8 easy ways MC truck drivers can manage stress and fatigue on the road

While working in the trucking industry can be stressful, working as an MC truck driver can be particularly challenging. Having a Multi-Combination (MC) class heavy vehicle licence in Victoria means that you can drive any heavy combination unit (any motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles other than a motorcycle).

As an MC truck driver, you can expect to transport bulky goods or materials. You may even find yourself hauling logs, transporting livestock or working as a tanker driver. MC truck driving jobs can involve long shifts working to tight timelines, managing heavy loads and navigating busy traffic. Today we reveal 8 helpful tips for managing stress and fatigue while on the road doing MC truck driving jobs.

Take regular breaks

It’s perhaps not surprising that Sydney Morning Herald dubbed truck cabins one of the deadliest workplaces in Australia earlier this year. Driving long distances on your own can cause fatigue, can be potentially very dangerous when you’re behind the wheel. Taking short breaks, at least every two hours, will help to keep you alert and minimise the chance of fatigue. Don’t wait until you feel really tired, rather, you should be taking a break at least every two hours. When you pull over, get outside and walk around, get your blood flowing with some dynamic stretches, and take deep breaths.

Fuel your body

Eating the right foods can have a huge impact on your both stress and fatigue managements. Choosing meals that are high in protein and low in GI, as wholegrain sandwiches, nuts, and bananas, will support good energy levels. You should try to make meals at home that you can take with you because finding healthy sustainable options on the go isn’t always easy.

Hydrate

Get yourself a 2L bottle of water and keep it in your truck. Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status. Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function. It’s also a good idea to avoid caffeinated drinks, such as coke, coffee, and energy drinks as they all contribute to dehydration.

Wear sunglasses

Glare from the sun affects your ability to see, is responsible for a range of road accidents, and peaks stress levels. Investing in a high-quality pair of sunglasses is something small that can have huge benefits.

Check your medication

If you are taking any prescription medication be sure to consult your pharmacist or doctor about whether they may cause drowsiness and irritability. In addition, some over-the-counter antihistamines and other medications can cause drowsiness so it’s important that you check the side effects of anything you take.

Keep the temperature low

A hot, stuffy truck cabin is the quickest route to fatigue. Try to keep the temperature low and your windows down to let the fresh air roll in.

Breathe

It sounds simple, but managing your stress levels can sometimes be as simple as remembering to take deep breaths. Practicing simple breathing techniques are scientifically proven to lower stress and improve alertness. Not to mention, you’ll be better equipped to handle the inevitable frustrations that arise when timelines are tight and traffic is at a standstill.

Exercise

Managing stress and fatigue while you’re working can be greatly improved by what you do when you’re not working. Having a regular exercise routine that you stick to consistently will improve your sleep, energy levels, and mindset immensely. The key is finding something that works for you and to do at least 30 minutes, every day.

Learning how to manage stress and fatigue while you’re doing MC truck driving jobs is important – both for your safety and the safety of other drivers. And, while no advice that we give can outweigh a good night’s sleep and shorter shifts, following these tips we’ve just provided will help you stay as safe as possible on the road.

 

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