Although early industry awareness about the new CJ-4 category of motor oils has been less than stellar, our Equipment Buying Trends Survey conducted last year found that fleet managers are starting to come around and are changing their buying strategies as a result. The number of those who didn’t know what their strategy would be regarding the new oil formulation was down to a third of respondents by last summer, a considerable drop from those who seemed equally baffled the previous year. Our survey also found a doubling in those who plan to stock only CJ-4 and service their entire fleet with it.
Where have the good times gone?
More than any other transportation mode, trucking has faced a cliff-type scenario as far as rate levels are concerned. After a capacity squeeze that began in the final quarter of 2003 placed considerable upward pressure on rates up till about the first quarter of 2006, the slowdown of the economy, and the manufacturing sector in particular, have made those gains unsustainable and rates unlikely to rebound in 2008. Our Transportation Media Research survey of shippers found that only about a quarter were planning to agree to rate increases above 4% for 2008. While the courier and rail modes are suffering similar downturns, the marine and air modes hope to maintain better pricing should the global economy continue to outperform the North American economy.
Work stress can be measured by several indicators, one of which is job strain.
A study recently published in Perspectives on Labour and Income found that men with high-strain jobs were 1.7 times more likely than those with low-strain jobs to report lower work activities, such as taking a disability day.
The study is of particular importance in the trucking industry because the long or irregular work hours many drivers are subjected to may increase stress.
According to a Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, just over 7 in 10 truckers report their professional and personal life as being very or some what stressful.
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