With Diesel Fuel Prices at an All-Time High, What Are Trucking Companies to Do?

Diesel fuel prices are at the highest point they’ve ever been in the history of America. The incredibly high price of this fuel translates to higher prices in the grocery store, at the hardware store, at the convenience market, and anywhere else you shop. Some Americans are seeing food prices nearly double what they used to be. Even though most of us pay a lot to fill up our gas tanks, truckers and trucking companies experience exponential rises in the overall costs paid.

How much are truckers paying for diesel?

This Semi Out on the Road Uses many gallons of diesel fuel to bring products to stores near you
Semi Out on the Road | Shutterstock

The over-the-road semis we see out on the road requires many gallons of fuel to bring you the products you need to live. According to AAA, the gas price for a gallon of diesel fuel passed $5.55 only a few days ago. This price creates serious sticker shock for truckers and truck drivers, pushing the prices of goods up beyond what we’re used to in our lives.

How many gallons does a semi-truck hold?

These trucks, that ride on 18 wheels, have a pair of fuel tanks for diesel fuel, each holding between 120 and 150 gallons. This means truckers might need to fill up with as much as 300 gallons of diesel before heading back out on the road.

Doing the math on this we find:

$5.55 X 300 = $1,665

Can you imagine paying $1,655 every time you need to fill up your fuel tank? This is what truckers are dealing with right now. Diesel fuel prices are out of control, translating into extremely high costs to deliver products across the country.

How far can an 18-wheeler go on a tank of diesel fuel?

Most of these semi-trucks can achieve 7 miles per gallon when hauling a full load in a trailer. When looking at the average fuel mileage of an 18-wheeler and two 150-gallon tanks, a long-haul truck can travel for up to 2,100 miles with a pair of fuel tanks. That’s a pretty good distance, allowing many truckers to cover a drive that crosses several states.

Is there an alternative to diesel-powered trucks for long-haul driving?

What happened to all of the electric semis being created? Haven’t we seen any companies break through and make a truck that can compete with a diesel-powered semi? The answer is no.

We do see some local delivery trucking routes using electric trucks. In fact, AdWeek tells us that the Columbus, Ohio brand of Two Men and a Truck began using a large electric moving truck recently. Some of the largest electric trucks are as strong as diesel models. Unfortunately, the glaring EV charging problem is still present.

What is the glaring EV charging problem?

So far, no company has found a way to build an EV semi-truck that competes in range with one of the trucks that’s now a victim of the extreme diesel fuel prices. Volvo offers its new VNR Electric Class 8 truck. This truck advertises a range of 275 miles and a four-hour charging time. That means this truck is off the road for four hours before ever reaching 300 miles of distance.

In a world where time is money, there isn’t yet a solution for trucking companies except to continue to pay the highest diesel fuel prices in history. Unfortunately, this translates to higher prices for consumers wherever we shop.

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