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Oct 14, 2020
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Unsung Heroes of the American Highway: What the COVID-19 Pandemic Taught Us About the Essential Job of Trucking 

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COVID-19’s disastrous touch has devastated the world economy and threatened the lives of millions. You had moments where there were toilet paper shortages, and many necessities were missing from store shelves. People see empty shelves, but few realize the individuals who keep the shelves stocked. Truckers perform one of the essential jobs in modern society because, without truckers, people would die. 

Changes to Trucking Laws Because of COVID-19

During the worst of the virus, empty shelves left consumers scrambling for common everyday household goods like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The Trump administration temporarily repealed an 84-year-old trucking law during this time that dictated how long truckers could drive on the road. This meant truckers could go extra hours to deliver essential goods and medicines to stores. Without repealing this law, the pandemic’s panic may have worsened because they couldn’t keep the store shelves stocked. They’d empty as soon as they arrived because overly emotional people hoarded goods. This led to shortages, and stores had to implement practices to stop people from hoarding. 

Truckers: Serving America

What happened should demonstrate the vital role that truckers play in our nation’s economy. Keeping the flow of goods and medicines steady and dependable makes it one of America’s most critical jobs. Without truckers, modern stores would look much different, and access to medicine would concentrate only in specific regions. People in some areas would die without truckers. When you agree to driver recruitment, you have signed up to support the nation’s economy. 

Why Truckers Matter

 You have a few reasons that make this profession essential to our lives. Some of the reasons include:

  • Responsible for hauling goods and medicines
  • Good sold and generates income for companies
  • Other industries depend on truckers

The diversity of what we can buy at stores comes because of truckers. When you have jackfruit at your store when it doesn’t grow in your region, you can thank a trucker for it. 

There During the Crisis

We saw truckers helping during the COVID-19 crisis, and we have seen them there for us in every other disaster. When Hurricane Dorian struck in 2019, it became the first major hurricane of the Atlantic. Throughout the disaster, truckers helped to keep stores stocked with foods and medicines. Without these things, the natural disaster could have quickly become much worse. 

Putting Their Lives on the Line

Like with cashiers, truckers put their lives on the line because they have a high risk of exposure to the virus. Granted, their jobs usually require isolation on the road. However, in some cases, the risk might be even higher because of how truckers drive all regions of the country, and they will even drive through COVID-19 hotspots. Because of that, they could have an even higher risk than cashiers or people who work with the public. Truckers get exposed to everything because they interact with the public and the individuals they deliver goods to. 

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affects Truckers

As with the other industries, the pandemic’s economic slowdown has meant that trucking companies don’t buy as many new trucks. Companies that work the segments the hardest hit by the pandemic, such as the gas and oil industry, have noticed the most significant impact. Everyone has supported everyone else during the pandemic. However, the pandemic didn’t start like this, and it began with many people hoarding supplies, endangering others’ lives.

Hauling Hand Sanitizer Freight: Dangerous

The trucker profession distinguishes itself with heroic highlights. Hauling hand sanitizer, for example, is dangerous work. Having that much hand sanitizer in a truck, one accident, even a minor one, and the whole truck explodes. Not only that, but many people depend on the hand sanitizer to fight off the disease. Hand sanitizer containing over 60 percent of alcohol kills microorganisms, such as the coronavirus. 

At the Height of the Coronavirus

At the height of the coronavirus, widespread panic led to hoarding goods. This meant an increased demand for truckers to fulfill the orders. Between March to mid-May, you had many truckers who traveled thousands of miles in days to complete essential orders. They worked harder than before to ensure that American stores kept their shelves stocked. Even with trucks supplying the need, they still couldn’t keep the shelves stocked, but the problem would have compounded itself had we not had these heroes as pillars holding up the ceiling throughout the pandemic. While the rest of the nation enacted tight lockdown measures, truckers were more active during this period than any other in recent memory. 

Today, we push toward recovery. Truckers will remain an essential part of our economic recovery. The $2 trillion bailouts from COVID-19 will cost us. As expert economists say, free lunches don’t exist. Trucking will help with the difficult recovery in the days ahead. 

Truck driver recruitment today has more importance than ever before. The current trucking industry suffers a shortage of 60,000 drivers. We have a real need for more drivers on the road. In 2018, the driver shortage was estimated at 60,800, but it dropped slightly to a 59,500 driver shortage in 2019. Still, we need more people who want to become truck drivers because it fills an essential demand. These heroes serve on the front line every day, away from their families for weeks or months at a time in some cases.

Article Categories:
Trucking News
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