We continue to diversify our business model with the goal of achieving a balanced portfolio of revenues comprised of One-Way Truckload (which includes the short-haul Regional, medium-to-long-haul Van and Expedited fleets), Specialized Services and VAS. Our Specialized Services unit, primarily Dedicated, ended the quarter with 3,285 trucks (or 46% of our total fleet).
Diesel fuel prices were seven cents per gallon higher in third quarter 2012 than in third quarter 2011 and were 11 cents per gallon higher than in second quarter 2012. In second quarter 2012, the Department of Energy ("DOE") national average fuel survey price per gallon declined each week for the last eleven weeks. In a period of steadily declining fuel prices, the Company experiences a temporary favorable earnings lag effect, since fuel costs decline at a faster pace than the market indexes used to determine fuel surcharge collections. This occurred during second quarter 2012, enabling the Company to temporarily have lower net fuel expense, which helped to offset uncompensated fuel costs such as truck idling, empty miles, and out-of-route miles. In third quarter 2012, the DOE national average fuel price increased each week for eleven consecutive weeks . When fuel prices steadily rise each week, there is a temporary negative earnings lag effect that occurs because the cost of fuel rises immediately and the market indexes that are used to determine fuel surcharges increase at a slower pace. This occurred during third quarter 2012, causing the Company to have higher net fuel expense. For the first 17 days of October 2012, the average diesel fuel price per gallon was 40 cents higher than the average diesel fuel price per gallon in the same period of 2011 and 30 cents higher than in fourth quarter 2011.
Capacity in our industry remains constrained by economic, safety and regulatory factors. From 2007 to 2010, the number of new class 8 trucks built was well below historical replacement levels for our industry. This led to the oldest average industry truck age in 40 years. Carriers were compelled to begin upgrading their aging truck fleets, which led to increased replacement purchases of new and later-model used trucks during 2011. Orders for new class 8 trucks have been slowing during 2012. We believe these orders slowed as current freight rate relief is not keeping pace with the increased costs and capital requirements for new and much more expensive EPA-compliant trucks. The significantly higher costs of new equipment and related diesel exhaust fluid will not be recovered through a single year rate review cycle; however, we remain committed to investing in a best in class fleet for the benefit of our customers, our drivers and the Werner brand.
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