AmericanTruckersAtWar

Professional, Polite, Prepared to Kill

Soaring Fuel Prices Take a Withering Toll on Truckers

As his logging business expanded in the pine and hardwood forests of eastern Georgia, Jesse Hendley got into trucking. He scraped together the cash gradually to acquire seven tractor-trailers so that he could not only sell timber to mills in the south, but also charge the mills for delivery.

Today, though, all seven rigs are parked. The soaring price of diesel fuel — over $4.50 a gallon from $2.50 a year ago — has stripped the profit from hauling.

If diesel prices do not decline and make that side of the business viable, Mr. Hendley says, he will have to sell his trucks, or try to sell them. That is just what thousands of other truckers are doing as they shed used rigs in what appears to be the biggest shakeout since trucking was deregulated in 1980.

“Most truckers are one major breakdown — a broken axle or a damaged engine — away from bankruptcy,” said Mr. Hendley, who laid off his last driver this month and turned to independent operators to ship his logs.

The squeeze on truckers’ profits from rising fuel costs is compounded by the slowing economy, which is reducing freight traffic. Truckers say they find it hard to impose fuel surcharges, in part because their industry has suffered for years from over-capacity as deregulation drew thousands of small operators into trucking.   More from the New York Times

Advertisements

May 28, 2008 - Posted by | economy, trucking | ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: