Truck drivers struggle with gas price increases

Mar 11, 2022, 11:25 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — After a week of daily increases, there was still no getting used to the high gas prices Friday, when drivers paid 50 cents more per gallon of gas on average than they did at the start of the work week.

Truck drivers have especially taken a hit.

Each day the numbers at the pump go up, the likelihood of Yosef Yohannes staying behind the wheel of his own truck goes down.

“I’m waiting right now, you know. What’s going to happen in a couple weeks?” Yohannes said. “Otherwise, I’m going to leave as a truck driver. I can find another job. Because I cannot afford it. I cannot work for free.”

On Friday, the average price of a gallon of diesel in Utah broke five dollars, according to AAA. The highest average ever recorded. And 75 cents higher per gallon than it was a week ago.

“I’m not going to pay those fuel prices. I’ll park it. If it was my own truck,” said John Peay.

Peay doesn’t have to pay to fill up his 110-gallon tank. His company covers it. But he knows the company is taking a hit, and he knows other drivers who own their trucks are feeling the pain of the increased prices.

“Well, I filled up this morning in Nevada. It cost $500 to fill 110 gallons,” he said. “Used to only cost about $300.”

Yohannes said he paid nearly $650 to fill up his truck at the Flying J, where diesel was $5.30 per gallon. He doesn’t know what to expect in the coming days and weeks, but he’ll be keeping an eye on the numbers.

“When I don’t see any changes within a couple weeks, I’m going to stop this job as a truck driver.”

According to AAA, the average price of a regular gallon of gas in Utah was $4.35 Friday. That’s higher than the national average, and about $1.50 more than what we were paying a year ago.

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Truck drivers struggle with gas price increases