How is your company coping with the high price of fuel?
August 1, 2008
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. - With fuel prices rising to unreasonable heights, drivers worldwide have had to find ways to cope with the price at the pump. Some truckers have the luxury of a well-financed compan...
August 1, 2008
Jared Lindzon Special To Truck News
BOWMANVILLE, Ont. – With fuel prices rising to unreasonable heights, drivers worldwide have had to find ways to cope with the price at the pump. Some truckers have the luxury of a well-financed company ready to help their employees with incentive programs and updated equipment. Others have had a much more difficult time coping with the high price of fuel, fearing the worst may come as a result of this massive blow to the trucking industry. Truck News stopped by the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Bowmanville, Ont. to find out how drivers are managing at the pump.
Ricky Douthwrought, a driver for Fillmore Trucking, has found a simple solution to help offset the fuel prices, however feels that there really isn’t much you can do. “Now I slow down a lot more,” he said, “and I never idle.”
Michael Reed is a company driver based out of New Brunswick. He says his fleet has encouraged its employees to drive slower by offering incentives and bonuses. But a new truck would help, he says.
“They give you a constant reminder, like ‘Don’t let your truck sit around’,” he told Truck News. “It’s always in the shop, you know, getting maintenance, and they’re always sending me messages on how I can save fuel.
“They say ‘no idling,’ and try and get me to drive slower, but my truck doesn’t get good fuel mileage so I don’t bother. See, there’s a fuel bonus and a safety bonus. If you make 6.1 mpg you can make the fuel bonus, but my truck won’t make 6.1, so hammer down. The newer trucks, they’re getting about 7.1. Maybe if I was driving a newer truck I could slow down a couple kilometres and still make my fuel bonus, that’s my theory. It’s $150 for fuel bonus and $150 for safety bonus, so if I don’t crash then I’ll get the safety bonus.”
According to Jim Anderson of MacKinnon Transport, his employers are trying to take down his speed mechanically.
“They wanna roll back the speed limiters. We’re at 65 right now they wanna roll it back to 62, but they haven’t offered any incentives as of yet. So far that’s all they’re doing.”
Barry Tripp, who runs his own trucking company out of Ottawa, feels like there’s nothing he can really do about the rising price of fuel.
“Well, we only have a couple trucks so it’s not really a big thing. We’re driving slower and we’re always conscious, but there’s only so much you can do. There are no incentives.”
Carl Reed is fortunate enough to have a fuel cap from his employers at Kriska Transportation, however he fears for the safety of his job in light of the rising price of fuel.
“We’ve got a fuel cap at our place, so for the moment we’re alright,” said Reed. “I’m running 60 miles an hour now and it seems to be increasing the fuel mileage on the truck itself so it’s helping. What else can you do, right? It’s ridiculous. I feel bad for the guys who have got to pay for the full pump price, but what can you do? The economy is not very good, I’m still working but who knows? It’s one of those things where you’ve got a job one day and you might not the next.”
– Jared Lindzon is enrolled in media studies at the University of Western Ontario and will be working as a summer intern at Business Infomation Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.