Fuel prices drive up trucking costs

By Casey Peacock

The rising cost of fuel prices are cause for concern with local trucking companies, industries and agriculture producers.

With 18 trucks in their fleet that travel across the country delivering goods, WTI in Portales is facing the rising costs of fuel. Each truck carries an average 300 gallons and at the average cost of $3.40 per gallon, the price to fill up can be around $1,000 or more, Bubby Welch, dispatcher at WTI said.

According to Welch, the rising cost of fuel is being trickled down to the customers. The company is having to request more money per mile from the consumer for transport in order to combat rising fuel costs.

“It’s just driving the cost up right back to the consumer,” Welch said.

Not only does the rising cost of fuel affect WTI and its customers, it also affects the amount of wages that employees earn, Welch said.

For now the company has plans to keep trucks on the road despite the rising costs, Welch said.

“I don’t know what to do about it (rising costs), just hang in and see if we can ride it out,” Welch said. “We’ll go until we can’t go any more.”

Officials from Dairiconcepts also agreed that the rising cost of fuel is being trickled back to the consumer. In their case, increasing the cost of milk that is used for their products.

Floyd farmer Charlie Buzard farms around 2,000 acres and grows wheat, peanuts and haygrazer. The last time he filled up his tractors, it cost well over $500. Even though the fuel is at nearly $4 per gallon, Buzard feels that cost will increase.
“It’s gonna put us out of business,” Buzard said.

The high cost of fuel has also caused Buzard to raise the price of his hay to compensate. The higher prices are forcing his hay to sit and not sell as well as in the past. This is the first time in several years that Buzard has lost money, a fact that he attributes to the rising fuel prices, he said.

“I think when it’s all said and done, I’ll probably lose (money) this year,” Buzard said.
The cost of electricity has also played a part in Buzard’s rising costs of operation. Several acres of his operation are irrigated and the cost to run his sprinklers has also risen, he said.

“Every time I move, it costs more money,” Buzard said.
If prices continue to rise, Buzard stated that a possibility for him would be to plant a crop that would support cattle and run cattle on his operation, rather than continue to farm. Currently he leases his wheat fields out to cattle producers for them to run their own cattle.