Truckers fed up with high fuel costs

April 1, 2008 1:18:20 PM PDT
Truckers are parking their rigs in protest of the high cost of fuel. They pulled to the shoulder of I-55 near Chicago on Tuesday morning and they were willing to risk $75 dollar traffic fines to protest the high price of diesel. Here in the Bay Area, many truckers say they can't afford to stop long enough for a protest.

We actually got a report from a truck stop manager this morning. He says he knew of one trucker to pull over in protest today. By all accounts, you could see for yourself, trucks around the Port of Oakland are on the move today. No one is happy about the high cost of fuel prices, but many say financially, they can't afford to protest.

Imagine paying $1,000 dollars to fill up your gas tank. Well, that is the reality for truck drivers. On one receipt we saw Tuesday, one trucker paid $1043 dollars just to fill up and the cost of diesel $4.39 is hurting the truck is industry.

Five years ago, I used to fill my truck for $300 dollars and now it's $500 to $700 dollars," says Wyoming trucker Melvin Hutchinson.

"It's just the glory days are gone. Now, your living paycheck to paycheck again, meal to meal" says SF-Oakland Truck Stop manager Al Vierra.

While some truckers pulled over around the country to protest high fuel prices, those in the Bay Area say they can't afford it and it won't do much good anyway.

"I don't think that will do it. I would like to back them up, but I've been through two truck strikes in my life and neither one of the helped," says Hutchinson.

Independent truckers say higher fuel prices mean very little less in take home pay. Some are getting 20 cents a mile profit. Higher costs are hitting consumers across the board.

A lot of older guys that I see are ready to hang it up. Can't afford to pay the extra money, can't afford to buy a new truck so they are just going to start parking them," says Vierra.

And if diesel prices do not come down, the only solution may be that businesses will have to pay more to have goods shipped and trucked in. Truckers say those extra costs will likely get passed down to consumers.