COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives. Truck drivers and fleets are on the front lines of this fight—keeping the supply chain working, Americans fed, and hospitals supplied.
And more than ever, keeping healthy on the road is critical. The CDC and individual fleets have issued guidelines designed to keep drivers free from disease and on the road. Recommendations include:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces1.
Fleets have another resource to help keep drivers safe and healthy while fulfilling the critical mission of the fleet: telematics.
Routing for Safety
In the best of times, advanced routing solutions are critical for making deliveries or pickups on time and as efficiently as possible.
Today, this priority still applies, but adds a new dimension—cutting miles, particularly if there’s significant risk of exposure at a drop-off or pickup point.
Last-mile routing is particularly important in helping drivers navigate yards, parking lots, or other areas that could still be relatively high trafficked due to consumers (such as at a grocery store) or other truck drivers (such as at a large distribution center). Making sure drivers know exactly where they need to go and how to get there is a key way fleets can use routing in a way to make sure their drivers remain safe and productive by limiting time and exposure to others.
Telematics isn’t just valuable for telling fleets where a vehicle is, but where it’s needed. With the shifting priorities of the medical supply chain, it is likely that fleets may need to create their own “surges” of traffic to meet pressing demand.
A fleet’s telematics solution can help identify these areas of need and reallocate the right number and type of vehicles to these surge centers, helping fleets meet the crucial needs of essential enterprises.
Safety isn’t only a matter of avoiding infection by COVID-19. For drivers and fleets alike one of the most significant changes during the ongoing pandemic has been the federal governments relaxing of HOS and CSA enforcement2.
Fleets should still monitor their drivers through both their regular telematics solutions and electronic logging devices (ELDs) to make sure drivers are adhering to the rules of the road and fleet safety policies.
Hours of service regulations may have been relaxed, but fleets can still monitor how long a driver has been behind the wheel. Fatigue will make a driver prone to making cognitive errors that can affect his or her effectiveness behind the wheel or at a pickup and delivery.
Most administrative offices in the country are closed, and it’s likely that many fleet managers are in their homes.
While in the past this would have meant that the fleet manager was effectively “blind” to the activities of his or her fleet, today, advanced telematics solutions, dashboards and mobile apps allow connectivity with drivers anywhere and anytime.
Not only does this mean the driver remains effective, but other company personnel as well—setting priorities for the fleet and making sure drivers remain safe and well. Communications, alerts, and other crucial information can be relayed to and from the fleet manager all from the palm of his or her hand.
Taken together, today’s fleet telematics solutions, such as AT&T Fleet Management, can be a powerful tool to help keep your drivers safe and productive during these most challenging of times.
Learn more about how you can better use your fleet telematics solution at att.com/fleetmanagement.
- “Drivers Struggle to Stay Healthy as COVID-19 Spreads.” Roberts, Jack. Heavy Duty Trucking. March 25, 2020. https://www.truckinginfo.com/354010/drivers-struggle-to-stay-healthy-as-covid-19-spreads. Accessed April 10, 2020.
- “Expanded Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23 No. 2020-002 (Relating to COVID-19). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. March 26, 2020. https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/expanded-emergency-declaration-under-49-cfr-ss-39023-no-2020-002-relating-covid-19. Accessed April 10, 2020.