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Overdrive Magazine and Deregulation


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In '79 while deregulation was a hot topic and Overdrive Magazine was a definite proponent, I just happened to run into Mike Parkhurst who was the editor at that time while I was attending the Mid American Truck Show.

Having at one time been an Owner Operator he was a very vocal voice for deregulation and myself knowing what it would do to freight rates and competition was against it. We debated it in front of a crowd and it drew a lot of attention both pro and con.

The ultimate consequence of allowing every one truck operation to apply for and be granted the kind of operating authority that money couldn't buy was that long established rates were chopped and cut till the older carriers and specifically the ones with whom a driver could earn a decent living wage were forced out of the truckload business and many out of business altogether.

A few years after deregulation took effect I encountered Mr. Parkhurst again but this time he wouldn't even discuss the effects of deregulation on the trucking industry.

Well now that 33 years have elapsed what's your opinion.

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Im to young to see and remember it first hand but It seems that it opened up the competition to everyone, good that cost of shipping was lower and that the owner operater could get his hands in the game. But bad that any fool with a truck ran the rates so low that it ruined it for the guy that wanted to own a truck, house and provide for a family.....and get to see all of them....

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Deregulation let everyone in the game, weather or not they should be. My Dad got his authority the old fashion way. It cost big bucks and took a lot of work to get. Now it is sort of a worthless piece of paper. My opinion is that deregulation brought us the problems we are forced to deal with in the industry today. To help combat the problems they created (they being the US govt), CSA was created. Kind of a Oh Shit! We have to rein in these unqualified carriers that we allowed to get started in the first place. I just applied to get a brokerage authority, it's $300.00, a $10,000.00 surety bond($300.00), and filling out small amount of paper work. Just doesn't seem right to me. -Brad

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Some excellent points brought up. My opinion is and always has been that deregulation has done more harm than good to trucking companies and their employees. My Dad had his own authority in the late 70's when a true independent could make a great living without having to spend a month on the road. For most these days, especially those who don't have a "niche", the profit margins don't justify the time and money involved in going it alone.

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Jim

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Some excellent points brought up. My opinion is and always has been that deregulation has done more harm than good to trucking companies and their employees. My Dad had his own authority in the late 70's when a true independent could make a great living without having to spend a month on the road. For most these days, especially those who don't have a "niche", the profit margins don't justify the time and money involved in going it alone.

Jim,you're exactly right! if any of the major carriers ever decide to "break into" LTL furniture/store fixtures i'm screwed! i charge what i do based on dependability,service,and experience,not the fact that i can do it cheaper,or cover more loads. If i did'nt get the rates i do,in this market i'd sell my truck and hang it up! and i remember having a fit when fuel went up to $2.00 a gallon! just not many people willing to do what i do,thats seems to be my "ace in the hole" LOL!..........................Mark

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Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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Jim,you're exactly right! if any of the major carriers ever decide to "break into" LTL furniture/store fixtures i'm screwed! i charge what i do based on dependability,service,and experience,not the fact that i can do it cheaper,or cover more loads. If i did'nt get the rates i do,in this market i'd sell my truck and hang it up! and i remember having a fit when fuel went up to $2.00 a gallon! just not many people willing to do what i do,thats seems to be my "ace in the hole" LOL!..........................Mark

Hopefully you'll be safe. It's tough to find (and keep) drivers who are up to the physical and mental challenges of OTR LTL for .33 a mile.

My Dad would be the first one to tell you he was no businessman. He paid $5000 cash for his Diamond Reo and had a $319 (IIRC) monthly payment on his Great Dane 40x12'6 reefer. Got his authority and went knocking on brokers doors at Rube's. He would trip lease or use his authority and didn't care where he went as long as he got $1 a mile. Didn't know his cost per mile and bought fuel when his tanks were low and filled them up. He did some of his own maintenance and gave the truck a good going-over when he was at home. 8 Year old tractor, 9 year old trailer, and barely 4 mpg and never a problem paying the bills.

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Jim

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My Dad bought a 4 yr old H model and a 2 axle 32ft Fruehauf for 7,500.00 in 61. He took the trailer down and had a third axle added and started hauling steel for Tryon. As a little guy I remember Mom taking down a week's check for over a grand. I remember the steel strikes too and it was either 69 or 70 he had all of his tires slashed at the Beaver Valley truck stop with a load of coils on it

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Hopefully you'll be safe. It's tough to find (and keep) drivers who are up to the physical and mental challenges of OTR LTL for .33 a mile.

My Dad would be the first one to tell you he was no businessman. He paid $5000 cash for his Diamond Reo and had a $319 (IIRC) monthly payment on his Great Dane 40x12'6 reefer. Got his authority and went knocking on brokers doors at Rube's. He would trip lease or use his authority and didn't care where he went as long as he got $1 a mile. Didn't know his cost per mile and bought fuel when his tanks were low and filled them up. He did some of his own maintenance and gave the truck a good going-over when he was at home. 8 Year old tractor, 9 year old trailer, and barely 4 mpg and never a problem paying the bills.

Sounds like your Dad and mine were a lot alike! my Dad also said he was no businessman,but managed to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table all his life,he un-like me,never met a stranger,he hauled many a load on a handshake and "half up-front" and was rarely ever without a load,of course he ran like a bandit though! one of the reasons i got out of the moving and storage business,when i started at Atlas,it was MANDATORY you had at least 5-7 years HHG experience before even being considered for specialized,high value service no exceptions,now any numbnuts with a truck can lease on direct with special commodities,which is another reason the rates dropped so low! just no money in it anymore i used to make some REAL money "back in the day" but them days are long gone now!.............................Mark

Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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Does anyone have a picture of the Roadmaster sticker that Overdrive used for members?

Lots of samples here, but all in b&w. I'd imagine you may find a color one somewhere in those scans if you don't mind having to look at truck pictures along the way.

Jim

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In my opinion,we have deregulation to thank for Werner,J.B.Hunt,Schneider,Swift,U.S.Express and all the other "super carriers" that forced small to mid-size carriers out of business for lack of being able to compete with poverty freight rates. And for the new breed of "super truckers" driving school wonders,and why pay rates (for drivers) have'nt made any noticeable increase in 4 decades. Trucking USED to be considered a profession,now just seem to be a "stepping stone" till something in their field opens up (good luck in this economy)but yet and still the big carriers are still crying about a so-called "driver shortage",no such thing,there is however a PAY shortage,which is why many leave the industry,but while people are complacent,not willing to do anything about it,it will stay as is..It gets tougher everyday for a small operator (such as myself) to make any headway,especially with all the new laws,regulations (EPA etc.) CVSA "points" black boxes,and any other BS the gvt,wants to jam down our throats! its a wonder anyone is in a truck anymore!.................................Mark

At the time that deregulation took effect I was an agent for the special commodities division of one of the largest unionized carriers in this country....They were very fair with all of their owner operators and had some very good rates... after deregulation they lasted less than three years.

J.B.Hunt was behind an awful lot of the rate cutting at that time...I had one account where we hauled five truckloads a week to Eagle Pass, Texas and we weren't getting rich doing it..... Yet J.B.Hunt could do it for about 55% of our published rate. ,(or so they claimed) .Driving school trainees desperate for an entry level position into the HIGH PAYING (they thought) field of truck driving were their secret weapon.

It's claimed that J.B.Hunt saved International Harvester from bankruptcy.... They saved one company from bankruptcy, but were directly responsible for many others going either into reorganization or out of business altogether.

They just didn't seem to understand that the main thing that they were LACKING (good service) and the difference in us is that we offered(very good service) which in my opinion is the most important thing required of a conscientious driver or owner operator and the company he represents...

I could give you a long list of the shippers that I had dealt with for years who thought that we could haul their freight for rates comparable to JB.

"WE DIDN'T"! I just scaled back and downsized.

You get what you pay for!

A lot of the companies that resulted from deregulation had one thing in common and it was their stock in trade (CHEAP RATES) and it took many years for the transportation industry to even start to recover.

Oh..... after deregulation I eventually got into a different field of trucking, I became a wholesale used truck dealer.

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My Dad bought a 4 yr old H model and a 2 axle 32ft Fruehauf for 7,500.00 in 61. He took the trailer down and had a third axle added and started hauling steel for Tryon. As a little guy I remember Mom taking down a week's check for over a grand. I remember the steel strikes too and it was either 69 or 70 he had all of his tires slashed at the Beaver Valley truck stop with a load of coils on it

The steelhauler strikes and the shutdown in '73 brought out the worst in a lot of truck drivers.

I had one driver pulled out of his truck and beaten and had the pin pulled on him at the Windmill Truck Stop on Dallas Pike in Wheeling WV.

All that he was doing was trying to get back home to shut it down.

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Deregulation ruined the independents. It slashed rates and broke the union shippers. It is truly a race to the bottom. The rates advertised a decade ago are still advertised today. You can't make a decent living and expect to have a somewhat decent home life to raise a family. It also drove the true professional drivers away to another occupation and let the steering wheel holders in who have no respect for the road or the equipment.

My dad was in the thick of it during the various steel hauler strikes. He was a member of F.A.S.H. He always said you don't run during a strike unless you want trouble. There were quite a few trucks "put out of commission." It was a different time but a time when you could make a good wage to support a family. Nowadays you have to do specialized heavy haul or oversize to make good money.

I partial agree with you greyhair but it should be fair trade not free trade, stop tax breaks for offshoring, start tax breaks for re-shoring,start buying american, stop shopping at Walmart-95% Chinese/foreign made, and realize cheaper isn't always better. We can't be a nation of service industry. We need to be a manufacturing nation. We have to make goods and products.

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There used to be a little money in the reefer business not any more. A few years ago I was in Pompano FL In the resturant and a broker came in with a load going to Boston. It loaded in Pompano the rate was $900.00 and some young boy jumped right on it. Back in the good ole days a 40' trailer was all that was needed now its a 53' with more freight and lower rates. Thanks to deregulation.

This is Mack country. On a quiet night you can hear a peterbilt rust away.

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J.B.Hunt was behind an awful lot of the rate cutting at that time...I had one account where we hauled five truckloads a week to Eagle Pass, Texas and we weren't getting rich doing it..... Yet J.B.Hunt could do it for about 55% of our published rate. ,(or so they claimed) .Driving school trainees desperate for an entry level position into the HIGH PAYING (they thought) field of truck driving were their secret weapon.

It's claimed that J.B.Hunt saved International Harvester from bankruptcy.... They saved one company from bankruptcy, but were directly responsible for many others going either into reorganization or out of business altogether.

They just didn't seem to understand that the main thing that they were LACKING (good service) and the difference in us is that we offered(very good service) which in my opinion is the most important thing required of a conscientious driver or owner operator and the company he represents...

I could give you a long list of the shippers that I had dealt with for years who thought that we could haul their freight for rates comparable to JB.

"WE DIDN'T"! I just scaled back and downsized.

You get what you pay for!

A lot of the companies that resulted from deregulation had one thing in common and it was their stock in trade (CHEAP RATES) and it took many years for the transportation industry to even start to recover.

Oh..... after deregulation I eventually got into a different field of trucking, I became a wholesale used truck dealer.

Reminds me of Fulton- they were a pretty good size trucking co. out of Stephens City, near Winchester. I don't know what their main haul was, but they were a van fleet.

The story goes that Schneider cut their rates on whatever their main haul was out of Winchester to try to take over the haul. So Fulton cut it even lower to try to keep the haul, then Schneider cut it even more. Then Schneider told Fulton they could cut the rate again, but then so would they and "we're going to outlast you". So Schneider got the haul, Fulton was pretty much out of business, and was later bought out by Swift.

Producer of poorly photo-chopped pictures since 1999.

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There is a thread over at hanks, shhh I know I know, that has the "fallen flags" of the 80s and 90s. Its literally pages and pages of old I mean old trucking companies out of business do to deregulation. I'm talking companies that had grandfathered rights given to them when they had horse and carriage and named cartage companies. Steel haulers like Aero trucking, Debolt transfer, Lakeshore Motor freight, J.Miller express, Moore Fletcher, and Point transfer all gone frieighthaulers like campbells66,mushroom, preston 151 line, consolidated freight, and penn yan all gone and matlack and so on gone.

http://hankstruckforum.com/htforum/index.php?board=21.0

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Does anyone have a picture of the Roadmaster sticker that Overdrive used for members?

I used to have one,(my Dad belonged to Roadmasters) here is a picture of the jacket patch,sorry its not a real good one!..........................Mark

post-5836-0-20666300-1362931982.jpg

Mack Truck literate. Computer illiterate.

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I used to have one,(my Dad belonged to Roadmasters) here is a picture of the jacket patch,sorry its not a real good one!..........................Mark

Thanks!! This is a great site to be a part of. There is just about anything and everything here within the members.

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i have used the search but I keep coming up with nothing?

The link I posted has scanned pages from an Overdrive fro the 60's. There are b&w pics of trucks with the stickers. There may be some colr examples in other issues posted on that site.

Reminds me of Fulton- they were a pretty good size trucking co. out of Stephens City, near Winchester. I don't know what their main haul was, but they were a van fleet.

The story goes that Schneider cut their rates on whatever their main haul was out of Winchester to try to take over the haul. So Fulton cut it even lower to try to keep the haul, then Schneider cut it even more. Then Schneider told Fulton they could cut the rate again, but then so would they and "we're going to outlast you". So Schneider got the haul, Fulton was pretty much out of business, and was later bought out by Swift.

In the late 80's I used to see Fulton trucks on Broadway in Manhattan. They must have had some regular gig there as often as I saw them. These were green and white IH's if that's the company.

Jim

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The link I posted has scanned pages from an Overdrive fro the 60's. There are b&w pics of trucks with the stickers. There may be some colr examples in other issues posted on that site.

In the late 80's I used to see Fulton trucks on Broadway in Manhattan. They must have had some regular gig there as often as I saw them. These were green and white IH's if that's the company.

That's them. Couldn't find any pictures, but I know i've seen a Fulton truck picture on Hank's. Did see this mention on Swift's wikipedia page-

Swift bought Stephens City, Virginia based Arthur H. Fulton Inc. for $9 million dollars. Fulton was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the time.

Producer of poorly photo-chopped pictures since 1999.

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