Trucking companies hit hard by high gas prices

AVON, Ind. (WISH) — Sid Mahant, owner of Mahant Transportation, remembers when gas was more than $2 cheaper per gallon a year ago.

“Fuel costs for us have gone up almost 40%. It’s a lot,” he said.

He doesn’t expect to lay off any employees, for now. He runs 70 trucks out of his facility in Avon.

However, smaller trucking companies are shutting down because they simply cannot afford fuel.

“There was a company, they had nine trucks and 11 trailers. They started last year on the first of June, and they closed the company on the 25th of last month,” Mahant said.

Mahant is also president of the Indiana Diverse Truckers Association, which has 200 members, most from small companies with up to 10 trucks in their fleets.

Due to the economy, Mahant no longer has 10 truckers who owned their own rigs but drove the trucks under his company’s name as independent contractors.

“Some of them sold the trucks and are driving for somebody. Some of them started driving Uber, and some of them already parked the truck at my property and they’ve gone back home.”

On top of high fuel prices, the average freight price decreased by $1 from an average of $3.11 to $2.10 over the past year, meaning truckers are making less money for hauling products across the country.

“If the trucking companies slow down, then everything slows down, and it’s a problem for everybody around the world,” Mahant said.

Mahant has written a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, asking the Biden administration to suspend the federal gas tax.