It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through 2020. It’s safe to say this year has not turned out how any of us expected it to. Still, the trucking industry continues, delivering the goods and materials that US citizens rely on.
And yet, it’s important to pause and take notice of the issues facing truck drivers. With an industry that literally never stops moving, it can be easy to overlook ongoing problems that truckers deal with on a daily basis.
At Woodruff Enterprises, we place great value on the health and wellbeing of the men and women operating trucks across our country. So, we thought we’d take a moment to bring awareness to the biggest issues they’re facing right now.
Safety is one of the most important parts of truck driving. In fact, it’s the biggest focus of truck driving school. It’s one of the primary reasons why people are hesitant to lower the age of truck drivers. Tractor-trailers are powerful pieces of machinery that can cause a lot of damage when mishandled.
Truckers are under a lot of pressure to make deadlines, regardless of road and weather conditions. When pushed too hard, safety can suffer. Additionally, it’s impossible to control the actions of surrounding drivers on the road.
Many people drive recklessly around semis, cutting them off or not giving them enough room to stop. This puts everyone in danger.
As we discussed in our last post, truck parking shortages are a serious issue that drivers have to deal with. Currently, there are only about 300,000 trucking spots available in the US, despite there being 3.5 million truckers on the road.
Not only does the shortage result in wasted time and money looking for parking, but drivers are often forced to park in unsafe areas.
Mental and Physical Health Issues
Truck drivers spend a lot of time in isolation as they travel the roads. While this can be part of the appeal for many drivers, it can start to take its toll on their mind and body. Physical health issues have long troubled truck drivers. Truckers are at high risk of dealing with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. Many of these issues are interconnected, creating a cycle of health issues.
Meanwhile, the trucking industry is becoming increasingly aware of the mental health issues facing drivers. One study showed that 28% of truck drivers dealt with loneliness, 27% dealt with depression, and 14.5% struggled with anxiety.
A lack of a healthy sleep schedule can also contribute to these issues. When driving schedules are inconsistent, it can be very difficult to maintain a proper sleep cycle.
Construction and Congestion
Road construction can be a serious issue for truck drivers, especially in the summertime. With tight schedules to make, an unexpected detour can cause a lot of frustration. Stop and go traffic is also particularly challenging for truck drivers.
While there are plenty of trucking jobs available, and many advertise good pay rates, the actual work that drivers receive isn’t always consistent. A pay rate is only as good as the mileage a truck driver receives, and with many companies, the mileage can shift dramatically from week to week.
The spread of the coronavirus has affected numerous industries. With truckers on the frontlines, traveling between states, they face increased exposure. Drivers dealing with other health issues are particularly susceptible to the virus.
While truck drivers spend a lot of time by themselves, many are responsible with helping load and unload freight. This puts them into contact with other people they may or may not know.
Creating a Better Future for Truck Drivers
As we said before, we value the wellbeing of truck drivers. That’s why we do things differently than most trucking companies. At Woodruff Enterprises, the majority of our drivers work in a 500-mile radius, maintaining fairly regular routes and schedules. This allows them to know the road conditions ahead of time, as well as where parking can be found.
All of our drivers receive quality at-home time and PTO, allowing them to more easily maintain their mental and physical health. They also enjoy the safety and convenience that comes with no-touch freight.
If you’re looking for a trucking company that works to alleviate the issues truck drivers continually face, consider joining the Woodruff team. We currently have trucking jobs available in Springfield, Ohio.