Trucking and the COVID-19 outbreak

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has plunged the country into a time of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. As stores, school districts, restaurants, and other businesses close in an effort to slow the spread of the illness, people around the world are staying inside and doing their best to engage in “social distancing.”

People aren’t out and about like they normally would be, but that doesn’t mean that items like food and medicine don’t need to get from Point A to Point B. And that means that trucks are still on the roads, operated by dedicated truck drivers who are still working so that essential supplies can get where they need to go.

With the coronavirus affecting essentially the entire country, the FMCSA has taken measures to ensure that truckers can deliver crucial supplies to places in need. They have declared a national emergency so that there can be hours-of-service regulatory relief for drivers of commercial vehicles who are delivering emergency supplies.

This is the first ever occasion where the FMCSA has implemented this kind of nationwide regulatory relief.

  • The declaration from the FMCSA means that there is regulatory relief if a commercial motor vehicle is assisting in the relief effort by providing deliveries of…
  • Medical necessities for the testing and treatment of the virus.
  • Cleaning supplies that contribute to the safety of those working in the healthcare field, those who are patients, and members of the community, as well as reduce the spread of the virus. (This includes such supplies as masks, gloves, soap, disinfectants, and hand sanitizer.)
  • Food for stores that need emergency restocking.

Materials that are needed to create and run temporary housing/quarantine quarters resulting from COVID-19.

Of course, there are also people who need to get from Point A to Point B. The emergency declaration also gives regulatory relief to those who are transporting people who are needed to provide medical and emergency services.

(However, to uphold the safety of the country’s highways and roads, the emergency declaration states that drivers who have completed their deliveries must have a break of at least 10 hours if transporting property or 8 hours if transporting passengers.)

It just goes to show that trucking is indeed the heart of the country. Even though the world is grinding to a halt because of COVID-19, transportation doesn’t stop. So to all of the truck drivers who are still out there on the roads doing a very important job, we extend our heartfelt thanks, and we appreciate the significance and the necessity of the work that you do.