As the novel coronavirus upends the U.S. economy and disrupts supply chains, truck drivers continue to work tirelessly to ensure goods and essential supplies get to those in need. In fact, according to experts, under normal circumstances, most grocery stores would run out of food within just three days if long-haul drivers stopped working. That puts into perspective the magnitude of what carriers are achieving in today’s environment. As the federal and state governments increasingly take action to combat the spread of coronavirus, truck drivers must stay on top of rapidly changing conditions on the road. We’ve put together this guide to help them do just that.
Most notably the USDOT issued an expanded national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to drivers transporting emergency relief.
- To learn more about what’s covered and other FAQs, visit this site.
- To stay on top of real-time updates, we recommend following the FMCSA Twitter account which can easily be accessed from a phone on-the-go.
Various states have made changes to its trucking-related operations or rules, including closures of state driver license agencies, CDL expiration date extensions, new CLP and CDL issuance and testing restrictions, increased size and weight limits, and updated parking and rest stop availability.
- To learn more about changes in individual states, the American Trucking Association is tracking all state declarations here.
- The Council of State Governments is tracking the broader range of executive orders at the state levels here.
As many restaurants have implemented restrictions or completely closed in-person dining options in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, truckers continue to struggle to find viable food options on the road. Trucks are often too big to fit into drive-thru lanes, and restaurants are largely prohibited from serving people on foot through a drive-thru.
Below are some restaurants who are going above and beyond to make accommodations to serve truck drivers during these trying times:
- McDonalds has added a Trucker curbside option to its Mobile Order & Pay app to serve drivers.
- Denny’s is offering a 15% discount on online orders for professional drivers through May 25 with code Driver15.
- Ruby Tuesday is offering truckers a 25% discount on to-go lunch orders brought outside to drivers with the code 25.
- Long John Silver is offering truckers a 10% discount daily and 20% on Thursday at their 200+ locations.
- Love’s Rest Stops is offering $5 coupons to those who order through its mobile app.
- Nathan’s Famous, Sonic, Shoneys, and Texas Roadhouse are bringing meals outside to drivers.
Drivers need places along the road to park to rest, use the restroom, or get a meal on-the-go. Most notably, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission closed its plazas last week, but has since reopened 13 of its stops to help drivers. Here are a few resources to help drivers know the latest status of prevalent rest stops across the country:
- Loves locations status updates can be found here. Currently, gas stations, showers, truck care remain open, and restaurants are open with shortened hours.
- Pilot Flying J travel centers are open, including fuel stations, stores, showers, and laundry rooms, and restaurants. Latest updates can be found here. The company also has a mobile app to facilitate payment and shower reservations.
Small Business Loans
On March 12, the U.S. Small Business Association announced it will provide disaster assistance loans of up to $2 million for small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. A $310 billion replenishment to the Payback Protection Program and an additional $60 billion in funds for the Economy Injury Disaster Loan program was passed in late April.
- Click here to learn more about the program and qualifications.
- Here’s our quick guide on what carriers need to know about the second stimulus law.
Goodyear is offering free DOT inspections, valued at $120, to carriers. Inspections include a free review of tractor and trailer, brake systems, tires and wheels, exhaust systems, lighting, and more. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Director of Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers has said all centers are following CDC guidance and taking additional preventative measures.
To take advantage of this offer, find your nearest location here.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a three-month waiver lifting certain restrictions for drivers’ with learner’s permits to help keep them on the path to receiving commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) despite challenges related to COVID-19.
- Read the waiver here.
We’ll keep this page updated with new information as things evolve. Thank you truckers for the incredible work you do to keep our country moving.
Please note none of the above is legal advice or official government positions. The situation is rapidly changing and we encourage you to reach out to your counsel regarding legal advice and check all official sites for the latest updates.