Fuel Prices Hit Local Truckers Hard

March 31, 2005 – Posted at 3:48 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- The price at the pump has been climbing steadily this spring and for those who make their living on the road, it's tough to make ends meet. The trucking industry is dealing with fuel prices over the long haul.

"I put in 75 gallons, it cost $165.86...it's outrageous!" said truck driver Jay Brand.

"I average more than $200 a day," said trucker Kevin Robert, "And it's hard to make ends meet."

Some of those hit hardest by rising fuel costs are having trouble keeping it on the road.

"After I pay my bills at home, I have two children and a wife, and there's just not much left for the maintenance on the truck and there's always something with these trucks," said Robert.

"Diesel's gone up, food's gone up," said Brand, "Everything else has, but the price of the pay hasn't.  So we are actually making less money by paying more out."

And the future may not be looking any better. Fuel prices are likely to go up this summer.

"Before I go in the hole, I'll have to park it and figure out something else," said Robert.

"You just manage to maintain even. There's no way to get a head if you are paying your fuel and insurance and everything else," said Brand, "You just have to keep stumbling along until something changes."

And the truckers agree there's nothing they can do but wait it out.

Diesel prices a year ago are up 60 cents. Nationwide, the average price is $2.24 a gallon. In the Midwest region, $2.20 is the average and in the Gulf Coast region, $2.18. But the highest region the country, is the West Coast where the average is $2.48 a gallon. That's up 66 cents from a year ago.