ALK Blog Series – Stress Less

Recently, we’ve been hearing more and more about the stresses that truck drivers have to face while on the road. Situations like getting lost, being late to a delivery, or driving in unsafe weather conditions, can have a huge impact on a driver’s attitude and stress level. Can you imagine the pressure of getting thousands of dollars worth of goods delivered safely and on time to keep customers satisfied?

Stress is the result when one has to deal with change and can create substantial effects on the body, such as:

  • Headaches/migraines
  • Upset stomach
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Loss of sleep

Fact: Approximately 1/4th of U.S. commercial truck drivers on America’s roads report experiencing sleep apnea.

Stress on Warning Road Sign on Sunset Sky Background.

Alleviating some of the day-to-day stress can lead to increased job satisfaction and better retention overall.  Let technology help! Here’s a few situations where using technology can lead to less stress.

Use in-cab navigation: it’s an instant relief to drivers! Using truck-specific, voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions decreases the likelihood of a driver missing a turn or taking a non-truck legal road. Navigation provides more accurate ETAs and can even go as far as to communicate with the back office for real time updates, eliminating manual calls. Drivers want to drive, not plan!

Pre-plan HOS breaks: With the increased Hours of Service (HOS) mandates the trucking industry has recently seen, there is a heightened focus on when and for how long drivers can schedule breaks. Without proper calculations and insight, some drivers are forced to make these decisions themselves, leading them to choose the wrong location or break for an incorrect amount of time, ultimately impacting their scheduled delivery times. Fleet Managers or dispatchers can utilize pre-planning systems that factor break times directly into the drivers’ planned routes.  This eliminates any pressure the drivers feel on making impactful decisions.

Be aware of impending weather: Driving a vehicle in an area affected by severe weather conditions is stressful for any driver. Using a visualization tool in the back office where weather overlays are displayed directly on a map along with current or future route plans allows fleet managers to accurately assess potential delivery or safety impacts. Recently, Transport America implemented such an alert system, setting up automated emails to be sent directly to Fleet Leaders whose trucks are affected by weather systems and when and if conditions change. This allowed managers to notify drivers ahead of the impact or safely re-route them if necessary, alleviating driver anxiety. (Read Transport America’s Case Study)

In the unpredictable industry of trucking, ALK Technologies strives to create solutions that help drivers navigate, manage their hours of service, and avoid unsafe weather conditions. In decreasing overall driver stress and anxiety, the ultimate payoff is safer roads for all travelers.

Learn more about PC*MILER, CoPilot Truck, and ALK Maps

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