One of the most basic things in trucking is the pre-trip walk-around. Drivers are trained intensely on pre-trip safety checks — to walk around the truck to see if anything looks wrong, just as a precaution. You should also do a pre-trip refrigerator or cooler check. That way, you can make sure you have healthy choices to reach for while on the road.
It all comes down to training. When you’re a professional driver you’re going to get stuck someplace, and there is going to be traffic, breakdowns, bad weather, construction and other delays. If it’s not easy for you to make the healthy choice, you’re going to make the bad one.
Drivers, learn to stock your in-cab refrigerators or coolers with healthy foods and snacks, such as almonds, tuna packets and fresh fruit. Potato chips, corn chips and cheese puffs are full of oil, saturated fat and sodium. The next time you get hungry on the road, try some nutritious, protein-filled nuts, perhaps almonds, pecans, cashews or pistachios.
Professional over-the-road driving can be both physically and mentally demanding. If you are a flat-bed driver, you frequently climb up and onto your truck, pull tarps and toss straps; however, there are also long periods of inactivity on the road. And for drivers who are not called on to perform these tasks, your activity level may be less.
You might not realize how to balance your activity level with the number of calories you consume.
I have found that many drivers are fans of sports teams, NASCAR drivers and other athletes. Look at it this way: You are a road athlete, but your body is unable to burn up high calories from power drinks or those unhealthy snacks I mentioned. You may see high-calorie power drinks and high-sugar snacks as a way provide a surge of energy to keep going, but that’s all they do. After that “surge,” you feel a let-down and experience more fatigue then before you consumed them.
So, the next time you stop for your break and perform your “safety check,” also do a cooler or refrigerator check and make sure you have good choices to reach for.
While you’re at it, try to work in a brisk walk. Walking will give you a boost of energy and relieve some stress. These two steps — movement and food consumption — will serve you well and make sure you are “Fit to Pass.”
Bob Perry has spent nearly the past four decades on a mission to educate professional drivers and share life-changing products and services to help them live healthier lives while on the road. Recognized throughout the transportation industry, from bus drivers to over-the-road professional drivers, Bob Perry has played an important role in creating a paradigm shift helping regulatory agencies, private and public sector entities, and consumers understand the current health challenges of the professional driver. He has participated as a wellness advocate in several roundtable discussions, large audience groups and small forums as well as going “curbside” through a national truck stop tour.
Bob’s articles have been featured in The Trucker and a number of other national transportation industry publications and is the host of a weekly wellness call produced by Rolling Strong. Bob has been a regular guest on RedEye Radio and Land-Line Radio, and is often an invited guest on Sirius radio shows. He has been featured in the New York Times, Men’s Health Magazine, Drug Store News, American Road Magazine, WSJ, NPR, ABC National Radio, as well as hundreds of daily newspapers. He has appeared on television news shows across the nation, including a featured TV segment on ABC NightLine News.