As the dynamic force that keeps the UK economy moving, the road haulage industry is essential to all aspects of modern life and business. The huge shortage of HGV drivers, therefore, is a big concern. As such, employers are desperate to attract new recruits and encourage them to stay with them for the long term.
They do this by (1) paying attractive wages, and (2) pampering their workforce. Okay, maybe ‘pampering’ is overstating things – but they know that a happy driver is less likely to leave their company for a better offer. Keeping their drivers happy means helping them stay in tip-top shape, both physically and mentally.
Drivers’ tips for a healthy body
Driving an HGV? It’s just sitting down all day. It’s hardly physically demanding. Well, it is precisely because of the lengthy periods of sitting at the wheel that it can be physically demanding. Without taking preventative action, problems can soon develop in the back and the neck, and a feeling of fatigue can make driving long distances dangerous.
There are a number of ways to tackle these issues. First, position your seat and wheel so you are not sitting too far away from the steering wheel. If you wish, you could support your lower back with a cushion. Adjust your mirrors so you can use them effectively without straining. Take regular breaks and use them to move around and loosen up. There’s no point in just sitting down again!
When you’re back on the road you can continue to exercise. Squeeze your abdominal muscles tight for so many seconds, or minutes, at a time. Relieve shoulder tension with a series of shoulder shrugs while you’re waiting at a red light.
Simply lift your shoulders to your ears; hold for a few seconds; then release and feel the tension melt away.
Another thing to do at a red light or during a break is to loosen your fingers, wrists and arms. Rotate your wrist in a circle, then stretch your fingers by spreading them and gently pressing down for a few seconds at a time. Shaking your arms like a ragdoll will loosen every joint.
Drivers’ tips for a healthy mind
Anxiety and depression can effect anybody. Often the symptoms of mental issues can be physical, such as aches, tiredness and stomach pains. Although the root cause lays in the mind, incorporating physical activities such as those just mentioned, along with a healthy diet and other positive behavioural changes, can make a significant improvement to drivers’ mental health.
Today’s employers are increasingly aware of this important aspect of their drivers’ health, and they are taking steps to tackle it. For example, employees are actively encouraged to seek help without any fear for their job security.
At HGV Express, we are in the business of creating happy drivers. So as well as all the knowledge and know-how you need to get your licence, we make sure you know all the tips, tricks and techniques to ensure a long – and happy – career ahead.