OTR Flatbed Drivers can Keep Moving and Stay Healthier with Some Simple Lifestyle Changes
When it comes to OTR truck driving, the difference between flatbed and dry van is significant in many ways, especially when it comes to the physical demands of the job.
Flatbed drivers move more – lifting, pulling and stretching objects to secure their loads – and generally are more active throughout the day, rather than just sitting in the driver’s seat.
But that doesn’t mean that flatbed drivers can compromise on their lifestyle and health!
We’ve compiled some basic tips and tricks to help drivers who are on the road for longer periods of time, generally OTR and regional drivers who spend a week or more on the road.
Exercise is Part of Daily Life for a Flatbed Driver – Be Prepared
Truck driving is normally a sedentary type of job, but flatbed drivers get a workout in as part of their job!
Several times each day, a driver will need to either secure or unsecure a load, plus double-and-triple check that everything is fastened, clamped and anchored for safety.
This requires quite a bit of physical activity lifting tarps, pulling and securing straps, climbing up on the truck bed and more. What flatbed drivers need to worry about more than exercise is stretching their bodies to help avoid injury.
Some easy stretches in the morning, on breaks, at the end of the day or even while at a stop light can definitely help to improve a driver’s flexibility to make the job easier all around! Here are some simple stretches that truckers can do just about anywhere.
Eating Better While on the Road
Fast food and unhealthy meals are abundant at nearly every truck stop across the US. So, it takes a little bit of extra work to eat healthy on a daily basis!
While some lucky drivers have a small refrigerator in the truck, this likely isn’t the case, so you’ll be eating at diners and restaurants, and snacking on the road. The key is to make good choices about what you order and the snacks you bring along.
Most restaurants offer relatively healthy options such as cobb salads to fill you up on lean protein and vegetables, omelets packed with roasted potatoes and peppers or a great steak or pork chop. Avoiding heavy sauces, going easy on the cheese and staying away from fatty meats like sausage can help you stay healthier on the road.
And for snacks, be sure to pick up some mixed nuts, seasoned jerky, baked chips, yogurt and other munchies that aren’t loaded with sugar or salt.
Join a Truck Stop Reward Program
Make sure to take advantage of some of the many truck stop reward programs for drivers! Many allow drivers to download an app to track your purchases, and reward members with free showers, laundry facilities, and other amenities like coffee and snacks. If there’s one thing that keeps a truck driver going more than diesel, it’s a great cup of coffee! Various programs also offer truck maintenance, merchandise, and more
Flatbed truck drivers can also take advantage of the many U.S. truck stops. Some of the top ones in the country are the Iowa 80 truck stop in Walcott, Iowa, which features 900 parking spots, or the Jubitz Travel Center in Portland, Oregon. It showcases 15 acres of parking, a 24-hour weigh scale, nine fuel lanes, and a huge convenience store. The Little America stop in Flagstaff, Arizona is also a fantastic stop that can give flatbed truckers hotel lodging and amazing scenery.
Explore the World of Flatbed Trucking
Want to learn more about being a CDL flatbed truck driver? Modular Transportation is a great place to start!
From our flatbed trucking blog to our new driver quiz, paid training and beyond, we’re here to help you get into the world of flatbed driving.
If you have a CDL-A and 1-year of experience, we invite you to browse our flatbed job openings, fill out an online application and talk with our recruiter to learn why Modular drivers are with us for the long-haul. Connect with us today!