ST. LOUIS – Behind the scenes, truckers are keeping America moving. The pandemic is also adding to stress for truck drivers who are faced with more hours to drive and fewer places to get food and water.
Fox 2 spoke with two trucking families, one from Missouri and one from Illinois, about their increasing workload and fewer quality breaks.
“It’s been especially hard if you can’t find a place to park,” said Angie Baum, who drives with her husband, Larry. “A lot of the truck stops are limiting the number of trucks that come in.”
The Baums are from Belleville, Illinois and they are chronicling their trucking travels on Facebook called “Married to the Road.”
“We’re out on the road a lot more,” Angie said. “We’re out about six days a week right now. We’re home for usually about a day, day and a half.”
Many truck stops are closing to anything but fuel fill-ups. Signs sometimes hang from locked doors saying “no bathrooms” or “no coffee or water” available.
We also spoke to Jim Allison of Ironton, Missouri as he was driving out of Chicago.
“A cup of coffee keeps me energized and taking a shower makes me feel like a human out here instead of like a dog,” he said.
Dedra, Jim’s wife, said she’s thankful for average citizens stepping up, like a Virginia couple who prepared free meals for truckers.
“They’re not able to get food. Since they’re out there bringing us the essential things that we need it’s kind of frustrating,” she said.
The Baums said they can keep rolling longer since they’re a team, but they say those stops are still so important for their safety and it seems to be only getting harder to find places to pull over.
They also have an advantage being a team of four! The couple takes their two dogs with them on the road.
It’s more important on the road now more than ever, since they’re cut off from their usual human contact.
“With the route we have, we are normally able to go see our grandkids and children because we have one in Arizona and one in Florida, but we can’t do that now because we’re scared we’re going to infect them,” Angie said. “So yeah, the dogs help a lot.”