We’ve have written several times about the important of having the tractor trailers in your fleet regularly inspected and maintained by professional repair services. It is essential to improve the longevity of the equipment. More years on the road means better earnings potential per truck.
However, the maintenance efforts cannot stop at the machines in your fleet. It must be extended to the drivers as well. Just as a poorly cared for tractor trailer can lead to problems on the road, missed deadlines, and even potentially fatal accidents, so too can a driver in poor health.
Unfortunately, drivers face a lot of road blocks on the road to good health. They are regularly in a seated position for hours at a time. They face very stressful situations frequently. They often don’t get enough sleep between loads, and they don’t have convenient access to healthy eating options when driving.
According to recent reports, truckers are starting to leave the profession because their health won’t allow them to work any longer. This isn’t like losing a driver to a profession change, to a bigger paycheck, or to retirement. These are individuals who could have been on the road longer, perhaps several years longer, if they were in better health.
Truckers are more likely to smoke, they are more likely to be obese, and are more likely to suffer from fatigue-related illnesses than members of the general working population. More than half of all drivers are smokers. More than a quarter of them get less than six hours of sleep per 24 hours, and that sleep is often broken. They are twice as likely to be obese than those who aren’t truck drivers. All of this leads to nine out of every ten drivers suffering from long term medical conditions. Those medical conditions can cause just as many problems, or more, than the malfunctioning equipment.
So, as you are laying out a maintenance schedule for the trucks in your fleet, as you are scheduling repairs, be sure that you are also considering how you can help maintain the health of the drivers of those trucks.