HOUSTON — Diesel prices are setting records, nationwide, as a gallon of the fuel now averages $5.72 as of Wednesday.
Drivers fueling up at a truck stop in east Houston said the pain at the pump is crippling as rising prices force some to park their rigs.
Houstonian Raymond Mayberry said he’s been a truck driver since 2003. He’s a self-employed trucker.
Even with the help of fuel-saving apps and a rewards program at the truck stop, Mayberry said he’s counting “every penny” because the almost-daily rise in diesel price affects his bottom line.
“It comes out of our profit. If you make $3,000, you’ve got to know $700 of that is coming out of your profit.”
The financial pain is enough to make Mayberry wince.
“Oh yeah. When I first started, diesel was $.99," he said.
Analysts expect fuel prices will continue to rise through the summer. Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico could drive prices even higher, which is why other truckers are counting their blessings.
The company Armando Sanchez drives for buys his diesel, but Sanchez said he still feels the sticker shock when he’s off the clock.
“I used to spend like $50. Right now I’m spending more than $100,” he said of filling up his personal vehicle. “I mean, it’s too high. It’s way too high.”
The rising costs of trucking trickle down to goods and groceries as companies struggle to manage inflation.
“These customers,” said Mayberry of the people who hire him to haul goods across the country. “They want to pay you the same amount they paid you six, seven months ago. They can’t do it. And me, I’ll let my truck sit.”
More than $700 worth of diesel fuel now gets Mayberry to Atlanta for his delivery. But with prices at the pump rising daily, truckers like Mayberry don’t yet know how much it will cost to get them home.