“I had just built up a savings account for the first time. Now I’m fighting to keep everything.

“I’ve been working [as a truck driver] for about 11 years. I’m usually a bulk truck driver and deliver products in Virginia Beach. That account has stopped and it’s one of the major manufacturers out there.

“The difference for me started happening about four weeks ago. There is a lot more waiting for loads and more short runs than long distance runs. Now we have to wait three to four hours because of the number of trucks waiting to unload.

“Businesses are keeping their distance. Only one driver is allowed into the building at a time. The biggest precaution I’m taking is staying in my truck. I’m bringing my food on the road with me and sleeping in my truck.

“I’d say the biggest headache we have out here is the parking. We got more trucks on the road than parking available.

“Realistically, it’s cutting into my paycheck 50%. It’s cutting into my time at home. I normally run things to where I’m home every weekend and now I’m not able to be home. I spend more time on the road. When I do go home, I used to regularly take two- to three-day weekends. Now I go home and get ready to get back out the door. I’m doing nothing but living my job.

“I don’t foresee my business shutting down. I think the only ones more essential than truck drivers are the medical people. But the smoothness of knowing what you’re going to do every day is gone. There is no more of my own time anymore.

“There’s been financial hardships; time away from the wife. I’m lucky to have a strong marriage, but it’s hard. My daughters are all adults and I now have five grandchildren. They all live within 25 miles of my house, as well as my parents. I haven’t seen my grandchildren since Christmas.

“We’re in Illinois. There’s a tax for everything. We’re being taxed to death. The biggest thing this government could do to help its citizens is get rid of corruption.

“Financially, a progressive tax is going to be devastating. I’m going to have to work more and see less of my family [because] more companies will leave the state so there will be fewer [opportunities] for income here. Sooner or later I’m going to lose what I worked half my life for.”

Keith Harbison
Eldorado, Illinois