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Five good things that happened in trucking this week - Friday, March 27

March 27, 2020
Even though COVID-19 may be getting us down, the positives outweigh the negatives in the trucking industry.

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has overwhelmed the country in a matter of weeks. People are instructed to follow social distancing protocols, staying indoors and away from loved ones to avoid the spread of COVID-19. These measures have caused a higher level of panic and anxiety for Americans. Despite the country-wide nerves, good still prevails. Here are five good things that happened this week.

1. McDonald's new ordering system for truckers

On March 23, Bill Garrett, senior vice president of operations for McDonald’s, discussed the new ordering system and pledged to support U.S. truckers as they deliver needed goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In many states, 100% of non-essential businesses were told to close to stop the spread of the virus. Many restaurants, in order to stay in business, are closing the dine-in sections of their location and keeping take-out available – in McDonald’s case, the drive-thru open. However, for truckers, the drive-thru is impossible in almost all locations simply because their vehicles won’t fit.

McDonald’s is encouraging truckers to use the following procedures:

  • Use McDonald’s Mobile Order & Pay app, when you arrive at the restaurant
  • Select Curbside Service and walk to the designated Trucker curbside sign on the sidewalk outside our designated door
  • Complete your order by entering the appropriate Trucker curbside number and we’ll bring your order to you at the designated door as soon as it’s ready

“As the world continues to address the quickly changing landscape, we are in this together with you, our valued friends in the trucking and transportation industry. Thank you for everything you are doing to keep essential parts of our economy going,” said Garrett. “To support you in this effort, McDonald’s restaurants are doing their best to remain open to provide hot meals to our customers and employees, as long as local, state, and federal governments continue to allow us to do so.”

2. Dad surprises 4-year-old daughter with FedEx birthday parade

Ian, a father of four-year-old Ava, gave his daughter a special surprise for her birthday on March 24.

Her birthday party was canceled because of social distancing and stay-at-home protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ian, who works at FedEx, found a new way to celebrate.

He led a parade of FedEx trucks down the family's street. Ava waved gleefully as the trucks drove by, especially for her.

3. Arkansas fire department providing hot meals to truckers

A fire department, located on 145th Street in Little Rock, Ark. Have opened their doors to make sure truck drivers who come through the town are well fed at no cost.

After the Quail Creek fire department chief James Church shared a Facebook post to spread the word, the news spread like wildfire. Their main focus is truck drivers, but they say they won’t turn anyone away who’s in need of food.

“Places like Texas Roadhouse and other places are giving them food, but they’re saying they don’t have a place to park. We have a large parking lot with a side road that’s pretty large. We have an industrial area around there that has 18-wheeler traffic quite often.”

4. Denny’s discount code for truck drivers

In a tweet shared by the American Trucking Association, Denny’s has created a discount code just for truck drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Denny's is shifting gratitude into overdrive for Professional Drivers and offering 15% off your online order now through May 25. Use code Driver15 online at checkout. One coupon per order. Restricted to Valid at participating restaurants. #ThankATrucker”

5. MoDOT allowing trucks to haul up to 100,000 lbs

The Missouri Department of Transportation announced a free, temporary overweight permit that allows haulers to transport up to 100,000 pounds on any Missouri highway through April 30 to assist in critical flow of essential goods during the COVID-19 crisis, including interstates, as long as certain criteria are met:

  • A copy of the special permit and a bill of lading must be in the possession of the operator of the overweight vehicle during its operation and shall be produced for inspection upon request to any Missouri law enforcement official and/or any MoDOT employee.
  • The load must carry supplies and/or equipment in the direct effort to prevent, contain, mitigate and treat the effects of the COVID-19 virus. This includes shipments of livestock, poultry, feed and fuels. Any fuels being transported can be hauled at 100,000 lbs. or up to the manufacturer’s specifications of the tank type being operated, whichever results in the lower weight.
  • Undertaking movement is evidence that both the owner and operator of the equipment agree to abide by the conditions of the special permit and all other non-exempted requirements for overweight loads.
  • Carriers may haul up to 100,000 lbs. gross weight on semi-trailer configurations with five or more axles. The axles must meet the minimum distance requirement stated in the special permit. Carriers using trucks or semi-trailers with fewer axles are allowed to haul up to an additional 10% heavier than licensed weight.
  • Carriers and vehicle operators must obey all structure postings and size and weight restrictions.
  • Violation of any of the conditions of the special permit will void the permit and subject the owner and operator to penalty.

“We are trying to help make movement of needed goods more efficient,” said MoDOT director Patrick McKenna. “This action is taken in light of the current needs for food and emergency supplies across Missouri and the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic consistent with the national and state emergency declarations.”

About the Author

Catharine Conway | Digital Editor

Catharine Conway previously wrote for FleetOwner with a Master of Science in Publishing degree and more than seven years’ experience in the publishing and editorial industries. Based in Stamford, Conn., she was critical to the coordination of any and all digital content organization and distribution through various FleetOwner and American Trucker channels, including website, newsletters, and social media. 

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