As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, the impacts are rippling through the economy and the supply chain. While many workers have been forced to sit at home while their workplaces are shuttered, truck drivers are facing extra demand. Their work to transport goods where they are needed is more vital than ever. Drivers who haul LTL and FTL freight are finding their work more challenging than ever. That’s why Red Stag Fulfillment is promoting #ThankATrucker. It’s our way to raise awareness and generate support for the drivers who work hard to keep us supplied during these difficult times.
Long-Haul Trucking Challenges
While many Americans have been order to or choose to stay home to avoid spreading the coronavirus, truckers have to be on the road. Business closures and other hazards of the coronavirus epidemic add new hazards to the demanding job of long-haul trucking.
Eating along the route
Restaurants in many states and cities have closed their doors to diners. Those that are still open are doing drive-through or takeout service only. Truckers who relied on meals to give them a break from hours behind the wheel of their tractor trailers have to eat in their trucks. Some have reported that they need to bring more of their own food with them, in case they can’t find a store or restaurant that’s open along their routes.
In addition, most drive-throughs aren’t built to accommodate semis. In many places, health laws forbid patrons from approaching drive-throughs on foot. That leaves truckers out in the cold. If you see a semi in the parking lot of a drive-through restaurant, take a moment to ask if they need help getting food to go. And, while you’re at it, #ThankATrucker for the hard work they’re doing for our country.
Public restrooms and sanitation
Doctors believe that the coronavirus can be transmitted through human waste. Best practice is to avoid public restrooms. Unfortunately, for many long-haul truckers, this is not an option. While some semis have facilities onboard, most do not. Drivers rely on rest stops.
Most public facilities have increased their cleaning and disinfecting schedules because of the coronavirus. Because truckers come into contact with different surfaces along their route, many are also carrying their own supplies of disinfectant. It’s an added stress in a high-stress work environment.
We have all been asked to practice social distancing. While drivers are safely cocooned in the cabs of their trucks for hours on end, they have to make contact with a ride range of people along their routes. Weigh station stops, customs checks, and pickups and drop offs are logistically difficult. At those moments, it’s hard to keep the recommended 6 feet of distance and hazardous not to. Truckers are caught in the middle of this dilemma.
What You Can Do to #ThankATrucker
When you see a semi on the road, cut the driver some slack. The person behind the wheel is working hard to make sure the stores and warehouses near you have the supplies you need. For all you know that truck could be carrying medical supplies to a hospital in need.
Give tractor trailers space to change lanes when they need it. Don’t cut them off. Give a friendly wave and a thumbs up. Help them order food, if you can. Little acts of kindness like these are good ways to #ThankATrucker.
Please help us share this message and #ThankATrucker today. Copy the image at the top and share it so we can all do our part to help the logistics professionals working diligently to keep our shelves stocked!