Truck drivers share pandemic observations

a big rig passes through Crawford County

The Coronavirus has impacted lives of Americans across the country and that includes the ones who are crossing the country.

Plenty of truck drivers are encountering closed hotels and limited options when it comes to finding a bite to eat.

“It’s been difficult. It’s hard to get a meal or be able to eat and stuff, unless you go to a major truck place. You can’t go up to a drive thru or anything like that and get food,” said truck driver Barry Otto.

Multiple states have closed their rest stops, and one truck driver tells KOAM that it’s resulted in packed truck stops.

“When I go in later, it’s like they park where they want to and it gets pretty crowded, so I end up parking by the highway,” said truck driver Tim Cook.

Another truck driver on his way through the 4-State area says the Coronavirus has made a notable decrease in the amount of face-to-face interactions while on the job.

“Dealing with shippers and receivers and stuff, they’re doing the spacing, and a lot of times we’re not actually in contact with them. We talk through a walkie talkie,” said truck driver Albert Smith.

But one truck driver tells KOAM that it’s not all bad news, and that there is one aspect of the pandemic that’s made his job easier.

“Less traffic. That’s it with me. Everything else is pretty normal for me personally, my truck, and my trucking company,” said truck driver Vernon Davis.

KOAM reached out to Joplin’s Contract Freighters, Inc. to find out how the Coronavirus was affecting their drivers or whether they had put any changes in place as a response to the pandemic. They declined to comment.