Thank a Trucker

Business and commerce look a lot different these days. Restaurants and bars are prohibited from allowing dine-in. Some have adapted to curbside service when available. Others have locked the doors in hopes to financially manage until the executive order expires. Other places deemed essential, like grocery stores, are allowed to stay open for consumer needs. We need to thank our truckers for helping those allowed to stay open for business.

Shelves across the country continue to be restocked. Yes, it may take longer than we’d like at times but, that is due to the type of purchasing taking place right now. We’ve all likely seen the toilet paper section wiped clean during a recent trip to our local store. What should bring us peace of mind is knowing someone is out there with a truckload on its way to stock it once again.

On Friday afternoon, March 20th, I interviewed Melissa Dixon on my KFGO radio show. Dixon is with Dixon Insurance and Interstate Truck Licensing. She also sits on the board of the North Dakota Motor Carrier Association where she is the immediate past president. We talked about the industry and the immediate challenges in their response to covid-19.

Almost 50% of all North Dakota communities are strictly served by the trucking industry. It is the only way to get their goods moved or brought in. – Melissa Dixon (3/20/2020)

Trucking is and has always been essential to our economy. The industry has certainly proven essential during this pandemic. Exemptions to regulations have allowed supplies to be shipped more readily. What were first exemptions for drivers of medical supplies has expanded to fuel, paper essentials, grocery, and raw materials.

Though exemptions exist for our drivers, there are still many challenges they face. Just because they are allowed to drive beyond previous hour restraints, doesn’t mean make it wise. Because of high product demand, shippers may feel the urge to push our drivers beyond what is reasonable. A person still needs rest. A person still needs to get a meal. And a person still needs to clean. All of which have proven to be a challenge as other businesses and services are limiting their access in an attempt to flatten the curve.

Since our interview, Governor Doug Burgum has held two additional press conferences on the state of covid 19 in ND. During his remarks the other day, it appears some of the rest areas along the major highways may be opened again. They were recently closed due to vandalism and theft of toilet paper. Let’s hope everyone has taken a breath during this time and realized the toilet paper they were stealing from rest areas was on a truck headed to their local store at the same time.

There is nothing political here. Consider this an appreciation post. A thank you to our men and women driving the essential supplies to those in need. I hope that as we continue to find ways to keep our service industry friends and family whole, we also consider safe ways to help our trucking friends and family do their job and keep those shelves stocked.

Tyler Axness
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