Conditions may seem critical, but good news can still be found

March 25, 2020

Wendy Parker

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Join me, if you will, for a few moments away from the oddly deserted highways and upside-down world on a quick drop-in to see what condition our condition is in. Time for some good news.

As far as the basic human condition goes it seems a great majority of the unofficially unaffiliated with trucking have suddenly realized just how intrinsic those big, smelly trucks are to the toilet paper supply.

(In my best Gomer Pyle voice: “Well, gol-llllllllly! Who woulda thunk it, Sarge?”)

It’s very nice to see the truck drivers get recognized for their efforts, however, I wish the general population didn’t have to fear a paucity of toilet paper for it to happen. Local and mainstream news outlets have finally seized on to the idea that being nice to people who bring all the stuff you need to maintain life as you know it might be a good idea.

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Next week we’ll work on helping private motor homes owners understand why it’s a terrible idea for them to park in a commercial truck parking lot. (Here’s a hint: just because you can doesn’t mean you should – especially if there are other options available.)

Onward to the good news.

Rest area parking is open in some form in every state, including Pennsylvania.

Woodland High School, along Washington State’s section of Interstate 5 (exit 22) opened not only their parking lot, but the bathrooms and showers inside the school to weary drivers at noon on March 24. The facility intends to remain open seven days a week for the foreseeable future. The location is right next to a Walmart Supercenter. Volunteers within the school district are working with local restaurants to accommodate the drivers with hot food.

If you happen to be in need of parking in the Strafford, Mo., area you can get in touch with the good folks at Bob’s Parking, who have kindly offered to waive overnight fees for the hard-working men and women of trucking out there keeping us going. Give ’em a call at 417-231-2000 to check availability and reserve a spot.

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A majority of truck stops continue to remain open for parking, fuel, showers, pre-packaged food and beverages. Fuel prices remain low and there have been no reports of fuel shortages Both Pilot Flying J and Love’s have increased hourly pay and announced bonuses for dedicated staff who have continued to show up and do their jobs under the currently stressful atmosphere of “people-ing” in general. Thanks for continuing to support the drivers and their mission.

Speaking of supporting drivers, here’s something nice for the pocketbook when it comes to DPF filter maintenance. DPF Alternatives media contact Chris Burrei confirmed with Land Line that all franchise locations (U.S. and Canada) are participating in an offer of free DPF Pneumatic (stage 1) cleanings for the next three-and-a-half weeks. (March 23 – April 5).

“Every franchise owner came together for the largest conference call ever,” Burrei said. “Everyone at DPF Alternatives is just happy to do something for the drivers to help them with the ever-rising costs of maintenance during these trying times.”

You can contact the company at 888-373-2583 or through their Facebook page to check on locations and get specifics on the offer.

Let’s talk about food

And let’s thank the Call to Action Team at OOIDA for working closely with the National Restaurant Association in helping recognize issues professional drivers were (and are) having with getting hot food.

McDonald’s issued a statement on March 23 thanking truckers and letting them know they understand their issues in getting drive-up services. They have asked that drivers to use an ordering app. You can follow the link to easy download instructions. Remote pay and walk-up sidewalk service make the transactions easy and safe.

Texas Roadhouse has also offered to bring orders to the sidewalk for drivers. They’ve asked that you call ahead to see if they have adequate parking – if the truck fits, you and the big rig will be welcome to order and pick your hot meal up curbside.

Shoney’s recently notified OOIDA of 11 locations that can accommodate big trucks. Check the area you’re in and call ahead. They don’t have an app, but they do have a very straightforward online menu and ordering process in which payment can be made electronically.

Wrap-up time

Conditions certainly aren’t ideal and there are certainly places it is more difficult for drivers to obtain basic services than others. Let us know what you’re having trouble with – food, parking, and showers, whatever it may be.

Land Line Media will continue to keep you up-to-date with any changes taking place.

Be safe out there.

Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker has covered the trucking industry since 2012 after she says she “lost my mind and decided to climb inside my husband’s big truck to travel with him as an over-the road, long-haul trucker.” Her unique writing style that ranges from biting satire to investigative journalism coupled with her unbridled passion for fighting round out a wildly talented stable of writers.