The Responsibility Of Being An Owner Operator Truck Driver

As an owner operator truck driver, you are carrying a heavy load. As both the employer and an employee, life can quickly become a major headache. It may be difficult to separate the roles. It may also be hard to recognize the extra responsibilities of being an owner-operator.

Becoming a truck driver was the first step. Many do not go beyond this. They are content with the life of a trucker. When someone elects to become an owner-operator, however, this increases the responsibilities and changes the dynamics. This is specifically true when the owner-operator hires other truckers.

It does not matter whether the owner-operator is in charge of a single woman truck driver or several drivers. This includes a team truck drivers, male and female who are now under his or her command. It is now up to the owner-operator to ensure all members are safe and well as they drive the roads across the country. To do so, the owners, as well as the drivers, must understand the risks.

What does it mean to be an owner operator truck driver?
What does it mean to be an owner operator truck driver?

What Are The Risks?

Some risks of being a truck driver are obvious. They face them whenever they take to the roads: hazardous weather conditions, dangerous driving by others and driver error. This is applicable to men and women truck drivers as well as civilians. While an owner cannot control the weather, he/she can train drivers to handle their rigs safely. An owner can also ensure the trucks are in excellent condition - properly maintained. Installing safety devices is also essential. These actions will decrease the chance of such accidents occurring.

Yet, truck driving also has hidden risks. They can result in the deterioration of both the physical and mental well-being of the driver and increase the potential for driver error. These unseen dangers until recently have been neglected by driver and owner alike. Responsible owner operator truck driver companies, however, are currently seeking and implementing solutions. While driving truck will always be risky, the putting in place of these programs will reduce the hidden costs of trucking.

What Are The Hidden Costs Of Trucking?

The life of a trucker conceals certain occupation-based risks. A sedentary life results in a high level of obesity. Such weight gain is not a gender issue. For men and women truck drivers weight gain is almost a given.

Obesity results in a high incidence of Type Two Diabetes. It can create the ideal conditions for high blood pressure and cardio-vascular problems. Heart attacks, certain types of cancer and even arthritis are common. The AAOHN Journal contains several studies between 2007 and 2012 that contain a list of potential health problems. A 2010 study divided them accordingly:

  • Psychological and psychiatric disorders
  • Damage caused by disturbed biological cycles
  • Musculoskeletal ailments
  • Cancer and respiratory health problems
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Substance abuse and dangerous sexual practices

Potential Solutions

A driver does not have to go down this path. Obesity and related health problems are avoidable. While it is ultimately up to the individual driver, an owner-operator can help. He or she can offer programs in various areas. According to the current literature, a number of companies are accepting their responsibilities. They are initiating various health conscious projects. They are also becoming actively conscious of the benefits resulting from these plans.

Possible actions an owner-operator can take:

  • Talking to the drivers about the risks of weight gain
  • Preparing an in-house plan on how to eat healthy on the road
  • Arranging with a local or national nutritional or weight control company to provide discounts as well as programs geared to address specific trucker issues
  • Seeing if a gym membership is also feasible. Try to arrange for one that covers the region(s) travelled
  • Seeing if it is possible to fit trucks out with grills and exercise equipment
  • Contacting agencies that provide maps of trails and paths near loading and unloading centers
  • Encouraging healthy eating and lifestyle through more than literature
  • Creating a contest to lose weight

Responsible Ownership

Being an owner operator truck driver means taking charge. It also requires becoming responsible for other drivers. Keeping everyone who shares the road safe is a priority. Make sure the rigs are in the best shape possible. Yet, also ensure the drivers of these rigs are healthy. If both rigs and drivers are in good physical and emotional shape, the road will be a safer place for all.

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As a truck driver, I see what the business of driving a truck can do to your health. I recognized early in my career the need to get an stay health.

We welcome your comments and suggestions for healthy snack ideas and ways to stay fit. Staying healthy is important for all of us.

Feel free to share your experiences of your life as a trucker and how you combat health issues. You can do this via our contact form.