Our recent articles have mostly focused on the Truckers who have continued to work during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic – those superheroes who have potentially risked life and limb to keep emergency supplies going.
What many people don’t realise is that there have been numerous companies in all areas of the trucking industry that have suffered a very difficult time through this lockdown. Not all companies deal with emergency supplies, and the financial toll on the trucking industry has been significant.
Some of the hard facts
An interesting IOL business report spoke about the devastating effect of the pandemic on the industry and “The effects of the economic decay are now becoming visible, as cracks in the economy start to show,” said Gavin Kelly, the chief executive of the Road Freight Association (RFA).
As far back as the end of April, when the report was released, it was said that “The results of the RFA’s recent Lockdown Survey indicated that the vast majority of trucking companies were already in a critical phase where they did not see themselves existing past the end of April in the event that the existing limitations were extended. Many institutions have noted that it will take between one to three weeks to get back to reasonable efficiencies – some even longer,” said Kelly.
As we all know, we only went to phase three at the beginning of June, so who knows how great the financial toll has really been. Truckers and the trucking industry are tough nuts to crack though, as has been revealed in the tremendous spirit they had exhibited in continuing to deliver emergency supplies when most of the population were firmly locked down. So we are ready now to really start getting back to business.
Some words of caution
Just a few words of advice though for all those Drivers who will be back on the road now. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security; all health safety precautions still need to be observed rigidly. Many believe we are nowhere near the peak of the contamination cycle and will only reach it in July or even later. So these are the precautions required as per the regulations in phase 3 – and a couple more that we advise.
- Wear a mask at all times in public and maintain social distancing from all you meet outside your own home. This is especially critical if you are paired with another Driver.
- Use high alcohol (Min 70%) base spray to continuously spray the cabin of your vehicle and anything you carry and touch in the course of the day – including the packaging of fast foods or drinks you buy. (Avoid eating or drinking the alcohol spay though!)
- Continuously use hand sanitiser and wash your hands for a minimum of 20sec with soap and water – and immediately remove your clothes and have a shower when returning home if possible.
- Most importantly, don’t even think of reporting for work if you feel sick, particularly with flu-like symptoms. Stay at home, isolate and if it gets worse, then call the emergency hotline number – 0800 029 999 – to arrange to get tested.
In a Positive Light
As one of the leading truck manufacturers and key role players in the trucking industry, FAW has also had to take our knocks, but can only say we salute all those truckers who have kept the flag flying in this critical time and congratulate everyone who is now back to work.
We have for many years been building a wide range of great quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers in South Africa for Africans and we won’t stop now. If you are ready to hit the trail again then visit our website to find a dealer near you, or contact us for any advice and assistance, we may be able to give you to get back on your feet and up and running again.
Be careful, be alert and especially – be safe!