Truckers continue to step up despite coronavirus fears

Posted at 3:44 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 17:23:31-04
Truck drivers working around the clock

Many industries are currently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Total Truck Tranport in Moline is doing all they can to help out.

"In all my years of driving, I've never seen anything like this," truck driver Rick Gill said.

Gill has been driving a semi for more than 40 years but nothing has compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the trucking industry is being relied upon more than ever.

"We were delivering hospital beds to Wisconsin," fellow driver Chris Donnelly said, "it's a vital part of needs, everybody needs supplies like that."

"It's very demanding," said Edward Collins who has driven a semi for 20 years, "because you have a lot of people really in need. There are a lot of companies and warehouses that have shortages or high demand, so we're putting in a lot of hours."

Not only are they working around the clock to help fill those store shelves, the truck drivers are also putting themselves in harms way. In fact, many of these drivers are going to metro Detroit daily, which is a hotbed for COVID-19.

"It's definitely a concern," said Total Truck Transport president Bryant LeBlanc, "we're communicating daily with these guys about their safety."

"It's frightening," added Donnelly, "we have the supplies needed and safety gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, that's as best as we can do right now."

Despite working these hard hours and putting themselves at risk, many truck drivers go without recognition, however, that is starting to change.

"It is kind of nice," Gill added, "we see signs up and down the highway, it's really nice how people in the country are coming together for the common good."

Because after all, without trucks on the road right now, store shelves would be empty.

"There's still a lack of understandign on the industry," LeBlanc mentioned, "people don't understand what goes into this. These guys are out here grinding every day."

"I really hope people start appreciating the trucking industry because we really put our time, effort and dedication in out here," added Edward Collins.