Jinx , I’m sure my husband could answer that question better than myself, as he’s an OTR truck driver. But, alas, he won’t be here till the weekend.
I do know that he, and many others, are quite concerned about the price of oil. The big trucking companies are really over a barrel, pardon the pun, regarding the diesel prices and the amount of fuel that they use annually. It’s getting to the point that many large trucking companies are going under. It may not be the entire reason they are going under, but it is partly the reason. There has been much talk of switching to using the railroad, rather than trucking companies, just because of the high fees charged by the trucking companies. Apparently, they think the railroads can do it cheaper and things will get there faster. I don’t know if this will ever become the norm, but there are several companies that have already begun to use the railroad. For a truck driver, this is a rather scary prospect…feeling that you will lose your job, all because of high fuel prices.
Well, prices are reaching the point right now where alteternative methods of producing oil become profitable. Thermal Depolymerization seems to be profitable at the $80 a barrel mark, and if current oil prices remain as high as they are, oil shale will also be profitable, though companies are hesitant to invest in it - there was heavy investment in oil shale during the '70s, that turn into a money bit after oil prices dropped heavily in the '80s.
Other alternatives include extracting oil from tar sands in Canada and Venezuela, though this requires lots of electricity. There are proposals to build nuclear plants to provide the power. You can also make oil from coal and natural gas; there are a number of large but remote natural gas fields that are too expensive to ship natural gas from, but converting the gas to oil on site may make them viable.
Ah. And thus we have a good reason for the union to get involved. If this sort of thing isn’t the raison d’etre of the Teamsters I don’t know what is. Have Teamsters driving stop driving for firms that won’t play. A week of that (providing the union stays solid) should catch some attention.