Truck driving is a tough business. You drive for long hours, have erratic sleeping schedules and some drivers are paid by how much work they can do in a day. You want to run as many hours as possible to net the most income. If you want to continue as a safe driver then staying awake and taking care of yourself is a critical part of the job. This article will introduce some things you can do to stay awake and alert for longer periods of time.
Paramount Freight Systems wants to help our drivers in every way. If you have some additional tips to help your fellow drivers stay awake and feel more rested, please let us know. We know as owner operators you work very hard to make sure your business is profitable and running as smoothly as possible. You, the driver, are the key component to making the entire system work. Please take the time to protect yourself and stay safe on the road with these tips.
Avoid High Contrast Lights at Night
The drastic contrast between bright lights and pitch black can have an effect on your eyes that will make you feel very sleepy. It’s an interesting concept but you have bright headlights, dashboard lights and everything else around you is pitch-black. This creates a strain on your eyes trying to adjust to two extremes. Dim your dashboard lights as well; they don’t need to be as bright as a flashlight. Some drivers recommend using soft red lights in the cab at night and leaving these dim just to cut down on the surrounding darkness.
Avoid Eating Large Portions of Food
Please make sure you eat a complete meal. Don’t skip out on eating the right portion size, but make sure to not overeat. A full stomach makes anyone feel sleepy. You’re better off eating multiple smaller meals throughout the day then one or two big ones. This will also help keep your metabolism moving and with the proper diet, can help you lose weight.
Don’t Continue If You’re Tired
There is no need to risk your safety if you are tired. There’s a lot at stake driving a truck and trailer, like the freight and delivering on-time, but most importantly your life. Make sure when you feel tired you take the time to sleep. Don’t let yourself get exhausted before realizing you need sleep or you will feel less alert and groggy when you wake up.
Turn Off the Radios
The CB radio, music and talk shows can also be a strain on your energy. Your mind is constantly listening and processing everything it hears, even if you don’t think you are paying attention. As your brain gets hit with more stimuli it will wear you down over time. This doesn’t mean don’t ever use the radio. By all means keep a gentle balance of radio listening and quiet time. The hum of the road and engine can put you in a trance-like state too and your favorite jam can mix up that monotony.
Paramount Freight Systems wants to ensure our drivers are safe while out on the road. We value your hard work and want to help all drivers in any way we can. Stay tuned for part two and our additional tips. If you have any great suggestions to help other drivers stay awake, please reach out and share them on our social media channels. If you want to join one of the Best Fleets to Drive For of 2015, contact us today!
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— Paramount Freight (@DrivePFS) May 18, 2015