The availability of truckstops, commercial parking and public rest areas is critical to highway safety and the flow of interstate commerce. America’s truckers must have places to rest, eat and use the bathroom.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, ATA has been working to ensure public rest areas operated by the states remain open. In the cases when public rest areas were closed down, we have responded immediately, coordinating with federal agencies and our state trucking association partners, to bring about a swift reopening of those facilities.
Privately-owned truckstops have continued to operate throughout the crisis, providing drivers with parking, fuel, food and hot showers. The operating status for Pilot Flying J locations nationwide can be found here, and for Love's locations, here.
While many states have prohibited dine-in service at restaurants during pandemic, national chains continue to provide carry-out service and have made accommodations, and are offering promotions, for truck drivers. The International Franchise Association created this list of chains offering specials for truckers.
Many hotels are also offering truck drivers and other essential workers discounted rates. You can find a listing of discounts by state here.
American Trucking Associations has partnered with Protective Insurance Company to expand the availability and supply of hand sanitizer to truckers along major U.S. freight corridors. With the help of member-company ABF Freight, we are hauling ten 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer, purchased by Protective Insurance, for distribution in eight states, where drivers will be able to refill their personal supplies at no cost.
Drums are now in place at locations in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with the remaining load in transit for delivery this week. Announcements will be made on ATA’s COVID-19 Update Hub as deliveries happen and each refill station becomes available.
Truckers will have access to refills at the following locations:
Scale House on I-20E
Travel Centers of America
5101 Quebec St
Commerce City, Colorado
Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer
1851 West, Thompson Rd
Iowa 80 Truckstop Fuel Center
390 W Iowa 80 Rd
4518 Webster Street
Sideling Hill Rest Stop
PA Turnpike Milepost 172.4 East & West Bound
Molly Pitcher Rest Area
Exit 8A NJ Turnpike
Loves Travel Center #719
1610 Cotton Gin Road
Flying J #726
I-20, Exit 472
7425 Bonnie View Rd
Exit 8A NJ Turnpike Molly Pitcher Rest Area
Loves Travel Center #719
1610 Cotton Gin Road
Troy, TX 76579
Flying J #726
7425 Bonnie View Rd
Dallas, TX 75241
I-20, Exit 472
Working with states, industry stakeholders and motor carriers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is distributing one million protective masks to truckers across the country. Distribution locations can be found on FMCSA's website here, with planned dates and times to be added as they're established.
ATA has also secured 100,000 face coverings at bulk rate, which are available to fleets at cost via ATA Business Solutions.
This database from Urgent Care Mentor, a network of FMCSA certified medical examiners, will generate a listing of medical examiners offering COVID-19 testing. Listings can be generated using a range of search parameters, including the availability or proximity of truck parking at a facility.
UrgentCare Travel, the medical clinic network located at Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers, has launched a telemedicine Driver Coronavirus Evaluation Service. Click here for steps on how to request a Coronavirus evaluation service and download VSee Messenger, a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the leading public health institute in the U.S. and provides a wealth of information and resources on mitigating the spread of COVID-19. CDC has provided recommendations specific to long-haul truckers:
What Long-haul Truck Drivers Need to Know about COVID-19
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms often include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. Our understanding of how the virus spreads is evolving as we learn more about it, so check the CDC website for the latest information. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
Recent studies indicate that the virus can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.
As a long-haul truck driver, how can I protect myself and slow the spread?
As a long-haul truck driver, you spend many hours alone in the cab of your truck. However, there are times when you will be at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. For long-haul truck drivers, potential sources of exposure include having close contact with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truck drivers, or others with COVID-19, and touching your nose, mouth, or eyes after contacting surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.
- Notify your supervisor and stay home if having symptoms.
- Make a plan with your employer and your family as to what to do if you become sick while you’re on the road.
Include where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice and treatment, and plans for freight delivery.
- Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
- Follow CDC recommended precautions and notify your supervisor if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
- Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet when possible.
- Limit time spent outside of the truck cab during fueling, loading and unloading, and at rest and truck stops.
- Use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other tasks, when available.
- Contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading of cargo. Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to restrooms, and plan as best you can.
- Use radio/phone to talk with dock managers or other drivers, if possible.
- Pack food, water, and supplies to limit the number of stops.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Keep your truck well-ventilated.
- CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Cloth face coverings may prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from transmitting it to others. These face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators and are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where masks or respirators are recommended or required.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a routine basis such as:
- In the truck cab (driver door handle, steering wheel, seat belt and buckle, arm and head rest, seat cover, turn signal, wiper controls, dashboard, air ducts, radio, and temperature controls).
- In the sleeper berth (light switches, mattress tray, temperature controls, and other flat surfaces).
- If a third party must have access to the interior of your truck (for example., mechanics, other drivers, inspectors), request that the third party clean and disinfect the truck before turning it back over to you.
- For disinfection, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 diluted household bleach solutions, or alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and are appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s directions for use and clean hands afterwards; more detailed cleaning and disinfecting guidance is also available.
- Practice proper hand hygiene. This is an important infection control measure. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Key times to clean hands include:
- Before entering and leaving the cab, including deliveries, loading and unloading of cargo, rest breaks, fueling, and other activities;
- Before eating or preparing food;
- After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings;
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
- After using the restroom.
- Avoid touching surfaces often touched by others when outside of the cab.
- Do not share personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as vests, safety glasses, hard hats), tools, phones, radios, or other personal items.
- Use pre-qualified truck stops or hotels identified by your employer as having appropriate COVID-19 protections.
- Continue to comply with current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
- Get adequate sleep (7–9 hours) prior to driving. This is critical even when essential supplies and equipment are being transported.
- Pull over, drink a cup of coffee. or take a 15–30 minute nap before continuing if you feel fatigued while driving.
- When team driving or ride-alongs are required, wear cloth face coverings inside the truck and avoid sharing bedding in the sleeper berth.
- If any directive from your employer or a shipper is unclear, ask questions.
In addition to these CDC recommendations, experts ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council offer general Recommended Practices for in-cab cleaning and sanitation.