It’s a tough time. We’re all being impacted by the Coronavirus in one way or another. With that being said, as a trucker, you’re facing challenges that many folks aren’t, which is why Trucker Tools recently surveyed you and your fellow truckers about how COVID-19 is affecting you and your business. We think it’s important to stay in touch with how you’re doing — in the good times, the bad times and everything in between. Knowing how you’re doing helps us support you in the best way we can.
In this blog, we share some of our COVID-19 survey results, along with resources that can help you get by during these challenging times.
Reduced Income During COVID-19
In the survey, 79 percent of you told us that reduced income is your top concern during the pandemic. As one commenter put it, “rates/work has dropped off.” More than 85 percent of those who responded to our survey said that work hours and income have been reduced because of COVID-19. One trucker reported that the virus has reduced their income by about 35 percent.
If you’re an owner operator, you may qualify for unemployment benefits. The federal CARES Act extends unemployment benefits to self-employed workers and 1099 tax filers, who usually are ineligible for state unemployment benefits. To find out if you qualify, contact your home state’s unemployment office. If you’re the owner of a trucking business, you may qualify for low interest loans or other types of assistance for your business. America’s Small Business Development Centers has created a small business resource center on its website with information on federal small business relief programs. Emergency relief funds for your business may be available to you at the state level, as well.
You also can use the new version of the Trucker Tools driver app to find and book loads to keep your truck(s) running during this difficult time. Once you’ve been added to a broker/3PL carrier network, you can search for and book their loads in real-time right in the Trucker Tools driver app in a matter of seconds.
Risking Exposure to Coronavirus
Nearly 60 percent of you who answered our survey said thatpossible exposure to the virus is one of the biggest challenges that you face as a trucker. It’s true, that while many people can work from home during the crisis to reduce exposure, truckers can’t. As a trucker, you may have to be in close proximity to other people at truck stops, restaurants, gas pumps, stores and rest areas across multiple states. This is such a great concern that OOIDA recently sent a letter to the federal government requesting more virus testing and protective supplies for truckers.
In the meantime, you can reduce your exposure to Coronavirus by washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a mask in public, cooking/preparing your own food and wiping down surfaces before and after you use them. Eating inside of your truck, cleaning your cab daily and staying in your truck as much as possible also may reduce your exposure to the virus.
Access to Hand Sanitizer, Food, Supplies and Restrooms
If you’re out on the road right now, you’re probably frustrated by the lack of services and supplies available. Approximately 50 percent of the truckers who answered our survey said that not being able to find hand sanitizer is one of the biggest challenges they face. Others identified closed restrooms, finding places to get food and reduced hours at truck stops as their top challenges during the pandemic.
There are several tools included in Trucker Tools’ free driver app that can help you with the issues above. In the newest version of our driver app, you’ll see a new tool called COVID-19 Useful Links. When you tap on this button, you can read the latest industry news related to the pandemic, from where to find necessities such as Clorox wipes and sanitizer to updates about brokers’ fees, factoring offers, truck stop hours and services, and parking. You also can use the driver app’s truck stop guide and Wal-Mart store locator to find groceries, supplies, restrooms and other amenities.
No matter where you are, all of us at Trucker Tools are wishing you and your families the best. Please stay healthy and safe out there, truckers! We appreciate all that you do.
If you didn’t have the chance to complete our survey, but would like to tell how us you’re doing and/or how we can help, visit our Facebook page. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/.