This weeks events and musings from the road.

Oil Prices:

As I travel around the Northwest and western region, I am still amazed at fuel prices climbing ever so sharply for no apparent reason. It’s as if the oil companies knew about the major terrorist investigation the Saudi’s uncovered this week. If you didn’t hear, Saudi Arabia uncovered a plot and arrested 170 suspects planning to carry out attacks on middle east oil depots and refineries. Experts predict that if one oil depot were taken out in the middle east, oil prices could easily climb to over $160. dollars per barrel, or $10 per gallon at the pump in the US!! Does this spark your interest in Bio-Diesel? Does this make you think about idling your truck for no reason? Does this make you mad and want to contact your state or federal congressperson? I think it is time to take a stand as truck drivers and pound Bio-Diesel into the heads of our government leaders. We talk about global warming, but what if fuel prices climb to $10 a gallon this summer? What if they climb to $5 a gallon? Chevron, Exxon and the like are all posting record “BILLIONS” in earnings or profits this quarter! It should make every American po’ed at what the oil companies are doing to our future, our economy! If fuel prices do hit $5 per gallon this summer, I’ll be parking my big truck and I’ll be trading my pickup in for a Toyota Hybrid.

Truck Idling:

I guess there aren’t too many drivers paying for their own fuel in the Northwest. The temperature outside hasn’t been too terribly cold or warm and it is the time of season to give your truck and your companies wallet a rest. By turning off the engine of your truck, you save the company about a gallon of fuel, or $3.25, per hour! If you’re looking for a raise or a fuel bonus, this would be a good place to start.


Pilot Travel Center – Ellensburg, WA
:

After all of the problems I have been having over the past year with Pilot, I thought I would say thank you to the staff of the Ellensburg, Wa Pilot, I-90 Exit 106. They have constantly been polite, helpful and professionals at what they do. It is refreshing to be able to get my fuel, get a cold drink and a sandwich and be on my way. They have the cheapest fuel in the area and are a good spot to fill up before hitting the Seattle area.

Driver Hall of Shame:

I was traveling east bound on I84 the other morning in eastern Oregon. I decided to take a break and MVI at the eastbound Farewell Bend scale since it is well lighted and the scales were closed at the time. When I awoke, I decided to take my four-legged companion out for a rest break of her own. Just as I got her to the patch of grass and weeds to do her duty, a Werner Enterprises driver, unknown truck number, pulled up, parked and got out of his truck. I assumed he was checking his tires or doing his MVI. He shouted out to me that my dog reminded him to do something. I didn’t pay much attention, but I did turn to acknowledge his presence and to my astonishment, he was taking a leak right on the pavement next to his truck! No modesty, no thought of whether or not there might be families passing by on the freeway, no thought of the health risk he was creating, and no thought to the scale house which was now open and the DOT officer only a few dozen feet away. I am only glad my dog was only going number 1, or I would hate to guess what she might have reminded that Werner driver to do instead of number 1! IDIOT!

I guess the point that gets me the most about the above incident is that there was a decent truck stop only a mile west of the scales at the previous exit. Plenty of parking for big trucks and even a c-store to get refreshments or coffee. It amazes me why so called “professional” drivers continue to use our rest areas, scales and other public areas as public urinals! Lets get it together drivers!

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2 comments

  1. I know people get upset when they see the cost of fuel as opposed to the record profits posted by the oil companies but profits need perspective. If you do a little digging you can find the reinvestment rate of any publicly traded company and you might be surprised to find out that nearly all profits are plowed back into the company for purposes like research and development that make them more efficient. You know, the cost of fuel at one time was around $.28/gallon while the cost of a barrel of oil was around $3.00. If that ratio of raw material cost to retail price hadn’t been reduced over the years by the efficiencies gained through the reinvestment of profits we’d be looking at current prices in excess of 7.00/gallon right now. Reinvested and deferred profits also help keep oil companies in business when, as in the eighties, they lose money hand over fist. It’s easy to look at any profitable company as a consumer enemy but they’re all stuck living with the same laws of supply and demand. Once a price rises to a certain level the demand drops precipitously. You could also look at the high fuel prices as a blessing in disguise. I agree with you that bio-diesel, although not pure bio-diesel, needs to be utelized to a greater degree than it is, currently (although I don’t look to the government for an impetus or solution). A 20/80 blend of bio/petro diesel will provide for better fuel system lubrication with limited loss of power (resulting in lower fuel mileage) but the cost of bio-diesel, at least right now, has only become competitive with the cost of petro-diesel at levels above $3.00/gallon. Anyway, I’ve babbled on long enough. It’s a good post and I thank you for the opportunity to comment on one portion of it. Take care mon frère.

  2. I JUST RECENTLY HAD A THERMO KING TRIPAC GENERATOR INSTALLED ON MY TRUCK AND MY FUEL MILAGE WENT FROM 5.5 PER GALLON AVERAGE TO OVER 7.5 PER GALLON AVERAGE. MY IDLE TIME IS NOW BETWEEN ZERO AND LESS THAN ONE PERCENT. PLUS IT CAME WITH AN 1800 WATT INVERTER SO I NOW HAVE A MICROWAVE AND WILL SOON HAVE A DORM SIZE FRIDGE ON THE TOP BUNK. NO MORE TRUCK STOP FOOD!

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