MISSION,OR- This week, Arrowhead Travel Plaza (ATP) at Wildhorse Resort & Casino located just outside Pendleton, put up banners to show their appreciation for the truck drivers who continue to deliver loads across the country during the pandemic Thursday.
Manager Tom Fine says it’s important to express support for the professionals who risk exposure to COVID-19 to ensure stores, businesses, and medical facilities are receiving the groceries, materials and medical supplies they need.
Banners posted outside the truck stop encourage the public to #ThankATrucker.
Last month, Jim Mullen, acting director of the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wrote a letter to NATSO, the group that represents the travel plaza and truck stop industry in the U.S., imploring the industry to keep travel centers and truck stops open to serve truckers.
“In the coming weeks and months, it will be critical that these businesses remain open, 24 hours per day, providing America’s truck drivers with fuel, food, showers, repair services, and opportunities to rest,” said Mullen.
Unfortunately, while truck stops may remain open for fuel, they have cut off all other services to truck drivers.
In the heat of the pandemic, truck stops have shut down shower facilities, dining areas, and other services leaving truckers with few options when looking for a place to rest, eat, or shower. Some are even limiting the number of trucks that can enter the truck stop, leaving some drivers with no place to park overnight.
Services still remain open at ATP. ATP is able to do this because the sanitation procedures that they have always practiced are consistent with COVID-19 sanitation recommendations.
Getting hot food can be an issue for these road warriors since they can’t fit their trucks into a drive-thru and are often forbidden from parking in lots at shopping centers.
The station provides them with food and supports them.
Truckers are practicing social distancing inside the facility and many are wearing masks. Extra measures have been taken by management to protect workers and customers; plexiglass guards at the checkout and hand sanitizer stations have been added.