Hot Fuel: Hot Topic for Truckers

Montgomery, Al. (WSFA) -- With fuel prices soaring, truck drivers have a lot on their minds.

But it's not necessarily the cost of fuel they're worried about--it's the temperature.

The Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association says--in a news release--diesel fuel is stored at an average of 23 degrees above the norm in most of the South.

It's simple physics.  As the temperature rises, fuel expands.  With warmer diesel, the organization claims drivers are left paying more for their fuel.

"Certainly everyone using fuel today wants every drop they can get out of that tank, and I don't blame them," explained Commissioner Ron Sparks of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

Sparks oversees the inspections of gas pumps throughout the state.  He says fuel temperature is nearly impossible to regulate.

"You know, once it comes through the tank, we calibrate the pumps.  That's what's important--to make sure if you buy a gallon, you get a gallon," he explained.

Some national organizations hope to install equipment that compensates for a change in temperature.

All in an attempt to save motorists a considerable amount of cash.

Sparks, however, says with high traffic and demand, fuel hardly ever gets the chance to sit around.

"These tanks probably turn over within a matter of 48 hours.  There's a lot of gasoline that's pumped," Sparks said.

For now, truckers in Alabama will have to settle for the status quo, despite prices that continue to rise.