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1/29/2016 10:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Rolling With the Changes, North Dakota Trucking Companies Affected by Falling Oil Prices

Black Hills Trucking

Mike Bertelsen, the Dickinson, North Dakota, terminal superintendent of regional Black Hills Trucking, said his branch of the company has felt the winds of change like many others in the region.

He said there has been a “dramatic” change in the business they encounter. The company hauls far less oil rigs, pipes and other equipment to and from the field.

“The only thing that has been relatively steady is our crude hauling,” Bertelsen said.

Trucking, like other businesses in the area, has felt the impact of globally slouching oil prices. However, the effects local companies report are varied.

Bertelsen said his company has had to rein in spending and lay off drivers as a result of economic conditions, he said.

He said the branch also has lost drivers because many figured they could go back to their home areas to drive for a similar amount of pay without having to pay for the high rent in and around Dickinson.

But Bertelsen said his company now can be “a lot more choosy” in hiring for open spots due to the multitude of drivers no longer being employed by other companies in the oil field.

For now, Bertelsen said his company’s Dickinson terminal plans to watch spending and keep cutting back, and to maintain operations through the slump.

“I think we’ll survive,” he said.

The oil industry slowdown also has affected Troy Anderson Trucking, a company southeast of Dickinson owned by Troy Anderson and his father Dave.

Before the downturn, Troy Anderson said hauling aggregate materials and some pipes for the oil industry accounted for “about 55%” of his company’s total business.

Last summer, he said it likely accounted for less than 10%.

“It’s affecting us,” he said.

Fuel prices have come down, but Anderson said he was wondering why they weren’t lower. He said he had just studied what conditions were like in 2008, when he said fuel prices hit $1.54 while oil was at $90 per barrel.

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By Andrew Wernette
The Dickinson (N.D.) Press


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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