The coronavirus pandemic has continued on, and the nation’s truck drivers have remained on the frontlines to ensure individuals, medical institutions, and grocery stores are always able to receive the deliveries they need on time.
Luckily, trucking companies across the country are working hard to make sure truck drivers and other employees are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible in order to keep the number of potential illnesses down and to ensure the industry is able to keep up with its duties efficiently.
Now, fleets are helping their employees to utilize paid time off, giving them access to on-site clinics, and creating online platforms to help them stay healthy and get their vaccines right away. For example, UPS Inc. workers have been given additional paid time off, vaccination appointments, and other medical benefits through COVID-19 compensation packages, according to Matthew O’Connor, a spokesman for the company.
Cargo Transporters has also been making efforts to ensure all of its drivers are vaccinated and has worked in collaboration with North Carolina’s Catawba Valley Health System in order to do so.
“The drivers will call into human resources,” said the company’s vice president of human resources, Kristy Hedrick. “Human resources then gets them an appointment.”
Cargo Transporters will also make sure its employees’ second vaccination appointments are scheduled within about four weeks after the first vaccination. According to Hedrick, the company makes sure all second appointments take place at the same location as the first, and drivers have ongoing communication with company leaders in order to make sure this process goes as smoothly as possible.
To help all employees get the vaccine quickly, Ryder System Inc. is providing six hours of paid time off to all of the company’s workers. Since the end of March, nearly 700 Ryder employees have used this opportunity to get vaccinated.
“Our employees have been very receptive to it,” explained Ryder System’s chief human resources officer, Frank Lopez. “I think they welcomed it and they appreciated that we were doing what we can do to ensure that they have the ability to take the vaccine.”
Melton Truck Lines has also been making getting vaccinations as easy as possible by implementing an on-site vaccination clinic, and by helping employees get their vaccinations at other locations if needed.
“We partner with CareATC and have a clinic on-site at our main terminal in Tulsa,” noted Melton’s vice president of human resources and safety, Lisa Mason.
In areas where resources are easily accessible and employees are eligible, Yellow Corp. has been making similar efforts, and is working in collaboration with pharmacy providers to offer on-site vaccinations, as well.
“Yellow is providing all employees with essential services documentation to assist them with getting prioritization of the vaccination,” said Heather Nauert, spokeswoman for Yellow Corp.
Many trucking companies are also doing what they can to keep their truck drivers–and all employees–well-informed in regards to all aspects involved with receiving the vaccine. These efforts include providing workers with information about the best locations for them to get vaccinated and what they need to know about their eligibility in their respective states.
Werner Enterprises, in particular, has been focusing on spreading as much helpful information as possible by launching a website just for its employees to find the state-by-state information they need in regards to becoming vaccinated.
“The company is seeking out opportunities where we can provide easy access to vaccine clinics, whether it be on-site or close to one of our network locations,” explained Werner’s vice president of human resources, Stefanie Christensen.
FedEx Corp has also been helping employees find the most efficient ways to utilize their eligibility in their own states.
“We strongly encourage all team members to take advantage of vaccination opportunities as they become available, and are actively working to ensure team members are aware of opportunities,” said a spokesperson for the company.
Companies like U.S. Xpress Enterprises are taking their informative efforts a step further by bringing in resources like licensed physicians who can help answer vaccination-related questions and address any employee concerns.
“We’re using regular touch-points like town halls, newsletters, and even social media content to communicate key information,” explained the company’s chief people officer, Amanda Thompson.