Rerouting and tolls would cost one NY truck company $500,000 annually

| 5/19/2008

Besides dealing with record fuel prices, some owner-operators and trucking companies in New York have a new financial worry after hearing about Gov. David Paterson’s plan to ban all heavy trucks from certain back roads in the state.

Chris Mix, general manager of Sunshine Bulk Commodities Inc., in Clifton Springs, NY, said he feels like his company is being kicked when it is already down.

His family-owned trucking company has about 40 trucks that haul in and out of the landfills in upstate New York. He put a pencil to it and figures paying toll and extra fuel costs for rerouting could run the company an extra $500,000 a year.

Mix estimates it will cost his company between $40 and $60 a day per truck in extra fuel and toll costs, which would cost the company as much as $2,400 a day at current fuel prices.

“We feel like this latest proposed regulation bypassed the legislative process,” Mix told Land Line on Monday, May 19. “They didn’t give anyone on our side a chance to tell our side of the story. We’re not hauling hazardous material on our state highways. We are just hauling trash.”

Mix has written letters to the governor and U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY, who initially showed support for the governor’s plan to keep large trucks off local roads in central New York and the Finger Lake region.

“This is so frustrating for me. I haven’t heard a word back from either one of them,” Mix said. “This is really going to hurt companies like ours that have a vested interest in these small communities in upstate New York. We work hard to make sure our trucks are road-worthy. We don’t run unsafe equipment.”

Mix said he plans to attend a meeting between truckers and New York lawmakers, which is scheduled for Thursday, May 22, at the Wilton Travel Plaza at Exit 16 on I-87 in Wilton, NY. The high price of diesel and what can be done to help at the state level are on the agenda. Paterson’s plan to keep large trucks on the interstates and off back roads will also be discussed at the meeting.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer