Truck drivers are back at work — but not service centres

TE Raja Simhan | Updated on May 11, 2020 Published on May 11, 2020

After a month-long harvest, farmers in Kancheepuram loading hay in trucks to transport other states for cattle feed.   -  The Hindu

Disruption in supply chain leaving many vehicles stranded on highways

Truck drivers are back and vehicles are plying in large numbers on the highways. But lack of service centres and repair shops to replace tyres or do petty repairs is creating a huge problem in the supply chain.

Workers and repair shop owners, who had left for their home town fearing the coronavirus, are yet to return to open the shops. Only about 25 per cent of shops are open on the highways, causing hardship as many vehicles with problems are stranded on the road, say truck owners.

Tyres not available

Truck owners, speaking on condition of anonymity, said shopkeepers on the highway are also not opening their shutters fearing harassment by local police. Various State governments need to act on this, else there will be disruption in the supply chain, they say.

The supply chain is breaking due to non-availability of tyres in the market and non-operational repair shops in Chandigarh’s Manimajra motor market covering nearby State, said a tweet by the Chandigarh Transport Association.

Just 10 to 20 per cent of repair shops are open on the highways, said B Satyanarayana, Proprietor, New Vijaya Lakshmi Transport, Visakhapatnam. This is causing fear that if the vehicle is stranded due to any problem, the driver needs to travel a long way to find a repair shop, he added.

SP Mohan of SPM Transports in Namakkal said that his tanker is stranded at Indore, and needs tyres urgently. But nowhere are tyres available. There is no authorised workshop between Gujarat ports and Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. One or two local shops are not giving quality service, he added.

Bal Malkit Singh of Mumbai-based Bal Roadlines concurred with Mohan. There is an acute shortage of spares due to the lockdown. Fresh stock is not coming, even in cities and at truck terminals.

In the coming days, as things start to normalise, vehicles with repairs and tyre requirements will be out of action and this will cause delays, he added.

Published on May 11, 2020

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