HARRISONVILLE, MO (KCTV) -- Some of the most important jobs in the country are behind a steering wheel.
Many commercial truck drivers are working long hours to keep goods coming into grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential businesses.
Working remotely takes on a new meaning when your life is on the road.
Burt Conerly and other drivers have more of the road to themselves these days.
“You don't have to worry about the roads being clogged up and people driving like crazies,” noted. “When other people got to shut down, we still got to keep moving America,” he said.
However, with fewer places open right now, truck stops like Love's in Harrisonville give them one of their only options to stop for a hot meal and a break.
“You get to these rest stops with 15 places open, you got to shut down as early as 4 or 5 for a place to sleep,” he said.
Many are taking steps along the way to protect themselves.
“Last time I was out, my wife sent me with three things of wipes,” Abdullah Wadud said.
However, Wadud wouldn't have it any other way.
“The country's depending on us right now,” he said.
Many truckers are working harder than ever because they're more important than ever, delivering goods to people sheltering at home during a pandemic.
Lewie Pugh is the vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association, which is a trucker advocacy group based in the metro.
“We're finding out just how essential the trucking industry is to America,” Pugh said. “Truck drivers are a necessity to America every single solitary day.”
Despite that, the shutdown is impacting drivers, too. Especially those who work for companies that are scaling back.
“Since they're shutting down, they don't have things to haul,” Pugh said.
Those who are driving know they're an important piece of the puzzle, hauling a nation through a crisis.
“I believe I'm doing the right thing in God,” Conerly said.
“I think I'm helping people and helping the country,” Abdullah said.