''Operating income in our brokerage business increased by 29.7% as a result of improved margins and operational efficiencies. We continue to be pleased with the growth we have seen in our intermodal service offering, which again operated profitably for the quarter while growing revenue at a rate of 46.3% compared to last year.
''The DOE national average diesel fuel price increased $0.40 from the start of the third quarter to the end of the third quarter and was up 2.5% when compared to the same period last year. Particularly challenging was that this significant increase came following twelve consecutive weeks of decreasing fuel prices in the second quarter of 2012. This type of rapid increase in fuel prices has an immediate negative impact on earnings. We continue to work through our initiatives to improve our fuel efficiency, such as, improving the driving behavior of our driving associates, updating our fleet with more fuel efficient post-2010 EPA emission compliant engines, installing aerodynamic devices on our tractors, and equipping our trailers with trailer blades.
''The driver market remains tight and attracting and retaining a sufficient number of qualified driving associates continues to be a concern for the industry. In such an environment we continue to benefit by leveraging our decentralized model and the advantages it provides us with driving associates. As a result, our driver turnover has been trending favorably and is well below what we understand to be the industry average.
''Our combined fleet finished the quarter with 4,194 tractors compared to 3,939 last year, an increase of 255 tractors or 6.5%. This includes owner-operators, which grew 10.8% from 454 tractors to 503 tractors in the third quarter this year. We invested $29.4 million of net capital expenditures in the third quarter, as our tractor fleet remains one of the most modern fleets in the industry with an average age of 1.8 years. Our gain on sale increased to $2.1 million in the third quarter of 2012 from $1.8 million in the third quarter of 2011.
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