How the Trucking Industry Changed With COVID-19

November 8, 2020 5:53 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about every industry in Wytheville, VA and across the United States, and trucking is certainly no different. At the outset of the pandemic, many truckers were forced to work longer hours to make sure the shelves would stay stocked with vital supplies and to deliver important equipment to medical personnel.

But there are plenty of other ways the industry was affected beyond just those early initial days. Let’s take a look at how trucking safety has evolved in the time of COVID-19.

Safety precautions

The trucking industry was already engaged in efforts to keep drivers safe from distracted driving and other common roadway safety issues. These trucking companies have also implemented strategies to deal with the virus now, including practicing proper hygiene and social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provided guidance to truck drivers who have to deliver goods to areas that are considered COVID hotspots, including recommendations to stay in their vehicles as much as possible during loading and unloading. There has also been a movement to switch to electronic receipts whenever possible to allow drivers to keep properly distanced from other people.

Any truck drivers who have been exposed to the virus or who have experienced symptoms/tested positive themselves are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days. This is especially important when you consider truck drivers frequently cross state lines—the last thing these companies want is for their drivers to bring the virus into other communities.

In general, it is important for drivers to stay in the vehicle as much as possible and decrease the exposure they have to other people. Considering most of the people they would be exposed to are essential workers on the front lines during the pandemic, it’s best to maintain an appropriate distance whenever possible.

Changes to hiring and finance

Other areas of business have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic as well.

Trucking companies have had to make some changes to their hiring practices. The demand for truckers has increased as more people have been ordering their goods for delivery and as stores struggle to keep basic needs in stock. To ensure a steady flow of new drivers, some companies have begun allowing for remote orientation to cut out the need for in-person classroom learning and reduce potential risks.

There have also been some new methods of financial relief implemented by the federal government. Commercial truck drivers delivering certain types of goods fall under a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) relief order. Those goods include fuel, paper products, groceries, medical supplies and equipment, raw materials for manufacturing, sanitizing equipment and products, and supplies needed for temporary housing and quarantines.

The CARES Act provided economic relief for Americans and businesses. Small business loans under the new law made it possible for fleets to get through the pandemic intact.

For more information about some of the ways the trucking industry has been affected by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact us about heavy towing and truck services in Wytheville, VA.

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