Spending hours seated each day isn’t the best activity to promote good health, whether you’re in an office chair or a truck seat. Although most truckers engage in strenuous work loading and unloading their trucks, the hours spent in a sedentary position can have negative health impacts unless drivers practice positive health habits to counterbalance them.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research has established that sitting for long periods of time is connected with increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, excess body fat around the abdomen, and high cholesterol. There’s no way truckers can avoid sitting for hours at a time, but there are a number of healthy habits truckers can adopt, including:
- Eat healthy snacks – While fast food and convenience store fare may be tempting for truck drivers, their health will be better served if they opt for healthy snacks when they’re on the road. Truckers should load up on fruit, nuts, and other healthy snacks when they’re near grocery stores. Some larger convenience stores may have a fresh fruit and vegetable section, allowing truck drivers easy access to healthy food.
- Exercise – Finding time for exercise can be tough for OTR drivers. However, there are a few convenient ways truckers can get needed exercise when they’re traveling. Truckers can safely pack dumbbells in secure containers and use them at stops. A folding bicycle can also provide a convenient means of exercise.
- Cut out unhealthy habits – Drivers who use tobacco products can see a bit improvement in their health if they kick the habit. Sodas and fast food are also habits drivers should try to abandon.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep is important to good health. Make sure your sleeper compartment is comfortable and has a quality berth mattress and the right climate control to facilitate good sleep. By getting enough sleep, you ensure you’re alert when you’re on the road, and you give your body sufficient time to rest and heal.
Ensuring that you are comfortable on the road is also important, and nothing contributes to driver comfort like the right truck seat. Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider of truck seats and truck interior accessories. A family-owned business, Suburban Seating & Safety has been a trusted supplier since 1947. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.
If there’s one thing that truck drivers dread, it’s a jackknife accident. Jackknifing has huge potential for carnage, often resulting in multiple vehicle accidents and truck flip-overs. About 10 percent of all big truck-related deaths result from jackknife accidents.
Jackknife accidents occur when a truck towing a trailer skids and the trailer’s momentum causes the trailer to swing to the side while pushing the truck. When a tractor trailer is jackknifing, the trailer often collides with the truck. During a jackknife accident, the driver has no control, and the truck and trailer can take up multiple traffic lanes, careening into other vehicles. Trucks that jackknife also often overturn, which can result in fires and cargo spills.
Truckers can reduce their risk of jackknifing by using these best practices for driving a tractor trailer:
- Brake gradually – Slamming on brakes makes jackknifing more likely. Practice progressive braking – slowing over the longest distance possible. It helps reduce the likelihood of jackknifing and is a good general safety practice, as it provides drivers with more reaction time.
- Be careful when towing light loads – Vehicles carrying heavy loads are unlikely to jackknife; it’s the lightly packed trailers that you have to worry about. Jackknifing typically happens when trailers are empty or light loads are badly distributed. Light trailer loads and poorly distributed loads are more likely to cause skidding because trailers and their brakes are designed for full loads and provide too much power when loads are light, resulting in skidding.
- Avoid braking on a curve – Slow down on straight-line stretches of highway before you enter a curve. Braking on a curve can cause wheels to lose traction, resulting in a skid. By slowing before the curve, you avoid this situation. Avoiding braking on a curve is particularly important when the curve ahead is a downhill curve, as the momentum on the trailer will be increased, making a jackknife more likely.
- If your vehicle starts to skid, remove your foot from the brake – This may be counterintuitive, but, by releasing the brake, you prevent the skid from becoming worse, and you stand a better chance of avoiding a jackknife.
Having the right seat to provide proper support and elevation can also help truck drivers avoid accidents. Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider of truck seats and truck interior accessories. A family-owned business, Suburban Seating & Safety has been a trusted supplier since 1947. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.
Getting cargo to its destination and getting it there on time are important priorities for truckers, but safety is also a critical priority and, in some weather conditions, the risks involved with driving make staying grounded the best course.
Certain adverse weather conditions pose elevated dangers for drivers of large trucks. Because large trucks are so much harder to slow down and stop, visibility and traction are especially important.
- Severe storm conditions – Truck drivers should regularly check weather apps on their smartphone and pay attention to radio alerts concerning severe storm conditions. Should a severe storm or tornado threaten their area, truckers should try to plan an alternate route or seek shelter. Strong winds from severe storms, as well as debris that a storm may produce, put drivers of semis and other big trucks at risk.
- Sun glare – Sun glare is a condition truckers need to take precautions against. Driving toward the sun at certain times of day can significantly impair your visibility, making an accident more likely. Try to plan your route to avoid driving into the sun at times of day when glare is bad. Also, keep sunglasses and other truck accessories onboard to reduce glare.
- Extreme fog – Fog can greatly reduce visibility, putting truckers and other drivers on the road at risk. Truckers who find themselves in severe fog conditions should get off the road until it passes. Even in mild fog conditions, drivers should exercise caution, slow down, and make use of their fog lights.
- Extreme ice and snow – If possible, truckers should avoid driving in conditions of severe snow and ice. Should truckers have to travel in snow or icy conditions, they should equip their vehicle with any tire chains or snow tires, as needed. Truckers traveling on snowy or icy roads should also avoid fast turns and quick stops, and approach intersections with extreme caution.
Suburban Seating & Safety is a trusted provider of truck seats and truck interior accessories. A family-owned business, Suburban Seating & Safety has been a trusted supplier since 1947. To learn more about the company and its wide line of products from respected manufacturers, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.