Feeling Enough Pain Yet?

Fleet pros speak out about fuel prices.


AS THE EDITOR of two magazines, Fleet Maintenance and Fuel Advantage, I am allowed to “cross-pollinate” editorial themes and contents between the two books when it would benefit readers, and now is such a time.

In a recent blog posting on the Fuel Advantage website (www.fuelpub.com) I asked the question, “How expensive does a gallon of fuel have to be before Americans say ‘Enough’?”

In that post, I discussed the trucking “Shutdown” that was scheduled to take place on April 1st, and I suggested that this was as clear a sign as you could wish for that truckers had finally reached the point of saying “Enough!”

What has followed from that blog post has surprised me, and I thought it was time to bring this Fuel Advantage topic up on the pages of Fleet Maintenance.

Since I posted those thoughts we’ve gotten 16 responses (and counting) from readers who have clearly had enough of rising fuel prices and are struggling to find ways to respond to this national crisis.

Here are a few excerpts:

“With all the money the oil companies make, why is our Government still subsidizing them... while the public is looking for money to make ends meet. When will the American workers tell our Government? This is the last straw—enough already!”

***

“Enough is enough! Why don’t we, every person in the USA, refrain from buying any fuel on Tuesday and Wednesday of EVERY WEEK. If the demand for fuel drops dramatically, the price will come down. We, the people, can do something if we want to.”

***

“I do not feel that not buying fuel on any given day will do anything for the gasoline prices. People will buy gasoline regardless of the cost. That’s evident as I drive by the gas pump daily.”

***

“The ‘REAL’ reason for the rising cost of fuel is the FALLING VALUE of the DOLLAR! This is a long term problem and will get worse before recovering.”

***

“Not purchasing fuel on Tuesday will not reduce demand and prices if one fills up the next day. Demand is reduced by reducing consumption. The usual tips that we have heard since the 70’s are a start; Public transport, tune-ups, proper tire inflation and reduced idle time. Observation of others’ bad habits can help you.”

***

“We have switched all our family vehicles and work trucks to natural gas, a domestic and cheaper American product. We no longer send our dollars overseas to people that want to harm us. We benefit because it also burns cleaner and helps our local air quality as it helps our pocket book. We fuel at home for under $1.50 per gallon. As we use more alternatives and there is less demand for gasoline, it should help the price come down somewhat. My advice is find an alternative and don’t live in the past, face the reality and make some changes.”

***

“As long as everyone goes to the ballpark and pays $8. for a beer and $5. for a coke. Nothing’s going to change. The government and fuel companies’ attitude: ‘load the wagon, the mule is blind.’”

***

“I have one scenario that will work. Don’t ask every trucker to slow down or shut down. I know there are many that can’t afford to. But what every trucker can afford to do is pay $5.00 a week into a fund to take care of every trucker that makes a living hauling into or out of Washington, D.C. Let those drivers shut down, and put a freight embargo on D.C. No garbage out. No alcohol or tobacco in. Let mail run, along with medical and emergency services. But shut everything else down, including fuel and gas, all non-essentials. How long would it take to get the attention of the politicians?”

***

Pretty strong stuff.

Say what you like about these proposals being unrealistic or inadequate, the important point here is that people are fed up and ready to take action.

I know I’ve had enough. My little car gets 32 mpg to begin with, but I’m driving slower and driving less. A lot of fleets are slowing their trucks down, too.

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