Diesel price increase, drivers pinching pennies to fill gas tank

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Posted at 6:16 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 18:30:44-05

(WXYZ) — Soaring diesel prices are just the latest speed bump for drivers.

"I'm going to have to stop it at $400 because I can't even fill my whole tanks up and I've got 150-gallon tanks on each side," independent trucker Rudy said.

Rudy has been a truck driver for nearly two decades. He's never seen prices this high.

Since Rudy is an independent trucker, he and other independent trucking companies will begin passing the higher costs of fuel to the companies they're contracted to.

Rudy says he drives 600 miles plus per day which means, "for every run I run now, I gotta pay," he said.

Rudy says he's pinching pennies and picking up more hauls just to break even.

"It's going to be kind of hard to feed your family if you're not steady, if you don't have a lot of loads because you got to think about it, you have bills to pay at home," he said. "I still have to feed my family and if I'm not making no money in my truck then I'm done," he said.

Pick-up truck drivers are hurting at the pump too. Cody Thomas and his brother say they're spending hundreds on gas every week.

"With our jobs, we usually run out of $100 worth of gas every day and a half," Cody said.

They help operate a national staffing agency and drove a diesel-powered pickup truck from North Carolina to Michigan for work.

"It's been very, very expensive to take this trip and I mean you also have the cost of the diesel exhaust fluid on top of that so not only are we paying $5 a gallon, but we also have to put that in it."

So why does diesel fuel cost more than regular gas? One reason is because it has a higher federal tax at 24.4 cents per gallon compared to the 18 cents per gallon for regular fuel.

AAA spokeswoman Adrienne Woodland adds that "diesel crude is actually a heavier product and it's more expensive in processing and that's one of the reasons it's higher than regular unleaded."