As the “Crossroads of America,” over 1 million trucks travel Hoosier roads every day, delivering essential items such as food, medicine and toilet paper to grocery stores. Truck drivers are risking their health on the front lines to do what they do best — drive and deliver.
“We’re just that annoying, pesky big glob of steel out on the interstate and unfortunately, that’s how a lot of people look at drivers,” said Richard Lewis, a driver for RG Transport in Elwood.
But the U.S. economy needs truck drivers now more than ever.
“If it wasn’t for the truck drivers, the economy wouldn’t be moving but that’s nothing different than what it was before the virus; trucking always moves the economy,” said Hue Andrews, chief operating officer for RG Transport. “Everything that we reach for and everything that we use daily is brought by a truck driver so the economy would be at a standstill if it wasn’t for the trucking industry. And so I think the awareness that it’s brought to our industry is it’s the great truck drivers that bring that product to the grocery store.”
Lewis has been driving a semi for the last 14 years. On average, he says he logs over 500 miles a day driving as far south as Georgia and to the east coast, down into the Carolinas.
And despite the inherent risks of the coronavirus to his own health, he says he’s just doing his job.
“At the end of the day, it’s nothing different than what we do every day; this is what we have always done,” said Lewis. “We’ve always delivered goods. So, again, it’s just another day in the office.”
Andrews says truck drivers are now getting the recognition that they didn’t receive before.
“You know, there are a lot of people that are essential that we had never even thought about because they just don’t know and I hope that carries forward,” said Andrews.