SOMERSET, PA – The cost of fuel is not only affecting motorists driving around town, but also truckers topping off their diesel tanks. With diesel at about $4 a gallon, officials at local trucking companies said it is becoming increasingly difficult to run a profitable business, according to the Daily American Online.

The nationwide average for a gallon of diesel fuel this week was $4.03, according to th AAA Web site. The average in Pennsylvania was $4.25. To combat diesel prices, drivers are being more conscious of wear and tear on trucks — a move that would help decrease the amount of fuel being pumped into tanks. Also, some companies are asking drivers to slow down, decrease idle engines, and keep track of the number of gallons of fuel needed to haul loads. Also, some trucking companies are pushing for higher fuel surcharges from the companies they haul for.

According to the American Trucking Association’s Web site, the trucking industry spent more than $112 billion on fuel in 2007 and is expected to spend $135 billion in 2008. Diesel prices have risen more than 19 percent so far this year.