With the trucking industry working on the frontlines of emergency relief efforts, it’s more vital than ever that existing truck drivers stay healthy. The shortage of drivers compounds this issue as trucking companies try to keep hospitals, grocery stores, and other essential services stocked in the supplies they need. Maintaining six feet of distance from other people combined with frequent hand washing can help keep truck drivers on the road, but there are more ways to ensure the trucks stay clean in a COIVD-19 environment.
Beyond Hand Washing and Social Distancing
While frequent hand washing and keeping away from people will do a lot to keep truck drivers healthy, COVID-19 can survive on glass, plastic, and metal surfaces for several days in the right conditions. While the main source of infection remains person-to-person interactions, the virus can spread by touching a contaminated surface. Considering that almost every touched surface in most trucks are made of glass, plastic, or metal, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious.
Truck drivers and trucking employees should take the following precautions:
- Wash linens and laundry accumulated in the truck in hot water—this includes the bags drivers use to hold the dirty items. If the bags are not machine-washable, drivers should switch to a disposable option like large trash bags.
- Wipe down all electronics according to the manufacturers’ instructions to remove all debris. If there are no instructions for cleaning the device, drivers should use wipes containing at least a 70% alcohol solution.
- While on the topic of electronics, drivers should consider investing in covers that are easy to wipe down. Many electronics have small crevices that can be near impossible to clean and covers would eliminate that issue.
- When cleaning surfaces, drivers and technicians should use disinfectants rather than basic cleaning products. Cleaning products can’t kill the virus on contact and will likely relocate the virus from the surface to the rag. If fleets don’t have access to disinfectants, they should make sure to wash the cloths used for cleaning in hot water or dispose of them.
- When servicing trucks, technicians should wear gloves and disinfect any surface they need to touch to perform their diagnostics and repairs. When done, the technicians should dispose of the gloves and wash their hands thoroughly.
Although it’s impossible to clean every surface a driver may encounter while out in public, taking simple precautions like the above can help keep drivers healthy so they can continue performing their vital service. Interstate Motor Carriers understands the challenges fleets face as they try to manage their risks while keeping up with the demands of emergency relief efforts. Contact us to learn how we can help your trucking company.