PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – While many Americans were forced to stay home during the pandemic, truck drivers across the nation kept their feet in gear.
From delivering thousands of goods we use in our everyday lives, truck drivers continue to make all of this possible despite COVID-19 concerns.
One trucking company said they can’t find enough people to get behind the wheel.
“The stigma of the American truck driver is very unfair to be completely honest with you, people don’t see this job as being a lucrative position or a very attractive position, and that’s really put a hamper on the overall driver crunch that we are seeing in this country,” said Curt Fisher.
In hopes to change the stigma, G & D Integrated had to get creative. A new partnership with the Illinois Central College Truck Driver Training Program will take certified students and place them with local companies.
“We’ll put them in real-life scenarios, they will always drive along with a qualified and experienced driver and they gain that experience that allows them to move forward and go on their own,” said C & G Integrated Vice President Curt Fisher.
Curtis Parker started the training program in February and he said he’s prepared to take the CDL test in March.
“We’ll I’ve always wanted to be a truck driver, I love being on the road you know I love to drive, you know and I like seeing new cities, new things, meeting new people so it was something I’ve always wanted to do and I finally had the opportunity to do it so I took it up and I loved it ever since,” said Curtis Parker.
The training program is one month long and each week covers different topics which include written tests and hands-on training with the trucks. From there, it’s on the road and on the job to help so many Americans along the way.
“If you think about it trucks to stop driving, say just for a couple of days, just say 2 days where would all the groceries be, where would the gasoline for the cars be, produce stuff like that. It would just be stopped,” said Head Instructor at ICC’s Truck Driver Training Program Ken Baker.