Since 1933, the trucking industry's number one advocate has been the American Trucking Association (ATA). In addition to educating policy makers and the general public, ATA has been working hard to advocate for innovative and research-based policies meant to develop highway safety, security, environmental sustainability and profitability. Working hand in hand with state associations, affiliated conferences and individual members, ATA strengthened the role trucking plays in the economy, while promoting the industry's ambitious goals for both environmental awareness and highway safety.
One of the more innovative actions ATA has implemented is the Healthy Trucker Assistance Program. The program, which involves a community known as "Healthy Trucker," has been producing solutions for common problems among members of the trucking community. Some problems are health related like eating a proper diet, exercising, managing stress, and dealing with inconsistent sleep patterns. While other problems are more related to keeping a balanced family life while on the road. For the latter set of problems, Healthy Trucker has developed an assistance program that offers free private and confidential help through a 24/7 consulting service that can be used to help address issues with things such as parenting or maintaining relationships while on the road for an extended period of time. ATA has made strides to bring some of these issues to light, as the issues have continued to persist for many decades.
The Healthy Trucker Challenge was setup more so to address the health issues. As one would expect, general trucking industry trends include: a decrease in life expectancy, increased disability claims, negative health perceptions, and deteriorating health. A lot of these problems can be attributed to the same thing: truckers are expected to drive long hours and meet strict deadlines. When trying to meet said deadlines, finding time to stretch and exercise or locate a decent meal can be near impossible. Even worse, many drivers have become reliant on drugs, such as caffeine pills, to get them through particularly difficult stretches of time. That's where the research has come into play. The results indicated that small changes in a driver's routine can go a long way in increasing the overall health of the drivers. Participating drivers lost an average of 10 pounds, and reported increases in energy levels and decreased need for stimulating supplements.
Mountain Regional Equipment Solutions has always been big on promoting advocacy groups like ATA, as well as groups within other industries like SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America) and AGC (Associated General Contractors) as they research and develop safety and sustainability within their respected industries. When it comes to the trucking industry, many of the solutions recommended by ATA involve making time for healthy habits within a trucker's routine. The easiest way to make time for a trucker on the road is to automate necessary tasks that have always been required for the standard operation of the vehicles. For example, the addition of an automated lubrication system can create time for the driver by eliminating manual greasing and additional service stops. Most importantly, the systems dramatically reduce down time, the number one culprit that forces drivers to skip breaks and consume caffeine pills. In addition to creating valuable time for drivers, automated lubrication systems also reduce repair costs and make vehicles more environmentally-friendly.
For more information on ATA, visit their website at www.trucking.org, and for more information on the ATA Challenge, visit www.atachallenge.com. To discuss automated lubrication systems or the implementation of any of our industry automation products, please contact one of our specialists today.