Health Programs Now Available For Truckers

Jim McCormack

After many years of being ignored, the health of the big rig trucker has finally caught the attention of the trucking industry.  A number of different programs have been created to help truckers stay in good health while traveling over the nation's highway. These programs are designed to show the driver different techniques that will meet their need to stay healthy.  Some programs help trucking companies develop a wellness program, while others are in direct driver contact.

One that has drawn a great deal of interest is the 2012 Rolling Strong Driver Wellness Tour.  Freightliner Trucks company is teaming up with this tour to help address the health issues encountered by truckers.  The tour's sponsor is The American Trucking Association's Safety Management Council's Health and Wellness Working Group.  This tour  will be provide workouts as well as information on how to stay healthy while on the road.   A trucker can have direct contact with the tour at the following locations:

June 20: Brooks, Oregon, I-5, Exit 263

July 18: Lake Station, Indiana, I-94, Exit 15b

August 22:  Dallas, Texas, I-20, Exit 472

September 19: Altoona, Iowa, I-80 & US 65, Exit 142

October 17: Avondale, Arizona, I-20, Exit 208A

November 14:  Fort Bierce, Florida, I-95, Hwy 68, Exit 131

December 12: Hesperia, California, Hwy395, I-15, Exit 141

Interest in trucker health issues has long been a concern of the FMSCA (Federal Motor Safety Administration).  As a result, they are now putting into place special training for healthcare professionals that work with truck drivers.  Since these professionals are responsible for being sure truckers meet certain health standards, they must now have special training and pass an examination to be qualified.  Their names will then be placed on a National Registry database.

Another entry into being sure that truckers are healthy is the HTAA (Health Trucking Association of America).  Their health and wellness program has begun a $20 million dollar program that will reward 10,000 commercial drivers over $800 each if they lose weight and keep a healthy lifestyle.

The HTAA program requires drivers taking part in the program to be under a doctor-supervised weight loss program.   They will also encourage other means of losing weight such as keeping exercise equipment in the vehicle and using it.  Truckers preparing their own meals rather than eating out is another weight loss suggestion.

There is no question that a healthy driver is required if the roads are to remain free of accidents caused by fatigue or illness.  These programs show that the industry is becoming more aware of the importance of helping drivers be healthy.

When overweight from eating heavy foods at truck stops and chips or sweet foods while driving, it has been proven that the fat ingested not only impairs the blood vessels and arteries but the heart as well.  There will always be big people as well as small people, because of genetics, but that does not mean that they cannot be healthy when they take advantage of the health programs now available for truckers.