This page was last updated on November 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
As the world continues to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, there is one thing we have consistently seen at Merchants Fleet—there are essential businesses, products, and services that must keep moving to keep our people safe & healthy.
Working together, our fleet experts have identified the following tips and resources to help drivers stay safe and healthy while they are on the road.
As the COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing and developing, some of the information on this page may be subject to change or may not apply to your region. The following sources are where you can get the latest COVID-19 data and recommendations both nationally and for your state:
- Your State Health Department
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- OSHA COVID-19 Standards
If you have questions, please contact us, and know Merchants Fleet is here for you.
Below is a list of actions our suppliers have taken in response to COVID-19. Merchants updates this list daily, so please check back regularly for updates. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Client Development Manager.
- Because exact maintenance location hours remain fluid and changes vary between regions, we recommend drivers call repair facilities to confirm hours.
- Drivers should be aware that maintenance locations may implement face covering requirements and other safety protocols in response to the ongoing pandemic. Please check with your maintenance locations for the latest protocols.
- Toyota announced closures of sales departments in 11 of their New Mexico dealerships through 11/30 (service remains open).
- Dealers have reported an increased number of cases in stores across the country. However, there are no additional closures.
- BMW, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and VW, which all have plants in Europe and produce vehicles for US markets, have not shut down any manufacturing plants. Production and logistics is not affected and all are operating at normal levels.
All major upfitters are at work and are reporting no significant backlogs.
- Closures: State of NM is currently closed to the public through 11/30/20, but they are still accepting mail in work.
- Please refer to our list of State DMV statuses and extensions for details about the latest updates in each state.
- Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there are many precautions that need to be followed to ensure the safety of our clients and drivers. When possible, please complete the below steps when turning in a vehicle and avoid personal contact among all parties:
- Coordinate a pickup location near a road or highway in the event the vehicle is in a small neighborhood or area
- Remove all personal items from the vehicle
- Determine where the keys will be left to prevent personal contact with drivers
- Clean the car in accordance with CDC guidelines prior to pickup
- All ADESA auctions continue to follow CDC/PHAC guidelines on social distancing as well as any government-mandated public health and safety requirements. They have also provided the following operations updates:
- Dealers are permitted on site for pre-scheduled buyer vehicle previews where offered
- Commercial sellers are permitted on-site during posted hours (check with local auction for hours and availability)
- Redemptions are available by appointment only
- PSIs are available at all locations
- Vehicles may be released at all locations with pre-printed or digital gate pass
- All locations can receive and send titles/ownerships via mail and dropbox
- In an external communication, IAA reinforced they have been deemed an essential business and all 200+ facilities and auctions are operating on schedule. Their auction model has been digital since 2004.
- Manheim has an updated list of auction status updates here.
There is no impact to fleet drivers regarding tolls at this time. All Merchants clients on toll management are by default covered by their transponder and/or plate number.
- PARS remains operational while closely monitoring regional restrictions. These restrictions, coupled with existing travel limitations, can affect transportation timelines and service availability. The PARS team will continue to communicate any move or service delays anticipated or encountered.
Drivers will most likely be required to secure their own transportation to the destination of their choice as service providers are observing social distancing measures and will be unable to provide a ride. Our partner is working on adding call scripting for their call queue to outline this.
Fleet & Driver Resources
If you’re part of an essential business, our team is available for you working from safe locations to offer some tips. Check out the following resources so you can stay safe and healthy. Please check back as we will continue to update our library.
Infographic: Getting Back on the Road Checklist
here are a lot of factors to consider as your fleet either gets back on the road or continues to adapt to current realities. Here is a checklist to help you prioritize and organize which actions to take.
Infographic: Maintenance Tips During COVID-19
As some states extend stay-at-home orders, it’s important for fleets to know how to handle maintenance safely. Here are some tips for keeping your vehicle in good shape while exercising precautions.
COVID-19 Driver Safety Tips
For essential drivers who are still working, vehicle maintenance is important to staying on the road safely. Here are some tips for managing maintenance during the current pandemic.
Keep Your Business Moving: Fleet Strategies
This 30-minute webinar tackles flexible strategies you can use to increase cash flow, scale new business lines, and maintain your company culture.
The Tough Times Playbook: A CEO’s Guide to Navigating Through Crisis
Leading during a time of crisis can be challenging. Our CEO Brendan P. Keegan shares his Tough Times Playbook on our blog.
Strategies to Keep Your Business Moving
Learn about the different options Merchants Fleet has available to keep your essential business on the road during the pandemic.
Tips for Drivers During COVID-19: Staying in the Know
When you are out in the field, having the right information helps you stay safe and up-to-date on protocols. Here are some ways to stay in the know so you are prepared.
How Fleet Management Companies are Addressing COVID-19
FMCs recently weighed in about how things have changed in the wake of COVID-19 and actions fleets can take. Click here to read the Automotive Fleet article and see what our SVP of Sales & Consluting Tom Coffey had to say: Go to the article.
How COVID-19 has Impacted FMC Operations
“In addition to trying to be as communicative as possible with our clients, we’re letting them know proactively of all the capabilities that we have to offer at this time that could be applicable to their needs, including temporary lease vehicles, disposing of surplus or unneeded vehicles, and even potentially monetizing vehicles that are owned through sale and leaseback transactions,” said SVP of Sales & Consulting Tom Coffey. Go to the article.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Fleet Partners
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted multiple aspects of the fleet industry. SVP of Sales & Consulting Tom Coffey talked to Automotive Fleet about what Merchants has been seeing. Go to the article.
Advice for Fleets During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted how people perform their work duties. SVP of Sales & Consulting Tom Coffey weighed in with some advice for fleets in a recent article by Automotive Fleet.Go to the article.
Fleet Policies & Procedures to Minimize COVID-19 Contagion
Last week Automotive Fleet held an informative webinar discussing fleet policies and protocols for COVID-19 featuring our SVP of Sales & Consulting Tom Coffey. If you didn’t have a chance to attend, you can view it on demand here.
COVID-19 Driver Safety Tips
If you’re a driver in the field for an essential business, we hope you stay safe and well. Here are some tips to protect yourself.
COVID-19 Vehicle Cleaning Tips
A clean car is an important step to reducing your risk while on the road, especially if you transport passengers. Our client services team shares advice on how to make sure your vehicle is sanitary for every shift. For more cleaning guidance, check the CDC’s website for the latest COVID-19 related recommendations.