SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A lot of heroes are getting us through the coronavirus pandemic from doctors to nurses and staff at local grocery stores. Truck Drivers and the trucking industry are another group considered absolutely essential right now as much needed medical supplies and food constantly make their way across the country.
A refrigerater carrier, K & J Trucking out of Sioux Falls is doing its part to keep items on store shelves for you.
“We’ve always been essential right? We’ve always been an essential industry but now I think people are starting to recognize how important truckers are,” Schipper said.
President Michelle Schipper says it’s a hectic time right now for her drivers. On top of practicing good hygiene and social distancing around the country, truckers are also packing their patience.
“So we’ll go to deliver at let’s say a Walmart warehouse. Our drivers arrive an hour early and because they’re so busy with so many trucks, they could be there 5-6 hours waiting to be unloaded,” Schipper said.
Russell Wendt is a professional truck driver who just returned from Oklahoma where he ran into some fans at a rest stop.
“I think it’s pretty awesome that people are thinking about us in this time,” Wendt said.
Wendt says a local church made some gift baskets to hand out to drivers. The gesture meant a lot.
“Recipient of goodwill that people have. It’s overwhelming that people actually care. Big thank you goes out to them people,” Wendt said.
Schipper is also grateful for her staff and encourages those sharing the road to do the same.
“They should be thankful for truckers and we have a lot of good stories where people are just that,” Schipper said.
We also asked Wendt if there’s less traffic on the road because of the pandemic. He says the number of vehicles is about the same around the country and people should be staying home more.