With the Coronavirus pandemic continuously creating new changes, it can be tricky to process what's happening for long-haul truckers. What we do know is that long-haul truckers could still be potentially exposed to COVID-19 when coming into close contact with truck stop attendants, store clerks, dock workers, or other drivers. We pulled together a list of tips truckers can follow to continue staying safe.
A Different Look on Restaurants' Drive-Thru Businesses
Popular restaurants could potentially remove dine-in services or offer limited seating soon. Even with the vaccine already here in the United States, this may not still change for restaurants like Wendy's, McDonald's, and Burger King as they still plan to shift to a "grab-and-go" business.
These quick-service restaurants haven't forgotten about truck drivers though. With some changes to the drive-thru services, they plan to still assist and support truck drivers. This could be walking out their order to the curb or somewhere a driver can park.
Also, restaurants and fast food locations are offering truck drivers discounts and additional offers. Check out which of your favorite restaurants are offering discounts and offers at franchise.org.
Tip: If you want to save the trip to the restaurant, check out 6 Types of Driver Cooking Equipment!
Continue to Stay 6 Feet Apart at Work
Although this continues to be a requirement by the CDC, staying 6 feet apart is still critical. You may be exposed to the virus at your job when you're in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes or more) with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truckers, or others with COVID-19.
Limit your time spent outside when you're near people. This includes filing gas up, loading and unloading the cargo load, and at rest/truck stops. You can also contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading cargo so everybody including you are safe. Plan the best you can under these special circumstances because your health and safety are most important.
Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to bathrooms, so make sure you are prepared.
Feel Under the Weather? Communicate with Your Employer.
If you start to have symptoms, communicate with your employer so you can begin taking safety precautions. Create a plan on what to do if you're still on the road like where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice, and plans for freight delivery. If you need to stop somewhere and it's at a hot spot, find a hotel room or sleep in your sleeper berth and continue to social distance.
If you start to have symptoms and need some guidance, we got you covered with these steps recommended by CDC.
Wear Cloth Masks in Public and at Work
With the entire county requiring people to wear masks inside restaurants, grocery stores, etc., you can't go wrong with wearing a cloth mask, scarf, or bandana. Wear them in public and at work, and this will still help you prevent getting the virus. This can also help prevent people who don't know they have the virus.
Clean Frequently-Touched Surfaces Often
As a safety precaution, try to clean surfaces in your truck. Since this is the place where you are actively working, a few places to consider sanitizing are:
- In the truck cab - sanitize the door handles, steering wheels, seat belt and buckle, turn signal, radio, wiper controls, seat cover, head rests and armrests, and dashboards.
- In the sleeper berth - clean areas like light switches, mattress tray, and other flat surfaces.
- Keep your truck well-ventilated
One of the dirtiest places to touch are gas pumps, so make sure to sanitize your hands after fueling up. Also, try to go digital or electronic and avoid receipts or other objects that may pass around without protection.
Stock up on Food, Water, and Supplies
As this was previously mentioned in 4 tips on how to stay healthy during a pandemic, it's always good to stay stocked on medicine and supplies in case of an emergency. With winter already on its way, it may be good to have some medicine in hand in case you have the common cold, virus, flu, or else. Not only can stocking up on supplies help during emergencies, this can help you limit the number of stops at restaurants, grocery stops, and convenience stores.
Get Your Information from Credible Sources
For general tips and information, continue to read from credible sources such as the CDC, FMCSA, CVSA, ATA, and more. It's still good to keep your eyes and ears open during the Coronavirus pandemic, and any new updates. Check out CDC’s page on general tips on what truck drivers can do to protect themselves and slow the spread.