A life on the road can get expensive. Meals, fuel, and incidental expenses can quickly eat into truckers’ budgets, leaving them with smaller profits from their long hours on the road.
The good news is that, with a little careful planning and the right equipment and truck interior accessories, truckers can greatly reduce their costs on the road. Here are a few tips from seasoned truckers that can help you run a more financially successful enterprise:
- Cut food costs – Stopping at restaurants or picking up fast food along the way can quickly add up to big costs. Many truckers spend $10,000 or more per year on restaurant food. Truckers can avoid big food costs with a little preparation and smart shopping. When preparing for a route, pack snacks and food you’ve purchased from a grocery store. Grocery store food is usually much less expensive than food purchased from a truck stop or convenience store.
- Reduce entertainment costs – Instead of purchasing a DVD player and purchasing movie after movie, reduce your costs by purchasing wireless internet service and streaming movies online. There are many free movies available online, or you can subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime to gain access to a huge library of films that you can watch on a tablet, a laptop, or even your phone.
- Outfit your truck before a trip – Buy all the gear you need online or at stores before your trip. You’ll likely find lower prices for traveling gear there, than at truck stops where price-gougers may have you at their mercy.
- Rewards cards – If you do have regular truck stops and restaurants that you shop at, take advantage of any rewards programs that they may offer. The programs are usually free and can save frequent shoppers considerable sums of money. Some rewards programs even let you access their benefits using your smartphone.
- Invest in ergonomics – Uncomfortable truck seats will eventually result in expensive trips to the doctor’s office. Make sure you can sit comfortably by investing in ergonomically designed truck seats and accessories made to improve posture.
Suburban Seating & Safety creates custom truck seats for the trucking industry and also sells a variety of truck accessories. For comfortable seating that can help ensure proper back support and comfort, check out Suburban Seating & Safety.
It’s probably the understatement of the century to say that truck drivers spend a lot of time in their truck seats. The long shifts worked and many miles traveled by truckers can not only cause stiffness and soreness, it can also contribute to significant problems, as remaining sedentary for long periods can result in negative impacts on musculoskeletal health.
Making sure that truck seats are comfortable and following good ergonomic principles can help truck drivers avoid the severe back pain that plague many members of their profession. Here are a few tips that experienced drivers use to make their seats comfortable and conducive to good musculoskeletal health.
- Adjust the steering wheel – Your truck’s steering wheel can influence your seating position in your truck. To get into proper position, make sure that you’re able to put your wrist flat over the wheel while your shoulder blades are firmly placed against the back of your seat.
- Make sure the distance from the seat to the pedals is correct –Your seat should be positioned so that your legs are parallel to the ground and your legs bend at about 120 degrees when you press the brake pedal.
- Make use of lumbar support – Many newer trucks have power lumbar support features. When starting a route, use a low level of lumbar support and adjust to increase lumbar support as you travel. If your vehicle doesn’t have lumbar support, there are lumbar support truck accessories you can purchase.
- Replace worn seats – Old seats lose their padding, over time, creating an uncomfortable and, ultimately, unhealthy sitting environment. If your seats are worn out, replace them. You can also add extra cushioning for your seat if needed.
- Properly adjust your mirrors – Mirrors tilted at the wrong angles may cause you to have to stretch or strain to see cars behind or beside you. Over time, this can have a negative effect on your back. Position your mirrors so no stretching is needed to get a clear view.
Suburban Seating & Safety creates custom truck seat solutions for the trucking industry and also sells a variety of truck accessories. For comfortable seating that can help ensure proper back support and comfort, check out Suburban Seating & Safety.
Truckers spend long hours in their truck seats, traveling hundreds of miles each day. While it may be tough to work a little time for getting out of their seats into their schedule, finding that time can have a big impact on truckers’ health and the longevity of their careers.
Health experts say that prolonged sitting has serious health risks and is associated with higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, muscle and joint problems, and even cancer. Some experts say that prolonged sitting is even more dangerous than smoking.
There’s a wealth of data dating back to the 1950s illustrating the health risks posed by sitting. According to the Washington Post, medical researchers have determined that workers who sit for long hours have twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease and a 13 percent increased risk of cancer.
Exercising vigorously before or after a shift can improve your health, but researchers say breaking up the time spent sitting is absolutely imperative to preventing the negative effects of prolonged sitting. While office workers can get up and move around during their workday, truckers don’t have this luxury. There are a few things truckers can do to mitigate the negative health effects of prolonged sitting, including:
- Make the most out of stops. Move around; if you’ve stopped to fuel up, use that time to stretch, walk around your truck, or do some pushups or other exercises.
- Take breaks. Schedule your route so you can take a few breaks during your travels to get out of your seat and get some exercise. It can be difficult, but it’s worth it.
- Improve your seating. There are some great custom truck seating products on the market that can minimize some of the musculoskeletal impacts of prolonged sitting in a truck seat. Install them in your vehicle to help avoid developing back problems and other issues that plague many truck drivers.
Truck drivers have greater reported incidences of obesity and risk factors for chronic disease than workers in many other professions. Long hours spent sitting are largely to blame. Finding ways to break up sedentary time can help you extend your working careers and improve your quality of life.
Suburban Seating & Safety creates custom truck seat solutions for the trucking industry and also sells a variety of truck accessories. For comfortable seating with real health benefits, check out Suburban Seating & Safety
Lost time can mean lost money for truck drivers. Hours spent sitting idly in their truck seats in traffic jams can cause delays that result in increased fuel consumption and reduced efficiency that may impact their business relationships with clients.
Good loading and unloading practices and smart route planning can help, but the root of the problem is a dire need for new infrastructure in the U.S. The Department of Transportation reports that road traffic congestion costs the trucking industry around $27 billion each year in lost time and increased fuel expenses.
The DOT estimates that the annual cost of congestion, including delays for passenger cars, is around $1 trillion. This figure includes the higher price of products resulting from shipping delays caused by congested roads.
About 13,500 miles of highways across the U.S. regularly slow below posted speed limits, and about 8,700 miles often have stop-and-go conditions. Trucks.com says the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the U.S. needs about $1.7 trillion of infrastructure spending to alleviate congested traffic.
While you’re waiting on the government to start laying pavement and investing in IT solutions for traffic, these tips can help truck drivers avoid getting stuck in congestion:
- Learn the peak hours for traffic in cities you regularly travel through and try to avoid traveling there during these times. There are lots of great computer applications for monitoring urban traffic patterns. Take advantage of them.
- Make use of electronic on-board recording devices to analyze your personal metrics when driving and find ways to boost efficiency.
- Avoid getting road rage. An accident or confrontation with another driver won’t make traffic go any faster and will likely delay you further.
By planning your route carefully and staying cool in frustrating situations, you can reduce lost time and fuel costs caused by our increasingly congested highways.
Truck drivers trust Suburban Seating & Safety for custom truck seats and other truck accessories. Find ways to make your next trip safer and more comfortable with a wide range of products available from Suburban Seating & Safety.