Truck Drivers Face Challenges as Essential Workers

May 27, 2020
Trucks parked on a street.

A Pocomoke City trucking company says although truck drivers are essential workers, they’ve been left behind in recent months because of new restrictions. The owner, Kenneth Rantz, says drivers do a lot of behind the scenes work. 

Since the pandemic began, most have been contained to their trucks because the rest stops aren’t running as usual. Rantz told 47 ABC that those much needed breaks are crucial for the safety of drivers across the country. 

Rantz also says staff shortages have affected their projected schedules because companies are taking longer to unload deliveries. 

According to an Inforum article, truckers sometimes drive for up to 10 hours at a time, without making a stop. While maintaining focus on the road ahead, being able to sit inside a restaurant provides more than a meal for many truckers. For Ernie Holmes, a Canadian truck driver, enjoying a meal in a restaurant “fills the void” of interacting with others after being in the driver’s seat for hours. 

For Montana-based truck driver Myron Aeschbacher, pulling into the I-90 Truck Stop on Wednesday afternoon provided a breath of fresh and needed hygiene, as it housed a shower room. 

“Some of the states I travel through in the South are starting to slowly open things back up, but there are so many restrictions for eating in a restaurant that it makes it hard to get a table,” Aeschbacher told Inforum. “I’ve seen some places allow only 25 to 30 people in the same restaurant at once with a waiting line.”

With some states deciding to close truck stops that house the only shower rooms and restaurants, drivers can only hope the changes will begin to slow.