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I realized I’ve started writing these posts pretty regularly in the past few months, but I think with good reason. August is just around the corner and a lot has changed in the world, throughout the country, and even in our industry.

Things seem to change on a daily basis, so what I’m saying here might end up being old or inaccurate by tomorrow night. As always, I encourage you to do your due diligence when reading more about the topics I cover.

So let’s dive into what’s going on in our unusual new world, and keep our fingers crossed that more good news is on the way.

LEGISLATIVE HELP

If you’re a U.S. business and haven’t applied for the Paycheck Protection Program yet, you have until August 8 to do so; that’s when the latest extension expires. The regulations around the PPP have loosened up, too; you can now spend 60% of your loan on payroll, and 40% on other expenses. The economy has done some stopping and starting in the last few weeks, and if your business has been impacted by that stop-start, look into a PPP to help you stay afloat. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Along those lines, the U.S. Small Business Administration has ended the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. They’ve dispersed the $20 billion they had at their disposal; I guess we’ll find out soon enough if further assistance regarding this program and the PPP will be coming in August.

As I’m typing this, the U.S. government is discussing what kind of further relief we might receive. Maybe we’re looking at additional program extensions, or maybe further stimulus checks. Meanwhile, the Canadian government is working on new legislation to assist those who need it. As of this writing, the House of Commons had just broadened Canada’s emergency wage subsidy program, which is designed to help COVID-impacted businesses keep their doors open. They’ve already funneled over $200 billion Canadian CAD (that’s almost $160 billion U.S. dollars) to businesses and individuals since the pandemic began.

No matter what ends up happening in either country, we’ll share industry and business-related details with you as soon as they happen.

INDUSTRY NEWS

TruckingInfo.com has an interesting report from Geotab indicating 80% of the country’s heavy-duty fleets are getting back to work full-time. I was watching those numbers along with the rest of the industry; if trucking numbers dropped too low, that meant crucial supplies weren’t reaching the people who needed them. Fortunately, we were able to keep supply lines moving, and those trucks and drivers that may have been sidelined due to COVID-19 are on the move again.

If you’re like me and have a bunch of half-used bottles of hand sanitizer stashed all over your vehicle, check out these mounted hand-washing stations from National Fleet Products. You can mount them on any kind of truck – and they have freestanding versions, too, if you want some for your shop – and the idea is you can wash and disinfect your hands at any time. No need to go digging through the glove compartment like I end up doing…

And lastly, something I find pretty cool: self-driving trucks are continuing to progress! TuSimple and Navistar are working together to make it happen, and they’re aiming to start selling within the U.S., Canada, and Mexico within the next few years. I’m excited about this new technology and how it can change…well, everything – and I’ll get to watch it extra-closely, because Phase I is rolling out in Phoenix, pretty much in Fullbay’s backyard.

No word on when flying trucks will be available. Sorry, Marty McFly.

FULLBAY CARES

Over the last few weeks, it’s become clear that we still have a long road ahead of us to a full recovery. I don’t think anyone doubts we’re going to get there, but we all have to stay vigilant to ensure the health and safety of our communities.

Until that happens, though, a lot of us are sitting here, feeling like we can’t do much to help.

After some conversations in the office, we realized that we could help. The stop-start of the economy is harming a lot of folks, including repair shop owners who already weathered the first round of shut-downs. A couple of months back, Fullbay Cares and its partners raised $10,000 for Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.

As often happens with this great bunch of people, we want to do more. So starting today, and running through July 31, we’ll make a contribution to one of these two organizations for every signup with Fullbay.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “No man is an island,” and maybe attributed it to that one Bon Jovi song you heard in the 1990s. It’s actually a line from the poet John Donne, who went on to say, “Every man is a piece of the continent … I am involved in mankind.”

That’s a fancy way of saying, We’re all part of this.

So now is the time to extend helping hands to one another and help one another out. If we all pitch in, we’ll get through this together.

God bless. I’ll talk to you next month.

Jacob Findlay

Jacob Findlay is the CEO and co-founder of Fullbay. Five years ago, he made the leap from healthcare to truck repair. He wanted to take the best ideas from the electronic medical records world and apply them to heavy-duty repair. In other words, build a medical record for trucks. Today Fullbay is the number one fleet repair platform in North America. Jacob is a CPA, has a Master's degree in Finance, a cellist, a so-so surfer, and the father of eight children.