Hard times are hitting truckers in many ways. Not only are freight rates for many owner operators at a level that is almost impossible to make a living, but they face even greater challenges as they attempt to keep their wheels rolling and stay safe during Covid-19. Can trucking charities come to their rescue?
Trucker Charities exist to help drivers during hard times, and Covid-19 has caused some of the most difficult times for these drivers. But Covid-19 is now even affecting the Trucking Charities that help these drivers. They are in trouble folks, and they need help.
The Truckers Non Profit Assistance Fund (TAF), a 501c3 charity, recently spoke with the heads of the trucker charities under their umbrella to find out just how badly the pandemic has affected their ability to help truckers.
The following charities are recipients of donations sent to TAF: Truckers Final Mile, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders – T.E.A.R, TrucksForVets, and the Truckers Christmas Groups.
Truckers Non Profit Assistance Fund was founded by Allen and Donna Smith in order to aid trucking charities who help professional drivers during their most challenging and trying times.
When we asked the charities how Covid-19 has affected them and their ability to help truckers, here are excerpts of their replies.
Robert Palm of Truckers Final Mile, “ Yes, this pandemic has affected truckersfinalmile.org in many ways.
With MATS, Wildwood, Kenely, the Joplin 44 Jamboree and now GATS cancelling we lost all that walk up donor opportunity, the face to face interaction with current and potential new sponsors, and any awareness of our Mission and need that may have been accomplished through individual visiting and or media coverage.”
Desiree Wood of Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders – T.E.A.R said, “ The 2020 GATS event was going to be the public debut of the Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders to hit the ground running to the trucking industry. Since our mission is aimed at serving truck drivers in various distress situations , need is year round and growing due to the corona virus pandemic and this has put us in jeopardy since we are primarily unfunded at a time when companies are folding left and right, freight rates are causing some drivers to have to walk away from their truck and just find a way home, if they have a home to go to.
We have received a great deal of exposure because of my early blog posts and social media activity to raise awareness that truck drivers need PPE. The exposure has helped us get a good deal of product donations of PPE to distribute to truck drivers which I am doing personally and will continue to do so with volunteers in the coming weeks. While the exposure for T.E.A.R has been great, it has also brought an increased number of costs associated with distribution of this PPE and an increase of requests for help from truck drivers who are beginning to learn about our existence. Unfortunately, we have already had to decline helping because we don’t have the funding available. GATS was going to be an avenue for us to have some one on one meetings….”
Shannon Currier Director of Philanthropy & Development of St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund told us “We are anticipating an influx of applications for a couple of reasons. One, because of COVID-19 and its impact on the driving community and second, because of the additional exposure SCF has been receiving from industry and national publications during this time. With exposure comes increased applications, in general.
MATS and GATS cancelling has definitely thrown us for a loop and is making us evaluate how we might can make up the financial loss and loss of new connections we would normally get from both shows…. we are so grateful for the generosity of every person and company, but we know we still have quite a bit of fundraising to go if we want to meet the need at year-end. Applications have not slowed down and with the anticipated increase, we are hard at work asking for new and increased donations every day.”
Terry Hall of TrucksForVets replied to us “So far the three corporations that were supposed to help us with our venture have all backed out due to the Coronavirus except for the Ryder company, they have stepped up and donated a 2016 Freightliner with a 72-inch sleeper for training. With the coronavirus going around it’s very hard to get to speak to the right people especially to get in front of them to get the one-on-one contact.”
Tom Kyrk of Truckers Christmas Group -TCGO, Because of the virus pandemic, we will miss the opportunity to meet “one on one” with folks sharing our mission to help trucking families in need during the holiday season. TCGO depends on events such as GATS and MATS to build relationships with partner organizations and businesses.
It is at this time of dire need during the Covid-19 pandemic we ask you to please make a donation to these very worthy truck driver charities. Truckers are risking their safety to bring food, PPE, medical supplies, and essential items for us all. Many are limited to basic needs of nourishing food, PPE, and even soap and running water while they do their jobs.
© 2020, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
Technorati Tags: #GivingTuesdayNow, Coronavirus, Covid-19, St. Christopher Trucker’s Relief Fund, TAF, TCGO, TEAR, truck driver charities, Truckers Final Mile, truckers non profit assistance fund, trucking charities, TrucksForVets
The post Trucking Charities facing difficult times during Covid-19 Pandemic appeared first on Ask The Trucker.
Professional know better than anyone tat driving in bad weather is stressful, time consuming, and one of their most challenging and dangerous obstacles while driving OTR. Truckers now have a weather app that can help their next trip be less stressful, more enjoyable, more efficient and best of all safer.
The easy-to-use departure time slider let’s you predict what weather is expected along your route.
DriveWeather displays the latest forecast data so you can decide when to depart and avoid the worst conditions.
• Weather – Rain, Snow, Fog, Freezing Rain, Thunderstorms, Hail, Smoke, & Haze
• Heavy Intensity Precipitation Indicator
• Animated Radar
• Cloud Cover – 100 values from grey to blue
• National Weather Service Forecast
• Up to Two Days Weather Forecast
• Time Tweaker for Truckers and RVers
ADDITIONAL PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION FEATURES
• Wind Speed and Direction
• Night Location Indicator
• 7 Days of Weather Forecast
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DOWNLOAD FREE VERSIONS HERE
Download IOS Version
WATCH DEMO for the DRIVE WEATHER APP
© 2020, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
The post DriveWeather App helping drivers plan and avoid Bad Weather appeared first on Ask The Trucker.
Two days ago we wrote about how on April 3rd the FHWA is now allowing food trucks to operate in Rest Areas. The FHWA course of action was taken because of the National Emergency which was put in place on March 13 due to the Covid19 pandemic as well as how the coronavirus is creating hardships and challenges for professional drivers out on the road. Simply put, many drivers can not find hot food. Commercialized rest areas has been forbidden by Federal law for over 50 years, so this decision was a big deal!
Truckers have been working tirelessly on the front lines, meeting the demand for food and supplies for the nation. Unfortunately the challenges drivers are facing are tremendous.
When we wrote about food trucks being allowed in rest areas during this crisis, we mentioned that this was a more than welcome decision and would help truckers as well as the food trucks who are in need of support. Drivers have been fighting for this for a long time.
Although the National Association of Truck Stop Owners ( NATSO) has vehemently fought in past years to keep any form of commercialization out of rest areas, we never seriously thought they would fight against this recent FHWA decision to allow food trucks to feed drivers during a National Emergency. ( Although I must admit, the thought did enter my mind, but I was almost ashamed for thinking they would actually oppose drivers being fed)
According to a Landline article, Profiteering Natso aims to block food trucks at rest areas, Natso has sent out a call to action to its membership asking for help to get governors to block food trucks at rest areas. Okay, I have to repeat that. NATSO sent out a call to action to its membership asking for help to get governors to block food trucks at rest areas.
Enough is Enough People! If NATSO is telling their members to call the governors and tell them to block food trucks at rest areas, then WE MUST ALL call the governors and tell them that they must follow the FHWA announcement to allow food trucks at rest areas to feed truckers.
© 2020, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
The post NATSO opposes allowing truckers to be fed at rest areas appeared first on Ask The Trucker.
Notice Allowing for States to Permit the use of Food Trucks in Rest Areas to Serve Commercial Truck Drivers.
It’s a well known fact for truckers is that commercialization of Rest Areas is not allowed on the Federal Highway Interstate System. As a result, many states have been forced to close their rest areas as funding has not been adequate and these rest areas are not sustainable. More importantly, actions have impacted motorist and trucker safety and exacerbated the ever-increasing problem of inadequate truck parking.
COVID-19 public health emergency allows food trucks at rest areas for truck drivers
On March 13th 2020 the President declared a National Emergency in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In Early April came the Announcement — The Arkansas Trucking Association and Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) are working to bring more food options to truck drivers at two state rest areas during April. According to a release by the Arkansas Trucking Association, ARDOT will be issuing temporary permits to certified food-truck operators to serve truck drivers at four locations in Arkansas.Normally, these types of commercial vendors are forbidden on state property such as rest areas.
On April 3rd The Federal Highway Administration Issued Notice Allowing for States to Permit the use of Food Trucks in Rest Areas to Serve Commercial Truck Drivers.
By statute, commercial activity in the federally funded Interstate right-of-way is prohibited with limited exceptions. However, given the extreme and unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Administrator Nason is choosing not to take remedial measures against States that allow food trucks to provide food in rest areas off the federally funded Interstate right-of-way for the duration of the national emergency declared by the President in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Since these actions are temporary, States must come back into compliance with federal law once the Presidentially-declared emergency ends
Notice of Enforcement Discretion– U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Highway Administration
The time is now to contact your states’ Department of Transportation and tell them they must address the trucker Covid19 crisis and allow food trucks to service our nations commercial truck drivers. Tell them the FHA has Issued Notice Allowing for States to Permit the use of Food Trucks in Rest Areas to Serve Commercial Truck Drivers, but it’s up to them to announce it for their state.
Trucking Organizations and Social Media groups fighting for Truckers human rights and safety during Covid19.
The Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders (TEAR) has been on the front lines since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic educating the public and government agencies about the dangers that truckers are facing as well as the repercussions the nation will experience if something isn’t done to resolve these critical circumstances drivers are facing. TEAR is also a charity under the Truckers Non Profit Assistance Fund (TAF).
Desiree Wood,one of the founders of TEAR, has also created the Facebook page
The page was created to assist us truckers during this corona virus crises and includes valuable information regarding food, parking, shower facilities, truck stop and rest area alerts, and the latest information pertinent to drivers regarding the corona virus.
Another Facebook Group is Emergency Driver Services– This group is to be used as a resource to support drivers on the road and letting them know places offering parking, food & help
Another Facebook page is Food Truck Army created by Eric Normand
Federal Highway Rest Area Background
Although it has been a continuing battle to allow commercialization for Federal Highways, opposition has been strong. . In 2003, President George W. Bush’s federal highway funding reauthorization bill contained a clause allowing states to start experimenting with privatized rest areas on Interstate highways. The clause was fiercely resisted by the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) and others, who argued that allowing such rest areas would shift revenue to state governments (in the form of lease payments) that would have gone to local governments (in the form of property and sales taxes).
Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1938 that stated “the States with the aid of Federal Funds may include such sanitary and other facilities as may be deemed necessary to provide for the suitable accommodation of the public . . . “The intent of the Act was to increase motorist safety and comfort by providing facilities for stopping and resting.” Subsequent legislation enacted throughout the years placed prohibitions on commercializing rest areas with the exception of toll roads that receive no federal aid.
Conventional Rest Areas provided by the states’ Departments of Transportation and found within the Federal right-of-way accommodate limited expectations. They offer a quick route for motorists to find restrooms, refuge/safety and limited snack and beverage services ( vending machines) at any time of the day or day of the week. Commercial Travel Stops provided by the private sector and found outside of the Federal right-of-way at interchange/exit points of the Interstate Highway System also accommodate these motorist expectations. While these commercialized facilities offer motorists a choice in finding restrooms, safety, fuel and an expanded array of food and beverage choices at varying times of the day, the motorist is required to exit the Interstate System in order to utilize these services.
Presently the United States is experiencing horrific effects of the world wide Coronavirus pandemic with almost 350,00 confirmed cases and almost 10,000 deaths. These numbers are rising as we write this article.
Those at the front lines are risking their lives daily. Doctors, nurses, and all medical professionals are treating patients with a shortage of PPE ( personal protective equipment), including goggles, face shields, gloves, gowns, and most importantly N95 masks.
Truck drivers are also on the front lines and facing some of the most dangerous situations in the country. Rest area and service plaza closures, truck parking restrictions, fast food limitations that discriminate access to truck drivers, the lack of bathroom and shower facilities and availability of PPE are additional stressors that the women and men who work as truck drivers.
Drivers are working sometimes 100 hours /week in the midst of a pandemic and they are limited to food availability, bathrooms with running water, showers, and PPE.
Sign the Petition Protect Truckers Through Covid 19
© 2020, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.
The post Food Trucks in Rest Areas for CDL drivers during Covid19 National Emergency appeared first on Ask The Trucker.
Another option which makes this method of transport safer and more practical is a bed extender.
Also, if you find that some part of your kayak is making contact with the roof after you tighten it down then placing a piece of rug or padding there is a good idea to protect the car from scratching. We recommend passing the straps through the scupper holes of the kayak and tying that off in the bed of the truck. When transporting the kayak in a flat bed pickup don't choose places on the kayak to fasten to that can fail - like the handles.Motorcycle loading ramps come in many styles and designs and with the added features available make loading or unloading your motorcycle both easy and safe. Motorcycle loading ramps generally come in one of three main styles. Options include a bed extender, tail light "garnish", chrome bumper trim, 17" wheels, body side protectors, roof rack, fender flares, running boards and a towing package mentioned above. Other options include heated leather seats, a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio, sunroof, grille cards, bed extender and 18-inch wheels. With the right equipment.
This little device works to help you get your kayak up on your vehicle.
loading, transporting, and unloading your kayak is very manageable. Racks and kayaks will decrease your vehicles MPG. (An extender can also be reconfigured to support your , with one end resting on the cab roof and the other on the extender in the vertical position.) They will also maximize your roof space to allow for extra kayaks or other accessories. This method is kind of like the duct tape approach to kayak transport. If the kayak is sliding back and forth on the bars or in the carriers than you need to go back and tighten the straps. Just to place the mat (with rubber backing down - so it won't slide) on the rear of the vehicle and place one end of the kayak on the mat and slide onto the rack. Roller Loader: Lift Assist Accessories: Thule Roller Coaster: a roller attached to a set of saddles that allows you to push the kayak up onto the roof from the rear of the vehicle. Factory racks systems do have weight limits, but most can handle 1 or 2 medium to light weight kayaks without a problem.
Aluminum ramps of this type have can handle load capacities of 500 pounds or higher.
Aluminum versions of these ramps are lightweight enough allowing it to be easily carried or maneuvering. 3. Ramp extenders - This kind of ramp has two portions: the inclined motorcycle ramp and an additional 2 feet to act as a level truck bed extender. Folding motorcycle ramps usually have a higher weight capacity in order to wheel larger motorcycles and even three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles. Like all ramps, it is used to easily transfer a heavy object from a lower surface (i.e. the ground) to a much higher one, such as a truck's flat bed. Station, Chris "Motorcycle Loading Ramps - Get a Good One." Motorcycle Loading Ramps - Get a Good One. Check out the huge variety of specialty motorcycle loading ramps - at the site.
So if you need to carry multiple kayaks or even one heavy single kayak, investing in a good rack system will be your best option. The bars can be used alone or they can serve as the base for additional kayak carriers and accessories. For instance, if you have a very tall vehicle it may not be practical for you to load your kayak on the roof - maybe a trailer is the way to go, or a Hullavator.
, wooden planks or other oversized items. These are a convenient option for people who use trucks to transport motorcycles in truck beds. A folding ramp is often used by people who need to transport motorcycles long distances.
In general an aluminum loading ramp is able to handle loads of greater than 500 pounds.
Some ramps even have rubber padding on this end to keep it in place while in use; this is an ideal option for people who usually ride the motorcycle on and off a truck. Today's Explorer Sport Trac is the only vehicle in its segment to offer a durable color-coordinated cargo box and an available swing-over tubular bed extender that dramatically increases its capability to haul oversized cargo.
It makes good sense to use a good solid aluminum loading ramp Why trust your four wheeler to just any old ramp? With folding ramps, aluminum is the most common material used. Folding motorcycle ramps may have greater weight capacity than non folding ramps. Geers, K. (2008, August 9). Using a Truck Bed Extender. And remember, the tailgate also swings to the side so you can easily access the in-bed trunk. Some of the more innovative features of the Ridgeline are its tailgate, which can fold down or hinge to the side, and an 8.5 cubic foot "In-Bed Trunk" below the truck bed. Retrieved July 26, 2019, from ?Kayak-Transport-and-Carriers&id=3322545. To learn more about kayak transport, kayaks, and kayak fishing please visit