Trucker Mario Gonzalez fills up at Pilot Truck Stop in Lufkin. He talked about delays caused by increased traffic on Highway 59. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Truckers say if the reroute lasts for more than a couple of days it will cause fueling stop problems. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Trucks line up at diesel stops along Highway 59 which carried extra traffic due to the Interstate 10 reroute. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Fuel distributors say they’re monitoring supplies closely and don’t foresee any shortage due to increased demand. (Source: KTRE Staff)
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -
With increased traffic comes increased fuel demands. As a result, distributors are watching fuel supplies closely.
Truckers line up to refuel at diesel stops up and down US Highway 59. They know when traffic is like this it's important to keep the tanks full. Short runs are taking twice as long for some drivers.
"Normally it's a day run and it's gonna cost them about two days to do it now to get back to Silsbee from Baton Rouge to New Orleans because they're going to have to go a long ways away,” said Marty Lewis with South Hampton Trucking.
At times, every diesel bay is full at The Pilot Truck Stop in Lufkin. Booming business has truckers waiting in line. Regular Casey Hitchcock noticed the difference Tuesday.
"I'm here every day and there's usually hardly anyone here,” Hitchcock said. “Today it's full of trucks."
Management is confident that they can keep up with the increased demand. Should they need more diesel they say they can get it here in a matter of hours.
They've been checking the levels on the fuel and sending somebody out,” said Jennifer Harvey, a Pilot Truck Stop employee.
Most all suppliers now use sophisticated software, similar to what Brookshire Brothers uses, to monitor fuel supplies. So far the company hasn't noticed any spikes at any of its 85 locations in Deep East Texas and Louisiana.
"Also our fuel trucks loaded up and delivered fuel yesterday in Louisiana, so all of our stations in Louisiana area are taken care of.,” said Sally Alvis, a spokeswoman for Brookshire Brothers.
Uncertainty about when travel will return to normal will make long hauls unpredictable. Experiences truckers are prepared.
"I've got both tanks full, so I'm good,” said one trucker.