Truckers Urged To Pack Own Lunches In NZ level 4 Lockdown
Truckers are facing unprecedented times as they deliver goods across the country, spending days and possibly months alone on the highways.
The Road Transport Forum (RTF) is encouraging truck drivers to take all the food and drink they might need with them before they set out on their journey under alert level 4.
“We are conscious the road is a lonely place at the moment and once again will endeavour to provide information about where drivers can access public toilets and possibly, food,” RTF chief executive Nick Leggett says in the latest advisory update.
“In the next couple of days we will be working to find out from the Government what the processes will be if parts of New Zealand are on different alert levels.
“We are conscious of the chaos roadblocks can cause for transport operators, particularly those with perishable goods or carrying livestock, and we will be doing our best to prevent that from happening again.
“We are also seeking information from the Government around CoFs, licensing and other essential documentation,” he says.
Regulatory challenges remain
Speaking to TransportTalk, Leggett says businesses and people in the industry have responded “predictably well” going into level 4 lockdown.
However, there still appears to be some unpreparedness from authorities when it comes to the regulatory challenges, he says.
“Transport operators are well known for getting on with it at short notice. There’s huge resilience in the industry but I’m not getting that same feeling from government.
“This shouldn’t have been an unexpected occurrence as there were significant warnings we’d have another lockdown again,” he says.
Leggett says the RTF will also be making enquiries to ensure the borders make sense so trucks are shepherded through as fast as possible if alert levels end up changing in different regions.
With bobby calf season underway “animal welfare is critical and so is driver welfare”.
The RTF, with the help of the associations, is also compiling and updating a list of where there are public toilets that are open during the lockdown.
Leggett says drivers are also keen to get more information on where hot food is available.
He says the RTF is always seeking feedback and is interested to hear about the issues people in the industry are facing.
“People are feeding us their concerns which keeps us informed and we can advocate on those problems,” Leggett says.
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