While many Americans have been under orders to stay home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, truck drivers continue to deliver food and other essential goods to stores across the country.
Michael Brooks, a truck driver who works overnight shifts for Reinhart Foodservice, said he is starting to see a clear difference in how people perceive them.
“I feel like more people are realizing how important truck drivers really are at this time because of everything going on,” Brooks said. “We take a big risk going out every day to make sure this country keeps going, and the only thing we ask of people is to respect drivers out on the roadways so we can get that load to our destination safely.”
Brooks said he has some concerns about working during the pandemic.
“I’m in and out of multiple stores every night and I never know who I might come in contact with or what I might touch, Brooks said. “Being a provider and father, it concerns me because I have a 2 year-old son and my son’s mother at home that I come home to every morning because I wouldn’t ever want to bring it home. It’s scary because if I don’t work and I can’t pay my bills, and me working every day, I’m at risk.”
Jerry Maciok, a truck driver for Imperial Beverage, said he thinks truck drivers have always been valued in society, but even more so in the last few of weeks.
“Our customers are thanking us from time to time with continuous product delivery,” Maciok said. “Even though we deliver non-essential items like beer, wine, liquor and pop, people seem to be appreciative for our deliveries, and I sense more decency of people in general.”
Maciok said he has noticed many differences in routines because of precautionary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Our customers are not allowed to sign for their incoming products on our tablets and we sanitize before heading to the next customer,” Maciok said. “Precautions are practiced with our company for our customers’ sake and our employees welfare.”
Maciok said his biggest concern is the hour cuts that have happened to him recently.
“Our hours have been cut down quite a bit, from 45 hours to about 30 to 35 hours per week,” Maciok said. “Hour cuts and safety precautions are the two main things that have changed our type of business.”