By Persio Lisboa
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the trucking industry at its very finest, delivering the vital goods that people need – food, medicine, and more. The brave women and men who are continuing to navigate the highways deserve our unwavering appreciation and support.
There are multiple ways that those of us in the industry can help. Navistar, our employees, our dealers and our customers are all stepping up.
It starts at the human level, by doing things to support drivers. Given the temporary closure of many businesses, too many truckers have run into problems along the road.
Angie Wight from the Diamond International dealership in Canada was quoted in the Toronto Sun as saying that life on the road is especially tough when truckers are “not finding bathrooms, not finding showers where they can get cleaned up or even having a place to eat.”
That’s why Diamond International partnered with restaurants in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia to provide free meals to those hauling goods during the coronavirus crisis. One driver told Angie it was the first time he’d eaten all day.
During that same week, International dealers served nearly 10,000 meals to truckers, from Grand Rapids to Memphis and from Edmonton to Albuquerque. And International Truck, Triumph Business Capital and TriumphPay have donated more than 6,500 face masks and 6,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to drivers who come in for service at select International Truck dealerships.
Meanwhile, our employees are packaging emergency boxes for the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help those in need. And that’s typical of our employees’ volunteerism in many communities.
Stepping up also means using our capabilities to help with society’s unprecedented medical needs during the pandemic. When the Sao Paulo government converted soccer arena Pacaembu Stadium into a temporary hospital with 200 beds, our South American engine subsidiary MWM Motores provided two gensets to power the facility. Our customers are also doing great things; trucking customer TransPro, for example, dedicated its warehouse to help the Canadian Red Cross maintain the emergency medical tents that were used to treat cruise ship passengers repatriated due to COVID-19.
Other actions by us and our network can help alleviate the financial strain customers are experiencing. Our “International Cares” and “IC Bus Cares” programs are doing innovative things like offering six months with no payments for our new vehicles, and free access to services like our fleet management tools International 360 and IC Bus 360. We’re also proud of the Navistar employees at our plants and parts distribution centers, as well as our dealers’ employees, who are working long hours to keep the flow of trucks, parts and service coming.
Here’s to the brave and selfless truckers who are bringing essential goods and services to those in need. You are making it possible for others to take the steps required to fight the pandemic and ultimately, set us all on the road to recovery. In turn, we want you to know that we are taking appropriate action to protect and serve our most important assets – our employees, business partners and customers – while maintaining our highest quality and service standards. This is our top priority at every Navistar location worldwide. Our commitment, in the last analysis, is that we’re truly with you for the long haul.