David Long loves his work. His work, however, has become increasingly loveless as Long attempts to carve out a living in an industry rocked by fuel prices and soaring operation costs: trucking.

Long, 65, independently operates David Long Refrigerated Transport Inc., moving perishables like fresh produce and chicken. In the past year, however, Long’s 2008 Peterbilt has been spending more time in front of his Dover home and less time on the open road. Long, along with many other independent drivers nationwide, is experiencing the economic pressures of the current recession. Once a source of comfortable income, the trucking industry has succumbed to surging diesel prices, leaving a growing number of drivers to operate for marginal profits, if not losses.

“I don’t know exactly why I am still in the business except for the fact that it’s in my blood,” Long said. “I got hooked when I could make a living.”

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