One truck owner Henry Lee has pretty much told the state of California they can take their loads and shove ’em. Well, not exactly. But the old Johnny Paycheck country hit (Take This Job and Shove It) seems to apply here.
Henry is a veteran driver who became an owner operator six years ago and has never looked back. He does what is best for his business, and one of those decisions has been to avoid trucking in California. It’s just not worth it to him.
The trucker owns a 2001 Peterbilt, pulling a 2006 refrigerated trailer.
“The California (Air Resources Board) rules are not fair. My reefer unit works fine and I have no problems with it,” he states. However, California certainly does. Under the state’s CARB rules his seven-year-old refrigeration unit has to be replaced no matter how well it is working.
“My trailer and the motor on my SB-310 (Thermo King) reefer unit are still in good condition. This refrigration unit should be good for another three years. My truck also is in good condition,” Henry says. “To replace the motor on my reefer unit would cost $10,000.”
He had recently spent $14,000 for an overhaul on his 500 h.p. Caterpillar C15 diesel.
“I like Cat engines. They have got power and they are dependable. I call it American power,” Henry says.
The resident of Ellenwood, GA has been trucking since 1997, never has pulled a dry van, and he has always hauled refrigerated loads, including plenty of produce.
“I have quit going to California because of the excessive and unfair rules and regulations there. Now, I am running between the northeast and southeast United States,” he says.
Henry says he never regrets becoming an owner operator.
“If I want to take a couple of days off, I can. If the load does not pay well, I can decline it. There is just a lot more freedom as an owner operator,” he states.
Henry is currently leased to a carrier, but is planning to have his own operating authority within the next few weeks.