RENAULT TRUCKS ramps up support to truck drivers, our everyday heroes
The movement of goods across borders via air, land or sea are unabated despite the threats of COVID-19 pandemic. On land, truck drivers travel thousands of kilometers to supply towns and cities with basic necessities helping us carry through during these difficult times. Recognizing this, Renault Trucks took the initiative to set up, with its partner distributors, food trucks across key cities in Europe to serve truckers meals free of charge, whatever the make of their truck.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for the most part of the year, altering the way we live & do business, and so many uncertainties. Without the many brave men and women in the healthcare industry and other essential sectors like trucking, facing these uncertain times would become even more difficult.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting global lockdown, truckers everywhere have been encountering the same difficulties when it comes to food. Restaurants and truck stops have closed, including in motorway service stations, where the food and service areas are no longer available.
Against this backdrop, and to support its customers and haulers in general, Renault Trucks has been setting up, with its partner distributors, food trucks to serve truckers meals free of charge. Its support for haulers knows no borders, irrespective of the make of truck.
Under its “Drivers are heroes” slogan, the manufacturer has ramped up initiatives in just about every area in which it operates, to help drivers who heroically continue to travel thousands of kilometers to supply towns and cities with basic necessities, without being able to find a place to eat.
“Whatever the make of their truck,” explained Christophe Martin, Managing Director of Renault Trucks France, “we really want to provide assistance for our customers and the entire trucker community. These meals are a way of supporting them so they can continue with their work, which is essential for society as a whole to operate effectively.
More than a third of the Renault Trucks France network has set up daily food and drink distribution operations, directly within the confines of their garages located on main roads.
Nearly 500 meals have been served without charge to drivers since April 20. “We thought that on May 11th, with the end of the strict lockdown in France, demand would dry up, but the opposite is happening, as other garages are joining the movement and drivers continue to flock to them,” explained Christophe Martin, aware of the brand’s social responsibility.
In Switzerland, coffee and croissants, followed by hot dogs and hamburgers were offered to passing truck drivers along the A1 motorway, in three different car parks, Birrfeld, Hurst and St-Prex.
According to Tarcis Berberat, Managing Director of Renault Trucks Switzerland, “It is drivers, through their unwavering commitment, that have laid the foundations that will get us through this unprecedented crisis. In particular, they have supplied hospitals with vital medical equipment. Our initiative is intended to express our gratitude and unfailing support to them.”
In Spain, the Renault Trucks subsidiary also had the foresight to position a food truck in the strategic location of MercaMurcia, one of the largest wholesale markets in Spain, to distribute free drinks and snacks to drivers delivering their goods.
As François Bottinelli, Managing Director of Renault Trucks Spain pointed out, “Our vehicles support global food production and distribution and enable essential goods to be transported. Our place is alongside the haulers who drive the trucks, to make their job as easy as possible.”
Assistance for haulers has not been limited to food however. Protective equipment has also been donated to delivery drivers who are potentially exposed to the virus during loading and unloading operations.
In the Netherlands, garages have distributed 1,100 bottles of hydro-alcoholic gel and in Israel, 1,500 masks in the brand’s colors are systematically handed out to customers and drivers who enter the workshops throughout the country.
In addition to this support for truckers, other solidarity initiatives have been introduced since the end of March by Renault Trucks employees to help front-line workers fighting the Covid-19 virus.
As hospitals were running out of protective clothing, 160 volunteer employees started making disposable plastic aprons from home, at a rate of 12,000 aprons per day. As of 14 May, more than 400,000 aprons have been delivered to the Hospices Civils de Lyon and the Regional Health Agency.
Similarly, disposable gowns, which are more complex to make on account of the sleeves, are produced by fifty volunteer employees working part-time on the Lyon-Vénissieux site (France) or at home, at a rate of 1,600 units per day, making a total of over 25,000 gowns as of 14 May.
In addition to this equipment, thirty-six volunteer employees have rallied together for the 3D printing of visors and protective glasses, producing 1,800 units per week.
Last but not least, as solidarity knows no bounds, sponsorship agreements have been signed in France, Romania, Hungary and the Netherlands between Renault Trucks and the Red Cross and other aid organizations to provide the vehicles needed to deliver emergency health equipment and food supplies.