Truck driving is an intensive, tiring and demanding job. Drivers spend countless hours on the road and, eventually, the job turns into more of a lifestyle.

 

After many months or years of endless driving a truck driver is likely to experience burnout, often leading to emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. Not only is this a hazard for the drivers themselves, but other drivers occupying the road as well. 

 

Keep reading to learn more about the signs and solutions of burnout and overall trucking industry safety.

 

Signs of truck driver burnout

 

Truck and distance avoidance 

Often times, burnout begins with avoidance. A truck driver experiencing it may begin avoiding driving long distances or driving all together. When behind the wheel, drivers will often find any excuse to stop for breaks and take extended time to complete tasks.

 

Loss of motivation 

Eventually, burnout may lead to a loss of motivation and extreme procrastination. At this point, drivers will likely spend more time at truck stops and waste extra time doing various activities instead of  getting back on the road. 

 

Exhaustion

Burnout leads to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion which can take a toll on drivers. It is normal for full-time employees to feel tired after a long workday, however, truck drivers suffering from extreme exhaustion tend to feel tired through their whole shift. 

 

Loss of confidence

If not addressed immediately, burnt out drivers may start disliking the job they once loved. This often leads to a loss of confidence in themselves and their job. Drivers begin to doubt their abilities and question whether the work they are doing is important.

 

The combination of exhaustion, loss of confidence and motivation, and avoidance define burnout and has been felt by many truck drivers in the industry. How do we address these signs and improve overall trucking industry safety

 

Resolving driver burnout

 

To avoid potential danger to truck drivers and others on the road, burnout should be resolved right away. Following these guidelines will help you work through and prevent future burnouts: 

 

Vacations

You may think you cannot afford a vacation, however, it is crucial you take time off to reset your mind. Taking a few days off for vacations and holidays with family will leave you happier, healthier, and overall a more focused truck driver. 

 

Breaks

Continuous truck driving can easily lead to burn out. Take breaks when you become tired or unstable. Having an off day once a week can also help you relax and unwind after a crazy week of being on the road.

 

Stick to a schedule

Try getting a schedule that is more predictable. This helps keep your sleep pattern in check. Thus, you do not sleep behind the wheel.

 

Embrace electronic logs

Many drivers in the trucking industry are not too happy about the new electronic logs.

 

However, they help prevent burnout and overworking among truck drivers. Truck drivers are now forced off the road after 70 hrs to get more rest.

 

At TransWood, we practice proper trucking industry safety to keep our drivers and those we share the road with safe. For more information about our company or available career opportunities, visit our website or give us a call today!  

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