Keeping drivers safe, so everybody else can be safe

Despite the turmoil in every other industry, freight is still moving. A lot of freight. After all, truck drivers have to deliver the goods we’re all expecting, whether its more toilet paper at the local grocery store, the dog food we ordered on Amazon or the gas we used to fill up our cars last week.

Life has changed during the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants are shuttered. Stores are closed. Tens of millions of Americans are working from home. And there are a lot fewer cars on the road.

But that doesn’t mean the roads are empty. Just think back to your last drive. How many trucks with trailers did you see?

Our nation’s truck drivers may not be in the news every day as heroes. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t serving as our nation’s backbone, delivering essential products for the public — and more importantly, for the heroes on the front lines of this pandemic. Truck drivers transport medical equipment and other supplies. The moment the trucks stop moving, everything stops moving. And we’re making sure that doesn’t happen.

3.5M+ driving strong

There are about 3.5 million professional truck drivers nationally. Most of them are still driving, including every AMX driver. We’re still delivering essential goods throughout the greater Southeast and beyond. And we’re still conducting driver orientation to put more drivers behind the wheel and on the roads. Business continues — even if it’s not exactly business-as-usual. We’re taking extra precautions to ensure our drivers are safe.

Smart, cautious and consistent

Safety is always our top priority. Usually, it’s providing training guidelines and tips for drivers while in the cab. With COVID-19, we’re extremely conscious of every driver’s movements out of it, too. As a result, AMX is following a series of precautionary best practices to mitigate the spread of the virus.

By nature of the job, drivers are quarantined when they’re on road and protected from many potentially hazardous situations. But there are moments when they have to get out of the cab, whether it’s at a customer’s facility, filling stations or other stops along the way. As a result, we offer gloves, masks and sanitizer to every driver. We frequently discuss the new procedures in place to minimize exposure.

Every morning, our drivers receive an update for the day. We discuss new developments, policies and potential issues. With so much information floating around from so many sources — both good and bad — it’s important that our drivers receive accurate, timely messages and feedback. “Be smart, stay calm” has become a bit of a mantra for us. It’s our way of slowing everything down, so we can figure out the best decisions and course of action for moving forward — safely.

We’re also a sounding board for our drivers. Every day, I hear from them on the road. Some have questions about best practices. Others offer suggestions and tips for other drivers. All of them are very aware of the unique situation they’re in — and the importance of their role.

I’m proud of our drivers for pushing forward while facing adversity. I’m proud of them for following our new policies, as well as those from our customers. I’m proud of them for going about their daily routines, even if they don’t always come with the acclaim and adulation people in other professionals get. They’re truck drivers, not attention seekers. They’re dedicated, not demanding. They’re truck drivers. And they have a job to do.

We’re doing everything possible, so they can perform that job quickly, consistently and safely.

Dan Banner, AMX Safety Director