Fuel Prices Driving Truckers To Quit Working - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/28/04-Van

Fuel Prices Driving Truckers To Quit Working

"Everywhere you look it's $2 dollars a gallon and that'll put me out of business," says worried truck driver James Ramsey. Ramsey of Van has been making a living driving trucks for the past 16 years. As an independent driver each mile on the road is driving a big hole in his pocket.

"I ran out to California and back and it was $2.18 a gallon. That trip out there only paid me $300 dollars." Not enough, says James, who has paid as much as $1,400 a week filling up his tank. Add that to a $2,600 per month payment for his truck loan and insurance, James says, he could be forced to stop driving for good. "It's getting close, its getting really close ... And I'll have to go back into doing something else."

"If the fuel prices keeps going up we're going to see a lot of repos like we did a few years ago," adds Jimmy Wells with Tyler Truck Center. The truck salesman says he's heard similar cries from other truckers, and says the effects could be similar to the recession three years ago. "So when the fuel reached $1.80 a gallon they started bringing the trucks back because they couldn't afford it... And there were thousands of thousands of repos."

"That cost a gallon of fuel, " says James after starting up his freight liner. James has already seen first hand how high fuel prices affects people. His brother recently hung up his keys for good and James fears doing the same.

"I can see what's going to happen to me when I have to give mine back... I'm going to have to get me a job that only pays 25-26 cents a mile... Because they won't pay me for my experience."

James says the stress of high fuel prices has literally made him sick. He's been ordered to rest these past few days. He does plan on making another run on Wednesday, when he heads out to California.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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