I work at a Chevron truck stop where gas is around 10 cents higher then the “low rate” stations, and I hear from customers every day. Diesel is now $4.15 at our station, and the truck drivers are the most vocal.
In my own family, the higher gas prices and the lower economy have caused us to make one big change. My husband has quit his job to start his own business.
He bought a Dodge 3500, equipped it to pull fifth wheels and trailers, and will soon be working as a Hot Shot driver delivering RVs and campers from one part of the US to another.
With gas prices, and especially diesel prices soaring out of control this venture is nerve wracking. We’ve spent almost $10,000 starting this business, between buying a pick up, equipping it, and all the insurances and licenses to get it running.
When I first spoke of this new venture with the various truck drivers who come to our station they were supportive, hoping it would work out for me. Many told me about those they knew who did Hot Shots and made a good living at it.
Now, as the prices creep ever upward, they are more subdued. They still hope the best, but they are wondering about their own lively hood. Some talk about retirement, others hope shipping costs will go up soon so they can make their own bills.
The Dodge runs on diesel, so now, while we wait the last few items to get our business running, we leave it parked in a driveway while I drive the little Jetta to work.
We are lucky in that my job is only four miles from our home. Another co-worker lives thirty miles away, and at minimum wage keeping a job like that is difficult. It is almost easier for some to be on welfare.
When both my husband and I were working, before we got the Dodge, and before gas prices reached $3 a gallon we spent $100 a week on fuel to get to work, drive to the store, and trips to see family nearby. Fuel is now over $3.50 a gallon and he no longer commutes the 30 miles a day to work, but we still pay over $100 a week on fuel just to go to my work and grocery shopping.
We only visit family once every other week even though they only live a few miles away. We don’t go on short day trips to picnic in the country side like we use to, or go to the local lake to swim. We don’t eat out, and we are extremely frugal with any groceries or clothing we buy.
Almost every cent we make goes to bills, gas, and starting a new business we hope… no pray… will at least pay for the bills, and maybe even allow me to go to part time work so I can go back to school. Until then we wait. Wait to see what will happen to the gas prices, if businesses will start picking up instead of dropping off their employees. If our new venture will work.