When The Trucks Stop, It’s Over
Systemic risk. I guarantee that most ordinary folks have no idea… When the truck’s stop rolling, it’s over. If trucks stopped moving all across our land, within a short period of time nearly all Americans would be in a life-threatening situation from major delivery shortages.
70% of all freight that is moved in the U.S. is done by truck. You (we) depend on that ‘stuff’ for our survival.
A major disruption in truck travel would immediately impact seven major industries. It would bring America to its knees within days due in part to “Just-In-Time” manufacturing, zero-inventory, and the fact that our modern way of life is entirely dependent upon unimpeded distribution chains.
(UPDATED! Given the current events at this time (Jan-2022), I’ve added a video (below) from an Angry Canadian Truck Driver, warning everyone – for your information.)
Here’s the original post from 2014:
The other day we had to take the long drive into the city. While on the freeway, Mrs.J commented how there were so many trucks – I mean a-lot of trucks (18-wheelers) on the road. She was right. They were with us the entire way. An endless parade of trucks. The ‘life-blood’ of the system that keeps most of us alive!
I pointed out that what we were looking at is metaphorically the same as blood vessels in our bodies. Carrying the nourishment, goods and supplies which enable the existence for most of us.
This observation along our trip only reinforces the realization of our dependence on others and systems which are mostly or entirely out of our control. The truckers keep us alive – literally. Knowing that this is the case, it might motivate you to prepare for system disruptions (whatever the root cause) so that you are not left out in the cold if it ever happens…
(Facts summarized from a report sourced from the newsroom of www.trucking.org)
SEVERELY IMPACTED FROM WHEN THE TRUCKS STOP ROLLING:
The Food Industry
- Severe shortages within 72 hours, especially of perishable items.
- Panic will make shortages worse.
- Clean drinking water will run dry (every 7 to 14 days all water treatment plants receive chemicals by truck to make drinking water safe).
- Many hospitals operate on a “just in time” delivery for medications and supplies.
- Hospital and nursing home food will run out in 24 hours.
- Gas station fuel will run out within 24 to 48 hours. An average gas station requires deliveries every 2.4 days.
- The subsequent fuel shortage will ripple to all automobiles and vehicles which will no longer be able to transport people to work, police, fire, rescue, mail-package delivery, garbage pickup, public transit…
- Airlines and air-cargo will be grounded due to lack of supplies.
- Rail lines will halt due to non-delivery of the first and last mile (trucks)
- Within days, America will be buried in garbage, presenting an enormous health hazard.
The Retail Sector
- Most retailers rely on “just in time” delivery of their products to keep inventories low.
- Consumer behavior during emergencies triple the inventory turnover – speeding up the already ‘bad’ situation.
- Nearly 100% of manufacturing have switched over to “just in time” processes in order to optimize efficiency and profits. Manufacturing will shut down within hours.
Banking and Finance
- ATM’s and bank cash will run dry very quickly.
- Businesses will lose access to cash.
- Bank branches will shut down.
IMPACT TIMELINE WHEN THE TRUCKS STOP
The first 24 hours
- Delivery of medical supplies to the affected area will cease.
- Hospitals will run out of basic supplies such as syringes and catheters within hours. Radiopharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become unusable.
- Service stations will begin to run out of fuel.
- Manufacturers using just-in-time manufacturing will develop component shortages.
- U.S. mail and other package delivery will cease.
Within 48 hours
- Food shortages will begin to develop.
- Automobile fuel availability and delivery will dwindle, leading to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the gas pumps.
- Without manufacturing components and trucks for product delivery, assembly lines will shut down, putting thousands out of work.
Within 72 hours
- Food shortages will escalate, especially in the face of hoarding and consumer panic.
- Supplies of essentials—such as bottled water, powdered milk, and canned meat—at major retailers will disappear.
- ATMs will run out of cash and banks will be unable to process transactions.
- Service stations will completely run out of fuel for autos and trucks.
- Garbage will start piling up in urban and suburban areas.
- Container ships will sit idle in ports and rail transport will be disrupted, eventually coming to a standstill.
Within a week
- Automobile travel will cease due to the lack of fuel. Without autos and busses, many people will not be able to get to work, shop for groceries, or access medical care.
- Hospitals will begin to exhaust oxygen supplies.
Within two weeks
- The nation’s clean water supply will begin to run dry.
Within four weeks
- The nation will exhaust its clean water supply and water will be safe for drinking only after boiling. As a result gastrointestinal illnesses will increase, further taxing an already weakened health care system.
It’s all pretty scary. When the trucks stop rolling, the ripple effects would be severe. The specifics of which are far too many to list here. You may be of the opinion that something like this could or would never happen. You would be wrong to think that. Don’t let your normalcy bias get in the way of critical thinking.
Imagine a pandemic. A major and deadly pandemic WILL happen again. It has in the past, and there is no denying that it will happen in the future. Much of the trucking transportation system would be affected for a number of reasons including they themselves being stricken, or the fear of becoming infected while out in public. (UPDATE: Or by government vax mandates!). Even a partial trucking collapse would lead towards a chain-reaction that would cripple the rest.
Imagine a natural OR weaponized EMP (eXtreme solar flare or high altitude nuke). An EMP could destroy the electronic workings within most trucks in an instant, rendering them useless. In addition to stopping vehicles in their tracks, an EMP will bring down most all other electronic systems, making for an overall truly apocalyptic event.
A major New Madrid fault zone earthquake could sever all or much of east-west trucking distribution as major bridges are damaged or destroyed across the Mississippi river.
A super-spike in the price of diesel fuel due to a major world conflict-disaster-war could grind to a halt much of trucking traffic.
Terrorist attacks while using trucks as truck-bombs could grind trucking to a halt while the government begins mandatory inspections of all.
Any major event, terrorist or otherwise, which causes the majority of truckers to remain at home with their families for the sake of their own security or health rather than to risk leaving them behind and going out on the road.
Think about it. Read the timeline again. Are you prepared?
Canadian Truck Driver ‘Lee’ Warns…
(First saw this clip on rense, but it’s all over the place now…)
Globalist Communist Turdeau Puts 38,000 Truckers On Unpaid Leave
Cancels 76,000 Truckloads Of Goods A Week From Crossing Border
Canadian Trucker Erupts With Strong Language
Truly frightening. Thanks!
Aside from those who frequent MSB, most fail to realize just how fragile our daily bread is. A supply chain reliant on perfect conditions in order to operate, with no backup plan. That kind of inherent risk doesn’t sound like a business plan anyone would provide financial backing for.
What is MSB??
This site. Modern Survival Blog.
or “Many Suburban Bakeries”.
Thank you for posting this. It’s frightening what could happen when you put the scenario into days and hours.
My husband is a truck driver and I’ve just recently had a debate with an idiot of a woman who thinks they shouldn’t be allowed on the motorway because they are clogging up the road, and our stuff should go by train! She didn’t like that I pointed out the idiocy of her comment, or explaining what it would mean for us with no trucks on the road.
Needless to say, she couldn’t understand that once off the freight train, trucks are still needed to get the goods from A to B by using the roads!
I cant help but laugh. The youth in this nation (heck even the adults) are complete idiots!
No, trucks aren’t needed to offload trains That is proven in L. A. People (If you call them that) Just slow the train down so we can hop on and take what we want.
Is that how the term, ‘Drive by Service’ came to fruition? They drive by and they serve themselves to items paid for by others. 🤐😣
I am a retired truck driver and so happy to see this post. I’ve tried to tell people this for years but for whatever reason was ignored. Kinda feel vindicated, thanks.
Me too Mike. My husband as well. Thank you.
i am about to be a dad (this is my first) and this is the kind of stuff i was raised to think about i am glad to say that at the ripe old age of 25 i am ready for most disasters and issues that could arise. That said i am always on the look out for any way to be that much more ready. This was a great article, great post as well glad to see that if/when a disaster happens good people will be around.
Having read this article, I agree whole heartily. Reason being is that I worked for a nationally known packing house for 40 yrs, just about every department from receiving livestock to shipping of the product and a few in between (maintenance the longest period of time ). I’ve seen what would happen when there was trucking strike, when the supplies didn’t arrive on time or when the product wasn’t able to be shipped. (more than once I’ve sent product going to the tank house bc it had been held too long and couldn’t be shipped). I can only imagine what it would be like on a national scale.
Your headline is inspiring; however, have any of you noticed the shelves??
There may be one item that you need. After you get that one item, the next consumer may have to wait for days to buy one or search through town at many stores.
I notice this more than ever since I don’t buy one of anything often.
I experienced some of this during hurricane Ike in 2008. The first thing to disappear was food. Second was fuel. Third was electricity.
We elected to bugout in place. We discovered many weaknesses in our preparation plan and will be better prepared next time.
It is pretty disheartening to watch people fight each other over a jar of pickles or a bag of marshmallows.
…but do not fret, I have heard that the FEMA trailers are enroute as we speak.
Being in a place where people are fighting over food seems like a *really* bad idea.
I wonder how many a FEMA trailer can seat for the trip to the Camp?
Could be standing room only; that’s the way the Nazis did it.
Ya. Of course they could smile and explain to the sheeple that they were taking them to a warm place with plenty of food. With large Pizza ovens to boot. Most would jump at the chance.
wonder what will be on the Pizzas lol
Its when will it happen not if it will happen. I don’t think it will be long the way things are going.
Listen to Hank Williams Sr “when the fire comes down”. Great old song with lyrics about people with their heads in the sand (my paraphrase). As they would tell us before deployments, prep physically, mentally, equipment wise, training and prep spiritually.
Railroads have the same, if not worse, vulnerabilities.
As many large trucking companies now dictate the amount of fuel that can be bought for a particular delivery run, it is common for drivers to find themselves inside a large metropolitan area hundreds or even thousands of miles from home with just barely enough fuel to get to the nearest truckstop after delivery. This would be a nightmare scenario for the driver if a sudden emergency were to occur. EMP/Finacial Crash/Natural Disaster/Another 911/Riots, etc… Most drivers now will falsely report a lower fuel level in order to gain an extra fuel stop or additional gallon amount before approaching a large the big cities just to help get them away from highly populated areas before they have to stop again for fuel. Those large trucks will be an easy target if panic erupts! After the store have been wiped out (looted), trucks will attacked next. Cargo theft and even fuel theft from those large tanks are rampant today. Imagine how quickly that will occur after a disaster scenario. My brother is a truck driver and he always has a bicycle strapped to the back of his cab to escape a gridlocked metro area. He carries his hiking boots, BOB, and several non-descript bags that can be hooked over the bike frame just incase. But still we worry about him constantly with all the current events happening today.
Fast forward to life in fallen Venezuela 2019.
Gangs of people attack fuel and food trucks to get what they need.
Read the book by Ferfal,“Surviving The Economic Collapse”. I am a truck mechanic and we can barely get parts now(we have prority over almost everything but Dr. and firemen) if we can’t get parts to keep the trucks running 72 hrs to food riots. Had the BurnLootMurder riots 3 miles away,stores looted,DMV burned(not a problem for me) but will be 100 times worse.
Who is John Galt(Atlas Shrugged)?
I am an owner/operator OTR truck driver. This article is spot on: My real comment is regarding how we, the professional drivers that keep America turning, are treated. We are treated as second rate citizens, even at todays travel centers. The interstate highway system was created to facilitate military movement and interstate commerce. What that means, is that the interstate highways are not for the casual traveler or vacationer. The system was created for the big trucks to get freight to destinations all across this great, expansive country.
So if you all are truly concerned about the freight movement, in order that you and your family can live comfortably, give a nod to the professional men and women behind the wheels of those 80,000 pound trucks. Quit cutting us off! Quit being irate because we are on the roadways, they were built for us. We do the best we can under very trying circumstances. I dare any of you to try to live within approximately 53 square feet for weeks at a time. I do it and it becomes quite difficult after a couple of weeks.
Again, great article. I appreciate the nod and I am delighted that someone found a venue to say what every professional driver already knew.
Excellent. I always wish the truckers well and to have safe travels. You keep us going!
My husband and me trucked for years and at times people would bitch about trucks on the roads. this country has no clue on what would happen and it would be so scary. my hat goes out to each and every truck driver out there.
my “adopted grandson” is a truck driver. he told me once that if the ALL the trucks stopped (a called for action) for just TWO hours, the entire JIT would be down three days. Three Days. Wow~
Unfortunately if the JIT goes down for 3 days it would take stores weeks to completely restock …… Not good. Could you just imagine the riots when the store are out of food???
Prepare like your life may depend on it, for it just might.
I am a truck driver and I have a thought but everybody in this country might want to consider. Truck drivers are being treated very horribly right now by the government and its regulation, by the public and by brokers and dispatchers and also by shippers and receivers. Due to this treatment truck drivers now making less than we made 20 years ago. Due to regulations created by activist groups and lobbyists we are only able to operate at about 60% of the efficiency that we used to. It hasn’t been this bad for truck drivers since the fuel shortage in the 1970s. When that fuel crisis happened The truck driver shut down all of the trucks in the country. Shippers and receivers make truckdriver sit for hours upon hours every day impacting the income of the truck drivers with their own inefficiencies. This does not mix well with the department of transportation regulations that truck drivers have to meet. Those hours spent sitting and idling counts against the allowable hours that we can operate and therefore drastically affects our income. The public used to have respect for truck drivers as we are the lifeblood of the United States. Now the public look upon us with scorn as they cut us off on the highway’s and give us the finger. I could continue to go on and on with different instances and scenarios of how poorly America’s lifeblood is being treated. Suffice it to say that it is very likely that the truck will stop again very very soon if things are not rectified. The only reason the truck have not stopped already is due to a lack of unity between the truck drivers that is been eliminated by corporate strateg. But eventually more likely sooner than later necessity will force truck drivers to act and to unify. Be prepared.
@ Preston Ruby
Very well said, and I for one will agree with you 1000%.
FYI, I’m one of those that have the upmost respect for your shitty job, and ALWAYS allow you LOTS and LOTS of room. I have an aversion to a 90,000 pound truck and my 4000 pound PU getting into a Tango Dance.
You are exactly correct, shut down the trucking, you shut down the country. This JIT Inventory WILL come back and bite the country in the azzzzzzz.
Thank you for your comment.
Preston Ruby isn’t wrong.
Operation Black and Blue, a protest against the ELD (Electronic Logging Device) and other regulations is happening in D.C., October 3rd through 8th, 2017. Because we, as truckers, are at our wits end. Those arrogant fools in the Capitol are about to come face to face with a bunch of pissed off truckers!
It’s becoming real:
Covid now riots: Poll: 79 Percent of Truckers Say They Won’t Deliver to Cities with Defunded Police Departments
I saw a similar article over at ZH today.
Ken, I think in one of your articles about what happens when the trucks aren’t rolling may have touched on this. If an area is unsafe, why would a trucker deliver a load in that area (if given a choice). And, I think a lot of insurance carriers do not covers riots as an insurance loss, so why would companies agree to deliver in areas where they could both lose cargo, and have liability if their driver(s) are injured?
Problems are already happening. Part of my job is tracking shipments made for parts coming in to our distribution centers. The last couple of weeks, several shipments have been delayed for civil unrest. I’d not seen that before. If I were a truck driver, I certainly wouldn’t want to go where there was no rule of law. Sure, the laws may still be on the books, but if there is no way to enforce them, it doesn’t count.
I will stay in the basement with Joe.
Regarding the updated angry Canadian truck driver video above, given the newly implemented truck driver vax mandates, it seems to me that Canadians will be far more impacted (shortages) than here in the U.S.,
However, what’s your view? What products come into the U.S. via truck from Canada that may affect us here in the USA (shortages)?
Due to these mandates, how bad is this trucking problem going to get?
milk and lumber are two that i can think of. we are a large importer of both.
wheat ? maybe. they grow a lot of it east of the Calgary area i think.
when exporters start losing money and the smaller support businesses start to go under it may change.
time will tell.
There has been a shortage of livestock bedding (shavings) here in the Midwest since the beginning of the “pandemic”. it is a product of Canada. The local farm supply store has been purchasing much larger quantities lately to hopefully keep us supplied for a while.
One of my neighbors is a trucker who hauls propane from Canada for delivery to large suppliers in the NW. I’ve also noticed wood shavings for livestock bedding are hit or miss lately. I think I mentioned earlier, but some of our soil amendments come from Canada, too…
I read somewhere that they get the majority of their fresh produce from us, especially in the off season. They’ll see shortages in the grocery store pretty quickly if more truckers refuse the mandate.
It will impact availability of consumer goods for Canadians significantly. Hope they’ve stocked up for this. It will blow up years of treaty negotiations on movement of wood products. Most of what we import is petroleum but a lot of that moves by pipeline. However, Biden canceling Keystone XL is going to have a huge impact on movement of oil to the chilly NE and upper MW. Cars and car parts are next. Already shortages here due to lack of chips for new cars manufactured here and extraordinary demand for used cars coming from hundreds of thousands of illegals that pour over our border. Cutting number of truckers that can pick up in Canada will only make it worse. And all this will have a ripple on effect in Mexico.
See how fast socialist totalitarianism can move and have a very bad impact? (My comment from the other day on Open Forum moved here.)
I drove truck for over twenty years. I read the tea leaves in ’20 and hung up my over-the-road career. Walked away from a good income ($80,000 a year).
Chicago and LA were bad three years ago, I’d require an armed escort to go there now. Sorry about that supply chain, guys.
Well Dave, I do appreciate what truckers do. So, thanks for that. Most people have no clue about what it takes to keep our systems running.
I know that Canada and the U.K. don’t always see eye to eye, but…reading this morning that the U.K. is on the verge of announcing cancellation of all covid mandates and going back to treating covid-19 as just another flu.
not all the UK just England , Wales and Scotland still suffering under onerous restrictions!
bill posters, Long time no see! How are you doing? Warm greetings on a cool damp day from one lovely green place (PNW rainforest) to another.
Boris Johnson is the PM of the UK, not just England!! He made the statement before Parliament!! So, it’s for the entire country, which includes England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I saw that and felt reluctance to celebrate. So the globalists have given up their plans for totalitarian control? Not likely. Digging further, I see that no country I’m aware of has given up the vax mandate for health care workers, at least not the government politics. Also, notice that even in our country, though the SCOTUS has axed the mandate for large companies, some companies are still mandating it. Sadly, for example, Carhartt…..
My opinion is it’s a giant psychological exercise on the population, as well as a medical experiment. Let us retain some hope, only to have it yanked away again. Very demoralizing. I’m also not going to be surprised if they use the loosening of restrictions as the excuse for the increase in hospitalizations and mortality, which are starting to show up now and build, from those who are fully vaxxed, and those partially so (who will be counted as unvaxxed). Then they get to have a “see, we told you so” moment, and also direct more angst at those not complying. But then, I’m just probably falling in to crazy conspiracy stuff…. Our leaders only want what’s best for us, right?
Saw a news blip today saying that teenage truckers will now be able to cross state lines because of the driver shortage.
“England’s Plan B measures are to end from next Thursday, with mandatory face coverings in public places and Covid passports both dropped, Boris Johnson has announced.
The prime minister also said the government would immediately drop its advice for people to work from home.
The prime minister also said the government intended to end the legal requirement for people who test positive for Covid to self-isolate – and replace it with advice and guidance.” -BBC
well at least one country has some common sense, but then they don’t have people like fauci to lie, fear monger, and profit off of them.
Ken, when you note that 70% of freight moves by truck, that understates the situation.
The other primary modes of freight transport are air, rail and water (ships and barge) but even for cargo shipped by those, excepting extreme bulk stuff like grain, ore, coal, etc., the last 10 miles are generally by truck.
For any consumer/retail goods the last 10+ miles is 100% by truck.
VERY GOOD POINT!
“The other primary modes of freight transport are air, rail and water…”
and pipeline, never forget pipeline.
good point! thank you
Let it grind to a halt,,,
If not now then when, these jerks need to feel the pain
Forget who said it, but I agree; Stupid Should Hurt!
– Papa S.
Kulafarmer could not agree more. I am tired of being blamed for the stuff other people do.
time for me to go get more barb wire.
Canadian drivers doing loops just in front of the border crossing.
Thanks, I captured it to share with family & friends
It’s interesting how truckers can go from very important people early in the pandemic to pariahs even when they’re doing exactly the same work as 2 years ago! The government dropped daily vehicle check requirements, daily/weekly driving hour limits and even let the governors be removed so that truckers could go faster. We are in for a big slice of hurt and it will only be when the politicians on both sides of the border stop getting their lettuce and oranges that things may finally sink in! The truck problem will exist for stuff coming to and from Mexico as well. So much for just in time auto parts etc. It’s getting harder and harder to deal with stupidity!
It’s going to be hard on Canadian farmers, both for not getting the feed they need, and not being able to ship their livestock to farmers here. Just saw this:
What a mess. For all the farmers, the animals that will have to be culled, and all who eat pork.
Two words: Peak Oil! It will happen! Not a farce! Not a lie! Not a conspiracy theory! Its a Fact!
I remember my grandpa telling me about “maximum oil production is now”, in 1974 during the OPEC oil embargo.
Another effect of the trucks not coming: Manitoba gets soymeal for feed for it’s hogs, and ships feeder pigs to Iowa and Minnesota, as well as culled sows for processing. They’re already starting to back up, and feed prices quickly rising while availability is low. That’s going to hurt a lot of farmers on both sides of the border, as well as hit price/availability of pork here. Truly a mess.
Im going to go hoard me some pork products this weekend
Farmgirl, sounds like it’s time to go trap some hogs…..BACON!!!
Ya think that might be the tipping point? Interfering with the bacon supply, lol. That’s one they missed…..if you’ll just comply, get free bacon!
Sorry to be posting so much, Ken. It feels really important that we know what’s going on in other parts of the world, as our managed socialist media is not telling us. This is a video. It’s 25 minutes, which I know taxes patience a bit. It’s well worth watching. These are Canadians. The folks some speak of as if they’re pushovers. I have yet to see this kind of resolve and commitment in any kind of organized way in our country. Maybe we can be inspired by our patriotic brothers and sisters up north…..
This is a Canadian trucker being interviewed. The interviewer gets a bit loud at times, I think just from frustration with the situation. All things considered, understandable. As much as the trucker mandates will hurt us, it’s going to hit them sooner, and harder. I might have a hard time buying lumber, or auto parts, but they’re seeing it in the grocery store, a lot more than I am yet.
Considering U.S. policy at the southern border….maybe Canadian truckers should blow through the checkpoints, establishing their illegal entry, then they will become exempt from vaccine mandates….but then…maybe you have to swim a river to not be a threat…don’t know for sure…it’s all about the science…or something.
It’s all about magnetism. It only works when coming from the South.
My nephew graduate from high school last year and he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. I told him to go to Mexico, renounce his US citizenship, then come back across the border illegally and he could get free college, housing, food, medical care, welfare and be part of the protected class.
This gentleman speaks the truth. I wish we had more people in the world like him. We need to stand up for what is right and good. Don’t believe anything the government tells you. We are in for a shit storm.
Sorta ironic…All my life, the communists banner has demanded “Workers Unite!”….
Now that they seem to have taken control of western democracies…and the workers are uniting…they are throwing hissy fits….
Seems a little disingenuous…but that’s the ways of totalitarians….
Just received a text from a friend in Post Falls, ID, reporting a diesel price of $6.15. Brandon strikes again.
Folks are talking these past few days about the diesel levels in the country. They are at their lowest since 2008. . . .
The focus is on trucking as demand is fairly inelastic with bumps up like now in preparation for the holiday season. But once the Mississippi is running full again, diesel will be needed for the barges. It’s also used in cargo ships, war ships, freight and passenger trains, heavy equipment, back-up power generators, and farm machinery. Some corn, cotton, sorghum, and soy are still being harvested. A recent equipment auction saw fleets of diesel trucks being sold. . . .
Shortages in home heating oil are also looming. Word to the prudent – if you may need it, stock up while it’s still available.