Truck driver work conditions on the job

July 18, 2019

Posted By: Nova Lines

What are the work conditions for a truck driver?

How does a truck driver work affect their physical, mental, emotional and social condition? What are their coping mechanisms against their work conditions on the road?
This article will try to answer those questions by delving deeper on how it is like living the life of a truck driver.

A typical day

What is a typical day for truck drivers? How do they start and end their day?
Their day starts early to attend to their personal chores like breakfast, shower, and pre-travel check before they hit the road.
Depending on the distance, they may or may not reach their drop off point. If they do, then they drop off their cargo but if they don’t, they usually stop over for lunch before continuing.
Nighttime is the most difficult time. Whether they are on their way back, or just about to reach their destination, they plan where to make their stop for the night.
Once parked, they do post-travel check of their cargoes, followed by dinner. If there are paper works that need filling up, they usually finish before retiring for the night. They take an early night’s rest in preparation for another early day the next morning.

The Physical demands for the truck driver

Truck driving requires stamina and endurance. It takes a lot of their physical strength to drive long hours at long distances.

Here are a few of the working conditions that truck drivers experience on the road:

Drive in a small, enclosed space for more than 12 hours. This can cause cramps and aches. Truck drivers alleviate this by making stopovers to stretch their muscles.
Exposure to extreme temperature changes. The sudden change in temperature leaves truck drivers vulnerable to illness. Eating healthy and wearing the right clothes help protect them against cold and other illnesses.
Staying awake. A driver has to fight of sleepiness while on the road. Keeping themselves awake is not easy, especially if they are in for a long haul. If there is no need to drive at night, it is best to just take an early night and rest to prepare for the next day’s travel. If driving at night is necessary, some drivers bring alternate drivers, play music, chat on radio, and some even take their wives along.
Prone to road accidents. Any driver worth his salt will do his best to avoid having an accident that can cause injury. However, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. Even the best and most cautious driver cannot fight against external forces such as weather and other drivers on the road. To combat these, drivers should keep themselves alert and ready for any contingencies.

Fighting mental stress

Mental stress is one of the worst conditions that any truck driver has to face. This often leads to negativity and distraction that could eventually cause accidents.
Here are a few mental stressors that truck drivers have to contend with:

Dealing with emotions and relationships

Truck driving jobs mean long distance relationship. Emotional relationships are not easy when you are on the road.

Here are few challenges drivers have to deal with while on the road:

Socializing on the road

Truck driving may be a tough life but unbelievably, many truck drivers form new friendships and manage to socialize even on the road.
Despite the feeling of isolation, truckers find ways to socialize with others.

Handling work conditions

The working conditions very different from other regular jobs.
It requires physical, mental, and emotional readiness to do this job so it is not surprising many truck drivers are accorded a high level of respect in their field.

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