Not seeing road signs to economic recovery

October 14, 2009 9:19:05 PM PDT
Economists believe North Carolina and the country are on the road to recovery, but that doesn't mean it will be a smooth ride. Many truckers are running into pot holes along the way.

A lot of truckers like Mike Wiggins say they don't see any signs of an economic recovery.

"I'm down roughly $15,000 to $20,000 for the year, when I get my money back I know the recession is over," he said.

The trucking industry says drivers carry just about everything made or sold in America.

The best way to gauge the economy they believe, is to count the number of big rigs on the road.

Truckers say 2009 is one of their toughest years ever. According to national reports, nearly 500 trucking companies went under.

Chester Riley has been a trucker for 23 years and says many drivers are struggling on the road more, but making less money.

"It's costing me to live out here on the road than it did last year," Riley said. "I see on average $50 to $60 more on the week its costing me to live out here, so how is it getting better.

But some say business is starting to improve. Bob Corney, who runs a fleet of trucks in Robeson County, says his first indication of a turn around was an increase in shipping orders for cardboard.

"That's always a good indication, because that supplies so many different areas of the market," he said.

Corney is hiring 10 new drivers and says he sees better times ahead.

"We really think and believe that the first quarter of next year we may see as much as ten to 15 percent increase," he said.

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