Truck driver’s health issues are one of the most critical aspects facing the trucking industry today. Trucking companies are facing a potential shortage of truck drivers due to illnesses and early deaths. They also face a lack of drivers if otherwise, qualified truck drivers cannot pass the required Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) medical exam which prevents them from being hired as truck drivers. Trucking companies also risk losing their current drivers if these drivers are unable to pass the D.O.T. medical exam upon expiration of their current D.O.T. medical card. These factors have caused trucking companies to look at ways to improve the health and well-being of those in the trucking industry.
Trucking companies realize that many truck drivers’ health problems could be eliminated or reduced by lifestyle changes. Exercise and diet are two areas of concern that many trucking companies are starting to address. The majority of truck drivers are either overweight or obese. Excessive weight can be a contributing factor in developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and obesity.
Trucking companies are seeking innovative ways to improve the health of their drivers. Recent studies show that companies which invest in employee health and wellness programs get a positive return on their investment. Trucking companies realize this and know that better driver health will lead to increased performance and safety behind the wheel. It will also reduce absenteeism, injuries, and sickness among their drivers.
Prime Trucking Company is a nationwide trucking company located in Springfield, Missouri with flatbed, reefer and tanker divisions. Prime Trucking is one company working to improve the health and wellness of those in the trucking industry. Prime has played an essential role in helping their employees realize the benefit of exercise and healthy food choices.
Prime Trucking has installed fitness equipment and a basketball court at their headquarters in Springfield Missouri. They also have personal trainers available for all of their employees, not just drivers. This has already shown positive results. Prime Company employees recently won the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) award for its inaugural “Trucking Weight Loss Showdown” a nationwide trucking weight loss contest. Prime’s team consisting of twelve employees competed against ten other trucking company teams and emerged as the winner having lost a total of 353 pounds during a ten-week period which represented a 15 percent drop in their total weight for trucking lawyers.
While it is indeed commendable that trucking companies like Prime Trucking are taking steps to improve the health and well-being of their employees, truck drivers ultimately must take responsibility for their health. The lack of exercise and a high-fat diet are major contributing factors to truck driver illness including increasing heart attack risk. Sadly, many drivers don’t exercise at all. Truck drivers should take time to use at least a few days per week if they cannot do so on a daily basis.
Some truck stops have excellent fitness facilities, but many truck stops don’t have any exercise facilities at all. Therefore, it is also a good idea to keep a few pieces of portable exercise equipment in the truck. This would allow you to exercise even if you can’t get to a truck stop which has a fitness center.
An adjustable kettle bell would be an excellent piece of equipment to have for strength and endurance. Adjustable kettle bells don’t have a fixed weight but are made to allow more or less weight to be added to the kettle bell to get the desired weight you want to specific exercises. Adjustable kettle bells take up a small amount of space and allow for a variety of activities.
Truck drivers also should choose to eat healthy foods. While many truck stops offer healthy food options, many others don’t. Understandably, this means that truck drivers cannot always get healthy food at truck stops. Therefore, truck drivers should consider keeping a more relaxed or refrigerator in their truck. This would enable them to continue fruits, vegetables and other foods fresh longer. They can shop at Supermarkets and get a good selection of foods which would help them avoid the high-calorie food often available at many truck stops. Taking the time to exercise and choose a good trucker’s diet would go a long way towards increasing the health and wellness of truck drivers.