Good habits to fight health hazards for truckers – part one

These are extraordinary times and our truckers; it has to be said, are some of the unsung heroes of those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. They, at great risk to their own health and well-being, continue to provide the essential service of shipping goods, no matter what and we salute you.

We have fairly extensively dealt with what truckers are facing directly associated with COVID-19, and have given advice accordingly, but facing this pandemic is not the only time that truckers have to deal with health hazards.

We have all learned that building one’s immunity and regular exercise are good ways to try to prevent Coronavirus, but let’s look realistically at the difficulties that Truckers face in that regard…

Health hazards Truckers face

  • A lack of exercise generally due to long stints on the road
  • Cramped spaces – not unlike airline travel, for extended periods
  • Un-balanced and unusual sleep cycles due to shift driving
  • Inhalation of unhealthy fumes – like diesel fuel
  • Excessive stress through high levels of concentration for extended periods of time
  • Generally an unbalanced diet, due to the visitation of too many ‘fast food’ truck stops

Add Coronavirus to this, and it becomes a pretty scary prospect. We all know how we feel after long spells of driving – now imagine how your health can be compromised due to these factors.

Some solid solutions

Fortunately, there is a lot of realistic advice we can give in this regard. This is taken from seasoned truckers who have faced and overcome these issues for many years and managed to maintain at least a reasonable level of health.

It is essentially about replacing these health hazards, one at a time, through forming good health habits. Forming a habit takes approx. 30 days so, just as we will all have formed healthier hand washing and other hygiene habits during the time of the lockdown, in the same period, Truckers can change their health habits.

It is quite a big subject, so this is only the first part, but here are a few good habits to fight health hazards for truckers

Fight COVID through flu resistance

This is not one that is usually on the list, but at this time, we are being told by health authorities that getting a flu injection is a good idea and can assist in resistance to Coronavirus. We heartily suggest that trucking companies, or lone truckers, should ensure that all drivers (and other staff) have the advised flu vaccine injection ASAP!

Good nutrition builds immunity – and good health

It is said that ‘we are what we eat’ and not only does proper nutrition make for general good health, but it also builds a stronger immunity to viruses and other dread diseases. It may feel like a pain to have to pack a healthy meal for the journey, but it is probably the most vital first step to make to change from facing health hazards to good health habits.

Use whole wheat or rye bread when making sandwiches and include fruit and vegetables in your food offering. Plenty of vegetables and at least some fruit are the essential immune fighters – especially citrus fruits. So even if you only pack sandwiches, include tomato and lettuce and make a vegetable smoothie for the ride, plus a couple of items of fruit and nuts to snack on if they are in your price range.

The main thing is at all costs to avoid pies, fast foods and anything with a lot of sugar – like sweets and biscuits etc. Rooibos tea, 100% fruit or vegetable juice (watered down a bit) and plenty of water will all stand you in good stead and help to build immunity.

Some things never change

Yes, we are facing extraordinary times, but one thing that never changes is that FAW trucks are well built, strong vehicles built in South Africa for Africans and we, as a company, will always be there for our trucking companies and their drivers.

Contact a dealer near you or directly contact us to find out about our Driver training programs and our wide range of new and used top-quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers, which come standard with competitive warranties and 24hr roadside assistance.

Remember we have just touched the tip of the iceberg in this article, so do look out for Good habits to fight health hazards for truckers – part 2 – and in the meantime stay healthy and stay safe!

Trucking heroes face multiple challenges during lockdown

We are diverting from our usual series of ‘great trucking advice’ by taking a look at the many challenges that are facing truckers at this time. They really are our unsung heroes as regardless of this virus that is threatening so many lives, they need to keep trucking to deliver essential goods to us all.

Truckers are always faced with the danger of simply being on our roads and the inevitable accidents that can happen, but in these times, they face much more. They not only face the health threat of COVID-19 as they are not in lockdown, but out and about and being exposed to others, but they are facing certain other challenges too. Here are just a few of them…

Truck hijacking takes a COVID twist

One case of ‘COVID hijacking’ was reported in the news on the day that the lockdown began and the local report told of a brazen and somewhat hair- raising experience for the trucker involved. It went on to say in essence that “the robbers clothed themselves in ‘COVID-19 gear’ – a clear indication they don’t want to get infected with the dreaded coronavirus.

As a bonus, the mask and gloves shielded their faces while fingerprints were safely hidden inside the surgical gloves. Digital True North said on their Facebook page that the truck was forced off the road on the Friday at 15:54 just outside Rustenburg. They further reported that the driver was found unharmed and the truck was also found abandoned later.

One of the suspects was armed, and they were using a silver Mercedes Benz as their getaway car. It is not known if more suspects involved in the hijacking.”

Cross-border road transport restrictions

Truckers who go cross border are at this time also facing certain restrictions, and we thought our truckers might want to know these facts:

  • All cross-border road passenger movements have been prohibited during the lockdown.
  • Cross-border freight movement has continued to and from neighbouring countries

Drivers licence renewals

Vehicle testing centres and driver’s licence testing centres have been closed, but should your driver’s licence expire during the duration of the lockdown, it shall be deemed to remain valid until the end of the lockdown. The grace period of renewal is within 14 working days thereafter unless otherwise determined.

Some things don’t change

It’s at times like these that Drivers are glad to be driving solid, reliable new or used trucks like those found in the range available from FAW, built in South Africa for Africa. Regardless of any change or challenges, our standard warranties and 24/7 roadside assistance will keep the wheels of our FAW customers turning.

Contact us or go to our website to find a dealership near you and find out about our incredible range of tried and tested top-quality freight carriers, truck tractors, tippers and mixers.

There is no doubt that truckers, like medical workers and all those who provide essential services, are the superheroes of his time. Be proud and be strong – as these challenges, like all others, will eventually pass. Most importantly, be safe out there!