$1,100 to refill the tank: Rising fuel prices hit truckers in Hampton Roads hard


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – At Charlie’s Truck Stop off Northampton Avenue in Virginia Beach, the meter at a pump reads $1,110.83.

Diesel fuel prices at Tuesday’s stop at $5.29 a gallon. The truckers we talked to just shook their heads.

“I really felt like I was being left out,” truck driver Anthony Blount from Chesapeake said as he looked at the positive numbers pointing up on his meter.

Truckers like Blount are independent contractors, essentially small business owners.

“Since I own my own truck, I end up paying for my own fuel. So it came out of my pocket,” Blount explains.

He estimates rising fuel prices have cut his profits by 30 to 35 percent.

Before the spike, Blount estimated it cost $500-600 to fill its trucks. Now, he says the same Truck costs $800-900 to fill.

He is not alone.

“When I saw these numbers, it was amazing,” said another lorry driver Patrick Coles from Suffolk. “Fuel is part of the process we need to get work done.”

Fuel prices are changing the way some truckers do business. Blount, for example, doesn’t always refill his tank like he used to, but instead only buys as much as he knows he needs.

Blount also says that he only goes on local trips.

“I won’t go out because of the cost of fuel. I would rather stay around town and make some money than go out and spend it lavishly,” he said.

According to truck owners, they cannot immediately pass on the increased costs to the companies that hire them because they have already agreed on rates and cannot renegotiate rates as quickly. $1,100 to refill the tank: Rising fuel prices hit truckers in Hampton Roads hard

Russell Falcon

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