Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Over The Road Truck Driving – On The Way Out

    July 29, 2010 by Truckdrivernews · Leave a Comment 


    An over-the-road truck driver is one that travels from state to state making deliveries and picking up loads to deliver somewhere else and are usually gone from home – for weeks at a time.

    Is that part of trucking on the way out? There are some 4 million truck drivers on the road in the US today.

    If over-the-road drivers are on the way out, that will be thousands of people (drivers) losing their jobs.

    I have been looking into the idea that is being thrown around that more and more freight is going to be shifted to the railroad.

    This I feel is what is going to remove the over-the-road truck driver as basically all the railroad would need to do is to build storage facilities and get the owners of the freight to agree on paying for storage of their freight.

    Then trucks would come into the storage areas and haul the freight to their respective stores – as in a regional truck driver or a city driver.

    Regional drivers usually only travel in a predetermined circumference of a base terminal and go home usually a couple nights a week or on the weekends.

    A city truck driver does just what the title says they deliver within the cities and go home nightly.

    But before this would ever happen the percentages of products that the railroad move would have to increase drastically compared to some figures I found on the Association of American Railroads web site. By the way trucks transport 70 percent of all goods by weight in the United States.

    Here is a graph of freight that starts out on railroads: SOURCE AAR

    Here is a graph of freight that ends on railroads: SOURCE AAR

    These graphs show what the trains have hauled from point A to point B – but to its final destination a lot of this still has to be picked up by truck. I found this other graph on the same site showing the number of freight rails in the US – the number of miles that trains go – the number of railroad employees – employees avg wages – and the number of retirement beneficiaries.

    It also list an interesting fact: “One train can carry the load of 280 or more trucks. That’s equivalent to making room on our highways for more than 1,100 cars. Congestion on America’s highway’s already cost $87 billion in wasted travel time and fuel each year.

    So, what the railroad is claiming in this statement is that one train can remove 280 or more safe and professional truck drivers – and replace them with 1,100 car and pick-up drivers. Wow, a statement like that won’t get them very far as we all know that most accidents are caused by the non-professional drivers – 4 wheelers.

    The railroad is claiming that removing the 280 or more trucks per train is going to relieve congestion – by adding 1,100 cars – per 280 or more trucks removed – to the highways? In reality the cars are the cause of the congestion – because of the simple fact that there is so many more cars on the highways than trucks.

    I also looked at a site called: AASHTO The Voice of Transportation and they have an interesting report on the nation’s 590,000 bridges. The bridges are some 43 years old; and 74,000 bridges are classified as “structurally deficient,” meaning that one or more aspects of a bridge’s structural condition require attention. Meanwhile, truck traffic has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, and the trucking industry is pushing for heavier loads.

    Maybe some within the trucking industry are pushing for heavier loads – but the vast majority are NOT.

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