Until a few short weeks ago, none of us could have imagined a world with COVID 19, social distancing and government mandates to stay in our homes. Each day we listen to news reports telling us the numbers of people affected and how many deaths have occurred.
In the past, we’ve all agreed that the trucking industry had an image problem. First, most of the folks who drive four wheelers don’t understand how to operate around tractor trailers. In addition, they don’t appreciate the impact the trucking industry has on their own lives, much less the economy as a whole.
Now, as the airlines, motor coach and school bus, passenger rail and other modes of transportation are suffering because of the virus, the trucking industry continues to move forward (literally!).
The average citizen is finally starting to understand how that big truck on the road impacts them, personally. In fact, we’re actually seeing a surge in appreciation for the drivers who are delivering food, gas, household goods and hand sanitizer!
While governments shut down restaurants for indoor seating, they didn’t consider how a driver was supposed to maneuver a rig into a drive thru lane, while walking up to the window was prohibited. McDonalds took the lead and promoted their mobile app so drivers could pay and receive the order in a designated area. Thanks McDonalds for #SteeringTowardKindness
Hotels and Motels are concerned about accommodating professional drivers and many are closing their doors. Drury Inn & Suites reached out to us to let us know that their staff is welcoming drivers and have reduced rates to their cost. They’re offering a “Travel Healthy” room for $59 to include free breakfast, fresh popcorn and free evening reception to include hot food and cold beverages, including beer and wine. Pools and whirlpools are also available for drivers to ease those muscles. Thanks Drury Inn for #SteeringTowardKindness
Truck stops are vital for drivers who need parking, food and fuel. Sapp Brothers is suspending paid parking at all locations. Love’s has converted their self-service grills and delis to full service so their team members will serve the food products. All of the nation’s truck stops have remained open, continue to provide fuel and food and showers, but report they have implemented higher levels of cleaning and sanitization.
Trucking companies are working hard to continue to deliver medical supplies, hand sanitizers and COVID 19 test kits. Many carriers are providing supplies and snacks to their drivers. Paper Transport, Inc. in Green Bay, Wisconsin, went beyond that and President Jeff Shefchik pledged one half of their profit in April to nonprofits helping people affected by the virus. Thanks Paper Transport for #SteeringTowardKindness
In order to keep the momentum going, we’d like to hear your stories. Let’s all look at the bright side of this pandemic and show each other how we’re steering toward kindness. If you’re on the Women In Trucking Facebook page, post your story there and tag #SteeringTowardKindness. Share it on Twitter and tag us @WomenInTrucking. You can also send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll read it on the Women In Trucking show on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Trucking Channel 146 on Saturday, April 11th from 10 am to noon central. Better yet, call in and share the story yourself. You can reach the studio by calling 888-876-2336 (888-8 ROAD DOG).
While we work through this devasting virus, we can be assured that the trucking industry will continue to deliver the needed food and supplies to help the world deal with this horrific challenge. In every one of those cabs is a professional driver who is braving the challenges he or she is facing in order to complete the load. Thank you for #SteeringTowardKindness.