Truckers fume over Georgia fuel -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Truckers fume over Georgia fuel

September 30, 2005

Albany-- Georgia's getting a bad reputation among truck drivers. Drivers passing through the Peach State say we have some of the highest gas prices in the nation.

Trucks frequently travel highways like the expressway. If you want to know about gas prices these truck drivers are the best people to talk to. All you have to do is tune in on the CB radio to hear truckers tipping each other off on where to get the cheapest gas.

They shared with us what they're seeing at gas stations and how it will affect you. "It's going to shut down America because the truck drivers are the backbone of America transporting from east, west, north, and south," says Vic Matthews, a Texas truck driver. "The chatter on the CB has been, there's a lot of guys that are thinking of parking their trucks, they can't afford to operate."

Drivers say they're seeing differing prices across the nation, but some of the highest fuel prices are right here in the southeast. "I've seen it range from the middle of the country, say Oklahoma, $2.43 to in Northern Alabama yesterday $3.49 cents a gallon yesterday for diesel. Wildwood, Florida, $3.49 a gallon, I-75 in Wildwood."

They complain that they can't afford the increases and say it will eventually be the average citizen that pays. "Of course as fuel goes up our costs go up and that means the price of freight goes up and that means all of the commodities start to go up. So it affects everybody, even down to the average person."

Drivers fear the increases will continue with no end in sight. "That's just ridiculous, what happened to nobody's going to be price gouging, what happened to that?"

"Well drivers, I'm from Texas and I agree with you, I mean that's what we get when we have a President that's an oil man, the price is going to go up and it's just sickening to me," said Matthews.

Truck drivers say the highest prices they've seen were in Alabama where a gallon of diesel fuel reached $3.59.

Today, Georgia's Agriculture Commissioner signed a waiver allowing station to sell a winter blend of gasoline before November. What stations sell in the summer and spring costs a little more to buy and is harder to get. Allowing stations to sell the winter blend early will make more gasoline available and at cheaper prices.

Differing gas prices may not mean a station is price gouging. Major stations or branded gas like BP or Citgo in the last several days have been purchasing gas wholesale, for a lot cheaper than independent stations or unbranded stations. Today the difference is nearly 30 cents, but yesterday it was as much as a 50 cent difference. That allows those station to price their gas to motorists at a cheaper rate.

"Depending on when you take delivery on that product has a lot to do with cost because gas has been moving in increments of 15 to 40 cent a day," said Woodall's Co-owner, Wright  Woodall.

Gas prices have been very volatile, especially in the last week because of the refinery situation with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Prices are expected to remain above three dollars for several weeks.


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