By David Tanner, associate editor
Professional truck drivers aren’t just talking about the rising cost of fuel these days. They’re taking steps to do something about it.
At the Spring Board meeting, OOIDA leadership along with the Association’s Washington, DC, staff drafted a set of driver-focused principles to address high diesel prices. It’s a commonsense approach that members can use when they talk to their lawmakers or policymakers about the issues.
“The top one on the list is eliminating unnecessary and duplicative government barriers to increased oil and gas production,” said Ryan Bowley, OOIDA director of legislative affairs.
In addition to incentives to increase domestic production, truckers want assurances that those buying the fuel are the ones receiving the fuel surcharges. OOIDA also stresses the role of driver training in fuel consumption, and offers that as an alternative to costly add-on technology.
Transparency for oil market speculators made the list, as did addressing unnecessary detention time at the docks.
“Bringing the entire supply chain into the discussion is obviously important,” Bowley said.
Truckers have much to gain, and much to lose, based on how they manage their cost of operations.
Commercial trucks consume 54 billion gallons of fuel each year, according to the OOIDA Foundation. At $4 per gallon these days, that’s a lot of coin.
Bowley says there’s no single solution to fix the issue of high fuel costs, but having a list of principles serves an important purpose.
“It’s something we can take to lawmakers’ offices, it’s something that we can use to draft letters, and it’s something we can use to evaluate individual pieces of legislation as they move through the pipeline,” Bowley said.
Truckers see the big picture and that includes the future, Bowley added.
“We’re dependent upon diesel fuel right now, and we’re going to be for the foreseeable future, but there are certainly going to be options down the road,” he said.
“Whether it’s natural gas and a new fueling infrastructure, or other options out there, we need to make sure that’s going to be available for the trucking industry, too.” LL