Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's All In How You Ask The Question

I read an interesting post over at Land Line Media Blog talking about a poll that was done regarding increasing the size and weights of heavy trucks on the highways. The questions in the poll were definitely designed to lead the taker in responding in favor of the increase.

I recommend you check out the post which you can find here.

You can check out the poll questions here.

You can also find an in-depth piece that appears in the July issue of Land Line Magazine on the subject of increasing the size and weights of heavy trucks on the highway here.

So what do you think about increasing the size and weight limits?


  1. I can give you the short form for the Aussie experience. Our INDIVIDUAL trailers aren't quite as long as yours as we don't have 53 & 57 footers, but we have had much higher heights for a long time, as well as multiple combination vehicles for even longer.

    We also have higher mass weights, from a single trailer (normal semi) being legal at a gross weight of ... lemme see now .....100,330 Lbs, to what I am driving (110,250 Lbs), to a 19 metre double (125,660 Lbs), to a B-Double (150,000Lbs), to a road train @ 185,000 Lbs for 2 trailers and so on. We are about to introduce B-Triples on the Eastern seaboard @ about 200,000 Lbs or thereabouts.

    Have ANY of these "productivity increases" benefited the industry? Short answer is a resounding NO!

    They have benefited the customers because ultimately what happens is they start carrying the freight on 3 trailers (with the extra space AND weight) but PAYING for 2 trailers. Effectively, with every "productivity increase" I have seen in the last 30 years (and there have been many) the freight rate in real terms has ALWAYS gone down. This benefits the customers and the very large freight forwarders and even larger transport companies, but to the detriment of EVERYONE else. All the smaller companies have to buy up the gear to comply and compete, but actually end up (relatively speaking) going backwards ...... but they HAVE to do it to be competetive.

    As for the poor old driver, he gets to do about 80% more work, has a far greater responsibility for (usually) about 3% to 5% more pay. It just doesn't stack up. Smarter drivers do do the maths and end up on a combination that gives greatest return for effort expended - which for me is a quad dog tipper - easy work, quick turnaround, medium pay structure which results in my being paid the highest take home pay for just about the least effort.

    Unfortunately some drivers perceive the size of their truck as being something to do with their ego and/or manhood and/or a certain part of their body and will drive the "biggest and the best" for a pittance - literally for 30% LESS per mile/Km than I am earning, resulting iun them taking home about 50% to 55% LESS than I do. Ahhhhhhh .... but it does have a lot of wheels and chrome and makes lots of noise and .... bah ... humbug!

    To me, a bit more height over there is sensible for things such as stock crates, fridge vans and tautliners (whatever you call them over there), but I would urge your industry to resist any weight increases.

    That's my 10 pennies worth, anyway.

  2. Thank you very much for your insight Indy. Would you mind if I post your comment on a trucking forum that I'm a member of?

  3. Sure! I am equally sure that there will be all sorts of dispute about what I've said, particularly from those who thing that the size of their vehicle and the size of errrrr one of their appendages are related (which, of course, they are) - except that they THINK it is proportional, whereas in fact they are INVERSELY proportional! Hahahahaha

  4. Thanks Indy. I'll let you know what they say.