How can HGV drivers stay healthy on the road?

HGV drivers spend a lot of their time on the road and most of that time they are sitting in cabs. This can make it challenging for them to maintain good health. The good news is that a bit of planning can resolve all of those challenges. Here are three tips to help.

Make sure your vehicle is set up properly 

You’ll do regular safety checks on your vehicle but make sure you do comfort checks too. In particular, make sure that your seat is in the right position. You might want to think about adding cushioning to your steering wheel and seat belt.

Also, make sure that you have space for both your essentials and your rubbish. Ideally, take along a small vacuum cleaner for crumbs and some air freshener or a diffuser. Adding scent to your cab can improve your safety as well as your comfort. Scents like citrus and menthol can help to keep you alert and lavender can help you to relax.

Pack appropriately 

You’ll have to allocate some of the space in your vehicle to work-related equipment. For example, you’ll want tools to maintain/repair your vehicle plus safety equipment. Even so, however, you’re likely to have plenty of space for your own items. Also, weight is highly unlikely to be an issue. That means you can afford to pack generously.

Think of packing for an HGV trip as being much the same as packing for a caravanning holiday. You know that at night you’ll have access to utilities, probably including internet access. During the day, however, you should assume that you’re going to have to fend for yourself.

That means you’ll need clothing (including footwear) for all weathers. You’ll also need a supply of food and drink and the means to store and prepare them. You may be able to get meals and supplies on your journey. It is, however, unwise to count on it. It’s better to have supplies and not need them than vice versa.

It’s also advisable to take an eye mask and earplugs and possibly an extra blanket. You might want to pack some basic exercise gear (although you can work out without it). Also, make sure that you bring some form of entertainment you can enjoy on your own. Last but not least, think about how you’re going to keep in touch with your loved ones.

Make the most of your rest breaks 

You’re probably going to need to use part of your rest breaks for practicalities. For example, if you’re on a long trip, then laundry will probably be a consideration. You’ll also probably want to spend some time catching up with the folks back home. This should, however, still leave you with some time left over for activities other than sleep.

Make it a priority to get some exercise. This can be as simple as going for a short walk. Ideally, however, you’ll do something a bit more challenging. Lorry drivers need to get as much cardio exercise as possible. This helps to counterbalance the effects of sitting in a cab for long periods.

Doing some form of stretching can also be very helpful. It helps to prevent you from developing stiff muscles, again due to being in the cab for long periods. The obvious form of stretching exercise is yoga. This adapts very well to small spaces like hotel rooms. If you don’t fancy yoga, tai chi is another good option or even just general stretching.

You might also want to consider looking at mental exercises for calming your mind. These can help you unwind after a long day. There are lots of apps to help with meditation. Alternatively, you could try listening to some gentle audio and/or doing some deep breathing.

Author Bio

Fleet Ex are specialists in quality ex-fleet trucks and trailers and are global leaders in the trucking industry.

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