JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The trucking industry is needed now more than ever.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, medical supplies, paper products and food are in high demand.
Hospitals are working around the clock to care for those who are sick and grocery stores can’t restock their shelves fast enough.
Truckers are driving across state lines, fighting traffic and various weather conditions carrying vital supplies to keep America going.
“If we slow down, the world stops,” Patrick McGuigan, a long haul truck driver based in Florida, told WJAX. “Before all this, it was just a job to me.”
For the last month, McGuigan has been driving across the country nonstop carrying tons of food so grocery stores can restock their shelves, and medical supplies for hospitals and doctors’ offices.
“We are working around the clock through this, and it’s real rough," McGuigan told WJAX. "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 said, “Without us, they don’t get their supplies.”
He told WJAX 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 said he and others won’t stop.
“We’ve got your back and bear with us," McGuigan said. "We’re working hard, we’re going to get it there.”