While long-haul truck drivers spend a lot of time in the cabs of their trucks, there are still plenty of opportunities for exposure to SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Keep in mind the following potential sources of exposure while driving.
Truck drivers spend most of their time alone in the cab of their truck. However, there are many potential sources of COVID-19 exposure for truck drivers, especially those who travel from coast to coast. These sources include:
There are ways to protect yourself as a trucker on the road here in the United States amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Make sure that both your employer and family are aware of a plan for the following situations in case of contact with a positive case of COVID-19 or the development of symptoms:
Additionally, you should ensure that your employer knows if you have a sick family member or housemate at home with COVID-19. Follow all CDC-recommended guidelines to limit your potential exposure to COVID-19, including:
In addition to all of the above measures, it’s smart to ensure that your cab is routinely disinfected. Use products approved by the EPA for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Make sure the following areas are regularly cleaned:
If a mechanic, another driver, or an inspector needs access to the interior of your truck for any reason, ask that they clean and disinfect the truck before returning it.
Wash your hands regularly, including:
Do not share your personal protective equipment (PPE) with others. Don’t share other items either, including vests, hard hats, tools, phones, radios, and other personal items.
Make sure to plan ahead and ensure that you only use pre-qualified truck stops or hotels approved by your employer. This way, you can be sure to only stop at locations that have appropriate COVID-19 protections.
Ensure that you get an adequate amount of sleep before driving. Always stop and take a nap or drink a cup of coffee if you feel tired while driving.
When a ride-along or team-driving effort is required, ensure that you both wear cloth face coverings inside of the truck and don’t share bedding in the sleeping berth.
Communication is key. If any direction from a shipper or your employer is unclear, ask questions, and plan ahead.
Many truck drivers are feeling both the emotional and financial effects of the current COVID-19 crisis and civil unrest in the United States. Many truckers have expressed concern at delivering loads to urban centers affected by both COVID-19 and the current ongoing demonstrations against police brutality. However, while the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has issued emergency declarations in response to COVID-19, they have not released any other statements or guidelines regarding the civil unrest. The best advice for long-haul truck drivers who may be concerned about ongoing demonstrations is to communicate those concerns to an employer and come up with a plan in case delivery is impeded by demonstrators.
The FMCSA emergency declaration affects truck drivers delivering emergency supplies such as medical supplies, food, and personal protective equipment. The declaration allows qualifying deliveries and drivers to forego some regulations, such as hours-of-service regulations. Ask your employer if you’re unsure if you qualify as exempt from these regulations.
Truck drivers are critical to the ongoing efforts against COVID-19. While millions of people are out of work, it’s a good time for many to pursue other career options. Help your neighbors and community by being part of the trucking industry. Learn more about what it takes to get your CDL in Washington State by calling us at Western Pacific Truck School today!