Six tips that will keep you safe and sane out on the road.
Everybody is saying it – we are living in unprecedented times. But as drivers know well, many of us have to keep on keeping on. Here are six suggestions to make trucking during the coronavirus pandemic a little easier.
Tip #1: Keep hand sanitizer on hand
Working contact-free is not an option for truckers. And with so many touch points throughout the day, it’s important to keep your hands sanitized in order to avoid coronavirus. In addition to a bottle of hand sanitizer in your truck, keep a travel-sized container in your pocket or on your belt loop. It makes it easier to keep your hands clean as you go about your work. And if you’re running out of hand sanitizer, the American Trucking Associations is offering hand sanitizer refill stations in several states. Variant drivers can also access PPE and sanitizer at our trucking terminals and facilities.
Tip #2: Sanitize your sanitation mask
Yes, really. Going the extra mile to keep your mask clean may seem like a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are using cloth masks, the CDC recommends rinsing them in a solution of bleach and water after each use. A heavy-duty detergent and warm water in a washing machine will also do the trick. Once they’re clean, you can lay them to dry. And to all truckers who have microwaves, think twice before trying to sanitize your mask with heat.
Tip #3: Eat in instead of take out
Making and storing meals is an easy way to keep your spending and diet under control. With many restaurants still closed or limiting the number of diners due to the threat of coronavirus, having food prepped ensures you can eat when you want and where you want. And you don’t have to be a gourmet chef -- here are a few trucker-friendly recipes to try. Not into meal prepping in your truck? There is a meal delivery service specifically for truckers that delivers affordable, fully-cooked meals to you.
Tip #4: Stay in tip-top (driving) shape
Everyone should exercise, especially if they’re spending 11 hours a day sitting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many truck stops have closed their gyms to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among truckers. And while that may make working out a little less convenient, it doesn’t have to stop you. There are many fitness apps and trucker focused wellness groups and solutions that make it easy to find equipment-free workouts and training tips.
Tip #5: Stay up to speed on the truth
With lots of information circulating about the coronavirus, it’s important to separate the facts from the fiction. For example, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the likelihood of contracting the virus from items that have been shipped from China is very slim. We’re probably all better off concentrating on keeping clean hands and a 6-foot distance. And if you’re a Variant driver and have questions, you can always reach out to your Operations Specialist to get the latest COVID-19 updates.
Tip #6: Better safe than sorry
Don’t assume a sniffle or a fever is coronavirus. But also don’t assume it’s not. If you do have coronavirus symptoms, don’t panic. Call your healthcare provider and take care of yourself. And if you do need to get tested for coronavirus, insurance companies have agreed to waive the co-payment.
Keep on trucking
Truck drivers are some of the hardest working people and, right now, their jobs are harder than ever. This guide won’t fix everything, but if it helps even one driver navigate the coronavirus pandemic, it’ll be worth it.