‘It would be good if they could let us come inside,’ driver says

EDWARDSVILLE, N.S. – S&M Trucking’s John Power, who has been driving trucks for more than 25 years, has never seen anything like the Covid-19 pandemic. “Even during the SARS and H1N1 scare, it wasn’t like this,” he said during a telephone interview, referring to other health scares.

“We are risking our lives to pick up and deliver. The least people can do is help us get it done.”

– John Power, S&M Trucking

“Restaurants are closed, you never know what you are going to find when you arrive. Some places are open, some not, hours are reduced, and it is getting increasingly hard to even get a cup of coffee.”

John Power, S&M Trucking

There has been pressure by the trucking community via social media for services to step up to the plate with support.

Truckers are reporting online what is available and where their essential services to keep operating can be found. Fewer shippers and receivers are allowing those living behind the wheel access to washrooms and company waiting areas. “Some you can walk in, others you cannot,” Power said. “Things are changing daily.” There are those who have microwaves, fridges and a variety of small appliances in their sleepers.

Those that do have the option of making their own coffee and meals and doing so. Others have to rely on truck stops and fast food establishments “Our company has been great in helping out on what we think we need.  We receive all kinds of up to date information via satellite and email.  If I need to buy rubber gloves, sanitizer, wipes, whatever I need, I can save my receipts and submit them for reimbursement,” he said. Other than trying to get hot food, a shower, and use the washroom, he has not encountered anything different during his time in Newfoundland.

He is not sure when he will get back to the Mainland with everything that is going on. Trailers are still arriving via the Marine Atlantic ferry. During pickups the ticket agents have been asking whether he has recently been away or if he feels ill.

But there have been no major delays.”

There has been an upswing in support from Canadians with regards to truckers and what they do. Power would like to see similar support from businesses that truckers use during their everyday work week.

“It would be good if they could let us come inside, sit down for a bit to get out of the truck, use the washroom, maybe cordon off a small seating area for us. We are out there getting things where they need to be. We are risking our lives to pick up and deliver. The least people can do is help us get it done.”

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