How to Keep a Truck Driver Mentally Healthy?

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Image credit: www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/Claudiad

The key point in the quality performance of any work is the psychological state of the employee. And trucking dispatch is no exception. The fact is that truck drivers spend long hours alone on the road in uncomfortable conditions. The mental health of dispatch employees affects the overall mood of the dispatching company and its success. 

So truck drivers need to keep themselves in a good physical and mental state. They work in difficult, isolated conditions that negatively affect their health. Truck drivers often experience burnout at work. 

Promoting healthy fleet habits is becoming a priority for many trucking companies. It is especially true in today’s tense situation in the world. Maintain your work spirit and energy for a successful dispatch career with top tips for sound mental health.

#1 Keep in Touch With Loved Ones

One of the main problems that truck drivers face is loneliness. Long dispatch journeys make it hard to maintain a strong relationship with loved ones. Modern technologies can solve this problem. With the help of instant messengers and social networks, freight truckers can stay in touch with anyone. Owner-operators can let truck drivers use:

  • Video chats and text messages. They will help you stay on top of your family’s life at all times.
  • Photos and reels. Post photos with children, wife or girlfriend, loved ones, parents, and friends in the cabin. It helps a truck driver create a home atmosphere.
  • Memory boxes. Take a daughter’s toy or a wife’s scarf to refresh in the memory those emotions you felt with your dear and near ones.

Some companies with available owner-operator dispatch services can provide special equipment for online conferences on the site or Internet connection. And also many dispatching agencies began to allow taking a pet or family member to the trip. 

#2 Create a Healthy Menu for the Whole Trip

According to research, in America, the trucker profession is considered the most unhealthy. Truck drivers lead a long, sedentary lifestyle and eat fast food. Surveys show that almost 90% of truck drivers have dangerous chronic diseases that can be life-threatening. 

In turn, poor physical condition negatively affects the psychological state. The transportation company can develop workout or warm-up programs for its truck drivers that help them stay in shape on the road and stretch their joints and muscles.

#3 Getting Enough Sleep & Rest

 Be sure to get enough sleep before trips. For example, truck drivers often suffer from apnea. And it occurs due to chronic fatigue or depression. The owner-operator can:

  1. Create a clear daily routine.
  2. Do not drink caffeinated drinks after 5-6 PM.
  3. Designate a designated seating area in the cockpit with blackout curtains and a bed.
  4. Help create a cozy ambiance on the road for peace of mind for employees.

Remember that disruptions in rest and sleep patterns cause serious health problems.

#4 Knowing Driver’s Warning Signs

Don’t be afraid to contact a specialist for psychological help. There must be a psychologist on the transportation staff who helps solve the problem. Also, truck drivers should be aware of the signs of an impending stall. It can help them better understand themselves and the surrounding people. Signs of an oppressive and depressive mood are:

  • nervousness and tension;
  • migraine;
  • stomach ache;
  • insanity;
  • difficulty in concentrating and paying attention;
  • mood swings.

Preventing these problems early can avoid more complications in the future. To instill confidence in truck drivers, provide support resources. Large owner-operator dispatch services, for example, LogityDispatch, employ a psychologist who can post practical advice.

#5 Exercise Whenever Possible

Keeping in good physical shape helps not only for overall health but also maintains a positive attitude. An organism secretes endorphins hormones that affect the general condition and make a person happy.

To do this, truck drivers can learn some effective exercises that they can do while traveling. They can perform them at stops, in parking lots, or during breaks on the highway.

#6 Create Home Comfort in the Truck

The truck driver’s cab becomes a second home. Therefore, it makes sense to post photos of family and friends, bring your favorite mug and thermos, and equip your bed with a favorite pillow with a blanket. Trinkets, small jewelry, and souvenirs also create comfort. 

#7 Maintain Mental Activity During the Trip

It has been proven that the constant activity of the brain helps to avoid gaps and many brain diseases. It stimulates blood circulation and the work of neural connections. Moreover, the truck driver will not have time to get bored and depressed.

There are many ways to keep brains active today. Truck drivers can listen to audiobooks, solve puzzles and riddles, listen to music, or do refresher courses. Any involvement improves focus and concentration. 

#8 Personal Hygiene & Care of the Driver

Things as subtle as a daily shower and a good hairdo can also play a major role in mental well-being. If a person is confident in his appearance, it is easier for him to perceive reality objectively.

When the driver takes the time to hygiene and appearance, his mood and well-being improve. Also, there is a desire to communicate with colleagues and new people on the road. Educate and equip transportation staff with personal hygiene kits that fit in the cabin and are easy to carry, for example, a portable shower.

#9 Make the Most of the Vacation Time

Try to rest as much downtime as possible. Chat with family and friends, do your hobbies and home duties. Try to do as many household chores as possible. It will give a feeling of active social life and prevent developing depression. Besides, truck drivers could have plans for the time of returning home from the trip.

Final Word

The trucking dispatching company can also help organize a healthy and active vacation. Invite truck drivers to make clubs, hold general events, meetings, and corporate parties. It not only strengthens the cohesion of the truck team but also gives a sense of need and exclusivity to each of its members.

Maintaining the mental health of truck drivers should be a priority for the dispatching company. Healthy and motivated transportation employees are the keys to dispatching business development. Cargoes will be delivered on time without delays or penalties, customers will be satisfied with the quality of trucking services.

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