How To Stay Safe From COVID-19 While Truck Driving?

how to stay safe in trucking during a pandemic or epidemic

Trucking In A Pandemic?

Trucking in a pandemic is a little different than what many truck drivers are use to from back in the day. Back in the day, most truckers did their own thing, showered when needed, ate food when wanted and got on down the road.

In todays world of epidemics and pandemics some things have changed with truckers during this time of crisis. Many have become more cautious of others, and more aware of themselves. It use to be if we got sick, we sucked it up and got the freight down the road. Now, in current times, someone sneezes or coughs for one reason or another instant distancing of one self is put into place.

How You Can Protect Yourself And Others?

  • If your home and showing symptom’s, stay home. If your out trucking along the highway, the best advice I can tell you is to avoid people and coming in contact with pretty much everything and anyone.
  • Like stated so many times, if you’re sick, seek professional medical attention. This is good for a couple of reasons, and the main one being its far to often us truck drivers refuse to seek medical help for pretty much anything. It’s time to take care of ourselves.
  • Self checking to ensure your healthy helps.  Though a mask helps protect others from you and vice versa. A mask that is rated as a N95 mask is the only known mask that has been tested by other professionals. A n95 is a type of respirator that filters out small and large particles.
  • Wearing glasses of any type will help from getting any particles you can and not see into your eyes. Your favorite sunglasses, prescription glasses and even safety glasses will help block these particles to some degree.
  • Another option is to wear a face shield that covers most of your face, is clear and see through which allows visibility through it.
  • Wash your hands every chance you can. You never know what was messing with those candy bars just a moment before you were. When you wash your hands try to lather them up to a soapy foamy consistency. After this, continue washing them for about 20 to 30 seconds before rinsing. Rinse, and dry and your good to go. If by chance that’s not a option because the truck stop bathroom is out of service again, blah. Silly truck stops sometimes, I swear. Use hand sanitizer.
  • Many are saying to stick to a 6 foot social distancing spacing. Which is great. But did you know I read somewhere that it can actually travel over 25 feet. What I’m saying here, is just be aware of your surroundings, use a little common sense to keep yourself healthy. Use more distance as needed.

How long does coronavirus lastHow Long Does Coronavirus Last In A Vehicle?

The National Institutes of Health have stated that the virus that causes COVID-19 is stable on many surface types, depending on the type of surface being talked about. For example, the virus that causes COVID-19 can be stable for days and as little as hours.

Which leads us to say that because of the information found by the National Institutes of Health and the NIH scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. They found that the virus that causes COVID-19 can last:

  • Up to 4 Hours on Copper
  • Up to 3 Hours in Aerosols
  • 2 to 3 Days on Plastic: vehicle components, items you use, packaging for items you’ve purchased like soda bottles.
  • Up to 3 Days on Stainless Steel: vehicle components, tools you use, areas around your vehicle you enter and exit.
  • Up to 24 Hours on Cardboard: boxes, shipping boxes, packaging for items you’ve purchased.
  • Up to 5 Days on Metal: vehicle components, jewelry, silverware, doorknobs, door handles on buildings and vehicles.
  • Up to 4 Days on Wood: furniture, decking, flooring. tables.
  • Up to 8 Hours on Aluminum: soda cans, tinfoil, beer cans, etc.
  • Up to 5 Days on Paper: receipts, bills of ladings, mail.
  • Up to 5 Days on Glass: vehicle windows, mirrors, drinking cups, building windows, truck stop entry doors.

Overall you get the idea. This virus can and does get on pretty much everything. It’s possible that if it can get on these wide array of things, it can also get onto your clothing, and possibly even on your hair and skin. Since we’re not doctors, we’re not saying anything more about that.

As you can see, if you ask the question: “How long does Coronavirus stay on a surface?” or the question of “How long does COVID-19  survive on my semi truck?” The questions themselves are pretty similar, one is more precise than the other.  However, if you’re not sure of what questions to ask when trying to figure out how to protect yourself, hopefully this article has in some way helped you obtain the information you seek.

The type of surface in question many times use to come down to the type of Semi Truck you drive. Some are made out of more metal compositions then others, and some are just the opposite and made out of more plastic or fiberglass type materials. Take a old 379 Peterbilt for a prime example of a metal hood truck. Where as Freightliner’s Cascadia has a fiberglass hood. Knowing the surface types you’re dealing with on a regular basis is beneficial to you. Just as knowing the composition or types of surfaces you or others touch from a public aspect is just as  important in helping to keep yourself safe and understand why it’s stated so many times to wash hands and all of these other things.

Wash Your Hands For 20 Seconds or moreHow To Sanitize & Disinfect Your Semi Truck’s Interior?

Before you begin cleaning and sanitizing inside of your semi truck cab or bunk area. Make sure you first wash your hands, this will help prevent some of the possible contamination you could transfer into your cab or bunk area.

Most EPA – Registered Household Disinfectants will do the job for sanitizing your semi truck. Check the label first to make sure its safe for the surfaces you’re wanting to disinfect and clean. Some may cause some odd and strange things to occur if you don’t, so double check.

Adding to this, keep extra disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer near by so you can quickly and easily disinfect while your on the go. For example, it is so much easier to grab a disinfectant wipe out of the driver door and quickly go over a fuel pump hand or keypad before using it. Then it is to crawl back in the sleeper bunk area and pull stuff out of any cabinet for the fuel pump handles or keypad. This is also good practice because you don’t know who or what was at that fuel pump before you.

Which Surfaces In My Semi Truck Should I Disinfect?

The easy answer is each and every surface that you feel a need to. Plus some of the areas and surfaces below that you may of over looked for one reason or another.

The most important, is the steering wheel. This is where our hands should be the majority of the time while driving. Those of you that are laughing, seriously I have passed truck drivers where their feet were hanging out the window and they were trying to drive with their knee.

The steering wheel is also normally the closest to your person at all times while traveling down the road. So since this is right there in front of you, this should be on everyone’s list.

Next is a mix between the dashboard and the gear shifter.  If you drive a automatic, this may confuse you a little, but just follow along it will make sense. These areas are the next closest to you and also things you may touch a lot. Tractor and Trailer Air Brake Release Valves, 5th Wheel Sliding Switch, Air Bag Dump Valve switch, Catwalk Light Switch, Mirror Adjustment switches, the list goes on and on. Then we have the gear shifter.

High and low, top end and bottom end gears depending on if we’re talking about a straight 10 or a 18 speed or anything in between, even lower like a 9 speed or higher like a 2 stick.

Before the previous I almost forgot, I should of included seatbelts, because that is suppose to be on your person at all times while the vehicle is in motion. So as you can see, even myself being a perfect imperfection can easily overlook items or areas to disinfect along with your keys.

If you keep a mental note of everything you’ve touched at least once within your normal day, it should be included on your list of things to disinfect.

Do I Need To Disinfect My Semi Truck’s Exterior?

The easy and simple answer is yes. Only because when you park your semi truck in a truck stop parking lot. Do you know who walked by when and did or didn’t, let’s say for example purposes, sneeze on your truck without wearing a face mask? I’ll be honest, I don’t know who walks by and sneezes on my truck while I’m sleeping inside of the sleeper. Wind, that’s a different story for a different time.

So yes, it is a good idea to disinfect the exterior of your truck. Especially the areas of your semi truck that you come in contact with.  Door handles, hood latches, the door themselves, gas tank lids, I would even go as far as to say landing gear, and trailer door handles as the easiest that come to mind.

Plus who doesn’t mind spending all day in line in one of the many truck washing places. Not going to name any names, if you know you know.

Truck Driver Avoid DangerWhich Disinfectants To Avoid Using In Your Semi Truck?

I would suggest to make sure you read labels at all times to make sure that what your about to apply the solution to meets the applications purpose and requirements. Next as friendly driver to driver advice, I would suggest to stay away from bleach. Bleach can damage plastics and anything vinyl within and outside of your semi truck.

Plus after a good old fashion bleach cleaning, who wants to breath that smell all day long.  Along with this is ammonia-based cleaning products. Ammonia-based are great for cleaning glass. Though outside of that box, they too can cause some serious plastic and vinyl damage. And again, I do not recommend because of the smell of things and breathing it in afterwards.

Final Thoughts On How To Stay Safe During A Pandemic Or Epidemic?

If you’ve asked any of these types of questions:

  • How to sanitize a car for covid?
  • How to disinfect car from coronavirus?
  • How to sanitise a vehicle?
  • Covid-1 risk in car?
  • Covid in cars?

The same holds true for most semi trucks. With the exception being most semi trucks have a sleeper, but overall the ideas and concepts are the same. If you’re not a truck driver and have found this article helpful, great to hear. If you’re a truck driver and trying to figure out what the hell I’m talking about here, no worries.

Let’s share this information with everyone that may need it. If you’ve read this far, you know about as much as I do and I hope it helps you and maybe helps you better explain to your buddy for example how they to can help keep themselves a little safer. If you want to share the link that’s up to you.

Till next time, keep the dirty side down and the shiny side up and we’ll catch you on the flip flop.