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Old 08-13-2011, 03:59 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by p38fln View Post
The vast majority of drivers are paid by the mile, even drivers that own their own truck - but that doesn't mean they drive any slower, mileage based pay means the faster you go the more money you get.

You're not going to get 12-15 MPG out of an OTR tractor with this regulation - they're talking about a 23% increase. Since trucks are averaging 6 MPG right now, they're only talking about increasing to 7.38 MPG - which is VERY doable, and there are truck configurations on the road right now that can get this fuel economy (see my earlier post for some examples of trucks that are available today that I think will either meet or come very close to meeting the new standard).

Also, a big rig (from my own experimentation) gets about the best fuel economy at 55 MPH, dropping sharply off above 60. Of course, driving a big rig at 55 MPH in a state with a 75 (or 85) MPH speed limit is pretty much asking for a rather nasty accident. The rumor in the trucking world is that the state of Nevada actually sued Schneider National several years back for having their governers set to 55 MPH (and the state won). Not sure if that's true or not, since its something I heard in a truck stop.

Of course...
Some days just plain suck - this was the worst MPG I ever saw come out of the truck I was driving. Not sure if it was the cold weather or not, on a warm day the truck would get at least 5 MPG in the same mountainous area of PA.
A lot of the problems in the trucking industry can be solved simply by giving everyone a RAISE. At the current rates, you are hanging by a thread most of the time if you are an owner/operator, which then forces most folks to run harder just to maintain. At the current fuel prices, if you are making less than $1.50 a loaded mile in a semi, you are working for free and in danger of going out of business.

When the industry was still regulated, everyone got paid $3.00 to $5.00 a mile guaranteed. That's how the truckers had legendary sway in the USA at one time. We made more than a Harvard grad most of the time. The suits did not like that. So the quest to devalue what we do was in full swing, starting with deregulating the industry in '79, then NAFTA, then the fuel price increases after the Iraq War. The newest regulations from the DOT only help to underscore lowering the value of what we do ( CSA 2010 ).

Anywho, if there was an across the board wage increase to $2.10 per loaded mile or so, the amount of miles needed to make a good check would drop from 3000 to 2200, which means you don't have to drive hard to make the money happen. It's only 440 miles per day, which can be done in 8 hours at 55 mph. That falls well within the guidelines of Hours of Service, and makes life a ton easier. Even if the mpg standard remained the same, the profitability is much better which takes the stress off. Accidents would decrease, health would improve because you would have time off to have a life.

Trucks with good aero, a Detroit Series 60 and proper gearing can hit the higher standard now without tricks; just a good driver. Had a friend with a Volvo with that same combo ( pre EGR mind you ) that would get 8 mpg loaded or better all the time. I noticed he pulsed and glided when he drove.

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Old 08-14-2011, 06:29 AM   #72 (permalink)
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...then, I "stand corrected" as I was under the impression that Europe's highspeed trains (like Japan's and China's) were mega-lift.
European trains are railbound, and so are Japanese and Chinese trains.
The few exceptions are test tracks and short distance connections.

MagLev has been around for a while, but is still rather experimental.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maglev_(transport)
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:04 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cleanspeed1 View Post
A lot of the problems in the trucking industry can be solved simply by giving everyone a RAISE. At the current rates, you are hanging by a thread most of the time if you are an owner/operator, which then forces most folks to run harder just to maintain. At the current fuel prices, if you are making less than $1.50 a loaded mile in a semi, you are working for free and in danger of going out of business.

When the industry was still regulated, everyone got paid $3.00 to $5.00 a mile guaranteed. That's how the truckers had legendary sway in the USA at one time. We made more than a Harvard grad most of the time. The suits did not like that. So the quest to devalue what we do was in full swing, starting with deregulating the industry in '79, then NAFTA, then the fuel price increases after the Iraq War. The newest regulations from the DOT only help to underscore lowering the value of what we do ( CSA 2010 ).

Anywho, if there was an across the board wage increase to $2.10 per loaded mile or so, the amount of miles needed to make a good check would drop from 3000 to 2200, which means you don't have to drive hard to make the money happen. It's only 440 miles per day, which can be done in 8 hours at 55 mph. That falls well within the guidelines of Hours of Service, and makes life a ton easier. Even if the mpg standard remained the same, the profitability is much better which takes the stress off. Accidents would decrease, health would improve because you would have time off to have a life.

Trucks with good aero, a Detroit Series 60 and proper gearing can hit the higher standard now without tricks; just a good driver. Had a friend with a Volvo with that same combo ( pre EGR mind you ) that would get 8 mpg loaded or better all the time. I noticed he pulsed and glided when he drove.
Makes you want to solve it 70's style: I'm for a trucker's raise, and a mandate the companies pay for retrofitting for the new standards. Change people's lives for the better. The US comes to a complete stop without truckers.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:41 PM   #74 (permalink)
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How they did it in the "Old" days, back when round was cool.

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Old 08-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #75 (permalink)
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How they did it in the "Old" days, back when round was cool.
Cool truck brother!

I had two Old Schoolers, an '84 KW K100 that after a tune up and 3.36s did 10 mpg pulling an empty 53 foot dry van from San Diego to Allentown, Pa.
My '85 KW W900 Flat Top w/ a 3406B Cat, 15 speed and 3.90s on tall rubber was a pig in comparison ( 4.8 - 5.2 loaded, 6 mpg empty ) but the folks loved that one going down the road. It was a handsome rig. Too bad it was a bad business case.

If I had to do it all over again, it would have been a KW T600 with a Detroit or a Cummins N14, a programmer, high flow exhaust from manifold to tailpipe, a better turbo and enough gear to do 105 mph. Either that or a Pete 372 set up the same way ( the Winnebago had excellent aero ). Driven with some sense, I know that either one would do 7-7.5 all the time with a van.

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