How the Coronavirus pandemic is impacting local truck drivers

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Myrtle Beach, SC (WBTW) – Truck drivers are the essential employees making sure shelves across the country are stocked, and the coronavirus pandemic continues to make their job harder.

As restaurant dining rooms and truck stops turn to carry out service, it leaves many truck drivers with less opportunities to take a break and stretch their legs.

“There is nothing better than getting out of your truck, going in and sitting down to a nice hot meal, unwind, Micheal Hamilton, a third-generation truck driver from Murrells Inlet said.

Hamilton tells News13, not having that option makes the job harder.

“You can’t really sit down and eat, you’re pretty much stuck in your truck the whole time,” Hamilton said.

That’s something 35-year truck driving veteran, Drake Herring of Florence, agrees with.
“You kinda just wanna get out and stretch your legs and talk to other people, and that’s not happening,” Herring explained.

Although rest stops are closed, truck stops are open, which is something Hamilton said he always uses on his route from South Carolina to New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

“I don’t do a whole lot of stopping,” Hamilton said. “I try to avoid it.”

Herring however, has had a different experience with truck stops recently.

“Drivers have to stop in because they closed all the rest stops, everybody’s in a hurry to get to a rest stop, and actually some of the truck stops are taking advantage of it and they’re upping prices,” Herring said.

Hamilton said despite the long lines at the grocery store, a lot of the truck driving industry is suffering.

“It’s steady, things are moving, but the orders are not being put in and shipped like we thought they would have been because you’ve got schools, restaurants, casinos shut down so the consumer is getting what they need as far as getting through to feed your family and the grocery stores are pretty well packed, but it’s just not as busy as we’d thought,” Hamilton said.

Despite the challenges, Hamilton said he loves his job and is glad he can help.

“We deal with a lot and it’s just nice to know in a time when everybody needs a hand, you can put your hand in,” Hamilton said.

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