Canadian truckers expect Covid-19 measures to last for months: Survey

John G Smith

TORONTO, Ont. – Surveyed Canadian truckers expect health and safety measures like social distancing and face masks to continue for six months to two years, even as businesses begin to reopen after Covid-19 shutdowns.

The predictions emerge today through the preliminary results of a monthly survey of Today’s Trucking readers, conducted in the past 24 hours.

(Illustration: iStock)

When asked how long they expect such health and safety measures to continue, 35% said they would last six to 12 months, while 27% said between one and two years. Only 7.5% expect the measures to become a permanent way of life.

The results align with thoughts about how long it will take for trucking-related activity to return to pre-Covid-19 levels. Just under 37% of those surveyed said it will take six months to a year, while 35% said it will take one to two years. Eight percent said their businesses have not experienced any change during the pandemic.

But there has been a significant shift in where some of the work is conducted. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said their businesses require office employees to work from home because of Covid-19. Forty percent believe traditional office employees will continue to work from home after public health restrictions are eased.

It’s not the only change in the way business is conducted. Seventy-one percent of those who responded to the survey say their businesses are using more electronic documents as a way to promote social distancing. And 89% believe Covid-19 will lead to the expanded and long-term use of electronic documents.

The surveyed readers feel relatively safe on the job as it relates to Covid-19. On a scale of one to five, shifting between high risk and very safe, the average score was 3.8.

Surveyed truck drivers were generally more optimistic than people who work in the office or maintenance facilities. Forty-seven percent of the drivers expect the trucking-related activity to return to pre-Covid levels within six to 12 months. When it comes to the pandemic-related health and safety measures, 27% expect they will last three to six months, and 41% said six months to a year.

Fleet executives and other office personnel lean toward timelines of one to two years (41%) and six to 12 months (33%) when it comes to returning to pre-Covid business levels. They expect the health and safety measures to last six to 12 months (34%) and one to two years (29%).

Fifty-three percent of surveyed maintenance teams expect the Covid-19 health and safety measures to be in place for one to two years. Yet they rank their personal safety at an average score of 3.2 out of five.

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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