Good news, bad news for truckers

By David Elliott - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - David Phillips, a trucker from Kentucky, fills up his rig at the Flying J Truck Stop on Canal road. It costs Phillips $400.

"Back in the summer, it cost about a thousand dollars," Phillips said.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the price of diesel fuel has dropped more than 50 percent in the past seven months. That's good news for truckers who are a critical component in the engine that drives America's economy.

Here's the bad news. While the cost of fuel has dropped, the recession is taking a big toll on truckers.

"I worked just one day last week, three days this week," said William Clinton, who drives the I-10 route between New Orleans and Mobile, Alabama.

It's a bittersweet irony for the men and women who transport goods from coast to coast.

"We're saving money on fuel, but the sluggish economy is cutting down on our freight," according to Ed Mahon, who is based in Vermont.

In July, diesel prices on average were almost five dollars a gallon. Today, the national average is $2.18.