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Record high diesel prices are hurting private truckers

Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Expensive diesel prices nationwide are causing private truckers to adjust in order to continue.

In just one month, the average cost of a gallon of diesel in the United States has risen by $1.50, and private truckers say that number at the pump is hurting their income.

“Yes, it’s getting hard. It’s getting hard out here for truckers,” Commercial trucker Leonard Lawson said.

Truck drivers in big rigs are now having to pay big at the pump due to record-high diesel fuel prices across the country.

According to AAA, the average price of diesel fuel in Mississippi is around $4.91 per gallon. Some of the even more expensive prices are seen in California where truckers are paying more than $6 a gallon.

“It went from filling my truck up, around $600 to around $900,” Lawson said.

“I used to pay like $1,600 a week, but now it is like $2,000 or more. It depends where you go, you know. To go like the West, it’s like $6 a gallon and more,” private trucker, Mindaugas Ringys, said.

According to the Mississippi Oil and Gas Board, the most recent gas spike is due to inflation and the war in Ukraine.

And for many who own their trucks, hauling on their own dime is pushing them to the brink.

Jimmy Stanford is hauling a load from Las Vegas to Orlando and is supposed to make close to $7,000. But he won’t see all of that because of the high fuel cost.

“Because you’d be try to run hard and have a particular size check, but by the time the fuel prices go up, it should be about $4,500,″ Stanford said.

Some truckers said they are choosing to switch back to commercial driving for other companies to avoid having to personally pay out of pocket at the pump.

“I’ve seen a couple people saying on Facebook like they are going to park their trucks and go work for a company because $900 every other day is ridiculous,” Lawson said.

“You guys who drive for companies and stuff like that, because they don’t have to pay for fuel and they will over fuel. But somebody like me being an owner-operator,” Standford explained. “I gotta be careful. I just need enough fuel to try to get to where I’m going.”

Truckers said they are going to ride it out and save where they can right now in hopes prices will go down soon.

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