Trucking companies and independent truckers alike must have a steady supply of fuel in order to operate, it’s a given. So when fuel prices rise, they have to deal with them. However, today the reality is that fuel costs are doing more than rising a bit: diesel prices are skyrocketing and there’s no end in sight.
According to the Des Moines Register, one gallon of diesel fuel costs $1.00 more this year than it did in 2010. This has the trucking industry predicting that overall, it will be paying $35,000,000 more in fuel costs this year, just to keep trucks on the road.
Added to this rising cost is the variety of prices in different states across the country. Since truckers by definition are transporting cargo from one place to another, they will necessarily encounter a number of spots in the country where prices may be higher than others.
For example, truckers reported today that Virginia had pretty cheap diesel rates as compared to surrounding states in the region, like Connecticut. They’re using things like this cheap fuel cost locator app to keep track of the best deals on the road (you might like this, too).
One result of these rising operating costs for truckers is that consumer prices will rise. Another is that independent truckers may not be able to stay in business with these fuel costs and we will see less independent big rigs on the road.
However, another given is that trucking companies – already feeling the pinch of this bad economy – have just been given another reason to push the edge of the envelope on safety concerns as they try and keep profits as high as possible. The pressure to scoot pass regulations or to get right to their edge will be high, and that pressure is just going to rise as this economic teapot continues to boil.
Be careful out there. And now more than ever, respect that tractor trailer on the roadway with you. Give that trucker lots of room to move.