Diesel prices soaring throughout the nation

FRESNO, Calif.

Increasing gas prices are taking a toll on drivers, especially those who rely on diesel fuel. "It's getting hard, you just won't be able to stay in business. You can only give so much," said trucker Sam Hobbs. On Friday, he filled up his tank at $3.99 a gallon, just below the Fresno average of $4.23 for a gallon of diesel. He hopes to make up for the loss by raising his hauling price. But the majority of the trucking industry has fuel surcharges set in place, so as fuel costs go up, so does the surcharge to customers.

"There's no way that the trucking industry can absorb fuel costs, it can't happen. So there's a fuel surcharge and without that fuel surcharge we'd all be out of business," said Jim Ganduglia, who owns his own trucking company in Southeast Fresno.

The increased fuel costs are passed on to the consumer but not every industry can do that.

The agriculture sector relies heavily on diesel-powered equipment to care for crops, leaving many farmers with no choice but to absorb the higher prices. "We have to eat that on our bottom line simply because we can't pass it along. Now, can the consumer see higher prices, most likely yes because in the transportation of that product, once it leaves the farm, a lot of times that is passed onto the consumer," said Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno County Farm Bureau.

Greg Markarian buys diesel by the truckload and stores it in this 12,000 gallon fuel tank on his family ranch. "Typically, February in the past has been one of the lowest times for fuel. We have some storage capacity so we would go and buy truck and trailer loads in February but now that doesn't apply," said Markarian.

The high prices are forcing farmers to come up with new ways to cut their fuel costs. "We'll think of ways, maybe make less passes through the field with the tractor when we normally would of. Try to figure out ways by maybe using weed sprays instead of cultivation," said Markarian.

Farmers are concerned the gas prices will only continue to go up from now on and are expecting big losses in revenue this year.

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