In Katrina's Wake: Truck Stops
Two days after Hurricane Katrina
struck the oil-laden Gulf Coast, many of the nation's
truck drivers are encountering unprecedented fuel rationing
as they brace for a spike in prices.
Wayne Kitchen, a Greer, S.C.-based
driver for Bavarian Motor Transport, told WorldNetDaily
he hasn't seen a shortage of this kind in his 30 years
in the industry.
"It's scary," he said,
noting many independent truckers already are on the
brink of financial ruin due in large part to record
"This is really going to put
the icing on the cake for a lot of them."
Like Kitchen, Michael Wade - a
driver with PLT Enterprises in Bay City, Mich. - said
his company informed him that truck stops were limiting
each sale to 50 gallons while others allowed 100 gallons.
"For the next month it's going
to be rough out here," said Wade, who uses as much
as 140 gallons a day.
Tom Liutkus, a spokesman for TravelCenters
of America, the nation's largest network of truck stops,
told WND that many of his company's locations are limiting
sales to 50 gallons per transaction because they have
not received any product since Monday's shutdown of
the crucial Colonial Pipeline, which runs from Houston
to Rhode Island.
"In order to stretch that
out, I think a lot of [other companies] are doing the
same thing," he said.
The pipeline's section from Houston
to Greensboro, N.C., is not operating due to damage
by the hurricane.
Terry Scruton of the 130,000-member
Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association told
WND he is aware of rationing in Florida, North Carolina
Scruton, a writer for the association's
Land Line magazine, confirmed that independent drivers
who already are struggling from the recent rise in fuel
prices will face a serious jolt in the days ahead.
Wade, who said he just filled up
his 53-foot van-trailer in Charleston, Mo., was told
by a truck stop attendant that the price of diesel fuel
at that station will jump overnight from $2.70 to $2.90
to Trucking News Headlines