Written by Jeff Whitehouse, Driver Trainer Coordinator
Life for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver is full of challenges on the best of days. Planning to make appointments, meals, showers, rest time, and home time fit into a schedule that is governed by federal regulations can be tough. The daily plan for the driver must first and foremost focus on the safety of the driver and equipment. The second challenge is how to do this and meet the needs of the customers. Many times, meals, showers, and downtime become secondary or get pushed to the back burner.
In early 2020, life began to change for everyone around the country. The COVID-19 virus was only something that we had heard about in the United States. It seemed so distant to us. However, the first confirmed cases started popping up in places like Washington and New York. Largely populated cities were hit hard and, before long, we were part of a worldwide pandemic.
Drivers across the nation have had to change the way they think, shop, live, and do their job. Ruben Jimenez shared that he had to do more shopping at home and stock up on ready-to-eat food.
“I have to think more about what I need with me and have it when I leave for a trip.”
Hot meals are not as accessible right now. Most truck stops across the nation have stopped offering pizza by the slice or hot burgers from the counter. Roller grills aren’t turning, and they sit empty. Some drivers have shared that due to closed dining areas at restaurants, it’s hard to get hot meals.
As our volume started to drop, the Traffic department got busy keeping drivers rolling with custom backhaul work. This is a big change for drivers. Now, drivers are not always running the lanes they are familiar with. Many drivers are going to states and cities they have never been to before. With all the challenges the drivers face, the motor vehicle accident (MVA) numbers have remained impressive.
Many locations where our drivers break down freight are not allowing drivers on the docks for now. They get their temperature checked at a gate and are sometimes restricted from using facilities. However, our drivers have remained very positive and continue to show extra patience in this new environment.
Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) drivers have done a fantastic job with this new way of living on the road. Our drivers are the best in the world and handle their area of the business very professionally. Thank you, DTI drivers, for the great work you do!