cost analysis of my own from last year to this year. I can tell you that a fuel surcharge is not going to be enough. Something more has to be done. It has to start with raising the rates we are getting to haul freight.
I was going through all my fuel receipts from 1/1/99 to 6/15/99, and then from 1/1/00 to 6/15/00, I knew it was bad, but if there's a reason for O/O's to go "postal", I just found it. Our one truck alone is paying out $1,224.32 a month more in fuel than the same time last year, up until 6/15/00, which is only five and a half months. We have paid out $6,733.79 more in fuel than we did the same time last year. It's no wonder we're not being able to keep up on maintenance and repairs; we can't afford it. We've managed to hold on to it so far (the truck) but if this continues, I don't know if we'll still have it to do another cost analysis in six months - the bank may have it.
Who is going to put the trailer and drive tires on our truck in a couple of months? Not OPEC, not the shippers, not the receivers, not the brokers, not the company we're leased to.
The shippers and receivers think they should be cutting the rates. Well, we are darn tired of hauling their freight for nothing; the fuel will never come back down to what it was a year ago, and everybody knows that. Something else has to be done soon. We are paying an average of 42 cents per gallon more on diesel.
Somebody is lining their pockets with our money. I am absolutely furious, this is a national crisis and the American trucker is the backbone of this nation. Owner-operators have lost their jobs, they've lost their livelihoods, they've lost their homes, and our government is just letting it happen. The trucking industry should be declared a national disaster, it is one. Owner-operators out there are risking their lives every day to bring the average American citizen their produce, their goods, food, even the roofs over their heads, their just-in-time freight. They're all doing it for pennies on the dollar.
Our truck is going to be our retirement, if we lose the truck, we will lose everything. The rates need to go UP, and the fuel needs to go down, or this country is going to lose a lot of good drivers, good people.
Stacey & LeAnne Waklee
Stevens Point, WI