After spending hours, days, weeks, and months on the road, truck drivers can become tired of their repetitive routine. But sometimes what seems like tiredness from the job is more than that — they might be experiencing truck driver burnout. When a trucker becomes both physically and mentally exhausted, they’re over-exhaustion makes them a danger to themselves and those on the road.
The day to day life of a trucker can be extremely draining, and if not careful, they can be completely consumed by the lifestyle. It’s important to take the necessary precaution to avoid getting to a dangerous level of emotional and physical exhaustion.
The Signs of Truck Driver Burnout
Truck driver burnout affects every trucker differently, so it’s important to be aware of all the signs to keep an eye for:
- Exhaustion – A trucker that is dealing with burnout is going to be exhausted both mentally and physically. This means that they might act lazy, sleep longer than normal, spend more time at truck stops, and find themselves dozing off. Even with the recommended eight hours of sleep, they’ll continue feeling as though they are unrested.
- Lack of motivation – When the burnout hits, the truck driver might find themselves doing the bare minimum on the job. What was once an enjoyable job has now turned into something that doesn’t motivate them to get out of bed. They might have a hard time motivating themselves to get behind the wheel every morning.
- Poor eating habits – Being on the road, truck drivers tend to have poor eating habits. If struggling with truck driver burnout, those eating habits can go from bad to worse. The lack of motivation in their day to day will carry over into their diet and negatively impact their health.
- Substance abuse – The mental exhaustion and long hours away from friends and family can make it hard for a trucker dealing with burnout to cope. When this happens, they might find themselves turning to alcohol or drugs to get through the day. If this happens, it could be a sign that they are dealing with truck drive burnout.
If any of these signs are present, they must be dealt with to stop the problem from getting worse and leading to depression.
How to Deal with Truck Driver Burnout
If you or a truck you know is experiencing truck driver burnout, you need to take the necessary steps to get them back on track. Here are a few ways you can help the trucker:
- Work-Life Balance – Being on the road for long periods is an extremely difficult and isolating job — and spending time away from your friends and family can make it hard to remember why you love what you do in the first place. Ensure that the trucker takes time away from the job. Whether that means stepping away at a decent hour each night and calling home, reading a book, or catching the game on TV, or taking off a month at a time to spend with your family, they must find ways to maintain a positive work-life balance.
- Maintain a Schedule – The road can be unpredictable. Some days are going to fly as the miles increase on the odometer, while others seem to crawl from endless hours of traffic. While a trucker might not be in control of what’s on the road in front of them, they are in control of their schedule. Maintaining a structured schedule can do wonders for preventing or resolving truck driver burnout. Not only does it help foster work-life balance, but it ensures that the trucker is getting the recommended amount of sleep each night.
- Test for Sleep Apnea – If they’re made the recommended changes and the trucker is still feeling unrested and overly exhausted throughout the day, they might be suffering from sleep apnea. With a self-administered sleep apnea test, the trucker can perform the test on the road and send it in to have it analyzed by a sleep professional who can recommend the proper treatment method.
ApneaMed Provides Sleep Apnea Testing for Truck Drivers
If you need sleep apnea testing as a commercial truck driver, ApneaMed can provide you with everything that you need to get a good night’s sleep — which will help prevent truck driver burnout! Contact our team to learn more about our at-home sleep apnea study.