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Truckers get a fuel price break

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

November 6, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Like other types of fuel, the price of diesel has gone down significantly in the past few weeks. And prices for diesel are especially important because it's the type of fuel that trucks use.

You see them on the highways wherever you go.

Trucks haul 70 percent of the total value of all of the commodities that are shipped in the United States. One of the largest trucking companies in Southwest Georgia is Southern Ag Carriers. How many trucks do they have?

According to John Yordy of Southern Ag Carriers, "We run 200 company trucks. And then we run anywhere from 50 to 100 lease operators."

And they don't just carry agricultural products either.

"Our company certainly was built around agriculture, and currently it's a mainstay in what we do. But no, we have diversified out into some other commodities," said Andy Lawton of Southern Ag Carriers.

But even though it's a big company, they were affected by the high gas prices that we saw a few months ago just like everyone else.

"We'll take July for example, I think that was our highest month as far as fuel costs. And it was averaging $4.50, $4.60 a gallon back in July," said Yordy.

And with each truck holding 200 gallons, that's a lot of money per fill-up.

The big trucks take lots of fuel so when the prices were high that was affecting the shippers and the trucking industry.

Now that the prices are a little bit lower, are people shipping more now than they were before?

The answer for Southern Ag Carriers is yes.

"In our case, of course it's the harvest season for us, so it's normal for our business to pick up this time of the year. Fuel prices being down has helped greatly I think from the standpoint of the cost to our customer," said Lawton.

So what are they paying now for fuel at Southern Ag?

According to Yordy, "on an average, $3.15."

In fact, the average price for a gallon of diesel fuel has gone done by about $1.75 in the last three months and is now at it's lowest level since November of 2007.

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