Ducey Order Allows Food Trucks At Arizona Rest Stops

By Heather van Blokland
Published: Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 6:05am
Updated: Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 9:50am

Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order Wednesday allowing food trucks to operate at Arizona rest stops. The purpose is to support long-haul truckers while traditional restaurants are closed, but there’s no support offered for driver wages. 

Ducey argues that long-haul truckers supply Arizonans with food, and this placement of food trucks at eight rest areas is essential.

“We want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to support the truck drivers who are working long hours to keep our grocery stores stocked and our medical professionals equipped,” Governor Ducey said in a press release. “Today’s order will allow long-haul truck drivers to buy nutritious food during their trips, and will help increase business for food trucks at this time. Arizona will emerge from this public health challenge stronger by supporting each other and staying connected.”

Ducey also argues the order clearly supports the food truck businesses, which will have to get permits to operate at the sites. But support for the trucking industry is not so clear. 

While a surge in purchases has increased trucking demand as consumers panic-buy during the coronavirus pandemic, some drivers still struggle while wages remain flat. Many truckers are paid like Uber and Lyft drivers — as independent contractors — with low wages and no benefits.

According to trucking industry data, the average annual wage of independent contractors is in the low $50,000 range. From this wage, drivers must purchase their own trucks and insurance and also pay fuel and vehicle use taxes, among other fees.

The rest stops include Sunset Point and Christensen on Interstate‑17, as well as Haviland, Parks and Meteor Crater on Interstate‑40.

ADOT has developed a permit process for food truck owners online at azdot.gov/permits. Permits are free and last 30 days.

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