TORONTO, Ont. – The days of Covid-19 have changed the ways that interactions take place. Handshakes are forbidden. And keep your distance – at least six feet apart, if you please.
“There are a few awkward moments when it comes time to sign the bill of lading, but a quick joke and a laugh and I’m on my way to the next customer,” says Serge Bukvic, an LTL driver with TransPro Freight Systems, part of the Kriska Transportation Group.
“You got to remember not to be offended, to keep your distance.”
He just wishes more people would do that very thing.
“People need to listen and stay home,” Bukvic says, referring to the guidance given to non-essential workers. “That’s the best way we can stay on the road healthy to keep the economy moving.”
The driver credits his fleet’s management team for taking action during the early days of the virus, and helping to do that very thing.
“TransPro’s management, right from the first hint of the virus, jumped and made changes to keep both us, the drivers, and office staff safe by limiting access, and being very transparent by sending us an email and e-Log messages about the political stance and also TransPro’s safe practices to be taken,” he says. “As well, they listen to us when we asked for PPE equipment and are still making sure we have a supply of gloves, sanitizer, and anything also we may need.”
Office staff are offering more support than ever, too. “I don’t even feel they are working from home, until I get into the office and don’t see them. We also have a handful that come every day to ensure we have our paperwork ready. Our shop is in full force, going above and beyond to keep us rolling. Our great safety lady keeps us updated and in line.”
The signs of support haven’t been limited to fleet personnel alone. Other motorists on the road seem a bit more courteous these days. And when he shopped for a few supplies at Walmart, one lady offered to give him a ride back to his truck. He declined because of the importance of social distancing, but it was a nice gesture.
Unlike other reports that have emerged on the road, Bukvic has found his regular customers in Seattle to be understanding and accommodating, allowing him to park, use washrooms, and take steps to keep him safe even though the stores have been closed to the public.
“For the most part, the truck stops are business as usual,” he adds. “They have definitely stepped up in the cleaning, reduced some self-serve food items, but they have staff serving it instead. They are still busy with trucks coming and going, with everyone really starting to practice social distancing.”
And Canadians, he feels, are getting a better look at the work that happens “behind the scenes” to support the supply chain and normal lives.
“It’s great to see the support we are getting on the road,” he says. “The kind gestures, the no-rush-hour traffic. When this is all over, me and my other driver friends will still be doing what we are doing now … I hope they remember us quietly working behind the scenes.”
– This one in a series of reports on the experiences of truck drivers and other members of the trucking industry amid the fight against Covid-19
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