April 10, 2020 | 1:17 PM
Helping the American Trucker
The current crazy place of staying at home and closing of “non-essential” businesses (who gets to define THAT list?) is taxing the patience of everyone across the US. While I believe the nation will be open again soon, there are still issues of dealing with the Wuhan Flu. Yes, we know HCQ and a Z-pack are being shown as a highly effective treatment, but not every state has a supply for the medical communities. That should be changing soon. In the interim, we still have a highly contagious virus that appears to ravage those over 65 and that catch all class of “those with underlying health conditions.” We are seeing firsthand the impact of segments of our society who have not been the healthiest, succumbing to this virus. As we move back to being open again in the US, we’ll have to learn to deal with this to reduce infections and exposure.
A lot of made of the medical community and first responders, as they should. So much in fact that dollars for these sectors were in the CARES Act. However, one sector of our workforce that makes it all possible, yet gets treated like second class citizens are our truckers. While I am starting to see tweets thanking them, and that is appreciated, what I do not see is the classification and set aside of funds for truckers as a critical component in dealing with this virus. Truckers move 70% of all original freight here in the US and when you add that they move what comes in on air, rail, and ship – it’s 100%. They drive into and deliver these goods all over the US, including COVID19 hot spots. Sadly, they do not have the access to PPE like the medical community and first responders, yet without their delivery of supplies, those folks would be screwed, blued, and tattooed. The situation is causing some trucks to begin to decline freight out of fear for their personal safety. So, since bureaucrats on the fed and state level have not put this together, it’s up to We the People to step in and help.
That’s what this blog is dedicated to. Getting supplies where truckers can access them, being sure they can eat, as well as the basic availability of getting showers every few days. Yeah – they do not have your and my luxury of a daily shower when everyone in the world needs toilet paper to wipe their back sides! They are not asking for donations, although they will accept them, but simply access to critical supplies to take care of themselves so they can keep doing their job. Below are links and programs you can be a part of NOW and help them to help you.
The Orange Ribbon Program
Originated by Trucks with Room to Spare and being promoted by Lisa and Lee Schmitt, this program allows you to show your willingness to help a trucker by putting an orange ribbon on your car, home, or business. Here are some examples of how help is needed:
• Under current orders, drive thrus and take out are the only options for restaurant and fast food. While curbside services are offered by many, unfortunately semi-trucks cannot go thru a drive thru or do curbside service. If a driver parks and walks up, they will not service them. This is an issue. You can show your willingness to help a trucker get a meal through this program. They’ll pay for it – they just want to eat.
• Rest Areas – many rest areas have been closed by brainless governors. Truckers need to rest. Got some land or a temporarily closed business they and others can park at?
Be a part of a solution and check out https://driver-resources.org
Other Sites and email support
These are websites whose names describe the services being offered:
Food Truck Army
Helping Truckers Help America
Trucks With Room to Spare
This one is a registered nonprofit so if businesses want to donate here, they may receive a tax deduction.
Desiree Woods of Real Women In Trucking is also accepting various PPE and supplies, organizing them, and helping to distribute to truckers. The email address for this is email@example.com,
Toll Road Relief
Right now truckers are incurring additional costs that they will never get reimbursement for. It would be nice to help save some coin on the roads being used. Look up and contact your state DMV and start demand truckers get tolls waived until the nation is open again. Lord knows you have the time, make a difference.
My Pet Peeves
There are a few things that steam my beans right now and should upset you as well. Today can be the start of a new day of support for the most important part of our nations supply chain:
• Lumper Fees – this is where a trucker has to pay someone to unload the load they just brought. Most typical of grocery stores. It is a total rip off and most of the time truckers eat this cost. Call your top 3 grocers in your town and DEMAND they stop this practice
• Did you know that Walmart will no longer allow truckers to park at the store parking lots anymore? What used to be a longstanding practice is now financial terrorism. They place boots on the tires and for truckers it can be a few thousand dollars to get them off. This crap must stop. Oh, I just happen to have their press site: https://corporate.walmart.com/contact-us/contact-media-relations. You know what to do.
• Many that travel by road have used Buc Ee’s to fuel up, fill up, and even shower. Did you know this franchise will not allow truckers to park there either? https://www.buc-ees.com/contact.php. Their phone number is 979-238-6390.
There are only a handful of chances that come along in time to get yourself involved in a cause where your actions not only help a select group, but where that select groups pays you back as well.
This is one such chance.
You have the time. Hope this provided the motivation.
What are you prepared to do about it?
Darren Yancy has always been a self-starter and hard-working individual. He knows the value of a dollar and through diligent perseverance has achieved the American Dream.