Diesel Costs Hurting Truckers

by Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The cost of diesel fuel is almost double the cost this time last year. Many independent drivers throughout the U.S. are going on strike today. So far, we haven't seen a strike locally, but some say it's the only way to make a stand. 

Independent truck drivers across the nation are putting their trucks in park.

"Everytime it goes up, that's money out of my pocket," Fred, a Canadian truck driver, said. "It's getting to the point do I want to keep on doing it or get off the road?"

There are around 500,000 independent truckers nationwide who aren't reimbursed for gas cost. That climbing cost is forcing some of them to keep their trucks off the road.

"Major oil companies are going to make billions of dollars, and we're going to keep doing what we're doing, and it's not going to be enough to cover basic needs," Kris, a local driver, said. "Running trucks, buying groceries, making mortgage payments, stuff like this."

Until recently, Kris was an independent truck driver for more than 10 years. Diesel prices got so high, he couldn't keep it going. Now he works for a commercial company.

"It's very hard," Kris said. "Let's hope there's going to be some changes, that somebody on the top level will listen and do something about it."

Rich Wilson is an independent driver from East Texas. Each time he fills up, it costs him between $700 and $800, a cost so high, that sometimes he can't break even.

"I'm at that point," Wilson said. "I don't sell it for a loss. I'll just sit or I'll go home. There are times I'm offered freight so cheap, I either dead set or go home. There are times it's actually less expensive for me to go home to where I don't have any expenses."

Drivers say that if they do decide to join the others and strike, you'll know. During a strike, truckers will drive slowly, preventing cars from passing, block the pumps, and park at truck stops.