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'Frightening' | Trucking companies feel pain at the pump as costs get passed to consumers

A gallon of diesel hit an all-time high in California at $5.83, according to AAA.

STOCKTON, California — Soaring gas prices aren't just hitting the average driver, but also truckers and the companies they work for, too.

The price for a gallon of diesel fuel in California hit an all-time record high of $5.83 Tuesday and isn't expected to drop soon. A day earlier, the price was $5.69. A year ago, a price of a gallon of diesel was $3.91.

Raj Singh, sole driver and owner of Raj Trucking, says the fuel increases are difficult. He said he paid about $600 to fill up his gas tank last month. Now, he says it costs him about $800.

"It's going too high. Very hard to survive for all the people," Singh said.

Joe Antonini owns the long-time Stockton, family-run trucking business, Antonini Freight Express. He described the soaring price of diesel in one word, "frightening."

The company has 230 trucks delivering good throughout Northern California and the Central Valley. It hauls all kinds of agricultural products, like tomatoes, almonds and walnuts, as well as canned goods and bulk wine.

With increasing prices at the pump, it begs the question as to who will pay for the added fuel costs.

"We are able to pass along most of our fuel cost increase to our customers who then passes it on to the consumer," Antonini said.

Those added costs are coming to a store near you. The lingering question is "how soon?"

"These things tend to be a little sticky in that it takes a little bit of time. But, a price change like this can be felt pretty quickly," said David Lang, economics professor at Sacramento State University and chair of the department.

Lang's advice is simply to plan for it.

"By and large what consumers need to do is to expect it and to brace for it a little bit," Lang said, adding people should keep in mind the price increases will "probably not be a huge impact," but it will be a "noticeable impact" and "probably not be forever."

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