Friday, February 27, 2015

What’s spring training got to do with port unrest?

I had a history teacher once who linked each decade in the 20th Century with a common theme, a baseball player and often a baseball team that reflected culture and politics of the era.

Babe Ruth, the Roaring ’20s and the New York Yankees, he said, represented the free-flowing capitalism and personal excess that led to both the Great Depression and the shortening of Ruth’s career. Third baseman and devout Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, he said, represented the rise of evangelical Christianity that dominated sports and politics during the 1980s.

Here’s hoping Dr. Linder can one day draw a line between labor issues in America’s pastime and the goods movement industry during the 2010s.

In late March, Major League Baseball will celebrate 20 years since labor problems last forced a work stoppage.

The player’s strike of 1994, which torpedoed a contention season by my Kansas City Royals, stretched into spring training and threatened to ruin 1995 before then U.S. District Judge Sonia Sotomayor stepped in and issued a preliminary injunction against the MLB – ending the strike.

Sotomayor, now a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, famously told attorneys in the case, “I hope none of you assumed … that my lack of knowledge of any of the intimate details of your dispute meant I was not a baseball fan. You can’t grow up in the South Bronx without knowing about baseball.”

Truck drivers, even ones who rarely go into a major port, can’t do their jobs for long without learning the difficulties faced by owner-operators at ports.

And because so many imports and exports go through U.S. ports, trucking felt the pinch of work slowdowns at West Coast ports during negotiations between longshore workers and the Pacific Maritime Association.

That’s why so many breathed a sigh of relief after it was announced Feb. 20 that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the PMA had reached an agreement on a five-year labor contract for workers at 29 ports along the West Coast.

Small port drivers at big ports like Long Beach and Los Angeles often must carry out duties of a company driver while not receiving employee pay or benefits. They scuffle for rates against companies who may not play by the same rules.
Port truckers wait in line for repairs to chassis they don’t even own, and fight for rates that don’t always account for long lines and other inefficiencies ports have been trying to solve for decades.

Drivers have been winning recent battles over misclassification as owner-operators.

Immediately following last week’s announcement that the longshore workers contract had been ironed out, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, its port division and the Justice for Port Truck Drivers affiliate organization, signaled that labor issues aren’t fully resolved at the ports just yet.

If the driver classification issues improve, ports and shippers will have cleared a second labor hurdle and calmed some prosperous waters.

Baseball saw revenues increase from $1.4 billion to $9 billion during the peaceful two decades since the 1994 work stoppage.

As the job market grows and economists point to signs of a recovering economy, here’s hope for a rising tide to lift ports, trucking and the U.S. like baseball experienced for the last generation.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Colorado DOT flummoxed by Mystery of the Serial Book Dumper

Since December, the Colorado Department of Transportation has been trying to solve a mystery: Who’s been dumping hundreds of books on a stretch of Highway 287 outside of Boulder? The latest incident occurred Monday, Feb. 23.

CDOT spokesman Jared Fiel says the agency has collected more than 300 books so far, but hasn’t been able to pick up any clues as to who’s doing the littering.

“It’s very random, except that it’s along the same stretch of Highway 287,” Fiel said in a phone interview with Land Line. “It seems deliberate. It’s not like (a vehicle would be) turning right there. They’re often in the median. We’re not finding them anywhere else.”

In the beginning, the books were mostly “romance novels” but lately it’s become “a more eclectic mix” according to Fiel.  

While most of the tomes are paperback, Fiel said it still presents a travel and safety issue for motorists and for the DOT employees who have to go out and pick up the mess by hand.

“It’s very frustrating because that’s a pretty heavily traveled road,” he said. “It’s just so stupid and so frustrating for our guys. Obviously this is snow season so they’re working late nights/early mornings and then during the day they’re out there picking this stuff up.”

Most of the books end up being thrown away because “they’re pretty trashed” he said.

Fiel said the agency doesn’t really have any ideas as to why the books have been littering that particular stretch of road.

CDOT is asking for the public’s help in catching the perpetrator or perpetrators. If you spot suspicious activity along the road, contact the main number for CDOT at 303-757-9011. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Honey, I Shrunk the Truck Driver

Don’t be surprised if someday soon a broker asks you to scrunch down in your seat so the shipper can’t see you.

Let me explain.

According to a recent transportation news blurb, “40 percent of manufacturers and retailers expect their logistics providers to have some understanding of driverless vehicles.”

The statistic was attributed to the Eye For Transport 2015 3PL Report, an annual survey of shippers and 3rd Party Logistics providers, more than 400 of them according to EFT. I downloaded a copy.

The relevant survey question was for shippers: “Do you expect your 3PL to have any expertise of, or (for 3PLs) are you looking to provide services which incorporate driverless vehicles/trucks?”

Sure enough, according to the survey bar chart, a bit more than 40 percent of respondents, roughly 160, selected the option “Some expertise/knowledge would be useful.”

How or why such knowledge would be useful and to whom isn’t explained. I suppose it might also be useful in some obscure way for a broker to have a working knowledge of calculus, a degree in cognitive dissonance, or a 2003 Buick.

But wait. At the top of the bar that reflects responses from shippers is a red sliver that represents at least 2 percent of the total. These folks answered the same driverless truck question by checking this amazing answer:

“I would expect my 3PL to be able to provide both expertise and services in this area now.”

OK, so if my arithmetic is right, there are at least eight shippers out there who expect that, should they ask for one, a driverless truck will back into their dock this afternoon.

Who will they call?

Look no further than the bar that reflects 3PL responses. The red sliver on top represents a little less than 2 percent of respondents. According to the survey these, let’s say seven, 3PLs are looking to dispatch driverless trucks today.

So who do they call?

It could be you, and with a special set of scrunch-down pickup instructions.

Should it happen, don’t take it personally. Just try to look small.

Friday, February 20, 2015

New Jersey ‘death-by-truck’ crashes: No one comes out ‘unscathed’

There was a powerful story on earlier this week about a string of crashes involving people who intentionally walked in front of tractor-trailers on the New Jersey highway system. According to the report, 2014 was the deadliest year for pedestrians in the Garden State in more than a decade, topping out at 170 incidents in 2014, almost 30 percent higher than in 2013.

If you’ve been on the road long enough, you’ve probably had a close call, or maybe you or someone you know has been in the same tragic situation trucker Bob Eason found himself in last September on Route 287. According to the report, Eason was heading back toward his home in Sinking Spring, Pa., after a delivery, when a 37-year-old man from Denville, N.J., jumped in front of his rig. The report states that the man had parked his car on the shoulder of the highway and hid in front of it until jumping into Eason’s path.

Eason tells the paper that he still has nightmares about the event and that it’s become difficult for him to handle driving.

“I work very hard to put food on the table for my family, but I don't know why the guy chose my truck,” he said. “It's tough for me. I can't trust anybody. I don't believe that they're not going to jump in front of me and take their own life.”

In addition to talking with a trucker, the story also provides information on resources and help available for truckers like Eason who are struggling with feelings of guilt, remorse or other trauma.

Our own Contributing Writer Charlie Morasch tackled the subject of drivers’ coping with death, loss and in some instances survivor’s guilt in a story titled “Why me? I was a good driver” in the May 2012 issue of Land Line Magazine. He talked to a handful of members who shared their experiences during and in the aftermath of tragedy.

One of the subjects of his story, OOIDA Life Member Ray Shankle, said he shakes his head when he sees a report of a trucking-involved fatality in which the reporter writes “the trucker was not hurt.”

“They say, ‘The trucker was not injured,’” Ray says. “Well, you might not have any physical injuries, but that driver has a helluva load on his shoulders no matter whose fault it is. He was behind the wheel of an instrument of death. No matter what, he is not unscathed.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Days numbered for Oregon’s ‘fantasy land’ speed limit policy?

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned on Wednesday amid calls for him to step aside due to questions about business dealings with his fiancee.

Kitzhaber said it was time for him to step away as questions about his administration have “reached the point of no return.”

The now former governor had been in office since 2011. He won re-election in November 2014, beating out then-state Rep. Dennis Richardson, a Republican. The Democratic governor also held the state’s top executive seat from 1995 to 2003.

Kitzhaber is perhaps most notable to truckers for vetoing multiple bills that sought to increase speed limits and reduce the speed differential between cars and trucks. In 1999 and 2001, bills sent to the governor’s desk authorized the Oregon Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph for trucks and from 65 mph to 70 mph for cars on rural stretches of Interstates 5 and 84.

A former emergency room doctor, Kitzhaber said on both occasions he was concerned the speed increase would encourage drivers to drive even faster, making the roads more dangerous.

“There is no question that increased speeds will compromise the safety of our rural interstate highway system, and the evidence is clear that highway fatalities will increase as speed increases,” he said following a 1999 veto.

The argument was also made during the time period that there were not enough trauma centers in rural Oregon to accommodate victims of the expected spike in speed-related wrecks.

Two years later, Kitzhaber said he might have signed the 2001 version if the Legislature had provided more money for additional state troopers to patrol roads.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Randy Miller, said following the veto that he was hopeful the next governor would not “live in a fantasy land” like Kitzhaber.

Fourteen years later, Oregon, California and Delaware remain the only states to prohibit trucks to drive faster than 55 mph. Oregon and Wisconsin are the only non-Northeastern states to keep car speeds below 70 mph.

It’s unclear if the sudden change in the governor’s suite will result in any state lawmakers acting this year to pursue the reduction or elimination of Oregon’s speed differential. But with only a handful of states continuing to limit trucks to speeds slower than other vehicles, change could soon be on the way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The highway philosophers

It’s 2025 and you’re listening to “Fire Away,” the straight-talk show that puts public officials on the hot seat.

“Hi, I’m Steve Belligereno and today we’re speaking with Secretary of Transportation Wally Watson. The subject is trucks. Good morning, Wally.”

“Good morning, Steve. Great to be here. I think.”

“Let’s start with the 92 trucks that ran off the pier at Port Newark last week.”

“Ninety-one, Steve. The one with the driver veered off at the last second.”

“Still outrageous! How could one driver lead an army of trucks off the New Jersey Turnpike and into Newark Bay?”

“It wasn't an army, Steve. It was a platoon. They were platooning. Only the first truck has a driver, the rest are automated and follow ...”

“We get that, Wally. Just tell us what happened.”

“Well, turns out the driver got a little steamed when his toll authorization was revoked ...”

“Wait a minute, Wally. Aren’t today’s truck drivers the most carefully selected, intelligent, and insanely healthy ever? Isn’t that what the DOT promised?”

“Sure, but ...”

“Didn’t that DOT’s Perfect Driver Initiative start with the Wristband Mandate? Don’t all CDL drivers wear health monitor wristbands at all times?”

“Of course ...”

“And wasn’t that followed up by the Blood Pressure Mandate?”

“Of course. All drivers have their blood pressure checked continuously in the driver’s seat ...”

“And then there was the Catheter Mandate.”

“That was a tough one, Steve. But it did away with those pesky random drug tests and inefficient pit stops.”

“And then there was the master’s degree requirement.”

“We've got some darn smart drivers out there, Steve. That driver had a degree in crisis management.”

“But there are still too few drivers, Wally, isn’t that right?”

“True. The Perfect Driver Initiative didn’t help the driver shortage. However, we look on the bright side: Motorists are very happy there are fewer trucks on the road.”

“But they’re not happy about those long truck trains ...”

“Platoons, Steve.”

“OK, platoons. Just yesterday one of those platoons inadvertently pulled off I-74 and turned downtown Peoria into a parking lot.”

“I grant you, Steve, he probably shouldn’t have done that ...”

“Well, why did he?”

“According to my people on the scene, his navigation application was distracted by a Facebook coupon for Burger Barge.”

“But why didn’t the driver override the navigation application and stay on 74?”

“The coupon was a real bargain.”

“A bargain! What does that have to do with anything, Wally?”

“Well, Steve, the driver’s degree was in economics.”

“OK, then let’s talk about economics. We have the smartest, healthiest, best-rested drivers in the world. But everyone complains that we can’t seem to get the freight delivered. What’s going on here, Wally?”

“We’re looking into that.”

“Could it be that driver pay is too low?”

“Oh no, Steve. A recent study shows that drivers are looking for pretty trucks, sensitive dispatchers, friendly performance feedback, and free Internet – not pay.”

“I find that astounding and very hard to believe!”

“Well, Steve, it’s easier to understand when you consider that a good proportion of today’s perfect drivers were philosophy majors.”

Friday, February 13, 2015

Talking ChampTrucks and sweet jumps with stunt man Mike Ryan

2014 was a pretty good year in Mike Ryan’s world. Just check out the video highlights below.

Ryan, an OOIDA member from Santa Clarita, Calif., is a renowned stunt driver and champion truck racer. You might have seen some of his stunt work in films like “The Fast and the Furious” franchise and in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” to name a few. Or maybe you’ve seen some of the awesome stuff he’s posted to YouTube like his incredible drift-racing semi in “Size Matters 2” which received over two million views after it was posted last March.

“It’s just really fun,” Ryan said in a phone interview with Land Line on Friday. “It’s taken a career – 37 years in the stunt business – to be the guy in that position. It’s cool to have the trust of clients and friends to go out and do things like this.”

Perhaps you saw his coup de grace, when he set a world record by jumping a tractor-trailer over 83 feet last November, as part of a special promotion with EMC and Lotus F1 racing team. If you missed it, Mike actually jumped the truck over a speeding race car. It’s pretty sick.

“(The jump) had been a dream for years. … It may be the high point,” he said. “It’s probably the signature stunt. There are plenty of guys that have rolled (trucks) intentionally for film use, or crashed them or jackknifed them. But I’ve never heard of anybody that jumped one so I feel pretty good about that.”

“What I did was nothing. We knew if the thing went up it would come down. Getting the car under there safely was a big deal to me. It was all I thought about during the whole thing.”

The take was a one-and-done, after the engine and transmission fell off their mounts and knocked out the oil pan, he said.

Ryan said he had another “unscheduled jump” this year when he crashed his truck during the Pike’s Peak race in June. Despite crashing off a 40-foot embankment down into a pine forest, Ryan said he managed to walk away uninjured. The truck wasn’t so lucky.
“Sadly all the GoPro (cameras) broke in that and I never got an inch of footage,” he said. “That would’ve been YouTube stuff for sure. That was a pretty exciting ride.”

Ryan said he’s hoping the truck will be repaired in time to take it to Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville next month. He’s also hoping to promote his other passion, ChampTruck World Series, a road racing series that will feature Class 8 tractors with commercially available diesel engines. The inaugural season has 12 teams and 10 races lined up, including events at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Fourth of July Weekend.

“ChampTrucks has been three-and-a-half years of dreaming and scheming,” he said. “We have committed track dates, deposits for those dates, support series, some co-op marketing with the track owners… We have a dozen trucks that should make the first race.”

Ryan said a couple of those trucks will be on display at MATS. The first race is slated for April 24-26 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

“What I want to do is share this, because I’ve had a ball,” he said. “Racing side-by-side with your pals and having competition is always good fun. I think seeing three or four trucks all stacked up trying to make Turn One is going to make people stand up in their seats.”

Ryan said similar racing series are big draws in Europe, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

“I think that it’s going to be huge,” he said. “People have a lot of emotions about trucks. I think the curiosity will be there to see what this is going to be about. One of our catch-phrases is ‘As big as racing gets.’”

He also said the European model of truck racing serves as a powerful recruiting and publicity tool for trucking companies overseas.

“I’ve witnessed it several times in European truck racing. They typically have 170,000 to 220,000 people; it’s like a Mid-America Trucking Show at the race track,” he said. “That’s my big fantasy. … How many people in the public show up at a truck industry trade show compared to how many would show up a race track and be exposed to something for the first time that they’ve never seen? People are gonna think trucking is a little sexy maybe. Maybe they’ll want to come race or get involved with a driver or as a technician? I think we’ve got a tremendous opportunity for the biggest public outreach in the trucking industry that there can be.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lip service and the almighty dollar

After all these years, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe various groups advocating for more regulation or touting “better” business practices without wondering what their real motivation is. In my mind, more people should be looking for the core truth.

Two recent, very good examples of large fleet representatives preaching one thing but leaving out the reality come to mind as to the root of what’s wrong with the trucking industry. Yet none of the media coverage saw past the surface comments to the reality that lurked beneath.

Exhibit A:
Jim Mullen, executive vice president and general counsel of Werner Enterprises, recently testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

The topic of the hearing was improving performance of our transportation networks.

It didn’t take him long to launch into the mega-motor carrier’s so-called solutions to making the road safer – and preach the virtues of speed limiters. Fine, we’ve come to expect this rhetoric out of the big fleets.

Mullen tells the committee how Werner was a pioneer with electronic logs. That a mandate is “logical and appropriate.” Blah, blah. You know how it goes.

Here’s where it gets good. Later in his testimony, when talking about CSA and crash ratings, Mullen told the committee:

“At Werner, the most common DOT-reportable crash is where the truck is being struck from behind by another vehicle.”

You don’t even have to be a first grader with a big crayon to connect those two dots.

News flash, Werner, you probably wouldn’t get rear-ended if your trucks could at least drive the speed limit in all states. Go with the flow of traffic.

If the speed-limiters are so much safer and promote so much better compliance, then why did your drivers rack up 0.10 speeding violations per driver when non-speed limited companies like Bennett Motor Express and Landstar only have 0.08 and 0.07 violations per driver? Check out the research into this by the OOIDA Foundation here.

In my best former Arkansas vernacular: Werner, that speed limiter dog don’t hunt.

Exhibit B:
Shepard Dunn, the chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association and head of Indiana-based Bestway Express, spoke to fleet managers at the 2015 Recruitment and Retention Conference recently.

Dunn told the crowd, among other things, if they want to reduce driver turnover and keep good drivers, fleets need to be paying them $65,000 to $70,000 a year.

A couple of things came to mind when I first read this.

First, I imagined that there was a ripple of chuckles that swept the room, mixed in with a few guffaws. A collective reaction of “yeah, that’s going to happen.”

Second, I cruised over to Bestway’s website. Let’s see if Mr. Dunn’s company put its money where his lip service is. Turns out I was right. He talks a good game, but his company’s pay scale tells a completely different story.

Direct from their website, here’s Bestway’s pay scale:
  • Starting Pay: 32 cents per mile
  • After 6 Months of Service: 32.5 cents per mile
  • After 1 Year of Service: 33 cents per mile
  • After 10 Years of Service: 35 cents per mile
  • After 15 Years of Service: 35.5 cents per mile
  • After 20 Years of Service: 36 cents per mile
  • After 25 Years of Service: 37 cents per mile
*Drivers who hire in with 10 years of verifiable experience through DAC will automatically start at 35 cents per mile.

So in addition to my vision of a room full of fleet execs laughing that it will never happen, I’m also thinking there are about 300 Bestway drivers who are saying, “Yeah, $65,000 sure would be nice.”

Put the math to it. You’d have to be with Bestway 25 years, making 37 cents per mile, and getting paid for more than 175,600 miles a year to make $65,000 a year. That’s nearly 3,400 miles a week, every week out of the year. No time off. Forget whether it can be done legally.

That’s insane.

The verdict:
The common theme in these above two situations is corporate greed. Not safety and not the drivers. It’s only about lip service and the almighty dollar.

Mega fleets use speed limiters to reduce fuel consumption. That warm, fuzzy safety blanket argument they try and wrap their agenda in has their hind ends – literally the ends of their trailers – hanging out there to get smacked.

Driver pay? Quit talking about it and do it. It’s pretty hard to believe these assertions that pay needs to increase are sincere when 37 cents a mile is your company’s top publicized pay rate.

The sooner lawmakers and regulators go deaf to these half-baked arguments designed only to promote an agenda of corporate greed, the better off we all will be.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Spring training – brought to you by truck

A few of us here at OOIDA HQ are huge baseball fans. So of course we were excited to see this story about a trucker who annually hauls the spring training gear for the Cleveland Indians down to Goodyear, Ariz.

The folks at put together a delightful story and video about 62-year-old Ed Fisher, a household goods mover based out of Cleveland, who for the last eight years has been the man behind the wheel ensuring all of the Indians’ gear gets down to Arizona for the start of spring training.

According to, the route is Fisher’s favorite of the year.

“To be perfectly frank with you,” Fisher told, “it’s one of the only jobs I really enjoy doing anymore. The guys are great, and they make you feel like you're a part of the team. It's comfortable. ... I think they realize that I take pride in my work, just like they take pride in their baseball team.”

Fisher said he’s been a fan of The Tribe since birth. His first year on the route was the Indians’ last year of spring training in Winter Haven, Fla., a drive that took about a day and a half from Cleveland. The run to Goodyear, Ariz., can take almost four days in nice weather, and longer if road conditions prove treacherous on Interstate 40 in Oklahoma, North Texas or eastern New Mexico.

The whole article is worth a read, with Fisher recounting some of the more memorable loads he’s hauled as a household goods mover. even has a short video interview with Fisher as well. You can check that out below.

Fisher’s story is just one example of the “overlooked but important role” truckers have in Major League Baseball’s universe, as “the groundhog who, on an annual basis, doesn't see his shadow. It is a credit to him that spring always arrives on time, come hell or congested traffic patterns.”

This post is really just an excuse to remind you that pitchers and catchers report in eight days…

Friday, February 6, 2015

The case for hourly driver pay

Drivers prefer a percentage of revenue to mileage or hourly pay.

That’s what a recent study claims. The survey said to be of 4,000 drivers doesn’t break out owner-operator and company drivers. Still, if it’s even partially true, carrier and logistics execs should be slapping each other on the back and heading out to celebrate with a round of golf.

Sure, most owner-operators can turn down loads if the revenue, percentage, mileage or whatever, doesn’t cover costs and (hopefully) a bit of profit. But what about company drivers who cannot pick and choose?

In a truly just world, company driver pay would be much more substantial, of course; it would also be by the hour.

Driver pay schemes are all about incentives. Some incentives are for drivers and some are for brokers, shippers, and consignees. Carrier execs understand incentives very well.

A percentage split looks good on paper to some drivers, at least according to that survey. But a defined slice of the revenue is often a gift to the carrier, whose back office costs are constant and predictable. As a driver, you’re on the hook for the variables – every traffic light, storm delay, construction backup, etc. – the costs of actually providing the service.

Because time is money, those costs rise with delays. In traffic, you log hours behind the wheel. When you’re waiting, you’re probably logging on-duty, not-driving hours and that costs you driving hours and the opportunity to earn.

Meanwhile, the carrier or broker quoting the load has a built-in incentive to low-ball a rate. It might be to bolster a lane, to meet a quota, or to do a customer a favor. Why not? The most expensive part of the transaction, your haul, won’t cost him a dime more. Do all carriers do that? No, but the incentive couldn’t be more clear. Percentage pay places the power – and the most predictable chunk of the revenue – totally in their hands and not yours.

Mileage pay isn’t much better. Sure, it represents the actual length of the haul, but not variables. The carrier may not have an incentive to cut rates in this case, but neither will your settlement cover any added costs. Yes, some companies pay limited amounts for delay time, etc. But for the most part, when you wait or sit in traffic, your opportunity to earn ticks away.

And then there’s hourly pay. Here the incentives are turned around. It’s the carrier or broker who has to worry about delays. As a company driver paid hourly, you don’t worry about the cost of idling in traffic or waiting for a door assignment. You’re paid for the time it takes to properly inspect your truck and to do whatever paperwork is required. You have every incentive to drive carefully and observe all the rules.

Of course hourly pay only works if the basic numbers are high enough. If at the end of a trip, you still can’t make your car payment, the form of the pay matters little.

But if the numbers enable you to support a family in decent fashion, the form of pay matters a lot. Mileage or percentage pay incentivizes you to run hard and cut corners. Hourly pay incentivizes carriers to minimize delays, to turn down bad freight, and to keep you rolling.

Carrier execs and their associations totally understand the hourly pay incentives and so deny them vehemently. Hourly pay means your hassles become theirs, and they don’t like that at all.

There’s more to consider where hourly pay is concerned, from trucking’s exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act to the impact widespread hourly pay might have across the industry. But those issues will have to wait for another blog.