Diesel Prices Take Toll on Trucking Companies

By: Sarah Rasmussen Email
By: Sarah Rasmussen Email

Right now diesel prices are hovering at or near $4 a gallon. And trucking companies say, because semis only get about 6 miles per gallon, they are spending tens of thousands of dollars a week on fuel alone.

Kelly Iverson from Eleva owns his own trucking company.

He says his 20 trucks run dry freight all over the country.

If every one of his trucks is on the road, he's shelling out $40,000 a week.

"I never thought diesel would go this high, you know,” said Iverson.

"We can't control the prices,” said truck driver Sam Sorenson.

Whether they own their rig, or drive for a company, truckers say the high fuel prices are hurting business.

"Profits are down quite a bit since, in the last year, due to the price of fuel,” said Iverson.

"Things are slow right now,” said driver Randy Hoover.

Iverson says he believes many companies are making changes to accommodate for the increased fuel costs.

"Everything has to get from point A to point B,” said Iverson.

He says some companies are now rewarding drivers for efficiency and putting energy saving equipment in the trucks.

But owners and drivers say, despite high prices, the trucks won't stop running.

"You can't shut your trucks down,” said Iverson.

"You gotta get the freight from one end to the other,” said driver William Ahrens.

So the ones who suffer, they say, will likely be consumers.

"They're going to have to raise their prices to put the stuff in it,” said Ahrens.

Iverson says most trucking companies have a fuel surcharge for deliveries, but that doesn't cover all traveling costs.

"$3 would be more practical, but what are you going to do?” said Hoover.

Erin Roth from the Wisconsin Petroleum Council says diesel is priced higher than gas because, globally, there's a higher demand for it.

Roth says although diesel prices will remain higher than gas prices, they should stabilize as the weather gets warmer.

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  • by Cammie Price Location: Tremonton Utah on May 14, 2008 at 12:29 PM
    I own one truck(now)and considering not owning even one. Diesel prices is out of control. When all the Independent trucking company's are folded up, what will the American economy do? My family will be losing every thing. I truly believe that the American goverment dont care or they would have stepped in and something by now. I know its not totally up to the goverment and we need to do our part. The truck drivers are being hit both ways with this rising fuel cost, not only do we pay the high price at the pump but also at the grocery store. I have done what I can to make a good life for my kids, by no means are they spoiled, they have to have a B average in school and have to have jobs to get a drivers license. The American goverment needs to open up the reserve get fuel prices back down to where people can make a decent life for them and thier kids.I really think that the President is lining his pockets before he is out of office, you know he is a oil man.
  • by Dale Location: Thorp WI on Mar 31, 2008 at 09:06 AM
    I work for a rather large trucking co. I know that when i fuel up it cost my company over $400.00 a day. This doesn't include the wear & tear of every day driving on the equipment, nor does this include my wages. I will be supporting the shut down on April 1st. Remember people everyone pays. Either at the gas pump or the grocery store. Consumers pay one way or the other. The people of the United States need to stand together. This effects EVERYONE! Not just the independent truck owners!
  • by tim campbell Location: doyle tennessee on Mar 27, 2008 at 06:42 PM
    Im aware of the april 1st trucker stike ,and promise to do my part and will be as supportive as possible and needed .I to am a struggling o/o with 6 kids and a wife a house morgage to pay along with a 1100.00 a month truck payment and 600.00 a month ins.thanks to the soaring fuel prices Im losing everything . Something has got to be done soon my heart goes out to all these truckers , this is not the america my fathers fought for .It costs right about 80 to 90 cent a gallon now to operate a big truck not counting break downs tires dot inspections which seems to be more regular these days .with fuel at 4.00 a gallon and your average freight paying around 1.30 to 1.60 your pretty much driving for the fun of it.and trust me truck drivers are not out there for the fun of it .For those of you that dont know here are just a few conditions we truckers experience every day on the road . #1 ALWAYS EATING ON THE GO.#2 MISSING OUT ON FAMILY TIME .SO PLEASE IF ALL POSSIBLE HELP SUPPORT THIS STRIKE
  • by arnold Location: Boyceville on Mar 14, 2008 at 06:12 PM
    It takes less refining process to make diesel fuel than gasoline. It's outragous that diesel costs this much.America has billions of barrels of crude oil in the artic wastelands of Alaska, but the simple minded democrats always vote to keep our oil locked up so we can't get our hands on it.We could flood our markets and drive down our costs. We should stop any more immigrants from flooding our country then there would'nt be such a demand on our natural resources. There's enough people jammed into this country already. Our quality of life is going to keep going steadily down hill because most people are so detached from reality.America is going to get the chaos and mayhem it deserves in the future. It's what happens when you let the weeds take over the garden.
  • by C Location: Marshfield on Mar 14, 2008 at 07:32 AM
    Anyone remember when Diesel was cheaper than gasoline? That is the way it should be now! The price of gas to me just blows my mind!! Then if you do buy a suv, you have to pay gas guzzler tax, what the hell is that?!?! I will already have to pay gas guzzling at the pump, so now I pay extra for it when I buy the vehicle?!?! Seems I need to be in the oil business. Most of the people benefiting from these high gas prices aren't even American. And I wonder why OUR economy is hurting so bad. It's time for change, but who is going to take that time??.....
  • by Jim Location: Eau Claire on Mar 13, 2008 at 04:28 PM
    It seems to me that a good many of us have already changed our driving habits. It is the ones that have money and dont care what the prices are that need to change. When summer comes youll see a good number of big RV's heading north or south on vacation. Do you think these are fuel economic? Think again. Some drive them to Florida or out west for the winter months, and all over the country during the warmer months. Possibly if there were a higher fuel charge for this type of vehicle, then things might change. Possibly a separate pump at each gas station could be dedicated for gas hogs! When I have to run errands, I do them after work, otherwise, the car doesnt move unless it's an emergency. The Semi's that have to use deisel should be given a break since they are delivering the goods for the country. Without them, we're in trouble. How do you think our food,clothing, gas and other needs gets to the stores? Food prices are going crazy, and everything else follows suit.
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