Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, sanitization has become a huge focal point for all industries, especially the transportation sector. Truckers continue working and delivering vital goods all across the country. However, there is a risk of catching and spreading the virus, possibly getting sick and contaminating the people around you.
According to the CDC, the virus can survive on surfaces and objects within hours or days. Truck drivers spend most of their time inside their trucks. Drivers need to maintain a clean working environment in and around their truck or vehicle. In this article, we’ll share practical tips on how you can sanitize and disinfect your fleet for a safer working environment.
Why is Fleet Cleaning Important
With the increasing worry over the spread of bacteria and viruses worldwide, fleet cleaning is an essential part of keeping drivers, workers, and your community safe. Additionally, trucking companies are under pressure from local, state, and federal authorities to comply with vehicle cleaning regulations. Regulations have been enacted to limit and prevent dangerous microbes from living inside your truck.
Fleet cleaning is also important to help protect your investment and maintain the health of your vehicle. A regular cleaning schedule helps to eliminate corrosive agents such as oil, salt, and grime. This will extend the life of your truck’s undercarriage and exterior paint as well as interior surfaces.
Tips for Truck Fleet Cleaning
Want to learn the best practices for cleaning and sanitizing your commercial fleet? Here are 7 tips that will help you keep your trucks clean without too much additional effort or cost:
Choose Your Cleaning Agents
First, choose the right cleaning products and materials to effectively clean and disinfect your truck. Isopropyl alcohol is an ingredient that is a proven disinfect for most truck surfaces. It can be used to eliminate smudges, stains, and residues, and kill viruses and bacteria. However, you won’t be able to use Isopropyl alcohol on leather. It’s best to use water and a soft cloth to safely clean leather parts such as seating, trim, and steering wheels. Avoid any hard scrubbing on leather materials.
Consider Using Chlorine Dioxide (CIO2)
Another excellent cleaning ingredient is chlorine dioxide. It’s available in many forms, like in liquid, tablet, or vapor. This agent can be used as an odor remover and disinfectant. According to the Technology and Maintenance Council, CIO2 is an effective antimicrobial pesticide used to suppress the growth or destroy harmful viruses, bacteria, or fungi. CIO2 is a common drinking water disinfectant and safe for humans, plants, foods, pets, and most materials.
Avoid Using Bleach
According to the US General Services Administration, drivers should avoid using bleach, hydrogen peroxide on their vehicle’s insides, and ammonia-based cleaners on their car dashboards. Instead, take about 5 to 10 minutes using either ethanol wipes or other disinfecting wipes. For reference, the Environmental Protection Agency published a comprehensive list of disinfectants that help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Wipe Down High Touch Points
Remember to disinfect and wipe down your truck each morning before starting your trip. Use disinfecting sprays or wipes with chlorine or alcohol. Most drivers remember to disinfect the console, steering wheel, and gear shift. However, they forget other ‘high touchpoints’ areas like seatbelts, door handles, radio knobs, seats, buckles, cup holders, and other controls. It’s important to keep in mind all of the areas you touch while being out on the road. Ideally, you should use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all surface areas and thoroughly wash your towels after each cleaning session.
Clean the Exterior
Never forget to clean the exterior of the truck. Make sure to have your truck cleaned at truck stops. Ensure to clean the parts where you make frequent contacts with hands and shoes like exterior door handles and step boards. You may clean these areas with water and soap.
Use a Professional Fleeting Cleaning Service
The simplest option is to find a local on-site truck washing company to handle professional fleet cleaning for you on a routine basis. These companies save you time and money related to upkeeping exterior cleaning, biodegradable soaps, and cleaning equipment. Additionally, these fleet washing companies maintain the spark and shine of your expensive equipment. They usually incorporate gentle cleaning techniques and the right detergents to eliminate stubborn stains and remove grime and buildup without causing damage. Corrosive elements such as roadside salt are removed, which improves your truck’s health.
A clean truck will show your customers your professionalism and that you take sanitization and health precautions seriously. Irregularly cleaning your truck or using ineffective cleaning methods may allow dirt to pile on, which leads to nasty grimes to build up. Making crucial mistakes like using acid-based detergents and cheap caustic cleaning supplies can lead to corrosion, damaging some of your most expensive and vital assets.
Wash Your Hands Before Entering the Truck
Although it may sound obvious, it’s worth mentioning that hand washing is vital to maintaining a clean environment. If you are touching public surroundings and then reentering your vehicle, you can bring bacteria and other contaminants into your truck. Washing your hands only after using the restroom isn’t good enough. You also need to wash your hands before entering your truck. This means you should give them a good scrub after picking up lunch, getting gas, or making a drop-off. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly every time you touch a surface that might be contaminated. As a result, a clean and beautiful truck will remain a healthy working environment.
When it comes to prioritizing health and your long-term business, truck sanitization should be emphasized to all drivers and maintenance crew members in your fleet. A thorough truck fleet cleaning routine should be done periodically, while the interior and touchpoints should be wiped down daily. It’s essential to understand what types of cleaning agents are most effective in killing bacteria and preventing the spread of a virus without damaging surfaces inside and outside your trucks.