Leading Tarp Maker Shifts to Producing Masks for Truckers as Demand Surges
Terrebonne, Québec – A North American leader in custom big rig tarps has shifted production to help accommodate truckers’ need for personal protection equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alyak 2000 Inc. has been one of Canada’s largest custom truck tarp producers since 2009.
“I’ve been in the trucking industry for well over 25 years, always specialized in tarps and structures,” Alyak 2000’s president Bruce Lacasse said. “Had you told me I’d one day be flipping my shop upside down to make cloth masks for truckers, I would have told you that you were off your rocker, but here we are!”
Due to the nature of its business — especially since Alyak 2000 also offers a repair facility for its trucking clients — the company was deemed essential and not forced to close its doors.
Lacasse told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) he and his team, who are located in Eastern Canada, noticed truckers in their area were struggling to find PPE, despite being on the front lines of the pandemic.
Already having the space and equipment to produce PPE such as masks, Lacasse said his team quickly got to work to reconfigure their set-up to produce a much smaller product than the norm — three-ply cotton masks.
While the company is used to making large truck tarps, the team used research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a pattern and design for the masks.
“It will help stop the spread of COVID-19 by having your face covered, and cotton gives you a high percentage of overall protection,” Lacasse explained.
And Lacasse’s timing couldn’t be better.
Last week, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced all cross-border truckers are required to wear a facial covering or be subject to an up to $750,000 fine or a term of six months in jail.
Truckers are required to “wear an appropriate mask or face covering upon entry into Canada and while in transit, and should otherwise respect the intent of the Order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Canada,” according to Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health.
Alyak 2000 is currently producing more than 300 masks per day, which are selling as quickly as they are being made.
Lacasse says they are trying to double their production by next week since demand continues to grow.
“Demand keeps growing each and every way,” he stated. “The phone calls haven’t stopped.”
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The company recently fulfilled a large mask order for a client, which purchased a “huge order” for all of its employees, but Lacasse says a majority of his clients are truckers who are trying to find quality protective gear for themselves and their families.
The masks, which are machine washable, come in packs of three and are sold for $18 CAD (approximately $13 USD).
Lacasse said the price barely covers labor and material, but he is proud to be able to fulfill a need in the industry during this unprecedented time.
“We are helping our guys and helping truckers,” he stated.
If you’d like to place an order, it can be done on LightWeightTruckTarps.com and the code “trucker” will get you an extra 10% off.
Lacasse noted while orders are processed and shipped within one business day from the Alyak 2000 factory, shipping speeds have decreased, especially going into the U.S.
WATCH the video below of the mask-making process at Alyak 2000.