Needs and times change, which is why we survey users of the Trucker Tools driver app several times each year. We recently surveyed those of you who use our driver app and free carrier platform to find out how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting how you do business. Most of you who responded to our survey are owner operators and small carriers — 86 percent of those who responded to our survey run five trucks or fewer. Here we share some of the key takeaways from our recent COVID-19 survey. 

Dwell Time Is Up

Of those surveyed, 44 percent answered that extended shipper wait time/detention is the top challenge they’re facing during the pandemic. In fact, 66 percent of those we surveyed said they’re seeing an increase in delays at shipper locations. More than half of you reported that dwell time has increased by one to five hours since the pandemic began. Did you know that when you use the load tracking tool included in the Trucker Tools driver app, your dwell time is automatically captured, as are your arrival and departure times? That makes documenting your detention time easy. 

Access to Restrooms at Shipper/Receiver Facilities

According to our survey, increased restrictions or reduced facilities at shipper/receiver locations remains a problem: 60 percent of those who answered our survey said it’s the top challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, many shippers are restricting access to their facilities to reduce possible transmission of the Coronavirus. Some shippers and receivers have made porta-potties available near their docks, but that’s obviously less than ideal. Tip: you can use the Trucker Tools driver app’s rest area finder, truck stop guide or Explore button to find restrooms and other amenities if you can’t use the facilities at a shipper or receiver location. 

Finding Good-Paying Loads Is Still Difficult

A whopping 75 percent of those who responded to our survey said that low per mile rates have been a problem. Many of you reported shutting down your operations for weeks or even months at a time during the pandemic due to lack of loads and/or low rates. As a result, 53 percent of our survey respondents said that their hours and/or income had decreased because of the pandemic — and 40 percent said that finding loads with competitive rates will continue to be a major challenge over the next few months. If you’re not getting the rates you want and need on load boards, consider using Trucker Tools’ driver app or free carrier platform to find loads with your favorite brokers. Trucker Tools’ driver app and carrier platform make it easy for you to stay connected with brokers/3PLs and book their loads on a consistent basis. 

Reduced Hours at Stores and Restaurants Still a Challenge

Of the truckers/carriers who responded to our survey, 41 percent of you said that reduced hours at truck stops, stores and restaurants remains one of your top challenges. When we surveyed Trucker Tools driver app users back in April at the beginning of the pandemic, 31 percent of those who responded reported that reduced hours at truck stops, stores and restaurants was a top challenge. Clearly, things have not yet improved on that front. Don’t forget: you can use Trucker Tools’ free driver app to find truck stops, restaurants and Wal-Mart locations on your route. 

The Pandemic Is Changing How You Do Business

In our survey, we asked about what kinds of changes you have made or will make in how you do business as a result of the pandemic. Some of you said that you’re focusing on regional runs or running different lanes. One owner of a trucking company commented: “As an owner, I have become one of our company drivers to keep the business going. We are trying to continue on with business as usual, but are taking extra precautions with protective gear.” Approximately 25 percent of those we surveyed reported that they’ll be using digital tools to reduce face-to-face interactions during the pandemic.

You can now book and pay for overnight parking spots in our free driver app. To learn more, read New Feature! Find, Reserve Parking with Trucker Tools’ Free Driver App. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/web/carriers.