BROOKLYN CENTER -- The President of the Minnesota Trucking Association says it's been a double blow to their members who are dealing with driver shortages and now record-high diesel fuel prices.

John Hausladen says with diesel prices averaging $5.00 per gallon, it's costing drivers $1,000 to fill up their rigs...

It is incredibly high. This is a serious issue for trucking companies to manage because fuel at these new prices has become our #1 cost jumping over labor costs. And, the challenge is, we can only recover some of this from our customers. We only pick up about 60-70% of the price increases through surcharges.

Hausladen's not sure how long many smaller haulers will be able to hang on if the prices don't start to come down...

I'm concerned we may lose some trucking companies out of this. We've seen this in the past when prices go up. And, right now with the capacity shortage, the last thing we need is to lose trucking companies. So, we need the federal government and we need the President to take leadership to address this. These prices were going up before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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As for a pause in the state and federal gas taxes, Hausladen says that is only a temporary fix.  He says the trucking association has always supported funding for infrastructure maintenance and improvements so a gas tax holiday could damage those efforts. He says we need permanent reforms that benefit truck drivers.

Hausladen says truckers are resilient and they'll find a way to get the job done, but he says it will come at a cost.

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