“I always wanted to drive a truck when I was younger. Now I’ve been in trucking for 17 years. Grew up in East Peoria. A couple years ago I finally saved up enough hauling that I started my own trucking authority. Last year we had two guys working for us.

“On $98,000 of payroll we paid $21,000 for workmans’ comp insurance. It scares you to hire people. Especially when over in Iowa guys are paying less than half of that.

“Stuff like this, it just kills you. It makes the day-to-day struggle a lot harder. A few months ago I thought I was going to have to lay my guys off so my son and I could get back in the trucks.

“Can you imagine someone coming here opening up a business with 15 employees? They’d have to send their workers out of the state. If it wasn’t for my grandkids I’d be getting an office in another state, too.”

Curtis Hawkins
East Peoria, Illinois