Truck stops providing an essential service to essential workers

Workers there are providing a place to eat, sleep, shower and safely socialize with others.

Posted: Apr 8, 2020 11:40 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 10:50 AM

COBURG, Ore. -- As truck drivers work to keep America's grocery stores stocked and critical supplies in the hands of medical workers, truck stops are playing an essential role fueling this operation.

Travel Centers of America in Coburg is one of those truck stops that are open and serving drivers. They're providing a place to eat, sleep, shower, and safely socialize with others. Jim Anderson, the general manager, said his truck stop is essential to keeping truckers on the move.

"Where they can go is kind of limited and so being able to come here and find a place to park, rest, eat, shower and converse with other people is good," Anderson said.

Kevin Shaw, a truck driver from California, said there are some truck stops that have shut their doors during the pandemic.

"I've been to places where the restrooms are closed, showers are closed, they won't let you in the building," Shaw said. "They will bring you your fuel receipt at the door."

According to the Oregon Trucking Association, in 2012, 72% of goods transported in the state relied on the trucking industry. So keeping truck drivers taken care of and appreciated is a must, Anderson said, especially during the pandemic.

"These guys are working long, lonely hours and now they're faced with this coronavirus and they're literally on the front lines. Just going in and out of unknown places unsure of how clean it is, how sanitary it is."

Shaw said the appreciation and gratitude he and his colleagues feel from truck stop workers is a two-way street.

"They help us, so we help who we can," Shaw said.

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