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Truckers work long shifts to get shelves stocked

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(WFSB) — As people stock up on products, truck drivers are spending more time in the road in an effort to get that product back on the shelves quickly.

“Because of everything that’s going on, some weird things have happened to put drivers in a tough spot,” said Joe Sculley, president of Motor Transport Association of CT.

He said drivers are working longer shifts, doing what they can to get people what they need from food, to paper goods and hospital supplies.

“Hey, one of the large hospitals in the state is telling me I got to do everything I can to get the supplies that I always bring here, can I drive a little bit overtime to make that happen? And yes, that’s exactly the type of flexibility,” Sculley said.

The state and federal government eased up on overtime regulations for the industry, and with more time on the road, drivers are taking precautions.

“If a load gets dropped off, oftentimes there’s a signature involved. If we can eliminate the need for that, that’s good, it’ll eliminate interaction where you could spread something,” Sculley said.

They’re also wiping down their steering wheels, door handles, gas pumps, and some are wearing gloves. 

Here’s what drivers need from the public — “Please do not panic buy. The trucks will get everything to the stores. It is going to be there,” Sculley said.

It’ll also mean drivers won’t be doing as much overtime and taking better care of themselves. 

Also, with restaurants offering take-out only, drivers are having a tough time getting food.

“So maybe just offer to go through the drive thru for a truck driver or something like that, so that’s a small way to help out,” Sculley said.

Lastly, he’s reminding folks to stay home.

“I talked to a couple of drivers last week who said there is no traffic. It’s like the first time it’s ever happened in their career,” he said. “They can get their load to where it needs to go, faster. They can restock the shelves faster, and load up the hospitals with supplies faster.

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