NTTC Chairman Windsor
Apr 1, 2006 12:00 PM
BT: How will the trucking industry react if the new engines don't perform well?
Windsor: We're going to be running our existing tractors longer. We'll at least run tractors an extra year. We want to make sure that the ULSD supplies are in place. We really don't know what fuel will be available going into 2007. Initially, we heard that we would have ULSD and LSD (500 ppm diesel) available simultaneously until 2010. More recently, we've heard that the refineries may ship only ULSD, and that may be the only diesel available by the end of 2007.
BT: Do have any concerns about how ULSD will affect current engines?
Windsor: Yes, I do. Lubricity additives will be very important for the ULSD used in those engines.
BT: What do you believe will happen in the area of wetlines regulations?
Windsor: Every time the issue dies down, somebody brings it back to life. Within the petroleum hauling industry, we truly believe that the accident statistics don't support a regulation to ban wetlines.
In addition, I'm concerned about the products on the market that would pressurize the product lines to push gasoline back up into the tank. We have a concern that the wetlines systems would be maintenance-intensive. Loading racks could be shut down if the wetlines system fails while a trailer is being loaded. The trailer may have to be completely unloaded at the loading rack.
What do we do with that fuel taken off the trailer? Where does it go? We're probably responsible for the full cost of that load.
We already know that with the overfill systems our drivers don't always get a green light for every compartment, and that sort of problem happens every day. Sometimes it's nothing more than moisture on the probe, but it has to be checked.
BT: Can the federal government make an effective case for the wetlines rule?
Windsor: I don't think they can. I don't think there is a necessity for it.
BT: How will the industry react to a regulation banning wetlines?
Windsor: It's our belief that we have enough documentation to support court action. That is what National Tank Truck Carriers has said. We don't want to file a lawsuit, but we believe we might have to.
BT: Where does the tank truck industry stand on security today?
Windsor: We have access limitations at petroleum terminals today that hurt productivity. With all of the extra training we have to give drivers today, the added security cost just for training runs more than $1,000 per driver. That's just for the initial training at time of hire.
Our drivers probably will ask to be reimbursed for the cost of the hazmat background checks. Some of our competitors already are paying for their driver background checks.
BT: Are we benefiting from the industry investment to make fleets and facilities more secure?
Windsor: It has built security awareness, and that is what it's all about. Programs like Highway Watch have made our drivers more aware of security threats. I hope that the steps we've taken have made the US tank truck industry a less desirable, less attractive target for terrorists.
BT: What is likely to happen with regard to tank truck stability?
Windsor: Anytime a truck rolls over, it's an issue. It doesn't matter whether it's a tank or box trailer. We have to prevent rollovers. A number of vehicle stability systems are now on the market, but the key is driver education more than anything else. We need to change the driver mindset.
BT: You probably feel more pressure on the rollover issue as close as you are to Washington DC.
Windsor: You better believe it. We hear all of the commentary: Let's take tanks off the highway. Let's eliminate deliveries at nighttime. Washington DC and Baltimore (Maryland) are among the cities that want to ban hazardous materials shipments all together.
BT: You've been working with Maryland Motor Truck on toll issues. Why is that a concern?
Windsor: What we want is no new tolls. Arbitrary changes in tolls are very disruptive from a financial standpoint. For instance, Maryland can raise tolls without going to the state legislature. Other states can do the same thing. It can have a major impact on the bottom line.
BT: Would you choose this industry again if you had it to do all over?
Windsor: I still definitely would choose it. I grew up here really not knowing anything but the trucks. It's my family heritage. When I moved back to start working with mother and father, his comment was that it was good to your grandfather and it's been good to us. It also will be good to you.
My grandfather started the business in 1933 during the Depression. It was a tough time. They didn't have all of the regulations that we do today, but they also didn't have the infrastructure.
BT: Is there still a future for the family-owned trucking company?
Windsor: Oh, definitely.
BT: Why should the younger generation want to be involved in this business?
Windsor: When you grow up in it, you learn to love it. Certainly, there are trials and challenges, but there are also rewards. This is an industry that never will be outsourced to another country.
BT: What has it meant to be the first woman chairman of NTTC?
Windsor: It's very exciting. It's been thrilling. I have really enjoyed it immensely. I'm thrilled with the reception I received in the tank truck industry. I've been very fortunate.
I followed in the footsteps of my mother (Rebecca Hahn Windsor), a lady who was in trucking — in the tank industry — many years before I was. She was there during the hard times when it was not acceptable for a woman to be active in this business. She took it with grace. My mother was one of two daughters, and I am one of two daughters. We're not going to sell the business just because we don't have any sons in the family. I believe we're all truckers.
BT: Based on your past involvement in politics, what does the future hold for you?
Windsor: I really enjoyed my time in politics, and I'm very fortunate to live so close to Washington DC. I can participate in politics by representing the tank truck and trucking industries.
I ran for Lieutenant Governor (of Maryland) a few years back, but I'm not looking at any elective office at this time. My immediate objective is to run Hahn Transportation and move it forward.
BT: What can other carriers do to be involved in the legislative process on either the state or national level?
Windsor: So much of the process relies on grassroots effort. You have to know your local legislators, and you must be involved enough to be able to let them know about the issues that are important to your business and the industry.
That's one reason why National Tank Truck Carriers is so important to our industry. We get so involved in the day-to-day management of our businesses that we aren't aware of issues developing in Washington DC. The NTTC staff keeps us informed about the developing issues. We can take that information and talk to our hometown representatives.
BT: What other factors make NTTC important to tank truck carriers, and why do companies need to join?
Windsor: We face so many regulatory issues in this industry that an organization like NTTC is absolutely vital. No tank truck carrier can work its way through today's regulatory maze without assistance and representation in Washington DC. We can't do it alone.
We work in a very specialized industry. Unlike other trucks that go up and down the road every day, tank trucks have hoses, fittings, pumps, and other specialized hardware. A van is a van is a van.
BT: During your year as chairman, you weathered a major staff change with the retirement of Cliff Harvison, who had been president for many years. What impact did that have?
Windsor: Fortunately, John Conley has been with NTTC for many years. The transition was as easy as one could expect. We all know John, and we've worked with him for a long time. We know that Cliff will always be a part of this industry. You can't spend 40 years doing what he did and just walk away. Cliff brought us to where we are today, and we will move forward with John.
It's nice to see Tom Lynch back with NTTC. He's also someone we knew well. He brought with him wonderful expertise that will make him a valuable asset.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus