As countries around the world take measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, the trucking industry is at the forefront of helping containment efforts. The importance of staying safe and healthy during this time has caused fleets to step up and educate drivers on best safety practices, all while scrambling to meet the needs of overwhelmed customers and businesses.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on staying healthy on the road, this article is here to help. We’ve got some tips for you:
Know when to seek medical care
If you’re experiencing a fever, cold-like symptoms, or difficulty breaking, seek medical care immediately before your next haul. If you notice any of these symptoms in the middle of a trip, look for the most accessible provider, even if that means finding an urgent care clinic. Currently, telemedicine options also exist for when you’re on the road and unable to find a walk-in clinic.
With the current shortage of testing kits, the CDC does not recommend getting tested unless the more sever COVID-19 symptoms appear:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to get out of bed
- Bluish lips or face
Check to see if your company has any specific guidelines for preparing beforehand, like a “buddy system” for drivers to check-in with each other every day.
Use good hygiene
Wash your hands EVERY time you get out of your truck and before getting in again; the CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You should also keep hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol in your truck.
Maintain social distance
As you’ve probably heard, the “new normal” includes keeping a minimum of six feet of distance between yourself and others. This is especially applicable to truck stops, loading docks, and warehouses. In addition to the distance, make sure you’re wearing a mask when around other people.
Look, don’t touch
For starters, politely refuse if someone tries to shake your hand. It’s not rude to care about your own safety.
In stores and truck stops, don’t touch things you don’t intend to buy. Avoid leaning on surfaces like check out counters and sitting on public benches. It’s also a good idea to wear gloves when it’s time to pump fuel (speaking of gloves - use them correctly. Only put on gloves to pump gas and take them off and throw them away before you touch your phone, your face, or get back into your truck!).
Clean your truck often
Stock up on cleaning wipes and disinfectant sprays that may be used to clean door handles, the steering wheel, the gear shift, buttons, and any other frequently touched surfaces. Spray your seats and sleeping areas as well and throw your bedding in the laundry often.
Avoid gyms and don’t share exercise equipment
While it’s evident that exercise is extremely important for truck drives who spend long hours sitting down, going to your local gym and using dirty equipment is not a good idea. There are other ways to stay in shape like going for a run, buying your own lightweight gym equipment, or doing an equipment-less workout routine outside your truck. This is the time to get creative and put your health first!
Lastly, health officials recommend avoiding large gatherings and staying away from people as much as possible. So, please don’t invite your friends to come over and tell your family that dinner parties must be put on hold. Thank you to truckers who are unable to stay home at this time. Your commitment to keeping shelves stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitizer has not gone unnoticed.