BALLARAT petrol stations are playing it by ear to see if they will have enough petrol to last out the week, after a major fuel transport company was forced off the roads over safety fears.
Trucks from Cootes Transport have been grounded by VicRoads after safety inspections were prompted by a fatal crash in Sydney last week when a tanker exploded.
The trucking company operates tankers which supply many of the major fuel companies.
One local service station manager said some scheduled loads had been delayed due to the grounding, with supplies already running low on diesel.
"If there's panic buying we'll definitely run out tomorrow," they said.
"We'll play it by ear. If we get a load tonight we're right for another couple of days again."
Another service station manager with a different company said their LPG supplies were likely to be affected by the tanker shortage.
In a statement, Shell Australia said it was working closely with Cootes Transport and its other fuel transport providers to minimise the impact on customers.
"The company is actively monitoring stock levels at its service stations and working with its dealers, including Coles Express, to prioritise deliveries of fuel to sites where it is most needed," the statement said.
Shell expected that its supplies would improve over the week as trucks are returned to the road.
Sunset Strip Service Centre owner Phillip Davis said his business wouldn't be affected because he wasn't supplied by the major companies.
"Us independents shouldn't be too bad, it's only the bigger boys that will be overly worried," he said.