Economies all over the world are trying to recover as the world tries to grapple with the new realities unleashed by the Covid-19 outbreak that has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and millions infected.
Even the trucking business hasn’t been left untouched by the pandemic.
The trucking business is the backbone of every economy no matter which country or region we are talking about.
Things must move. Goods must reach from warehouse to consumers.
When people place orders online, those orders need to be delivered. From vegetables and groceries to medical supplies and equipment, truck drivers need to measure the length and breadth of the country while making sure they don’t get infected themselves and neither do they bring the infection home to their families.
Various ways truck drivers can come in contact with the Covid-19 virus
While doing their work, the truck drivers are in greater danger of coming in contact with the virus compared to people in other professions.
They visit various locations. They come in contact with many people.
They often exchange documents. They stay at motels or often have to eat at food joints. They also have to stop at multiple check posts and show their documents to the traffic police.
They refuel. In case the truck breaks down and if they need extra help to repair it, there is more chance of interaction.
From the pickup location, they need to physically check that the consignment has been properly loaded.
At the drop location again they have to check that things have been unloaded. They are continuously coming in contact with people and objects.
Despite the dangers involved (of getting infected with Covid-19), the trucking business goes on. But there are some measures that the truck drivers can take to keep themselves safe.
Listed below are 5 ways truck drivers can improve their safety during the Covid-19 outbreak.
- Develop an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for your workplace
This can be a set of guidelines that must be followed to its fullest by you and your employees.
Normally various governments have instructed businesses to come up with their own set of standard operating procedures, but such procedures can also be developed by individual truck drivers because once you have prepared a list of precautions you need to take, you can build them into your day-to-day habit and then there is less chance of committing a mistake.
In the SOP you can clearly define how you’re going to keep yourself safe during situations like
- Making sure that the track is sanitized regularly.
- Maintaining safe distance when interacting with people.
- Taking precautions when eating food outside.
- Every gap that can allow the Covid-19 virus to creep into your defence system.
- Digitize as much paperwork as possible
The problems with paperwork are manifold. Papers need to be delivered physically whether you deliver them yourself or through someone else.
They go through many hands. They may be left unattended somewhere. To authorize or to validate you need to sign on them.
The worst part is, right now it is not known for how long the Covid-19 virus can survive on paper, although there are many speculations regarding this. You don’t want to take chances.
The safest bet is to go digital. It makes sense anyway. When you cut out paperwork, your efficiency goes through a phenomenal transformation.
Most of the authorization steps can be taken care of automatically as you enter or exit a place with your mobile device, or by an OTP (one-time-password).
You don’t have to travel and meet people in person to deliver papers. You don’t even have to accept currency notes.
The more you adopt digitization, the safer you are from the Covid-19 virus.
Sure, this is not a guarantee, but by eliminating one of the reasons for the virus to reach you, you reduce your chances of getting infected.
Using a trucking job mobile app like TruckBook is a very good example of transformative digitization.
Often individual truck owners have to go through job boards to see if trucking jobs are needed by companies, businesses and carriers.
They often have to visit an office for that. Such visits can be completely avoided if you download and install TruckBook.
It not only keeps you safe from Covid-19, but it also brings thousands of job opportunities on your palm.
- Maintain social distancing
Well, ever since the arrival of the Covid-19 virus, the expression “social distancing” has almost become a cliché.
Nonetheless, it is very effective. Many countries have been able to flatten the curve and in many cases, even reverse it, by following strict social distancing.
In simple terms, it means physically remaining away from people and not getting too near. Whenever you need to meet someone, meet outside.
Don’t use the common waiting room where lots of people are sitting. Use designated spots for standing. Avoid visiting crowded places at any cost.
When your truck is being loaded or unloaded, don’t unnecessarily go near the people who are doing loading and unloading.
Although, above, it is suggested that you should digitize your processes as much as possible, if you must use papers, develop ways to exchange them through a distance.
Maybe, they can be left on a table and then the other person can pick them and go through them and after verifying them, he or she can leave them on the table and move away, and then you can approach the table and pick them up, preferably, wearing gloves.
Similarly, devise your own ways to maintain as much physical distance as possible without offending people.
- Sanitize your truck regularly
Due to the size of a truck, it might be difficult to sanitize the entire truck on a regular basis, but at least if you can keep the parts that you repeatedly come in contact with sanitized, you can keep yourself safe.
For example, you can keep an ethanol spray with you and sanitize the steering wheel, the seats, the doors, the dashboard and whatever you regularly touch or hold when driving or just sitting inside your truck.
- Wash/sanitize your hands as much as you can
This is such a piece of common advice but still, very few people follow it. You can curtail the spread of the virus to a great extent by simply washing your hands after every contact.
If washing your hands is not possible, keep alcohol or ethanol-based sanitizer with you. You can simply rub the sanitizer on your hands, and it kills most of the germs and viruses.
The Covid-19 has posed one of the biggest challenges to humans in recent times and yet, if we can take commonly applicable precautions, we can keep ourselves safe from getting infected.
So, whether you’re driving your truck, or it is parked somewhere, take standard precautions and you are pretty much safe. These are:
- Sanitize your truck regularly.
- Digitize as much as you can.
- Wash and sanitize your hands regularly.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Wear a mask whenever possible.
- When you go home, without meeting any family member, go take a bath and put your clothes in boiling hot water.