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Author Topic: Nice Christmas present  (Read 3782 times)

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Offline jlh

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Nice Christmas present
« on: December 23, 2009, 04:03:06 PM »

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Arrow drivers stranded
Phones are cut off and fuel cards have been canceled

By D.R. STEWART World Staff Writer
Published: 12/23/2009  2:25 AM
Last Modified: 12/23/2009  3:37 AM

 .leadp { font-size:14px; color:#626466; } Arrow Trucking Co., the 61-year-old Tulsa-based flatbed carrier, has suspended operations indefinitely, laying off employees and stranding scores of drivers around the country by canceling fuel credit cards, company employees and drivers said.

After closing down the company phone system Tuesday morning and not accepting cell phone messages throughout the day, the company issued a statement from CEO Doug Pielsticker at 6:21 p.m.

"The company has been in negotiations with its principal lender," Pielsticker said. "Those negotiations are continuing, but the lender has elected to proceed with securing its collateral. The company is communicating with several interested parties and continues to seek a prompt resolution."

One of Arrow's lenders is Daimler Financial Services, which owns the company's Freightliner trucks.

Beginning just before noon Tuesday, callers to Arrow's west Tulsa offices were greeted with a recorded message: "Drivers, if you're in Freightliner KW, please take your truck to the nearest Freightliner shop. Call this hot line number to Daimler, (877) 294-9679. They will arrange for you a bus ticket home."

A spokesman for Daimler said the company is offering stranded drivers a bus ticket home or $200 in cash.

But many drivers didn't have enough gas to make it to a Freightliner shop, Tulsa or even their next delivery.

"I'm shut down near Cheyenne, Wyo.," Arrow driver Denny Carter said by phone. "They asked me to bring the truck and load into Tulsa, but    I don't have fuel to do it. I'll be taking the truck to a Kenworth dealership in Cheyenne."

Employees at Arrow's corporate offices at 4230 S. Elwood Ave. were told by senior executives to clean out their desks and go home just after 8 a.m. Tuesday.

"This may be about the only phone at the company that's working," said a female employee who did not wish to be identified.

"We've been told to pack up and go home. The building is clearing out. We'll know within 24 hours if it's permanent. We don't know what's going on."

Doreen Slone, whose son manages a crew of Arrow drivers, said rumors have been circulating for some time about the company's financial issues. Her son's last paycheck bounced, Slone said.

"They're all saying, "What do we do, and when do we get our money?' " she said.

Arrow drivers from North Carolina to Arizona were asking the same thing.

"I haven't heard nothing and haven't been able to get ahold of anybody," driver Ruben Bradley said by phone. He shut down his rig at a truck stop in Wichita Falls, Texas, on Monday night when other drivers phoned to tell him their gas credit cards weren't working.

Bradley was hauling a load of steel pipe for delivery in northern New Mexico. He had three-quarters of a 240-gallon tank of diesel fuel he thought would take him to his delivery but not enough to return the truck to a terminal or Tulsa.

And with no working fuel card, he didn't have $500 to $600 of his own money to fill the tank.

"I'm not going to move the truck. I'm not going to get stuck way out in New Mexico without fuel and no way to get home," Bradley said. "I can't get ahold of anybody, not even extended operations or the fuel desk."

Doug Evans was in similar straits early Tuesday.

"I'm not in a very good mood," the Arrow driver said by phone, his fuel gauge at a quarter tank as he motored west toward Little Rock with a load of steel tubing.

"I'm fixing to be out of fuel. I can't get any answers. I got a message to take the truck to the nearest Freightliner dealer. We haven't gotten any paychecks, either."

The trucking industry has been battered by a combination of high diesel fuel prices and an economic downturn that is unprecedented, industry executives said.

"It's the worst I've seen since I got in the industry in 1977," said Dan Case, executive director of the Oklahoma Trucking Association. "Right now, one out of eight trucking lines is thinking of quitting business. In the last 12 months, there has been a 20 percent drop in general freight."

Clayton Boyce, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations, said competition is fierce among the operators of the 2.8 million Class 8 (tractor-trailer) trucks in the United States.

"In many cases, trucking companies are accepting hauls at too low a rate to pass on the increased cost of fuel," Boyce said.

By Tuesday evening, Bradley was driving south to a Freightliner dealer and a new job he'd just been offered in Houston. He had just enough fuel to make it, he said.

Evans, whose load was bound for Houston, had run out of fuel. He was parked in a truck stop 60 miles east of Little Rock.

"I'm waiting for somebody to send me some money Western Union so I can get enough fuel to get the truck to the Freightliner dealer in Little Rock," Evans said. "And then I'm going to have to walk home to Monroe, La. There are seven drivers I know about from North Carolina to Arizona who are walking home."

Carter, who was stranded in Cheyenne, almost 2,000 miles from his home in O'Brien, Fla., was nearly alone among the drivers in that he will have a merry Christmas.

"Friends out here, people I met on the road, pooled together and bought me an airplane ticket home," he said.

"I'm flying Cheyenne to Gainesville on Wednesday."  Arrow Trucking Co.Flatbed and dry-van carrier

Founded: 1948

Corporate offices: 4230 S. Elwood Ave.

Tractors: 1,400

Trailers: 2,600

Employees: 1,000

Annual revenue: $250 million

Sources: Arrow Trucking Co., Oklahoma Trucking Association Trucking company bankruptcies (five trucks or more): 2006: 1,305 2007: 1,985 2008: 3,065 2009 (first three quarters): 1,255 Source: American Trucking Associations , Avondale Partners   

Offline jlh

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 04:07:01 PM »
This company is heartless. I can't believe that they could leave their employees stranded, and cut off their resources. Talk about Scrooge. Hum-bug.

Offline CrazedChris

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009, 04:46:47 PM »
That is terrible, the big wigs should be driven halfway across the country and abandoned and see how they like it.

Offline jlh

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 05:09:25 PM »
I agree. You'd think they would have at least had a plan prior to sending 1,000 drivers out on runs before cutting off their resources. It's not like they didn't already know they were in trouble internally. Kind of reminds me of Enron.

Offline contemplating

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2009, 12:25:42 AM »
This was planned out well in advance.  There are many ways the company guys will profit with this just tax wise (end of year).  Prayers and thoughts with the truckers and their families this year.  This was probably the largest in the industry but not the only one.

If it weren't for the OTR folks even WalMart wouldn't exist.  They sacrifice a lot for our benefit.  Nuff said.
"In order to be a leader of men, a man has to receive an education in his own country, among his own people, and to grow up in surroundings steeped with the traditions and psychology of his countrymen.  Not only did Western education not fulfill that condition, but it tended to wean a young man from the traditions and customs of his country."

King Abdulaziz ibn Saud...circa 1930
Cited by Ronald Lacey in "The Kingdom:  Arabia and the House of Saud"

Offline jlh

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 03:24:04 PM »
I agree.

Offline I bleed cubbie blue

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009, 03:03:14 AM »
Seriously, on the day before Christmas Eve, a company, full knowing that they have hundreds of drivers on the road, literally just stranded them. Isnt that Illegal? Honestly, How can anyone, corporate management or not, allow their employees to be stranded or hell stuck for any period of time, not just Christmas. I by no means make alot of money, but if one of my soldiers was stuck some where, I would do everything i could in my power to ensure that they at least got home. What a bunch of heartless ___________ (You fill in the blank, I dont want to get in trouble by Rick)

Offline Lepard LLC

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Re: Nice Christmas present
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2009, 05:55:11 AM »
Bastards?
 
Seriously, on the day before Christmas Eve, a company, full knowing that they have hundreds of drivers on the road, literally just stranded them. Isnt that Illegal? Honestly, How can anyone, corporate management or not, allow their employees to be stranded or hell stuck for any period of time, not just Christmas. I by no means make alot of money, but if one of my soldiers was stuck some where, I would do everything i could in my power to ensure that they at least got home. What a bunch of heartless ___________ (You fill in the blank, I dont want to get in trouble by Rick)