Nighttime temperatures are beginning to drop, and as cold weather appears on the horizon we want truckers to stay healthy. We have three suggestions that can add safety and fit easily into a trucker’s daily routine to keep the muscles and skeleton limber and ready for any movement.
1. Warming Up
You are tired after a day of driving and ready to be finished, but your load still needs to be moved. We get it. However, lifting a heavy load immediately after long hours sitting can increase injury as your spinal discs are more vulnerable to injury from being seated all day. May we suggest taking a moment to do a little warming up of your muscles and stretching prior to lifting the load? A brisk walk around the truck while adding movement to your limbs (think swinging of limbs and large steps) can add fluidity to joints and muscles after being in the same position for hours and lessen your risk of injury.
One of the easiest ways to stretch the entire body is to reach up to the sky and then bend from the top of the legs to reach toward the toes. Once you are folded forward with legs straight, grab opposite biceps, and gently sway from side to side, this movement loosens tight muscles in your lower back and lengthens hamstrings that get tight from sitting. Knees can be bent or straight as you start to stand back up. As you return to stand, slowly roll up, paying attention to any area that is tight. Perhaps a stretch on each side would help also? You should be able to notice what your body needs after taking a few moments just to scan your body. Once you are warm and stretched, you are ready to safely lift heavy objects.
3. Lifting Correctly
You are no doubt familiar with proper ways to lift heavy loads, as you are a truck driver. For well-being sake, we are going to quickly review these techniques to lifting, roll your eyes if you want, but we all can use a little reminding. When lifting, it is best to start with the end in mind. Where are you headed with the heavy object? Once you know, you can plan your lift accordingly and safely. Lift the load with knees bent and not using your back is the safest way to lift from the ground. But what about off the truck to the ground? A key to remember is to keep the curve of your lower back maintained, then think bent knees as you lower to the ground, in a squat fashion. Whenever possible, avoid twisting while carrying any heavy object. To keep it locked into your memory, think Start safe, maintain back Curve, bend Knees, no Twisting (SCKT).
In addition to this topic, we have written about additional health topics for truck drivers and you can find these on our website. As the outlook for the trucking industry is prosperous, we are excited to be voted a favorite company in the Southeast. But, we do more than just provide jobs. We care. In addition to offering guaranteed weekly home time, we offer industry leading direct deposit weekly pay. More can be found here about driving with us! You can also reach us with any questions at 865-354-3288.