Truck Driver Burnout And What You Can Do About It
Truck driver burnout happens more often that you think. And, it’s more than just a lack of focus while on the road. Burnout can encompass physical and mental exhaustion, anger and bitterness over the job, and doubting your capabilities as a good driver. That’s a lot for any driver to deal with. And, there’s no doubt that burnout can often be responsible for driver turnover.
So, what can carriers and managers do to help their drivers?
For The Manager: Solutions To Help Mitigate Truck Driver Burnout
More often than not, burnout is something that builds up over time rather than a phenomenon that happens overnight. We believe it’s extremely important to train your managers on how to identify the early signs and symptoms of burnout. The most obvious ones are constant, negative remarks about the job, and a general reluctance to do assignments.
There’s no one quick and easy fix, but there are several critical things carriers can do to help their drivers. The most apparent solution is to ensure your drivers have the resources, training, and time to actually do their job properly. If they don’t know how to do something or are struggling with their work, provide them with additional training. If they feel constantly rushed to get a job done, build in a little extra time for each assignment.
Reach out to your drivers. Have monthly or weekly check-ins and encourage your drivers to talk to you if they need anything. Drivers are alone most of the day so showing them your support can make a massive difference in overall morale and outlook.
For The Driver: Taking Care Of Yourself
Take regular holidays and vacations. Stop worrying that you can’t afford to take the time off when, in fact, you can’t afford NOT to take the time away from long hours, days, and weeks on the road. The road will always be there. Your mental health and sanity may not.
Add predictability to your work by getting onto a more regular schedule. Why? Because, a more regular work schedule means more regular sleep patterns. You’re not helping anyone — not yourself and not those who share the road with you — if you’re falling asleep at the wheel or if your reaction time and focus is compromised due to exhaustion.
For more information about truck driver health and wellness be sure to check out this blog post: Truck Driver Ergonomics: Best Practices and Tips
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