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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