Truck drivers adjust to new life on the road

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Right now truck drivers are working harder than ever to keep shelves stocked. Because of COVID-19, their daily routines have been adjusted. Truck drivers spend countless hours on roads delivering goods to businesses all across the country.

Thanks to COVID-19, drivers are spending more time on the road with more deliveries. Driver, Gregory Dotray says "Water, paper towels, tissue, it goes so fast. You know, you deliver it and boom boom boom it's gone."

Dotray has been a truck driver for 26 years. He says some companies are changing their policies because of COVID-19. "Some places we go to we have to wash our hands before we actually interact with them," Dotray said.

Deliveries are scheduled so if a driver arrives early they used to have to wait until their scheduled time. "Now they've thrown that out the window. If you get their sooner, the sooner you get there the better," Dotray explained.

Gregory says since a lot of states have shelter in place orders, the roads have been less congested; allowing him to get to his next stop faster. "Traffic has thinned out which has been very helpful, especially in the larger cities," Dotray said. The convenience of fast food for truck drivers has changed since most places are drive thru only and a big rig can't fit in a drive thru.

"I did a McDonalds the other day. They've got a yellow line out there on the ground. When we walk up we have to stand behind the yellow line," Dotray said.

During these hard times the phrase "unsung hero" is associated with doctors and nurses. Truck drivers don't get recognized for keeping our stores stocked essential items. For Gregory, hearing the words "thank you" means the world to him.

"It means a lot because honestly and truthfully, we're taking a risk too being out here. We know if we don't keep going the country is really going to be in a bad situation. So I do all I can.

I am grateful I thank God everyday man," he concluded.

Truck drivers can sometimes spend weeks at a time on the road before ever returning home.

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