Truckers often put in long hours. Granted, a reputable small and medium trucking company will require drivers to take a break between shifts, but hours of service requirements were recently relaxed to allow for greater flexibility. Because of the risk of fatigue, however, truckers need to make an effort to stay awake and alert on the road. Here are seven tips and tricks that can help truck drivers achieve this goal.
1. Maintain a Consistent Schedule
Even when working for a small and medium trucking company it’s not always easy for truck drivers to stay consistent with schedules. Some drivers opt to get brief naps here and there instead, but a nap isn’t a substitute for a consistent sleep schedule. It may take some time to figure out a sleep schedule that works for you, but the payoff can be a noticeable boost in alertness behind the wheel.
2. Eat Smaller Meals More Often
You don’t have to be a truck driver to know a big meal can make you sleepy. One way to minimize this issue while on the road is to eat smaller meals spaced out throughout your day. Plus, this is a great way to keep your weight in check and stimulate your metabolism, which also helps with the ability to stay alert.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Sugary drinks taste great in the moment, but you could find yourself sleepy or sluggish later on. Truck drivers are more likely to remain alert when opting for water instead. H2O further helps with alertness by increasing the circulation of important nutrients to the brain. Green tea and other healthy beverages can have similar benefits.
4. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise also gets beneficial things flowing throughout the body and helps maintain mental alertness. Even so, you may think this isn’t practical given the nature of the trucking profession for truckers. But there are creative ways to do this, with possibilities including:
5. Watch the Caffeine
Coffee has long been associated with alertness. But a crash can come later when it’s least expected with any caffeinated beverage, including energy drinks. You’ll be better off aiming for a consistent sleep schedule. If you do need a little pick-me-up now and then, go with normal coffee in moderation.
6. Minimize Total Silence in Your Cab
It’s much easier to nod off if you spend too much time in a quiet truck. Keep your alertness level up by listening to a favorite podcast or putting some tunes you like on. Such audio options are perfectly safe to enjoy since you can still stay focused as you listen.
7. Know When to Take Breaks
Listen to your body and know when to take a break if you honestly can’t remain alert or fully awake on the road. While you do have a responsibility to the small and medium trucking company you may work for, you also need to use common sense about safety for the sake of other truckers and drivers.
Hope you enjoyed this article and have picked up one or two tips to help you stay awake and alive while driving those trucks on American highways. Of course, staying awake isn’t the only problem facing modern truckers. As our daily lives get more intertwined with technology, we are seeing more of the problems that come with it. We have found a good article here with some shocking statistics about texting and driving. For more articles or resources like this you would do well to visit our blog and you find useful information that will surely be of help to you as a truck driver or trucking company.