Diesel Prices Hurting Independent Truckers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/13/05

Diesel Prices Hurting Independent Truckers

Gas prices may be settling down, but truckers are all riled up. You may have noticed diesel fuel is now more expensive than unleaded gas. The question is why?

Michael Locke has been trucking for eight years. Diesel fuel at the pump is a way of life.

"Cheaper than unleaded? Not any more," he said.

Unleaded prices have fallen, but diesel gas is still in the $3 range. "You see the difference," said Locke. "Sixty to 70 cents more a gallon. It's outrageous."

"It's just killing us trying to make a living," said trucker Octavius Jones, feeling the same gas price pains. "I wonder why, but you never get an answer to why."

So we tried to get an answer. Only one of the local oil distributors would answer our questions, but he wouldn't go on camera and didn't want his name or his company's name mentioned. He says it's a simple case of supply and demand. The terminals in Savannah ran out of diesel. When there is a shortage, the prices go up.

The truckers aren't buying it. "I don't know if they are trying to drive us out of business or what," said Locke. "Don't know any more."

Locke thinks independent truckers may start falling by the wayside if diesel prices don't go down. "I wish the government would step in and try to take some of this off us, taking care of our country," he said. "Unless you drive for the big companies, you can't make it any more."

Relief may be in sight. Several local truck stops say diesel prices do seem to be dropping slightly.

It costs about $400 or more to fill up some of those tractor-trailer tanks. This time last year, the price was in the lower to mid $300 range.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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