The Associated Press reports that as the cost of fuel rises, truckers are being forced to slow their average speeds by 5-10mph to save money. As of Thursday, the nationwide average for a gallon of diesel was $4.03, up from $2.74 a year ago. Both large trucking firms and independent owner-operators are being affected.
Photography credit: C.P.Storm
Fuel costs make up about 1/4 of expenses for truckers, now surpassing the cost of labor. With most trucks carrying two 300-gallon fuel tanks, we can see why they'd want to conserve. Industry experts report that slowing from 75 to 65mph can reduce consumption by as much as 1mpg, a considerable percentage for vehicles that achieve less than 10mpg.
The AP goes on to report that truck companies are relaxing delivery times for drivers and lowering governed speeds, all in an effort to save money. Apparently, every one-cent increase in the price of diesel costs the truck industry $391 million. [Via Yahoo! News]