Coronavirus Chronicles: Lyoness Woodstock, Erb Transport

John G Smith

Erb Transport driver Lyoness Woodstock has seen a quick shift in attitudes about trucking as North America fights Covid-19.

“Who would have ever thought of trucking in such an essential way?” he asks. “Weeks ago we were recognized as a necessary evil. My, how quickly things have changed.”

Lyoness Woodstock, Erb Transport (Supplied photo)

Attitudes haven’t been the only things to shift. Shippers and receivers are changing procedures, opening specific areas to just one or two trucks at a time, increasing the space allowed between vehicles, and raising questions about health and travel history. At the border, U.S. Customs officers wouldn’t take any of his papers until he answered questions about his health and travel as well.

Traffic has certainly been lighter, though. He traveled through Toronto and Montreal without dipping below 100 km/h. That usually isn’t possible.

“I personally have not experienced any great challenges,” he says. “It is a mindset that I have to be diligent about how I do my job, and do my best to keep from contracting the virus. [They’re] likely great practices to maintain well after this crisis is over anyway.”

Canadians are realizing the importance of a secure an uninterrupted supply chain, Woodstock adds, but he also stresses the need to thank more than drivers.

“The dispatchers, planners, and the administrators that keep the paper and information flowing. The mechanics who ensure the equipment is ready to go. The dock personnel that load and unload our products. The fuel guys. The tire guys who are at the ready, always,” he says, listing off several examples.

“Our families at home who send us off with a supply of food, clean clothes, their prayers and their love – not knowing when or how we will return home to them.”

When the crisis is over, he hopes people will remember the work that was accomplished.

“I hope when this is over and the world gets back to what we see as normal, that we all remember just how important each and everyone is to our own existence,” he says.

  • Coronavirus Chronicles tell the trucking industry’s personal stories from the front lines of Covid-19. They are drawn from the ongoing coverage at www.trucknews.com.
John G Smith

John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, Canadian Shipper, Inside Logistics, Solid Waste & Recycling, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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