From the days of buckboard wagons to the modern trucks operating today, the trucking industry has continued to play a vital role in our nation's economy. However, the job can be stressful and wear on drivers over time.
According to Trucking Research, a few of the reasons drivers face stress include discourteous drivers, road construction, and being away from home.
Though stress is not often discussed as a key reason for the driver shortage, it may be part of the issue. Stress can cause a calm person to become impatient and frustrated with their situation and can also affect a person’s health.
Symptoms of stress may include:
So, how can a motor carrier help with driver stress? Isn’t it just part of the job? No. Motor carriers with the lowest turnover rates are often proactive in removing roadblocks for drivers and providing a healthy work environment.
Motor carriers should make sure their operational practices and policies support the success of their drivers. If they're not working with drivers to address issues, it is reasonable to assume their drivers are experiencing more stress than normal and may eventually look elsewhere.
Other stress reducing measures include diet, exercise, ergonomics, and material handling aids. For example, a newer driver who does not know how to properly adjust the seat may be uncomfortable, decide they do not like the truck, and look for other work.
If you are interested in learning more, the Acuity Motor Carrier Toolbox contains tools, including seat ergonomic tips and examples of stretches, to help motor carriers and drivers.