TUESDAY, FEB. 28: The price of water will be going up to $90 a load from $80.
Russ Ford, vice-president of the Bermuda Water Truckers Association and spokesperson, said the price increase was necessary, as their expenses had gone up.
The price increase takes effect on April 1 and is per load.
Mr Ford said the Bermuda Water Truckers Association had a special meeting three weeks ago to discuss and vote on the price increase as well as the moratorium on new water truck licences.
“There was a very long debate about (the price increase) with all the owners and dealers, which were represented by over half the owned trucks on the island.”
Mr Ford said it was not a unanimous vote as some dealers were concerned about a price increase to consumers.
“It was close [the vote]. There was some trepidation about increasing their prices because everybody is suffering and we don’t want to put any undue burden on the public, yet at the same time we are shouldering the effects of it.
“We haven’t moved our prices up for a year and a half and we have actually held off because of the economic situation and put an undue burden on Mr and Mrs Joe Public, but at the end of the day, the hard reality is our costs have gone up.”
He said the cost of getting water from Government went up 47 per cent about a year ago and the Bermuda Water Truckers Association at that time did not pass the cost on to the consumer.
“Our fuel has gone up. Diesel in particular is very high. It is almost matching the cost of gasoline. Truck parts have gone up, particularly tyres. All our operation costs have gone up so we have to move forward reluctantly.”
Mr Ford added the BWTA backed the moratorium on new water truck licences put into effect by Government two weeks ago.
“We’ve always supported that. That was an initiative of ours from a couple of years ago.
“The reality of it came to bear this past year when we found really, really couldn’t compete any further with other people coming into the business.”
On January 3, Transport Minister Derrick Burgess said no new licences would be issued to protect existing operators in a market that is drying up.
Mr Burgess added: “This will give water truckers the boost they need to remain fruitful in the current challenging climate.”
Mr Ford said that there are 34 companies that hold permits to operate 45 water trucks. Those 45 trucks can together deliver 59,500 gallons in one trip. There are 13 trucks which carry 2,000-gallon loads and one truck which carries a 2,500-gallon load, with the rest carrying 950-1,000-gallon loads.