While much of our economy has slowed to a halt, the trucking industry is, in many cases, running full steam ahead.
Truck drivers on Connecticut highways are playing a critical role delivering essential goods like food and medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Life as a truck driver right now is both rewarding and trying,” said truck driver Tony Spero. He said his job has never felt more important.
“We’re delivering to the hospitals, getting the doctors and nurses the equipment they need,” Spero said.
Drivers have also run into new roadblocks in this new normal, Spero said.
“Some customers won’t let us in the building. Other customers will let us in the building, but we’re confined to a small area. We can’t even go and wash our hands and use the facilities,” he said.
Grabbing a meal on the job is not as easy right now either. “Everything is curbside pick-up. It’s not easy to pull a tractor-trailer truck alongside the curb and have someone bring out food to you,” said Spero.
“If we didn’t have truck drivers right now, we would be looking at empty store shelves permanently,” said Joe Sculley, a spokesperson for the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, which represents thousands of trucking industry workers in our state.
Sculley described some of the drastic changes for truck drivers during the pandemic.
“There is literally no traffic on the road,” said Sculley. “There’s no one out there to slow them down. They can go 55 (miles per hour) instead of 35 even in southwest Connecticut on I-95, so, that’s a good thing.”
Economic experts said while trucking related to some retail, restaurant and hospitality businesses has slowed as of late, the demands on the trucking industry remain high.
“All this stuff comes on a truck and it’s a good thing the trucks are coming otherwise we’d be in an even worse spot than we are right now,” Sculley said.