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'It's my job to bring home the bacon': Commercial drivers in Nebraska struggle to meet fuel prices

Record-breaking prices push costs to customers
Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 20:18:29-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Rob Pearce owns and operates Karaoke Kruzin, a van that offers karaoke experiences and seatbelts for 12.

"My single largest expense is fuel. And that was the case even before prices went up here. It was just a couple of years ago at the Casey's near my house gas was 2.19, and it's 3.89 now," Pearce said.

In a 6,500 lbs. vehicle that's tall and wide, Pearce ends up with 10 miles a gallon.

"I'm a one-man outfit. I run the business and drive the van and do the marketing and everything. It's my job to bring home the bacon," Pearce said.

To take action he's charging 20% more for customers, going from $15 to $18 per person for the first hour.

"Anytime you raise prices, it just doesn't feel good. Nobody likes it when prices go and the backbone of my business is making people smile," Pearce said.

The price of diesel nationally breaks records every day. The Energy Information Administration reports a gallon costs at least $2 more than it did at this same time last year.

"All of our members are having to scramble to figure out how to continue to run their trucks with these kinds of price increases," said the Nebraska Trucking Association's President Kent Grisham.

Grisham fears rising fuel prices further threaten the supply chain.

"There are going to be times when a trucking company is gonna say we're not able to take that load because we simply don't make any money doing so," Grisham said.

Diesel is now up to $5.25 per gallon when it was just $3.19 last year.

"This is an energy crisis that we're facing. And we have to come up with some kind of agreement for the time being. For the here and now," Grisham said.

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