How to keep truck cabs clean – and keep safe — in the fight against Covid-19

Before starting a driving shift, wipe down all the surfaces you’re likely to touch with an appropriate cleaning product or hot soapy water. It may take an extra 10 minutes at the start of the shift, but you’ll make that up with the lack of traffic clogging the highways these days. Surfaces include the steering wheel, gear shift or selector, all driver switches and controls, as well as door handles (interior and exterior) and glass. And don’t forget to wipe down surfaces in the sleeper, too.

Bedding and linens should also be laundered regularly. Launder the laundry bag as well, or dispose of any garbage bags used to store dirty laundry.

For electronics such as tablets, touch screens, and keyboards, remove any visible contamination following the manufacturer’s instructions. Consider using wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens.

Cleaning for technicians

Technicians should wear protective gloves or thoroughly wipe down surfaces they are likely to touch while performing service on the truck, especially door handles, steering wheels, and gear shifts.

Should you need to get your truck serviced while you’re on the road, you might be asked to stay with the truck so the technician won’t need to climb inside.

Recommended cleaning products

Cleaning products remove germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces by using soap (or detergent) and water. Cleaning does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting products kill germs on surfaces using chemicals.

Health Canada has published a list of hard-surface disinfectants that meets its criteria for use against Covid-19. As disinfectants, there is some virus-killing capability, while common cleaning products may just transfer the virus from the surface to the rag or wipe.

By Jim Park