Whenever there's a panel discussion about driver turnover and the coming driver shortage, low pay is always pointed to as a culprit. Yet when it comes to making drivers happy, pay often takes a backseat to the bigger picture.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has directed city departments to build on earlier "green fleet" efforts to cut the city's annual use of petroleum-based fuels by 1 million gallons by 2020, using electric and alternative fueled vehicles, biodiesel and more efficient use of vehicles.
It’s still an oddball spec in road tractors and you’re not likely to consider it, but the 6x2 – a single drive axle with two powered wheels among six total wheel positions – will someday become more common as truck operators look for ways to save fuel and cut tare weight, suppliers think. Today, progressive fleets are testing or embracing it, and it might even be a good choice for some owner-operators.
How bad does owner-operator Matt Purtee want truckstop electrification? “Bad enough where I know a few truckstops that have light poles with plug-ins at the base,” he says with a chuckle. “I get to those sites early so I can tap into the power before someone else does."
Owner-operators are far from dead, but the population is experiencing some changes, according to Todd Spencer, vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, with many of those changes caused by government regulations.