By Terry Scruton
Keeping track of fuel costs these days isn't easy. Blink once driving past a truck stop and the price may change.
The Internet can be a good source for fuel price information the next time you are planning a route or just looking for the cheapest place in town.
All of the major truck stops post up-to-date fuel cost information on their Web sites. Most of them keep fairly current information on which stations are out of fuel and which ones may be running low as well.
AAA posts daily fuel price averages for each state on its Web site. The auto club surveys more than 60,000 self-serve stations and posts pricing updates every business day. However, the information does not include truck stops.
For average truck stop prices by state, ProMiles is probably a trucker's best bet. ProMiles, which is posted on the OOIDA Web site every day, collects its price data from more than 7,000 truck stops.
A more consumer-oriented Web site is Gasbuddy.com, which provides daily updates on gasoline and diesel prices for every state and just about every major city in the country. The only drawback is that the information is submitted by users, so it may not always be accurate.
The site does provide links to a mapping service that also provides addresses and contact information, so a quick phone call can confirm any price.
MSN.com has a fuel price Web site at autos.msn.com. Type in your ZIP code and it will give you a rundown of the fuel prices in that area. One caution: prices on this Web site are not always updated daily. Some of them may be a day or two old.
And then, of course, for weekly updates, there's the Energy Information Agency. The agency provides weekly price information based on region, so it's not as good for trip planning, but it is a good indication of the price trends in a given area.
Print and save this list to find fuel prices online
EIA weekly update: tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/wohdp/diesel_detail_report.asp
Flying J: http://flyingj.com/fuel/diesel_CF.cfm
ooida.com Click on the "Fuel Prices" link on the left side of the home page.
ProMiles: Daily fuel prices from ProMiles are available on OOIDA's Web page.
Sapp Bros. Truck Stops: sappbrostruckstops.com/