Right now, many commercial truck drivers are struggling to find restaurants and fast food locations that are open to them while they are on the road serving the rest of the country through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. Drivers also might need help finding grants and financial assistance during the current economic downturn that the COVID-19 health crisis has created.
To help truckers find factually correct materials, Zonar, a provider of smart fleet technology, has compiled practical safety tips and comprehensive resources for drivers and operators who cannot self-quarantine at this time.
Zonar is also providing additional support for businesses, truck drivers and operators via a free weekly webinar hosted by the company’s Safety & Compliance team, including on-demand replays and Q&A sessions. The team, led by industry veteran Fred Fakkema, has also committed to providing one-on-one advice for drivers and businesses around compliance and regulations.
“Amidst this global crisis, our workforce has been divided into essential and nonessential labor, with commercial vehicle drivers becoming some of the most indispensable—and most exposed—people in the U.S.,” said Fakkema, vice president of safety and compliance at Zonar. “Now more than ever, we want to proactively help them stay safe and healthy in any way we can by making it easy to find and ask for help and advice and factual information when they need it.”
Compiled with the help of other industry experts and authorities, the following tips are meant to be considered in addition to adherence to directions provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal and state officials. These tips were crafted with understanding of real-life situations that many drivers cannot avoid or control, noted Zonar.
10 tips for drivers while on the road
- Restaurants and fast food locations across the country are providing drivers with discounts and other offers. For a list of participating locations and businesses, visit the International Franchise Association at franchise.org.
- Stay in your vehicles as supplies are loaded and unloaded and when possible, keep windows up when interacting with another person.
- Do not touch fuel pumps with your bare hands—they are often the dirtiest areas of a truck stop.
- When spending the night in a “hot spot,” stay in hotel rooms or your sleeper cab, and continue to practice social distancing (a distance of 6 feet).
- Decrease the number of times you touch “shared” objects with your bare hands such as credit cards, pens, cups, clipboards, handles, ATM pads, etc.
- Use a face covering (a mask, scarf or bandanna) and gloves when interacting with people, along with social distancing. Disinfect these objects as much as possible.
- When you can, go digital or electronic. Avoid receipts, forms or other physical objects that are passed around without protection.
- Handwashing with soap is more effective at removing certain kinds of germs but if you need to make your own hand sanitizer, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Because of rapidly changing regulations, Zonar emphasized that it uses only trusted industry and government resources for updates including CDC, ATA, CVSA, FMCSA, FHWA, SBA.com, APTA, and the CISA.gov.
- Take advantage of grants and other financial resources if you need assistance. Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. Apply for the Small Business Association’s Disaster Loan Assistance Program. In addition, Zonar’s grant assistance program with Learn, Design, Apply, Inc. aims to help truckers find and apply for grants.