COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Averitt Express has begun distributing protective face masks to more than 5,000 of its associates. Drivers, dock workers and other frontline associates that handle freight will be provided multiple masks to assist in reducing the potential to contract or spread the novel coronavirus.
“Ensuring the safety of our associates on and off the road has always been the first concern of our team,” said Wayne Spain, Averitt’s president and chief operating officer. “While the recommended use or requirement to wear face masks has been subject to authorities at local and state levels, we’ve decided it’s in the best interest of our associates, customers and the communities we serve to take a proactive stance.”
Aside from providing face masks, Averitt has taken several other steps to help protect its frontline associates in facilities and on the road. Drivers, for example, are routinely provided with hand sanitizers, proper sanitizing wipes and other disinfectants to be used while making pickups and deliveries.
Another new challenge that long-haul drivers have been particularly impacted by is the ability to find a meal while on the road. To help accommodate its drivers, Averitt has made free boxed lunches and snacks available at its service centers.
Additionally, Averitt has provided its drivers with access to driver support specialists for several years. Stationed at many of its high-traffic service centers, these associates assist drivers with any challenges, questions or needs they may have.
“The day-to-day work environment and hours of professional drivers don’t always afford quick access to assistance that traditional workers are accustomed to,” said Spain. “Having our driver support specialists available to our men and women behind the wheel is just one of several steps we’ve taken over the years to help improve life on the road for them.”
With many manufacturers and businesses making changes to their operations as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Averitt has also taken steps to accommodate the developing needs of its shippers. For instance, weekend truckload services have been made available in several key markets. This initiative has also made it possible for many drivers to gain access to additional miles.
“This is a challenging time for our nation and the men and women who help to keep its supply chains moving,” said Spain. “We will eventually come out of this stronger. In the meantime, we will continue to serve and uplift our professional drivers and those on the frontlines.”