HometownMcLennan County


Truck drivers working harder amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:59 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 19:59:38-04

WACO, TX — Truck drivers are working even harder as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Without them, our store shelves would always look empty, and as people panic-buy food and cleaning products, they are the ones we rely on.

Darline Swain has been driving for 35 years, and she is constantly helping travel product that we need everyday.

"More push, push, shove, shove. It's get the load, get it to where it's gotta be so they can get stocked, get everything back on the shelves, and it's still not working," Swain said.

Driving the extra mile to restock groceries isn't the only speed bump they face.

"It's making it harder for all the truck drivers out there because we rely on going in and eating instead of sitting in our trucks and eating," Larry Thompson said.

A driver for 7 years, Thompson enjoys having that time out of his truck, but now he's being confined even more. Swain is also seeing even more struggles as she drives across the country.

"There's a lot of rest areas being shut down, a lot of people want to shut the showers down," Swain said.

Roy Burke has been driving for 15 years and now trains our future drivers. During the pandemic he's seeing a bigger need than before.

"I think this pandemic with the coronavirus has really highlighted and showcased the need and that there is a shortage and we do need more," Burke said.

The American Trucking Association reported more than 60,000 drivers were needed by the end of 2019. That number is only going to increase if more aren't planning on taking life on the road.

Our demand and need for truck drivers is always high, and in times of stress and uncertainty, our drivers want us to remember one thing.

"We're doing the best we can. We're working more hours than we ever had to get the product to you," Burke said.

Because without them, it would be hard to survive.

The FMSCA issued an emergency order providing regulatory relief for drivers transporting food to restock shelves and supplied for Coronavirus relief.

For more information on the American Trucking Association and their study on the shortage of driver you can visit their website.