Rising gas prices taking a toll on trucking companies

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 6:26 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Diesel fuel prices are now well over $5/gallon, and the continued rise in those prices is taking a toll on truck drivers and the companies they work for.

“I just put in $671 worth and I was just a little below a half tank and went in and topped off,” said David Peters, a truck driver who stopped at the Pilot Truck Stop in Harrisonburg.

Peters says the rise in gas prices is affecting all aspects of the U.S. economy, especially the trucking industry.

“Everybody is trying to cut back where they can it’s just for us we don’t have much of a choice, right now I’m just shy of 40 tons weight-wise,” said Peters. “It burns fuel but you got to get stuff delivered.”

Local trucking companies are having to adjust to rising weekly fuel bills.

“The last one was an increase of about $4,000, so that’s quite a jump from the week before and it’s only gonna get worse,” said Shandi Blizzard, owner of Blizzard Transportation.

Gas prices are significantly cutting into the profits that trucking companies and independent drivers are able to make.

“It is affecting me very very badly right now before I made like $6,000-7,000 a week but right now it’s going down so it’s really affecting me right now,” said Suk Gurung, an independent truck driver.

Some trucking companies are starting to increase freight charges for their customers in order to stay afloat.

“You don’t like doing that because then you potentially are gonna lose the freight to someone who will haul it cheaper than you. But you have to do what is right for your company and we’re all just trying to survive right now,” said Blizzard.

Blizzard Transportation, a Harrisonburg trucking company, has a fleet of 16 tractor-trailers and typically has 8 to 11 drivers out at once. The company has had to try to make adjustments in other areas to adapt to the rising fuel costs.

“Every part you try to order is on back-order so we’re trying our best to cut down on our maintenance costs and we’re doing pretty well with that,” said Blizzard.

The gas prices are creating other issues for truckers as well. Many mechanics are no longer providing roadside service due to the increased costs.

“If you’ve got a truck that’s sitting along the interstate with a blown tire these places aren’t able to financially do these road service calls which makes it difficult for us to do our job,” said Blizzard.

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