Valley trucking, ag industries impacted by high diesel prices

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- While nearly all of us are feeling pain at the pump, the record-high price of diesel is a particular challenge for trucking companies.

"I've been doing this 25 years and I've never seen this spike so high," says Erick Argueta with Eagle Trucklines. "It's out of proportion."

Argueta says just six months, ago they were paying about $700 to fill up. Now, it's double that.

They fill their tanks a couple of times a week -- multiply that over a fleet of 25 trucks. It's a huge bill.

Right now, they're not getting any more per load.

RELATED: California gas average continues to surge

That has them coming up with creative ways to save.

"The drivers are very conscience too," Argueta said. "They know that prices here are higher, so they will fill up in Arizona or New Mexico before they get into California. That is a must that they have to do."

While experts warn the rise in price could reach a breaking point for truckers, the Ag industry is also feeling the squeeze

"We have to use diesel for things like tractors, irrigation pumps, there's just not a way around using diesel or any other type of fuel to produce food," says Fresno County Farm Bureau President Daniel Hartwig.

Hartwig is a fourth-generation farmer in Fresno County and while food prices have shot up at the grocery store, he says they haven't matched the surge in fuel and fertilizer costs, leaving many growers struggling to turn a profit ahead of their busy season.

"It's insane with what we're dealing with right now, what we're seeing and we're not even to the crux of harvest yet," he said. "Once we get into harvest, our fuel usage will more than double, so we can only hope and pray that the price of fuel starts to abate by then."
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.