COVID-19 and the trucking industry: real-time updates
Updated 5/13/2020 1:00 PM EST
At DrayNow, we are continuing to operate, freight is popping up on the app and we are following any necessary guidelines that are required as the situation progresses. And of course, our top priority is safety for all of our customers and carriers.
As updates are coming in daily on the situation in this country, so are changes within the trucking industry. From state-wide closings of non-essential businesses, to the FMCSA setting exemptions on hours-of-service regulations, it’s been definitely been an overload of information for trucker drivers to take in.
As information comes in, we’re using this space to update real-time happenings on the road to keep you in the know and how it may affect your business.
Federal Regulations (Extensions, Renewals, & Waivers)
As you may have seen, the FMCSA issued an exemption to hours-of-service regulations for any truck driver involved in emergency relief efforts.
Just to reiterate: this is only for work that involves the transportation of any product meant for emergency services.
For more information on what is and is not exempt, check out the FMCSA website regarding emergency declarations.
As of 5/13, the FMCSA has extended their hours-of-service exemptions through 6/14.
As of 3/24, the FMCSA has put a waiver on license renewals from March 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020. This means that if your license expires anytime in that period, you have until June 30, 2020 to get it renewed.
Due to government office closures in the wake of statewide shutdowns, Hazmat endorsement and TWIC card renewals have been granted extensions.
Truck Stop Status
As of 3/20, the state governments in each of our markets (Los Angeles, Chicago, Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta, and North Jersey) have not shut down truck stops.
Updates from each truck stop provider:
Love’s Travel Stops – all operations are open, with some restrictions on self-serve products
Pilot Flying J Travel Centers – all operations are open, with social distancing policy guidelines in effect going forward
Travel Centers of America/Petro – all operations are open, with many of the dine-in options unavailable at this point (but takeout/drive-thru is available)
Sapp Bros. Travel Centers – all operations are open, with take-out options only
As of 4/22, federal agencies have agreed to distribute 800,000 face masks at various rest stops across the country, including many in our own markets.
Distribution locations: I-87 in New York, I-80/I-294 in Chicago, I-5 in Los Angeles, I-75 south of Atlanta, and I-35 south of Dallas
During these times, you may find that warehouses and shipping facilities will have new requirements for carriers to protect their workers and facilities against COVID-19. Just know that however difficult some of these new requirements may be, they are there to best serve both the carrier and the warehouse worker to prevent direct exposure.
In the DrayNow app you will find additional documents attached to any order with new regulations.
Whether you’re in a truck, entering the rail yard, or at a warehouse, incorporating these tips into your daily routine can help keep you and your truck clean.
Wipe down every surface with disinfectants
Imagine how many things you are touching inside of your truck. Even if you wash your hands regularly, you’re bound to bring a lot of the outside world, inside. It’s a safe bet to go ahead and clean every surface within the cab. For a more in-depth cleaning, do a practice run of everything you would touch while driving, and really focus in on those spots.
Utilize seat covers
Think about the germs that come into contact with your clothing. You’re going to need to protect your seat from whatever is brought in from the outside. Not only do they protect the seat’s material from wear and tear, but when it comes to cleaning, seat covers are a lot easier to wipe down.
Use a hand sanitizer (or no-rinse hand soap if sanitizer is not available) whenever you are entering and exiting your vehicle. This will severely limit the spread of germs from place-to-place.
It’s definitely a different time we’re all living in right now. We’re always keeping track as things keep changing in the industry, so feel free to bookmark this post to see new updates as they come in.
And most importantly, stay safe out there!
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