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(The New York Times)   For a true picture of the United States economy, ride the train from New York to Washington and take a good, hard look out the window   (nytimes.com) divider line 209
    More: Interesting, New York, United States, Stern School of Business, Sunoco, Sallie Mae, organizing principle, U.S. economy, corporate law  
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35655 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Nov 2012 at 12:10 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-05 10:27:27 PM

KarmaSpork: CitizenTed: Monongahela Misfit: Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.

I don't want to scare you, but one day very soon a Saudi official is going to step up to a microphone and say these mortal words: "We cannot increase production."

When that happens, your beloved trucking system will grind to a halt and America will go into a panic to re-invigorate its woefully pathetic rail system. Global economy be damned. When oil hits $1000/bbl (and it will, very quickly), it won't matter how cheap Chinese labor is. We will have to go back to manufacturing our own stuff, polluting our own air and transporting freight on rail. Who knows? Camden may become a hotspot of employment, production and a vigorous tax base.

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Is diesel an issue? Sure. Which is why we are switching to natural gas. Freightliner and International, two of the largest manufacturers in the American market are working with Cummings to change the fuels we use. New natural gas pumps are going up at a truck stop near you. They are already all over the south east.  Oh, and btw, they burn completely clean.

Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in current class ...


Not sure if it's different for heavy trucks, but the switchover to DEF systems over pure DPF with burn off cycles has done a lot to improve fuel economy for diesel light trucks.

Sure, DEF is an added expense, but in most cases it ends up saving money because the truck doesn't have to go into the regen cycle nearly as often, and you save a ton on fuel.

This is just based on my experience with Ford's new diesel that uses DEF vs the older one that didn't, so I suppose it could be different for big rigs, but I'd think the same principles would apply.
 
2012-11-05 11:14:12 PM

Ivo Shandor: KarmaSpork: Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in current class 8 and class 9 heavy trucks.

What's moronic about those systems? Sure there's a cost (up-front and in fuel efficiency), but I happen to like breathing transparent air that doesn't give me cancer.


They are killing the breatheability of the engine, with the sensors that are in place, it frequently de-rates the engine causing the fuel mileage to drop below 4.5 mpg on standard freight (let alone heavy haul). They should have waited for natural gas engines (LNG) which are in testing now, and scheduled for retail sale in the beginning of FY 2013.

We all like clean air, and for exhaust nothing beats LNG.
 
2012-11-05 11:17:48 PM

Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goon: KarmaSpork:

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Not quite - UPS, Schneider Trucking and J.B. Hunt are three of BNSF's biggest customers, for just one example. That's not exactly "non-timely freight."

The Intermodal Revolution has been very friendly to the railroads. 

It isn't untrue, however, that railroads tend to be better suited to less-time-sensitive, bulk-freight commodities, but that's the way it's been for decades. The shift to more time-sensitive intermodal traffic is something that only really started to get going in the early 90s. FWIW, North America's rail system is generally regarded as #1 in the world when it comes to freight-hauling capability.


It can take 2 weeks or more for a product to get hauled from a cargo ship, brought by truck to the rail yard, get loaded, go through 10+ stops across the country, then on to the final destination. For things like coal, timber, steel, etc (and other heavy non-time sensitive commodities) rail is *the* way to go.

Yes, those companies partner with BNSF and other rail systems, especially now that the JIT systems and software can account for large time lags needed to use multi-node intermodal transport.
 
2012-11-05 11:32:58 PM

TuteTibiImperes: KarmaSpork: CitizenTed: Monongahela Misfit: Sorry, try again. No Tracks go near Dist centers for Walmart, Sam's, Target, Macy's etc. This Nation rides on Trucks. Most Trains haul Raw Materials. Drivers like me do the rest.

I don't want to scare you, but one day very soon a Saudi official is going to step up to a microphone and say these mortal words: "We cannot increase production."

When that happens, your beloved trucking system will grind to a halt and America will go into a panic to re-invigorate its woefully pathetic rail system. Global economy be damned. When oil hits $1000/bbl (and it will, very quickly), it won't matter how cheap Chinese labor is. We will have to go back to manufacturing our own stuff, polluting our own air and transporting freight on rail. Who knows? Camden may become a hotspot of employment, production and a vigorous tax base.

Ted, please do some reading on the industry. Trains *are* coming back - for non-timely freight only. Monongahela is right, we take finished goods to market. Even with trains to take the goods across the country, there isn't a single store I know that has a rail yard out back. Trucks are, and will continue to be the number one way for hauling consumer goods in this country. Take a good look around your house; everything came by truck, from the materials to build your house to the clothes on your back to the food in your fridge and the chair that you sit on.

Is diesel an issue? Sure. Which is why we are switching to natural gas. Freightliner and International, two of the largest manufacturers in the American market are working with Cummings to change the fuels we use. New natural gas pumps are going up at a truck stop near you. They are already all over the south east.  Oh, and btw, they burn completely clean.

Currently our fuel mileage is being crippled by the EPA. PDF in browser This results in unreliable truck performance and fuel mileage resulting from the moronic DEF fluid and DPF filter systems required in cu ...


I run DEF in my Kenworth. Have been for two years and 500k miles. DEF is better than a DPF alone, and the cost can be absorbed by my bottom line, but the entire recirculated exhaust gas system is bad for the engine. Big intakes and pipes on larger diesels enable the engine to breathe better, meaning fuller burn of the fuel, and therefore better fuel mileage in a comparable engine without EGR. The light truck engines don't de-rate if there is a problem, you just get a little light on the dash as a friendly reminder to go see your dealer. In a big truck derating the engine can halve the fuel mileage. When you run 6,000 miles a week at 8.5 mpg hauling freight, like I do, that's too big of a hit to absorb easily. At 4 - 4.5 MPG I'm almost paying my customers to haul the freight.

My father has a Ford pickup with the DPF system in it, and he has had no where near the troubles my trucks or any of the fellow truckers I know have had. I hope it continues to be that way.

And while you didn't say it, it seems to be implied by most people that truckers don't care about the environment. (If you aren't one of them, beg pardon) We absolutely do. Fuller burn of fuel is not only less out of our pocket, but also easier on the environment. Seems like a win all around to us. If the EPA would have waited one more year, we had a prototype LNG engine with *zero* emissions. While the trucking industry told them it was coming, they put this EGR regulation into effect. Net gain? All the manufacturers that were tooling up to make LNG engines, had to retool to make a less reliable, hellishly expensive truck to maintain and run. IMHO it was an epic government facepalm that set the industry back years from zero emissions. And unlike consumer vehicles, you can bet LNG engines will be mandated for heavy trucks, and we'll all be proud to be zero emissions and still get the job done.
 
Ehh
2012-11-06 12:08:48 AM
Live across from a train yard, getting a kick...
 
2012-11-06 01:21:09 AM

russkie247: TuteTibiImperes: Monongahela Misfit: wildcardjack:
Also, get rid of the H1B visa program. Require US companies to hire skilled workers from the pool of talent here.

As someone who can't find qualified workers for his group, partially because of this restriction on extremely talented, foreign engineers, you can go and eat a bowl of fiery dicks.


Over 300 million people, with 44,287,087 of them in California, Oregon, and Nevada combined, and the job you "can't find qualified workers for" is SOOOO SPECIAL and difficult that even "with training" you feel the need to look on the other side of the planet for "qualified people" who don't even speak english well enough to pass your "difficult" interview?

Just like other employers (if the place you're working is actually hiring), this is just another bullsh*t excuse in a long line of bullsh*tting bullsh*ttery that cheapassed bullsh*tters use when they would rather pay third world rates for the people they hire, along with the control over those employees they wield (you don't work 12 hours I send you back to Delhi!).

With all the people out of work, California's unemployment rate still at 10.2% officially (obviously higher in the real world), and loads of college educated and intelligent people pounding the virtual pavement looking for work, there is no farking way that you can tell anyone with two brain cells to rub together such a bald faced load of bullsh*ttery and expect them to believe it.

There's only three reasons you "can't" find anyone - either 1) the job doesn't pay enough relative to the cost of living in the area, 2) the hours are such that the employee might as well move a sofabed into their cubicle and save on rent, or 3) you (or whomever is doing the interviews) is asking such farked up nonsensical questions that no one other than a mental patient has any chance in hell of answering them satisfactorily enough to pass.

In other words, bullsh*t. No job is that special.
 
2012-11-06 01:56:27 AM

russkie247: You know how I know you're full of it? Money's not an issue -- we'll pay whatever is needed. In my neck of the woods (the Bay Area) that's a lot of money, too. The issue is you're competing against many other companies for a very small talent pool.

At a certain point, even the money isn't an issue -- it's just lack of talented people there.


As someone who's also trying to hire people (software devs, in my case) in the Bay Area, I will back up what russkie247 is saying. There is simply a huge lack of talent looking for work. Not a lack of people--a lack of talent. Everyone good is already working for a few top companies.

True, the Bay Area does not pay as much as other places, relative to the cost of living, but on the other hand, you have little risk of unemployment. Just walk across the street and find another employer begging for talent. Where I used to work in flyover land, the cost of living was very low, but the only other employer in town was a paper mill or something.
 
2012-11-06 03:15:00 PM
This just in: people don't build mansions near the railroad tracks.
 
2012-11-07 10:41:33 PM

JesseL: It's amazing how many people still believe that you can have a functional economy without basic industry. Service industries are important, but they don't create wealth.

It's arrogant to think we can just perpetually let the third world handle all the dirty work while we sit back and skim off the cream and expect the world to sit in awe of our imagined monopoly on handling all the less physical creative stuff.


Did you read the article at all? It said that the US produces more manufactured goods than it has ever done. According to the article, its 1.9 trillion dollars worth, or about the same as China. The issue brought up is that due to automation, we only need a fraction of the workers to produce that amount as we did in the past. Instead of trying to compete with the third world for low skill, low wage manufacturing jobs, we should be trying to educate and adapt our workforce to the 21st century. There is plenty of value to be created (the basis of creating wealth) that does not require sewing tennis shoes or making cars.
 
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