DENVER (KDVR) — According to GasBuddy price reports, regular gas spiked 40.6 cents a gallon over the last week in Denver, bringing the average on Monday to $4.59. Diesel is more than a dollar higher on average, and truckers tell FOX31 it is taking a big toll on their wallets — and in turn, ours at home.
“When I started this year we filled tanks for $600. Right now is $1,300,” truck driver Juan Robles said. “The same gallons, same route, same miles.”
Gavin Miller is an owner-operator. He’s got a wife, two kids and another one on the way back home, but he hasn’t seen them in three-and-a-half weeks because he’s taking more loads to make ends meet.
“Honestly, if it keeps going the way it’s going, I’m going to find myself in an early grave,” Miller said. “I saw a load the other day that was going from Oregon to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was only paying $2,500 to the driver.”
Robles says it’s survival for him. He has to take fewer loads now, and he’s barely covering the costs.
Diesel prices having an impact on consumer
The Colorado Motor Carrier Association said the impact is having a ripple effect on consumers now too.
“In every product that you have, you know, at some point they’ve got to recover their costs, our businesses have to recover their costs,” CMCA President Greg Fulton said.
Fulton said with more people traveling this summer, he predicts demand will continue to rise prices for the season.
“Then it hopefully will come down and we’ll get some relief on that side of it,” Fulton said.
Drivers tell FOX31 they need some sort of relief soon before the costs drive them out of the industry.
“If we stop, this country stops. And the bad thing is all it takes is one week, and we will bring this entire country to its knees,” Miller said.
Fulton said companies and truck drivers are trying to find better ways to manage the increased expenses: changing ways they idle trucks, combining loads and trying to cut down miles where trucks have no weight.