KENTVILLE, N.S. – The nature of the loads has been changing. The volumes, too.
“Volume was up and all lanes [seemed] to be steady last week. Things have softened up and it is really just starting to slow down,” says Trevor Bent, CEO of Eassons Transport.
“I think the reason is buying patterns are changing. Restaurants are flat, we are adjusting to that. [The] challenge is finding loads. Production is down. People are buying different things and some have hoarded products.”
The loads that are secured have been able to move, though. Bent says there have been no problems at the U.S. border, and credits the work of the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA) for that.
“Most of the drivers when they return are self-isolating in their trucks, and some are just back in and out again. We have drivers who are out longer, drivers who are taking more precautions and staying home. It is a mixed bag,” he says.
If any of the drivers show a hint of flu-like symptoms, they’re parked until cleared to go back to work.
Bent is also quick to credit those who sit behind the fleet wheels for keeping things on the move.
“Drivers are stepping up to the plate and are bringing back things they see at the shippers and out there on the road, that could improve things, and we are relaying it on,” he says. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. There is a comradery among the drivers and we can see it. They are rallying each other for the good of the cause.”
For its part, Eassons has introduced several procedures to help keep them safe. There are strict sanitizing rules, more hand sanitizer stations, and care packages of supplies that drivers might need on the road. A cook comes into the driver’s lounge to package up meals for the drivers to take with them, so there’s no need to stop or search for a place to eat. Everyone is practicing social and physical distancing at docks and in service bays, too.
“We have professional cleaners detailing the trucks when our drivers return with sanitization bombs, to ensure they are kept free of any possible trace of the virus, and we are working diligently to keep our drivers healthy and fit for the road,” Bent says.
“Everyone here at Eassons is taking this very seriously, and we have all been working together to make things run as smoothly as possible, while still getting the job done. From our maintenance guys, our drivers, and our office staff who are working from home. We think they are doing an incredible job.”
The CEO has been with Eassons for a decade. And in an effort to get a better understanding of a truck driver’s job, he earned a Class 1 licence and once headed out on the road for a bit.
“It’s tough out there at the best of times,” he says. “I can’t imagine what it would be like on the road right now, and we want our drivers to know we are here for them.”
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