By Anthony Peakes, freelance writer.
Truck drivers face some pretty specific challenges in their everyday lives at work. Keep reading below to learn more about these challenges and ways their employers can help them!
Truck drivers provide a necessary service around the world. How so? They are the ones that hit the road for several hours, or even days, to transport important goods that consumers need.
Yet, life on the road isn’t easy, despite how fun it may sound for outsiders or beginners. It can be a lonely life, risky, and quite grueling. The nature of the job requires drivers to be strong both mentally and physically and capable of driving for several hours for many miles without falling asleep behind the wheel. This isn’t easy either. A person needs a lot of stamina to stay awake after driving for several hours at a time, and this can be very exhausting.
Sure, the job has its bonuses and benefits too. But this doesn’t change the fact that being a truck driver means facing some pretty specific challenges.
If you are an employer in the industry, trying to understand what your drivers are going through every day is important and this article will explore some of the most common challenges faced by truck drivers.
1. Pressure to make deliveries
The biggest challenge truck drivers face, similar to any other transport driver in the logistics industry, is to make sure they deliver the goods in perfect shape. With truck driving, even a tight turn or sudden braking can mean that the goods they are transporting could fly around the truck and break or damage. So, they need to pay extra attention to the road and what’s happening in traffic to avoid such sudden moves that could put themselves or the goods they transport in danger.
Besides the pressure of delivering the goods in perfect shape, there’s the added pressure of delivering them on time. Many employers in the logistics industry set unrealistic goals in terms of delivery and timing, which forces truck drivers to go the extra mile to meet those goals.
Solution: as an employer in the industry, you should avoid setting tight goals that might force your drivers to drive imprudently to meet them.
2. Distractions while driving
Distractions while you’re behind the wheel are a big problem. They could make you take your eyes and focus off the road which can cause an accident on the road. In fact, data from Virginia Tech Institute backs this up. More precisely, researchers have found that distracted drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a road accident, either by causing it or by not being able to avoid it on time. So, as a driver, you must keep distractions at a minimum and focus on the road at all times.
Now, think that truck drivers have a lot more added pressure than average drivers who simply commute from point A to point B. Truck drivers must not only protect themselves and other traffic participants on the road but also the goods they are transporting because that’s literally their job. So, distractions while they are behind the wheel that results in an accident could complicate things more for truck drivers.
Solution: Ask your drivers to eliminate distractions as part of your policy. For example, ask your drivers not to eat while driving but instead offer them enough time to take breaks for a meal that’s not behind the wheel. Besides that, provide your drivers with cutting-edge safety car technologies that assist them on the road.
3. Poor truck maintenance
When office employees are trying to do their job, but the computer at the office won’t start or performs incredibly poorly, their hands are basically tied, and the employer is to blame. It’s the same for truck drivers facing technical issues with their vehicles.
Poorly maintained trucks are a burden to drive. Not only do they require a lot more mental effort from the driver, but they are also not safe.
Solution: Make sure that all the transport trucks are in perfect shape. Having an in-house team of mechanics and engineers that will regularly check and fix the trucks is one way to ensure that your trucks are always in good standing.
4. No place to park
One of the biggest challenges of driving on busy roads in urban areas is finding a place to park. If you think that an average vehicle is difficult to park and fit in the tight parking spots, imagine how difficult it is to do that when you’re driving a 50-foot transport truck.
If you want to make it easier for your drivers to manage their commutes, you can rent monthly parking spots, such as those offered by WhereiPark, across the country so that your drivers will have a secure spot close to the warehouses or places where they make the deliveries. That way after they get out of their transport truck, their own vehicle is nearby.
5. Being away from home
Loneliness is another major challenge that truck drivers deal with. In fact, according to data, loneliness really is the top mental health issue that truck drivers report.
Think about it: they spend hours, days, even weeks at a time away from home. They drive alone in their truck, and there’s no familiar face waiting for them when they reach their destination. In the long term, this can take a toll on their mental health and even personal relationships.
Solution: Don’t overwork your drivers to the point where they can’t go home for several days or weeks at a time. Also, equip them with technological devices that will allow them to communicate with their loved ones even when they are away. Additionally, providing mental health therapy sessions as employee benefits are also great initiatives to improve the wellbeing of your drivers.