The Coronavirus crisis has brought frontline and key workers into the spotlight like never before. According to an independent poll carried out in the UK, USA and Ireland by vehicle and fleet technology company CameraMatics, whether essential truck and delivery drivers feel appreciated by the public varies by location.
Introducing the results, CameraMatics founder Simon Murray said, “The supply chain is largely silent, operating unnoticed. Consumers in developed nations are used to everything they need being available and little thought is given to how groceries arrive on supermarket shelves – often at night, out of sight of the public. In the early days of the pandemic, panic buying led to unprecedented demand and empty shelves.
“We know that behind the scenes the Supply Chain is a mighty army of people, processes and machines operating around the clock. With the focus on thanking and appreciating key workers, we decided to find out how drivers working night and day to deliver essentials felt.”
CameraMatics asked almost a thousand Lorry and delivery drivers in their three core territories (UK, US, Ireland):
Calling all HGV, Lorry, Van and Delivery Drivers: I know you are working extra hard at the moment, but do you think the public appreciate your efforts?
According to the results of the survey, in the UK and Ireland, a large proportion of drivers feel unappreciated by the public. 50.4 per cent of the UK and 40.6 per cent of Ireland respondents told CameraMatics they don’t feel appreciated.
However, the figure was lower in the USA with 36.5 per cent of truckers in the USA feeling unappreciated.
37.1 per cent of Truckers in the USA told CameraMatics that they feel appreciated by the public. In Ireland almost a third of respondents, 33.8 per cent, felt appreciated. UK drivers are least likely to feel public appreciation, at just 28.7 per cent.
For some drivers it’s too early to tell with 20.9 per cent of UK, 25.6 per cent of Ireland and 26.3 per cent of USA respondents being unsure. A USA trucker explained, “The real appreciation will come after everything is over and [the public] see how fast everything goes back to the way it was.”
Some drivers shared their frustration, with one UK essential HGV driver reporting that after working a 70-hour week delivering to a supermarket, they were unable to get necessary food for their own family whilst other keyworkers received priority.
Many drivers told CameraMatics that they don’t expect or need appreciation; they are ‘just’ doing their jobs. “Just doing my bit. I don’t expect appreciation”, said a UK lorry driver.
An Irish respondent went further, adamant that HGV and delivery drivers aren’t frontline staff, “We are still doing our job. It’s not like we are going walking into a #COVID19 ward with no PPE on us.”
Commenting on CameraMatics research, the American Trucking Association’s Sean McNally, said, “We have seen numerous examples of drivers, particularly on social media or in interviews with media, talking about how proud they are to be playing such an important role in our country’s response to this pandemic. It is important to us that those drivers are recognized and appreciated not just while we are in the throes of this pandemic, but well after we resume normal activities.”