Truck drivers feeling the pinch as cost of diesel continues to climb

“I don’t know who’s responsible but it’s hurting me.”
Diesel is hovering close to $6 a gallon these days.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 2:40 PM EDT
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HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - Just about every day, the cost to fill up your tank seems to be going up. Families are really starting to feel the pinch.

AAA says the cost per gallon is about $4.32. A $1 hike in the price of gas costs the average driver $56 each month. For truck drivers, it’s even worse. Diesel locally is approaching $6 a gallon, putting pressure on those who have to fill the tanks.

[Charlotte gas prices jump nearly 17 cents over last week]

“Guarantee within four to five months, at least 40 percent of them are going to be out of business.”

Daryl Davis hauls freight for a living. Since he owns his own rig, the high cost to fuel up his truck comes right out of his pocket.

“I don’t know who’s responsible but it’s hurting me,” Davis said.

And that cost is getting worse all the time.

Davis showed WBTV’s Ron Lee his logs for the past week. For five days his gross income is about $2,100. But then factor in the nearly $1,000 in fuel it takes to get his shipment to the destination and it’s getting harder to stay on the road. Davis says he’s had to turn jobs down because there’s no money in it.

“They want to pay you a couple hundred dollars to go two hundred miles and then dead-head back. How’s that working for you?”

And that might drive people away out of the profession Davis says.

“It’s not worth it to do this because you can’t survive.”

“I’m very excited about being a company driver.”

Daryl Poindexter says he’s one of the lucky ones. Being a company driver, he doesn’t have to worry about the high cost of fuel, but he feels for the people who own their own trucks and have to shell out the costs from their own pocket.

“A lot of owner-operators are having a difficult time with the prices being what they are.”

“The fuel’s going up, everything’s going up.”

Case Beir says he’s feeling the hurt at the pump since as an owner he has to pay for it.

“It stabled a little bit then went up a little bit and I hope it don’t go higher,” Beir said.

Drivers say their companies as asking for drastic measures to conserve fuel wherever they can. Everything from not idling as much to not running the air conditioning during the hot summer months.

“It helps save on gas.”

While John Jinkins said his company hasn’t asked him for sacrifices like no air conditioning he’s sure others have, and is glad someone else is footing the fuel bill.

“Sure right about that buddy,” he said.

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