Owner-operator organizes fuel protest Monday near Pittsburgh

Owner-operator Don Waltenbaugh of Pennsylvania has organized a daylong event to demonstrate just how bad it’s getting out there for truckers struggling with high fuel prices.

Waltenbaugh, an OOIDA member from Vandergrift, PA, has organized a 24-hour protest – a “shutdown” in his words – scheduled for Monday, March 24, on his property on Alternate 66 between Vandergrift and Ford City, PA, northeast of Pittsburgh.

“This is a one-day shutdown for solidarity,” he told Land Line.

Waltenbaugh said he has parking for 60 trucks and would like to see people from multiple sectors of trucking and hauling.

“I want people from all facets – towing, dealerships, the excavation business. I want them there,” he said.

Waltenbaugh has several issues he wants to draw attention to, with fuel prices being the driving force behind the event. ProMiles listed the average retail pump price in Pennsylvania at $4.24 on Thursday, March 20.

The event organizer also wants to draw attention to unscrupulous brokering that goes on in the trucking industry. Waltenbaugh says he’s tired of brokers who collect a fuel surcharge from customers and do not pass it on to the truckers.

“There are some fantastic brokers that really try, but there are some that don’t,” he said. “The brokerage side of trucking has gone rampant as of late. Everybody seems to be a broker.”

A third idea that Waltenbaugh wants to get across is that truckers are people just like everybody else. They are patriotic Americans, they are consumers, and they are registered voters.

“As truckers, we have high costs, low rates and we still have to buy the same groceries as everybody else,” he said.

If the cost of fuel puts too many truckers out of business, the average consumer will be hit hard, he said.
Hopefully this guy will think about doing the same thing in April.

You like how OOIDA-Landline got ahold of two different members one that was shutting down, and another who said he didn't need to because he was making money?

Funny how they are posted on OOIDA's site #1 and #2 stories...

Here is the other member's story

He also did a ride along with CNN the day they were in GA speaking to that group...

Now trying to get the point across is really hard because you have conflicts...One guy is making it (actually a lot are making it) but others are not.

It's hard to get driver's, the public behind something like this when they read or see both sides of the story.
Many of the drivers out there think they are doing well as long as they are covering their expenses, and bringing home a decent check after all the expenses are covered.

That is not a recipe for a successful business.

Too many drivers run on that mentality, and then almost overnight wake up and realize they are in a huge bind. All it takes is for that one costly breakdown, or God forbid, a family emergency that takes you off the road for a couple weeks or a month. When you come back, somebody has came in and started hauling your decent freight, you are in the hole due to your fixed costs that piled up while you were off the road, and then suddenly you are faced with the possibility of being forced out of business.

The driver in the article you linked to mentioned that while he did ok in 2007, that he might not make it in 2008 due to the way things are changing. So, what is he going to do about it? Is he going to just get up every morning and haul that freight, pay those huge fuel bills, and hope things magically fix themselves? Newsflash for all those who think this way, IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN. Every year, it gets a little worse in this industry, and every year, more and more are being forced out of their business.

One by one, the independent is being forced out of his truck and into a company truck if he wants to stay in the industry. It shouldn't have to be this way, and it doesn't have to be this way.
I agree 100% with you. Ted Gennick is looking at the small picture here. Owning a truck and driving yourself with hopes on making a paycheck at the end of the week is not the answer. As a truck owner, driver or trucking company owner we cannot absorb the cost of diesel fuel in the freight rate. This is what shippers and brokers are trying to push on the smaller truckers and companies.
There is a good chance he is making it with an older truck, possibly little to no truck payment. What happens when it gets to the point where he needs to buy another truck?
Will he be able to go out and buy another one? Or will he have to finance it? How will this additional expense effect his bring home money?
I don't know how you make it.........

I really have no idea how truckers are making any money at this point, but is boycotting the pumps for a day going to accomplish anything? I mean, you can't drive without the fuel and are going to buy it the next day. Do they really care? The big oil companies are bragging about RECORD profits that they are stripping from the general public all over the US, should they be proud........ HELL NO! They should be ashamed, the government stops other businesses from raping the public to make more profit, why not the big oil companies. We operate over the road also, and are held captive by HUGE increases in diesel prices for no apparent reason. And the next person that tells me the cost of fuel in Europe can jump off the edge of the earth.......
I really have no idea how truckers are making any money at this point, but is boycotting the pumps for a day going to accomplish anything? I mean, you can't drive without the fuel and are going to buy it the next day. Do they really care?

It doesn't matter if they care or not.

The point of shutting down is to force the government and the public to take notice and respond to what is going on. The oil companies won't be the first to scream. Those who want to get their freight moved will be.

The rich folks who are investing in oil and driving the price up will be quickly moving their money to something else, as a result oil prices will drop.

Remember, just in the past week, gas consumption dropped only 1/10th of 1%, and oil prices dropped from 112.00 to 104.00 per barrel in a matter of a couple days. If investors think there will be a serious shutdown, they will be yanking their money out between now and April 1st. Just watch the price of oil between now and then.

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