May 6, 2020
By Rebecca Brewster
Over 30 years in the industry and I’ve never experienced a time like this where so many people recognize and celebrate how critical this industry is to our nation. I run a research organization that studies ways to improve the trucking industry’s safety and productivity, so with our research and data, I’ve seen firsthand how COVID-19 is impacting our industry, and like many others, I’m working from home now. But truck drivers can’t work from home, so our research to help improve their jobs won’t stop either.
These are challenging times for truck drivers. Not only are they away from their families for what can be days or weeks at a time, but early on, some states started closing public rest areas, leaving truck drivers with fewer places to stop to rest and use the facilities. With the orders to close dine-in restaurants, truck drivers face more challenges in securing meals while on the road.
BUT GOD has shown up in spite of all the adversity. Kids are passing out lunches to drivers at rest areas, Mt. Bethel added a number of my truck driver friends to the prayer Buddy System, people are hanging banners from interstate overpasses thanking truckers and the #ThankATrucker campaign has taken off on social media. Our nation’s highways are less congested. Drivers can get on down the road safer and more efficiently.
Across the U.S., over 7.8 million people are employed in trucking-related jobs, including 3.5 million men and women who are professional truck drivers. These men and women are on the frontline during this crisis, delivering much-needed relief supplies to markets, hospitals, gas stations, and other essential businesses. As the old saying goes, “if you got it, a truck brought it.” I was recently paired with a frontline worker in the medical profession through the MB Buddy System. It’s been my privilege to connect with and provide focused prayer for her safety, stamina, courage, and health during this time. I hope my professional driver friends who have been paired with Mt. Bethel members are experiencing the same connection with their prayer buddies.