If Canadians learned anything from the surprise lockdowns in the Spring, it was the importance of Canada’s supply chains. For most of us, the food that we eat and the goods that we consume don’t come from our own residence. Our food comes from warmer climates, and our goods are often manufactured in big cities or even far off countries – all of which need to get to warehouses and store shelves to reach our homes. Making that happen takes a complicated network, and at the heart of that network are our truck drivers.
Today trucks have come a long way, and so have the people driving them. Hardworking individuals of all ages, shapes, and sizes are the folks working around the clock to keep Canada’s supply chain moving.
While driving technology has improved over time, trucks are still a cramped and difficult workplace. Truck drivers spend long hours essentially stuck in their workplace, either on their road or sleeping in the truck’s cabin. For anyone who has known the stress of a lengthy commute on a heavily trafficked highway – truck drivers face that same stress day in and day out. The amount of laser focus required to stay safe when driving on busy roads or in bad weather is required of truck drivers at all working hours. Getting in and out of a truck’s cabin is in itself physically demanding, and puts drivers at risk of numerous physical injuries. Truck drivers’ lack of movement often leaves them at higher risk for serious health issues such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. While most workers behind a desk can take frequent breaks to stretch, truck drivers do not have that same luxury. Moreover, the repeated motions involved in truck driving can cause repetitive strain injuries, along with significant leg pain and discomfort.
Those long hours combined with that pain and discomfort can make for some uncomfortable off-work hours as well. The scheduling demands of the job can require drivers to work at varying and unusual hours, both in daylight and in the dark of night. Chronic pain and strain mixed with irregular sleeping hours can lead to increased health concerns – all of which come full circle in impacting a driver’s working life. There are also mental health concerns with the work as well. Lonely days and sleepless nights, or sleepless days and lonely nights on some shifts, can be detrimental to a driver’s mental health, and those long stretches away from family and friends can make it difficult to maintain a normal routine when at home.
For all the truck drivers out there, we thank you for your service, and we understand the difficulties you face every single day in your work. While you’re used to ‘toughing it out’ and working through the pain, there may come a day when your physical or mental health may mean that you are simply unable to work. That is the day that we are here to help.
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