Job Loss

How Do We Deal With the Coronavirus as Truck Drivers?

Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

Chapter 7 bankruptcy discharged a year ago (April, 2019). Just got back on our feet. Minimal savings. Wife and I are both truck drivers.

Early last year my wife and I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It was successfully discharged in April, 2019. We’re both truck drivers and it’s taken us a year to get back on our feet.

Now, enter the Coronavirus, social distancing, etc. This is starting to hit workers hard in many industries. Trucking will probably also be hit hard. If one or both of us has to quarantine, that means no income for X amount of time. We can financially survive for a while. But, if finances go really far south, what options for relief do we have?

Bill

Answer:

Dear Bill,

I’m so sorry to hear you are facing this issue but thankfully you are thinking ahead.

My opinion is you probably have a better chance of not being hit as hard as other industries. Trucks move needed supplies and if there is an upside here it is that it is already a socially distanced occupation.

I don’t know if you are a local or long-distance driver or if you even drive in a team. The best possible outcome would be that you are team drivers and isolated to yourselves. Hauling to major suppliers and warehouses seems it will continue and critically needed.

The fear you are probably feeling right now is the result of the financial trauma you recently went through. That is understandable and normal.

It is tremendously hard to compartmentalize those feelings as being in the past. The issue facing you now is in the future so it is entirely different.

I’m a huge believer in facts. I would stick to the advice offered on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for advice on staying medically safe. I can’t stress how strongly I believe you should follow this information on how to protect yourselves. I’m sure the guidance will change over time to check back every so often.

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While it might not feel like it, your situation looks better than so many others.

According to this site, “Shippers should expect spot truck rates to jump higher this spring, load board operator DAT Solutions said. But those rates may be more volatile than normal. COVID-19 “will add volatility to freight flows, as surges in consumer demand alternate with potential constraints on imports, exports, and industrial production,” Ken Adamo, chief of analytics at DAT, said Monday.

In the meantime, US regulators are offering truck drivers unprecedented relief from hours of service (HOS) regulations — but only to those hauling emergency supplies. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Friday issued its first nationwide HOS emergency relief declaration, following the declaration of a national state of emergency by President Donald Trump.”

I’d suggest you focus on cutting out all unnecessary expenses, look into long-distance team driving opportunities with your company, and just focus on keeping yourselves isolated but working. Any mile you can drive that is profitable right now is better than sitting idle and worrying.

Be safe and update me in the comments about how things go.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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