Driver retention continues to be a long-standing issue in the trucking industry. According to the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), driver shortage and driver retention are the top two current concerns for motor carriers. That being said, keeping drivers on the road is critical, and so the industry can’t afford to lose CDL drivers to the DOT Recertification Physical.
Every two years, drivers are required to take a physical examination to ensure both their own safety and the safety of others on the roads. Truck driving is a physically and mentally demanding job, and understandably so, the driver lifestyle can take a toll on one’s health. However, when failing their exam puts them out of a job and contributes to the driver shortage problem, it’s not something to take lightly.
The most common conditions that disqualify drivers from re-certification are high blood pressure (must remain 140/90 or below) and high blood sugar (must have a normal reading of 80-120). These conditions are mostly caused by having too much salt, sodium, and/or glucose in your body. Avoiding disqualification and improving health doesn’t take a lot; simply staying hydrated and exercising daily are easy ways to ensure passing the re-certification.
Carriers can encourage their drivers to stay healthy and pass their DOT exam with these helpful tips:
- Replace one soda per day with water
- Walk a mile a day; 33 laps around your truck = 1 mile
- Add one high fiber food to your diet per day
- Eliminate one high sodium food from your diet per day
- Avoid coffee and cigarettes
- Rest well and meditate to reduce stress and anxiety
By encouraging a healthy lifestyle, not only do you help drivers remain physically fit, but also improve their mental well-being. Showing that their health and safety is important helps with employee satisfaction and overall retention. For more strategies, check out Fit to Pass, a customized health coaching program designed to keep CDL drivers living healthy on the road.