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Avoiding Truck Driver Fatigue When Working Long Hours

Truck driver (30s) standing in front of row of semi-trucks.
Truck driver (30s) standing in front of row of semi-trucks.

Truckers work long hours. And sometimes that can take its toll on body and mind. Of course, there are legal requirements about how long you can spend behind the wheel in one stint. But there are also the practical aspects to consider.

The life of a truck driver is hugely rewarding. It’s a job that offers freedom, a chance to get out on the road with a sense of purpose and independence. To earn a good living and to make a difference. How else do those goods we buy at the store get on the shelves?

But it’s also hard work, requiring the driver to work ‘unsocial’ long hours. Very early mornings and very late nights. And that can be tiring.  Particularly if you’re motoring along a busy freeway, fully-loaded, your mind focused and concentrating on the cars and congestion around you. It’s therefore important to ensure that you give yourself the best chance to be fit, awake and fully alert each and every time you get behind the wheel of your truck.

And these simple lifestyle methods can help you be a productive, safe and healthy truck driver, able to meet the demands of the long hours on the road. And enjoy a rewarding, long and successful career.

Fitness

Healthy body, healthy mind. Maintaining a decent standard of fitness is proven to improve concentration and the sharpness of your mind. Enabling you to stay focused and alert for those long-haul runs.

Some simple physical exercise routines built into your day can make the world of difference to your fatigue and concentration levels when at work. Improving your state of mind and those all important reaction times needed to be a good driver.

Rest

If you work long hours, then you need time for your body and brain to recover. And nothing works better than a good sleep. Of course, working odd hours can put a strain on sleep patterns, but building suitable rest time into your schedule should be an important part of your lifestyle.
Putting a minimum of 7 hours sleep before a shift can do wonders for the soul, keeping you alert, awake and able to carry out the job, enjoyably and safely.

Eating Healthy

It’s a bit of a cliché that truck drivers don’t eat particularly healthy. Those truck stop diners with towering burgers, dinosaur sized ribs and gallons of coke and coffee, are the stuff of movie stereotype.

The reality though is that fatty foods, junk foods and high-sugar soft drinks are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Poor health and poor diet go hand in hand, effecting your levels of fatigue and concentration. High fat foods can make you feel sluggish and bloated – not ideal when you’ve got a long drive ahead of you.

You don’t have to forgo all those treats and pleasures at all times, of course. But adopting a more balanced, healthier diet including fruit, vegetables, high-fiber foods and plenty of water. It’ll give you the fuel and sustenance needed to stay alert, focused and ready to tackle the long hours that come with being a successful truck driver.