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Truck drivers talk about delivering essential supplies during the pandemic

Virus Outbreak Colorado

Truck driver Camilo Diaz of Miami wears a mask after parkig his rig at the Flying J Truck Stop during the outbreak of the new coronavirus Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Aurora, Colo.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Truck drivers are not healthcare workers or first responders, but they’re on another kind of front lines, risking exposure to COVID-19 to keep America supplied.

"I've been behind the wheel of a truck for 30 years," said Martin Aquayo.

He was in Henderson on Monday to make an ice cream delivery at Wells Dairy. He's heading to Greeley, Colorado next to pick up cheese.

Aquayo said he hasn't noticed any big changes since the pandemic started.

"We stay quite busy as it is. Right now I just find myself going to places that hadn’t been before," he said.

Even with major meat processing plants like Smithfield shutting down, Aquayo said there's always supplies to pick up. He does't think there will be any major supply chain issues moving forward.

"If one shuts down, there might be three or four other places where everybody will relocate to."

Other truck drivers are feeling the impact of the pandemic on their paychecks.

"I'm picking up a load tomorrow it’s paying a dollar nine a mile which two weeks ago was paying almost a dollar 85 a mile ... With quarantine and all the factories and all the production being shut down there’s hardly anymore freight," said Chris.

Unlike Aguayo, Chris operates and owns his own truck. Instead of being paid by the mile, he's paid by the load.

"I’m holding out I have faith that it’s going to change," said Chris.

"Whatever needs to be done, that’s what we do," said Aguayo.

Aquayo wanted to join the military

"Because of physical conditions I wasn’t allowed to but I wanted to do something to where it makes a difference for somebody," he said.

He said, "it's hard" to go weeks without seeing his wife or two kids, but he’s doing what he set out to do.

"To me it feels like I’m making an accomplishment [the groceries] might be gone in a few minutes but at least there was something for somebody there," he said.

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