Coronavirus Pandemic: Truck drivers work non stop to deliver supplies

FLORIDA — The trucking industry is needed now more than ever.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, medical supplies and food are in high demand.

Grocery stores can’t restock their shelves fast enough and hospitals are working around the clock to care for those who are sick.

“If we slow down, the world stops,” explains Patrick McGuigan, a Jacksonville long haul truck driver.

They’re unsung heroes during this pandemic. While you’re sleeping, they’re driving across state lines in traffic and varying weather conditions carrying vital supplies to keep America going.

“Before all this, it was just a job to me,” says McGuigan.

For the last month, McGuigan has been driving across the country nonstop carrying tons food so grocery stores can restock their shelves, and medical supplies so hospitals and doctors’ offices can stay on the front line of the pandemic.

“We are working around the clock through this, and it’s real rough. A lot of people don’t really look at the trucking industry and how important it is to this nation.”

But truck drivers are needed now more than ever.

McGuigan says, “Without us, they don’t get their supplies.”

He tells Action News Jax the industry has never been busier since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

“Just within the last two weeks, I’ve seen more trucks on the interstate than I’ve seen in my whole career.”

Long haul truckers are driving 11 hours straight, sometimes more, bringing crucial supplies to areas that desperately need it -- only to sleep 10 hours and do it all over again.

It’s relentless, but McGuigan says he and others won’t stop. So next time you see empty shelves, know someone is on the way.

“We’ve got your back and bear with us. We’re working hard, we’re going to get it there.” ​