Prime Inc. Helping Truckers Health
On Missouri’s roadways, its imperative to have the safest truck drivers possible sharing our roads. Health and nutrition are key elements in a driver’s ability to maintain their driving safety. With this said, all of us at Ransin Injury Law would like to give a big shout out of congratulations is to Prime, Inc. of Springfield, MO for taking the initiative and spending the time and money on a program to keep its drivers as healthy as possible.
Truckload carrier Prime Inc. decided to hire a former driver to help develop a program to assist drivers with their health. Siphiwe Baleka is in command of this program for Prime Inc. and reports that his 13-week course often results in a 7% weight drop, and sometimes more, as he emphasizes metabolic improvements and nutritional “triage” for the drivers.
Prime Inc. is a great example locally of what more national carriers should be doing to help their drivers. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported:
70% of longhaul truck drivers are obese
50% smoke cigarettes
14% have diabetes
33% have no health insurance
Prime’s Baleka shared insights into his own experience as a driver which lead to him increasing his weight by 10% in his first two weeks behind the wheel. Prime’s program is aimed at improving driver’s diets by advocating lean proteins to replace carbohydrates.
Driving a truck is a tough job, the hours are long, and the environment is one that makes it even harder to stay healthy. Diet and exercise are key to good health, and those are hard to come by if you are constantly driving coast to coast. Truck drivers have no kitchen and no control over their sleep schedules. A driver’s lifestyle is almost the direct opposite of a healthy lifestyle. The steps that Prime Inc. has taken with hiring a former driver to implement this wellness program is great progress for an industry that has almost always been labeled as unhealthy.
I will often put in 14 hours in a single day, but I can get up from my desk any time I want to, whether it is to go to the bathroom or just to stretch my legs and get some fresh air outside. For a driver cruising down the road with a load does not allow you those luxuries. Even stopping a big rig just to go to the bathroom, parking, and then getting back on the road is not a quick five-minute deal; and the best fresh air you get in a rig is rolling down the window.
So, Prime’s efforts hopefully will set a high standard for all the other trucking companies in our country to do the same; treat truck drivers as they should be treated, keep them healthy, and keep all of us safer.