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Truckers struggle with exhaustion and staying healthy during COVID-19 pandemic

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A long time trucker is having to travel across the country to keep stores stocked.

COVID-19 is causing supplies to run low and truckers, like Jim Bouland, is dealing with the impacts.

“The truckers are in a pretty dire situation right now because they are running hard, they don’t have any supplies and their health is at risk,” Bouland said.

Bouland has been a trucker for 45 years and says the Department of Transportation loosened restrictions on how long drivers can be on the road each day.

More supplies can now be hauled quickly, but it’s putting more pressure on those hauling it.

Bouland says working extended hours and not having the supplies to stay healthy put him and other truckers at a higher risk of getting sick.

“As long as I’ve been trucking, when there’s been some sort of illness or sickness going around, you can pick it up and a trucker can get sick and take it clear across the country in 48 hours, so that’s another thing we have to worry about,” Bouland said.

There is now fewer options for truckers to eat when they take a break. Restaurants have allowed for more drive-thru and delivery options, but limited choices for those driving a semi.

Gas stations and grocery stores also have empty shelves.

A TA truck stop in Stafford just opened up and has 400 spaces for truckers to park and take a break.

Bob’s Parking is $10 for 24 hours, for more information call 417-299-3456.

Bouland says people should keep in mind what you buy was brought from a trucker.

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