Why Truck Driver Wellness Affects Retention

It’s no secret the trucking industry is known as one of the most unhealthy industries to work in. In 2014, a national survey announced that 39% of truck drivers were obese and an even higher percent were overweight. HealthyTrucker highlights that becoming a truck driver can be a huge lifestyle change and sometimes personal wellness gets put on the back burner during this change. It’s hard to stay healthy on the road, especially with fast food restaurants at every truck stop and no kitchen to cook a healthy meal in.  But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for drivers at your company!

Since the results from the 2014 survey were published a few carriers such as Prime, Werner and Covenant have put together wellness programs in order to help their drivers continue to be active as much as possible while on the road. Having drivers who are in good health is essential to retaining them. First, there is a medical exam for truck drivers every two years, and if they can’t pass this test, they can’t continue to drive. Second, studies show that healthy employees perform better at work. If your drivers are unhealthy they won’t be able to work to the best of their ability which will lead to frustration, disengagement, and eventual departure.

Carriers can play a major role in helping their drivers stay healthy or change their unhealthy habits. Wellness programs, where carriers provide video workouts, healthy eating tips, stretches, and incentives for staying healthy, can really help drivers stay on track and feel empowered to stay in good health. We love a tip from truckinginfo.com that tells company managers to participate in the wellness program in order to show drivers that it’s important for everyone in the company to live a healthy lifestyle, not just the truck drivers.

Truck drivers have also taken it upon themselves to start living healthier lifestyles while on the road. Take for example, John “The Dancing Trucker” Drury. He decided to take his passion for dancing to lose over 100 pounds while still continuing to drive his truck. We interviewed John to learn more about his story and he explained how he got others involved with his goal of becoming a healthier trucker. Every time he lost 10 pounds he would go to a truck stop and invite others to dance with him. He knew this was unconventional but he said “he loves to break stereotypes and isn’t afraid to do what he loves.” We thought this was a great message because we’ve heard from truckers that they are embarrassed to do workouts at truck stops because drivers are rarely seen exercising there. John’s story emphasizes that it is possible to turn your health around out on the road and that you shouldn’t care what other people think while doing it!

Healthy living has become a major trend around the world, which has created a lot of solutions that can adjust to different needs. This means that it is an optimal time for carriers to encourage and reward a healthy lifestyle on the road because it’s not a lot of work for them. Simply providing a reason for drivers to make a change will make a big difference and quickly show results for the overall health of a company. In return this will help carriers retain more drivers who feel good about themselves, their job, and the company they drive for.

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