Being a HGV driver can be a stressful job. But first, you have to get HGV Licence for being a HGV driver. Between tight load deadlines, truck parking issues, constantly changing regulations, and being away from home and family HGV drivers can get stressed and feel burned out. But these tips can keep you relaxed, so you can stay healthy and feel well rested.
What is fatigue?
Driver fatigue is used a lot in the trucking industry, but what is it? Fatigue is a lack of physical or mental energy that hurts performance. This can be because you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re working too many hours or because of stressful work and non-work activities. Driver fatigue is also part of the FMCSA’s CSA HOS Compliance BASIC, meaning you shouldn’t drive more hours than allowed under HOS regulations requirements. Driving beyond your requirements puts you at risk for driver fatigue and violations.
Here are some few tips to avoid driver fatigue:
Get Plenty of Sleep
The most obvious thing you can do is sleep. The bottom line is you’ll feel tired throughout the day if you don’t get enough of sleep. Every single night, you want to make sure you get enough rest. Everyone has various sleep requirements, with some people only needing between 5–6 hours of sleep per night. Some people need up to nine hours of sleep per night. Figure out how much sleep you require in order to feel refreshed in the morning and then get to bed at the suitable time. When you are fully rested, it decreases the chance of experiencing driver fatigue.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Skipping meals or eating at odd times can make you feel tired or give you food cravings. It can also hurt your sleep if you go to bed on an empty stomach or eat a heavy meal right before bed. A good option is to try a light snack before bed for a restful night.
Dehydration can lead to sleepiness, headaches and muscle pains. You have enough to worry about on the road without all of those aches and pains, so stay hydrated. An essential thing to keep in mind is that water doesn’t just satisfy your thirst. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking water can help regulate your body temperature, lubricate cushion joints, and protect your spinal cord along with other sensitive tissues — all of which contribute to your overall health and combating fatigue.
Move around when you start to feel tired
You can feel a bit stiff and tired after driving for many hours because sitting for long periods means that blood doesn’t flow to your legs and other parts of your body. A basic solution is to pull over at a rest stop or to the side of the road and stretch your legs and arms, probably even go for a little walk if it is safe to do so. Normal stretching will boost you and keep you focussed on the journey at hand.
Take Mini Naps
On top of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, HGV drivers should also take power naps throughout the day. If you feel yourself becoming drowsy, pull over and rest. Plus, taking short naps can actually give your body the extra boost of energy that it requires. So give in to your body and take a little snooze before you get back on the road.
We hope these tips help you stay well-rested and safe on the road. We, at HGV Training Services (HGVT), offer training across the whole range of DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) licence categories including PCV licence, Forklift Training and all elements of the new Driver CPC. We cannot take a driving test for you but we can make sure that everything you get in training will be of the highest possible standard.