CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gas prices hit record highs day after day this week, topping $4.40 for a gallon of unleaded, but for drivers behind the wheel of a diesel truck, it is even higher.
AAA estimates a gallon of diesel is $5.18 in Western New York, which is a six cent jump from Thursday. Just last week, truck drivers were paying less than $4.50 per gallon.
“This is one of the highest prices I’ve ever seen,” Bob Morehouse of Newstead said. “I’ve been driving since ’77. I’ve been across the road as a local driver, short haul [driver], long haul [driver] and it’s just ridiculous.”
Local truck drivers are having to fill up multiple times a week, and for some, more than once per day. Driver Brandon Mason uses a smaller truck with a smaller tank, which costs less per trip to the pump. However, on Friday, he filled his tank twice.
“This one run we’ll be into it for $700 in fuel by the time it’s done,” Mason added. “It’s the worst it’s ever been. I don’t know how they expect people to make a dime. It costs you more to fill the truck up than the run’s worth.”
Shopping around for the best deal is difficult while behind the wheel. While it may cost more per gallon near a major highway, driving further away from the route will increase mileage and fuel usage.
Several industries are feeling the spike more than others, including truck drivers and local road crews. Even fire departments are having to cut costs to stay within budget. Colden Town Supervisor Jim DePasquale told News 4 they are holding fundraisers for the fire department in case it goes over budget.
“The fire district doesn’t budget for large increases such as this. We still have to pay the costs. That’s why I’m in this area [Cheektowaga] buying stuff for a fundraiser for the fire company,” DePasquale said. “That money can be utilized if we run short.”
Colden put its budget together in September and now it may have to cut road projects because of the gas price spike. DePasquale added the highway department may have to eliminate road resurfacing projects because they use oil and stone for those jobs.
As the prices bounce up and down by the day, many truckers are left confused and concerned, saying consumers will feel the impact.
“It just doesn’t make sense. I just can’t understand why it’s jumping so much in such a short time,” Morehouse concluded.
Across New York, the average price for a gallon of diesel is $5.32, up five cents from Thursday. According to CBS News, gas prices are expected to remain high for the near future and inflation is expected to get worse in March and April.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.