I was asked by a follower to write about the burden of toll roads on truckers something I know nothing about. Then I remembered that journalism was the art of writing about something you know nothing about which of course makes me an expert. There isn’t a whole lot of information about the issue as there aren’t a lot of news stories to follow on the subject.
There is no uniform toll for truckers. Many travel across the country every day and each state has different costs that have to be factored into the truckers overhead. If they don’t drive the same route all the time it can get complicated. It is not unusual for one truck to be costing hundreds of dollars a week in tolls alone. This of course makes trucking more difficult for the self employed trucker or small trucking company in favor of the larger companies that can more easily absorb the costs. In the end as these tolls are part of the overhead the cost gets passed on down the line until it reaches the consumer.
But then we have the elephant in the room.
When I first started writing this Op-ed I thought I didn’t know anything about the subject but the more I got my mind wrapped around the subject I realized that I did know a lot about trucking and it wasn’t just because I went on a couple of long hauls in a semi. See where I live there are a lot of roads. When I think about it truckers are like cops there are good ones and bad ones. Some of the bad ones have lousy equipment and some are reckless drivers. The ones with poor equipment leave huge pieces of rubber in the middle of the expressway. Even the best equipped most experienced drivers have mishaps. Everyone has seen the damage a tractor trailer can do to the roadway itself and fixing roads doesn’t come cheap or easy. Someone has to pay for that and tolls help spread out the cost instead of ruining one driver because of an accident of which he may not even have been at fault. Also if the driver of a car was at fault in a mishap with a tractor trailer should he and would he likely to have the money to repair or replace the roadway? Of course not yet someone still has to pay for the repair.
That being said government will always look for excuse to loot as much money as it can. Truckers aren’t just paying collectively for the damage their type of truck can cause and wear but are often charged much more for road projects and expansions and probably a lot of graft as it is all done on the state level. Each state loots as much as it thinks it can get away with until the semis start circling the states capital.
I never met a rich trucker. The problem with this whole scheme is that it hurts the little guy the most and this doesn’t seem to be the pattern just in the trucking industry but in most industries in America. It is getting harder and harder for Joe and Jane Main Street to really make it on their own anymore. Harder every day to open a small business even of one. This is not the vision the Founders had for the country. America was supposed to be about the individual not the hive. Each man to seek his own destiny and though some are happy to work for others …. the chance to pave your own way should also be open but that road is getting shorter by the day.
Truckers do need to pay collectively for the damage they cause but no more than that. It is true that states will build roads and bridges and they will need money for these things but that burden is on the people. The people who want to things the trucks can carry. A nice highway is an invitation to outsiders to bring their wares to market to bring the consumer products, fuel, food, and raw materials we need. The more we saddle any business with extra costs the harder it is to become an individual business owner.
The left is always talking about small business. That mom and pop bookstore. The family owned shoe store. But what about the family farmer, the plumber, the individual trucker and all the small business owners that these people are constantly looting? What about them?