Trucking Companies Hit Hard By Oil And Fuel Prices

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

Transportation officials say their industry is suffering due to speculation about the future of oil and fuel supplies. They say talking about rising prices leads to higher prices, and trucking company officials say they're feeling the pain.

The hopes of those in the trucking industry are slowly deflating.

“You live one day at a time out here anymore. I've been in the trucking business 36 years and it's sad right now the way it…it is sad,” says Darryl Ealy, a driver.

And he says he's barely surviving as it is.

“I got a mortgage I got to pay, I got to eat and it gets rougher every week out here, it doesn't get any easier,” says Ealy.

Others say forget about taking it day by day, it's more like hour by hour.

“Since 8 o'clock this morning, these pumps went up 6 cents…6 cents. And that's in what? 3 or 4 hours?” says Tom Hyden, another driver.

Willie Smith's been in the business more than 30 years as well and owned his own trucking company for the past 6. Now he's having to give it up.

“I can't afford to have my rights anymore. I can't afford it. And everybody's in the same shape. By the time you buy the tires, buy the fuel, buy the insurance,” says Smith, the owner of W.R. Smith Trucking.

Tonia Ivy doesn't even drive a truck but feels the pressure of prices at the pump.

“I'm a stay-at-home mom. My husband's the only one who brings in the income, so if he loses his job, we're going to be hurting,” says Ivy, wife of a driver. “When these trucks stop, people are going to start going hungry and doing without.”

…and that's something many hope they won't have to see.

Several drivers we spoke with say smaller trucking companies are closing on a weekly basis and that something needs to change because their pay rate is staying the same as fuel costs rise.

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