Letters to the editor

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Hot over hydrogen
I want to applaud you for addressing the topic of fuel-saving devices (“Boosting MPG: No Silver Bullet,” June 2007, page 64). In the article, you described a very poorly researched view of hydrogen injection systems that did not incorporate any of the SAE studies or on-road case studies that have been done on these systems.

The article quoted sources that are under the impression that hydrogen-generating systems do not work. It goes on to state that “Some suppliers of the devices claim that the hydrogen is not used as a supplemental fuel, but as a combustion catalyst. There’s still no science behind it.” There are several SAE papers that demonstrate the efficacy of the science – including SAE papers 2001-01-2791, 2002-012196 and 1999-01-3516 – and many others from worldwide academic centres of excellence.

In addition to academic studies, our customers have experienced significant fuel savings in over-the-road tests. Included in this group are Steve Teeple of PolyWog Transport in Palmetto, Fla., who “consistently saves an average of $1,200 per month” – or Glenn Windrem of Windrem Trucking in Peterborough, Ont., who reports that while “running two identical trucks on the same gravel job for a week, the fuel bill for the truck with Hy-Drive was $402 less than the truck without Hy-Drive.”

I would appreciate that the next time you review a technology, you ensure that it is more extensively researched in order to give it a fair shake.
Patrick Smith
Director of Marketing and Communications
Hy-Drive Technologies Ltd.

FMCSA still in the dark
Your carefully crafted and well-thought-out op-ed piece in the current issue of CCJ is, of course, right on! (“The truth is out there,” August 2007, page 8) However, I rather doubt that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and/or the American Trucking Associations understand their lack of credibility with this Circuit Court – notwithstanding the fact that most members of the court are politically conservative. It may just be time for the industry and the FMCSA to begin to rethink the entire hours-of-service issue.

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In any case, thank you for writing an article that was not the usual defense of the FMCSA and its rulemaking. They clearly have not yet seen the light.
Henry M. “Hank” Goldberg, M.D.

Common-sense HOS
Does anyone anywhere think that our founding fathers thought it prudent for an appellate federal court to dictate policy for something as complex and industry-sensitive as the hours of service? No one is going to be happy with any HOS policy unless and until the FMCSA recognizes that a “cookie-cutter,” “one-size-fits-all” approach to the HOS is a recipe for disaster.

There needs to be four or five different HOS models that reflect the health, safety and welfare of the driver and the driving public, while fitting very different business types of trucking companies. To maximize driver safety, minimize fatigue and improve public safety on the highway, a simple small-company model of “out-on-Sunday night and back-on-Friday afternoon” needs a restart clause and needs the flexibility of split sleeper-berth time.

Putting the driver in a 14-hour time window with a 10-hour uninterrupted out-of-service break just isn’t as safe as the old rule, creates density and congestion, and forces drivers to “race the clock” and not take breaks when their bodies tell them to stop.
David Owen
National Association of Small Trucking Companies

Make your point
Send letters to Feedback, Commercial Carrier Journal, 3200 Rice Mine Road N.E., Tuscaloosa, AL 35406; fax (205) 750-8070; e-mail [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit submissions for length, grammar and appropriateness. All letters must include contact information.