Crippling diesel prices could end business for a local hauling company

BLACK ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Over the last year, Roma Aaron's trucking business has adjusted to weight restrictions and reduced speed on the Black Rock Bridge. However, Roma is being overwhelmed by the skyrocketing cost of diesel fuel.

"I really and truly think that I will probably be out of business by the end of this year...there's just no way I can break even, not with the fuel like it is, not being able to go around and not having the customers."

Roma started this business over 30 years ago, and never has she experienced such pain at the pump.

The average cost of diesel is up twenty percent from last year.

The new weight restrictions on the Black Rock Bridge means her trucks must either reduce their gravel load or take the long way.

"We have to go around by Pocahontas to get to Jonesboro, or even get back to walnut Ridge. That twenty more miles, we have to charge extra for that."

The lack of work has forced Aaron to turn away truckers, and some contracted drivers are either moving away or selling their big-rigs because they cannot draw unemployment.

"We had about 22 or 23 trucks that we were working with, now we have 7 or 8."

Roma is hoping that construction on the new bridge will begin soon, but time may run out for the business she's carried for three decades.

"If we don't have the jobs, then we can't, you know, we can't keep the fellas working, so...that's about it."

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