Traveling America’s Roads – Big Rig Talk

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Driving America's Roads
Image Source: Gazette.com

For all of us that drive America’s roads, many of us are familiar with the lack of upkeep and maintenance done on our road systems. Of course, one of the biggest reasons we have road conditions as they are today is lack of funding. The Highway Trust Fund is used to fund our highway systems. Rather than long-term solutions, our highways have been funded with short-term proposals many times over the years.

Highway Funding

While the government certainly acts that they don’t want to fund our roadways or appears to not care, there’s a major need to improve America’s highways. And we’re not looking at this from a trucking perspective only, we all use our country’s roads.

In 2014, we saw record sales from tire producers due to all the damaged tires from driving America’s roads. And not only are we having to spend more on tires and balancing, we’re also seeing more congested highways without solutions in the near future. What’s being done about it? I have your answer, not a damn thing.

Driving In The Northeast

I spent the holiday weekend driving across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Talk about a mess, I feel sorry for those of you that have to drive these roads daily. The traffic is something awful. And New Jersey drivers know this. When you can make time in Jersey, you do. I thought I was on a race track. Well, at the times I wasn’t stopped in traffic.

If you’ve ever drove in New York City or within a few miles, you know exactly what I’m referring to. It can take you an hour to drive 5 miles. Sure, New York City is home to millions. There’s millions of miles of road to take care of, no easy task for any crew. However, to have the technology and resources that we do, it’s a shame that we still have congested roads like this in New Jersey and New York.

As for the conditions of the roads, absolutely terrible. The roads had been patched so much, you had consistent bumps for miles upon miles. I had my truck aligned the weekend before and had to do so again due to the roads. By far the worst roads I’ve ever drove on. And I’ve put in some miles.

If you’ve drove in Southern California, you experience the same issues. Congestion and terrible roads. In the trucking industry, this congestion and traffic leads to higher cost, fewer loads being delivered and it’s becoming a thorn in the side of the industry. Take the traffic congestion in the ports of South California for example.

How Can We Find A Solution

We can’t continue to let our highways and roads go anymore. The rest of America suffers why the political gridlock and saga continues. Short-term solutions really don’t do us any good. Not when we can make a long-term deal and benefit from doing so. Seriously, have you traveled America lately Mr. President? Not likely, all your travels are upon Air Force One.

Why We Won’t See More Highway Funding

There’s a simple reason why we’ll continue to see short-term funding for our highways, the government doesn’t care. Forget the roads, can we get some help with congestion? I’m tired of taking a hour for a 10 minute drive and sorry but I can’t ride my bike. It won’t carry the 20,000 pounds of goods I’m delivering for your citizens.

But We Keep Trucking On

In all honesty, solutions can be made. We’re a country of deadlines and obstacles, but isn’t that what makes us great? How we can adapt to circumstances, come together as a team and accomplish the same goals. I’m nobody, just a sole owner operator speaking my mind. But include my friends, family and fellow drivers, we’re a country, we’re united and we’re the ones running the economy.

Until you walk those shoes, or get behind the wheel, you won’t understand what we go through on a day-to-day basis. Time is money and money is time for us all. The trucking industry accounts for nearly 3 quarters of the U.S. economy, it’s about time to start treating our roads and drivers with a little respect.