essential workers

Truckers Continue to Deliver Critical Supplies During Pandemic

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While many people are staying home, truck drivers are continuing to hit the road. Their job is as crucial as ever as they deliver groceries, cleaning products, and medical supplies.

"I've never seen the roads as dead as they are right now," said John Larrabee of Philadelphia.

Larrabee has been driving trucks for 20 years. His haul usually caters to restaurants, but with the coronavirus pandemic, he's now delivering to grocery warehouses. And the roads have never seemed quieter.

"I just drove through New York City and it was kind of eerie seeing mostly truck traffic, hardly any cars," said Larrabee.

With more and more people staying home, that's cutting down on traffic and allowing trucks and the items they're carrying to reach destinations faster. Larrabee shared a picture in Pennsylvania that showed something he's never seen before. In the image, tractor-trailers are lined up as far as the eye can see, waiting to get items like toilet paper and paper towels from a distribution center.

"I think it's helped people understand the critical role the trucking industry plays in our economy," said Joe Sculley, President of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut.

MTAC represents more than 500 small business trucking companies. Sculley says the state's put in place policies that are helping like the DMV extending credentialed deadlines by 90 days on drivers licenses and vehicle registrations and allowing flexibility in driving hours.

"The DOT did create a policy allowing for an emergency overweight permit if you are transporting something that is in direct response to this emergency," said Sculley.

Sixty thousand employees work in the trucking industry in the state, and they're busier than ever. That also means the places drivers stop are even more critical.

"A lot of the rest areas are closed in some parts of the US which gives us difficulty finding a place to park and sleep," said Larrabee.

Larrabee says some states have locked up bathrooms and blocked off parking lots in rest areas, leaving truck drivers with few options.

In Connecticut, rest areas and service plazas remain open. And as everyone in the state leans on truckers to keep the supply coming, they hope the state continues to keep them in mind too.

Sculley says for shoppers, it's important to know that there is no need to panic buy. He says you can shop like you normally would because the supply chain is working.

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