Dec. 14, 2006
Statement of Mark and Becky Rushing, Hot Fuel Lawsuit
Dec. 14, 2006*
Mark: Hi, I’m Mark Rushing and I’m here with my wife, Becky. We are a husband and wife owner-operator truck driving team from Spearsville, La. We drove over 200,000 miles last year and we’ll drive close to 250,000 miles this year. Last year, we spent $88,151.27 on diesel fuel. So far, this year we’ve spent $93,935.70 as of November 21st. We can spend $3100 a week on diesel fuel alone. It is our largest and most important cost for our business.
Becky: We alternate driving so that our truck never stops moving. The only time our truck stops is when we are picking up or dropping off a load, fueling, or taking showers. We drive with our four dogs, one of which is trained to honk the horn if anyone comes close to the truck. Like everyone else in this business, we make sacrifices every year for this job. We have only been home three times this year. We have missed births, holidays, family reunions and other special occasions because we know that in order to pay our bills, we have to keep the truck moving. We’re lucky, though, because we are together, but there are so many truck drivers that have to be away from their spouses and families a good part of the year.
Mark: Truckers haul just about everything you can imagine across this land. We really do keep America moving.
Becky: We agreed to join this lawsuit because it’s hard enough to make a living out here as it is. To save money, we have a refrigerator and microwave on our truck and buy our food and supplies from supermarkets and rarely eat out. We put a generator on our truck last year to try to further save on operating costs. We see drivers everyday, and some are our friends, who have had to give up their trucks and get off the road because they can’t afford to make a living and we don’t need the oil companies taking advantage of us too. Not only are we truck drivers, we are consumers, also. When we do get to go home, I have to do grocery shopping and take our four-legged children to the doctor. Mark has to buy gas to fill up our lawn mower so that he can mow the lawn. There are people out here who are struggling to commute to work every day and take their children to the doctor and to s occer practice and they’re being cheated out of their money too. I have friends who are single mothers working two jobs to feed their kids and they have to scrape change together to buy gas. I have another friend who is retired and on a fixed income who can’t afford to come visit because she can’t afford the gas. We’re here not only representing the American truck driver, but EVERY American consumer and we want to get the energy in our vehicles that we thought we had been paying for.
*This was read at a telephone press conference. For more information, click here.