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Fuel may force trucks off road

There could be fewer trucks on Nova Scotia’s roads in the coming months as the cost of diesel fuel continues to soar.

There could be fewer trucks on Nova Scotia’s roads in the coming months as the cost of diesel fuel continues to soar.

Prices have jumped almost 10 cents a litre in Halifax over the past week, bringing the cost to about $1.40 per litre.

The Trucking Association of Nova Scotia’s Brian Williams said fuel costs now account for about 50 per cent of a truck driver’s gross earnings.

“I’ve been trucking for 40 years, and the old story is anything over one-third and you might as well not bother running that rig, because you’re not going to make any money,” said the president of Pictou’s chapter of the association.

Over the past few weeks, truckers across the United States have protested the high cost of fuel, slowing their rigs to a crawl on major highways in New Jersey, Chicago, Atlanta and Tampa in hopes the action might pressure U.S. President George W. Bush to force price stabilization.

Williams said Nova Scotia truckers have no plans for similar action because blocking the roads will only serve to make the public angry.

“So when the grocery stores go empty and everything else that’s delivered by truck, then people will realize we have to do something here,” he said.

There are more than 800 truck drivers in the association and Williams said it’s difficult to speculate how many will be parked at the beginning of May when spring weight restrictions are lifted and the construction season begins.

Truckers in the association mostly transport construction materials for government infrastructure projects.

“The strong will survive and the weak will not be there,” Williams said.


robyn.young@metronews.ca

 
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