Truckers Struggling With Rising Diesel Costs

Independent truck driver Antonio Turner says the gas pump is the most dreaded stop of his day.

"5 years ago it was 99 cents, then it jumped to a dollar, now it's 2. I guess when it gets up to 5, 6 bucks, they'll be happy," Turner says.

Diesel prices are now nearly a quarter more than regular unleaded.  With such huge gas tanks, it's a difference that turns quarters into big bills for the big rigs.

Local truck driver Timmy McCool says, "A lot of people can't afford it. People have to park their trucks. It's hard to make a living, you know, when the gas prices are that high. It's unreal."

For Independent Truck Drivers, it's especially hard when that large tab comes from your own pocket.  Usually, they'll have to fill up every two days.

Turner says, "If you don't get a good run, paying top dollar money, then you ain't make nothing that week."

The manager of an interstate truck stop cited everything from Wall Street to the War in Iraq as reasons for the price hike. He says he tries to keep costs down by trucking in fuel from the Chevron refinery, only 7 miles away.

But nationwide, it's a longer haul which even affects prices at the grocery store checkout line.

"A lot of people don't realize it, but trucking, that's what makes the world go round," says McCool.

"You used to buy a loaf of bread for 99 cents, now its 2.15, in some stores, 3 dollars," Turner says.

If fuel prices continue to rise, these truckers fears you'll see more empty diesel pumps.

Turner says, "I'd think about parkin it!"

Truck drivers say they try to drive a few miles under the speed limit and cut down on air conditioning to conserve fuel, but they expect the prices to continue to rise throughout the winter.