Thank you, truckers stay safe!
The COVID 19 outbreak shows the value truckers have for maintaining the supply of vital goods and services for the society. We all depend on truckers to deliver medical supplies for the sick, food and cleaning supplies for the families in need. That is why in the current “stay at home” orders truckers and delivery drivers are designated as “essential businesses”.
While answering the call and working hard truckers face obstacles in performing their work.
- The lack of protective equipment - Making frequent stops at rest areas, gas stations and being in contact with warehouse workers and customers, the truckers are exposed to the contagion and need gloves and N95 masks to protect themselves. A major problem for the economy would be if big number of truckers fall sick and supply chains are interrupted. Many trucking companies report that there are truck drivers that prefer to stay at home because they feel unprotected on the road. Truck drivers are reluctant to deliver goods especially in areas known to be affected by the coronavirus.
- Rest areas are closed. According to interviews with truck drivers, there is a lack of parking and rest space especially heading east. Some states have suspended service ate rest areas due to staff safety concerns. State highway authorities are requested to address the problem by staffing and maintaining the available rest areas with the vitality of the supply chain in mind
- Lack of health insurance. The trucking industry has long saved money by treating their drivers as independent contractors and not providing health insurance that other industries readily provide to their employees. This lack of coverage makes the drivers nervous about working during the coronavirus outbreak. There are news reports that the Trump administration will allow a special enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace (Obamacare) due to the outbreak. We already get a lot of calls from trucking customers inquiring about health insurance options. However, without a special enrollment window the only option for truck drivers, depending on the state where they live is to get a temporary health insurance (Trumpcare). Temporary health insurance however has exclusions for preexisting conditions and a lot of drivers will have coverage denied when they need it. Poor lifestyle, lack of sleep and exercise, unhealthy eating and smoking have been a problem for the truck drivers for a very long time.
While thanking truckers for their work when we need them it is important to be aware of the things that will make their life easier. For once these hard workers are in the spotlight and hopefully more appreciated. We should cease this moment to make the life of a trucker better and their job a little easier.
Thank a trucker!