Month: November 2007

Ice Road or Icey Road

First Big Snowfall of Season
US 2 – Gateway to Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana

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Oil Prices Based on Futures

Something that came to light the other day was someone telling me that the current oil prices aren’t necessarily because of a shortage or high demand for oil right now, but on the assumption that something could happen in the world to disrupt our oil supply.

A former stock broker told me that the reason oil is hovering around $100 dollars a barrel is because speculators have driven up the futures on oil hedging their bets that something could happen in the middle east that could spike oil prices.

Hurray for a free economy! Hurray that we have the right to drive up oil prices just to make a quick buck. The same speculators would never set foot in a casino in Las Vegas because they feel gambling just isn’t right. Isn’t that what they are doing with our economy? Betting that the world takes a tumble and they can cash in their futures!

Isn’t there something our government can do to stop speculation on oil futures. I am not sure what could be done, but when I see fuel approaching $4 dollars a gallon, I can’t help to wonder what negative effect that would have on our economy as a whole. I have already talked to several owner-operators who are going to go out of business if fuel climbs much higher.

The company who my company hauls for refuses to pay a fuel surcharge and decided this week to ship everything under 300 miles LTL! Without warning, our hours have dropped in half within a week! Our company cannot afford to haul at the prices they are offered at this shipper. Eventually the shipper is going to have to pay some sort of fuel surcharge to keep the trucking companies hauling their products in business. When the price of shipping goes up, you can bet that the retail price of goods and services at the box store will eventually go up. When the retail price of the goods goes up, the people performing the work such as painters, contractors, etc. must raise their prices. It’s a never ending food chain that affects everyone, including the shipper. When a shipper refuses to raise their rates or pay a fuel surcharge, it eventually hurts us all!

OR DOT Hard at It

Oregon DOT is at it again. I suppose it is for our own good, but if you plan on taking a little trip through the state of Oregon, make sure your paperwork is in order and you have flagged all of your recent scale crossings. It seems as if the scale crossing issue has put several dozen trucks out of service the past few weeks. Today, the Farewell Bend crossing in eastern Oregon had at least 6 trucks shut down because of various log book issues. Yes, in Oregon, you MUST flag all scale crossings whether or not you are from Oregon or not. They just like to cause problems for those out-of-stater’s. Trust me, I get pulled in at least once a week between Oregon, Washington and Montana.

It used to be said that we had an “emphasized enforcement” period around the first week of June throughout the United States. It seems like Oregon forgot to read the memo on that one and decided to implement it when “revenues” were low. You know, Oregon likes out-of-stater’s quite a bit. They can’t contest their tickets as easily as a local. Trust me again, I got hammered three years ago for $180. dollars and it still comes back to haunt me. So if you are behind me in the state of Oregon and I’m only doing 55, please don’t cuss, yell at me on the radio or try to force me off the road, I am only trying to do my part and keep Oregon’s freeways safe! And if you believe that last sentence, I’ve got some “cheap” swampland in Florida I’d like to sell you. Oh, and please don’t give me the little courtesy blink when I don’t give you the lights to come back over when you pass. It’s my opinion that you are taking the chance on driving like an idiot and speeding, I guess you’ll just have to take that chance that you have cleared my front bumper when you do pass.

I know I sound a little irritated, but my life is drained. I am tired and the joy of driving for a living has long passed. With fuel prices skyrocketing, cost of living on the road outrageous, my health deteriorating and wages plummeting, I just don’t feel like driving for a living anymore. If anyone has any advice or job offers, please pass them along to me by sending me an email. Otherwise, have a great week and be safe!