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Trucking Industry Affected By Shutdown

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Franque Thompson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA (KPTM)- The government shut down won't allow people to go to work or get paid.   So for most people, their spending is limited.  An Iowa semi-truck driver said people aren't buying anything so he's starting to see less work.

"When the wheels aren't turning, you don't get paid—not when you get paid by the mile," said Gary Baumbach, truck driver for Hanson Company in Griswold, Iowa.

Baumbach said he's grateful his wheels are still turning even if they're not getting as many miles as usual.

He said, "Our company, we've had trucks like in Chicago that they couldn't find freight for this week.  We had a couple in Kansas City even, couldn't find freight coming up."

Baumbach said it's not just his trucking company having problems getting work.  He blames the shutdown, saying people all over the country are at a standstill.

"They're going to stay home and save their money because they don't know tomorrow if they're going to have to do something else," said Baumbach.

Management of Hansen Company said business for all of the trucking industry slowed down in 2008 and 2009 because of the recession.  Baumbach said money was tight then and he's starting to see the same patterns now.

"It was a slow week.  There just wasn't a lot of freight moving," said Baumbach.

He said he will continue doing his job anyway.  Even though no one is certain when the shutdown will end, he hopes he can keep on trucking.

"We the people have no say in this matter right now.  We need to get strong," said Baumbach.

There are independent truckers that aren't affected by the shutdown because they do private deliveries and hire themselves out.  Most drivers, like Baumbach, work for a company.

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