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Diesel: The truck stops here

Posted by ecoshift on March 27, 2008

Diesel prices weigh on truckers, loggers, landscapers – Mar. 27, 2008
Diesel: The truck stops here
From haulers to loggers to landscapers, soaring fuel costs hit the bottom line but cutthroat competition keep price hikes at bay.
By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
Last Updated: March 27, 2008: 9:50 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The kid who delivers your pizza may be charging you an extra buck for gas, but for the guy that trucked the tomatoes, hauled the dough or milked the cows, passing along the fuel increase isn’t as easy as pie.

From truckers and farmers to loggers, construction workers and fishermen, skyrocketing diesel prices are pushing what many consider the backbone of the American economy right up to the breaking point.

“I’m in debt,” says Jim Gossett, an owner/operator truck driver with a wife and daughter in Chapel Hill, N.C. “Do I turn in all my equipment, potentially lose my home?”

For the last nine years Gossett has driven a truck. For the last few he’s been running a specialized carrier, delivering boats to marinas and dealers across the country.

He says his profit margin used to be around 25%. But with the near-tripling of diesel prices over the last few years, he now says that has been cut to 5%.

He says cutthroat competition in the industry means he’s unable to pass along the increased cost.

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