Staying Alert During A Long Distance Haul
As a premier digital transport provider, Autosled works to streamline vehicle shipments. Transporters are a vital part of this business, keeping trucks full and receiving payments within two business days of delivery. While Autosled’s transporter network works to take care of your vehicles, we remind our transporters to take care of themselves, especially during a long-distance haul.
Sleep is a crucial part of everyone’s development, health, and general wellbeing. According to the CDC, adults, 18-60 years old need 7 or more hours of sleep a night. Truckers, in particular, need plenty of rest in order to stay alert while driving long hours (often seven days a week).
Swap big fast-food meals for healthy snacks
While a Mcdonald’s drive-through may seem like a convenient stop along your route, fast food and larger meals can increase drowsiness. According to New Scientist, large meals and meals rich in carbs have high glycemic indexes. Glucose is released quickly into the bloodstream after high glycemic meals which increases insulin production and tryptophan (a chemical causing drowsiness) levels. This is why many people experience a “food coma” after eating a large meal.
In order to counteract sleepiness after eating, stick to smaller portions and keep your snacks healthy. A candy bar may provide a temporary boost, but once the sugar high wears off, your body will start to crash. The same goes for too many cups of coffee or surgery energy drinks. Make sure to check the prescriptions as well, to make sure drowsiness isn’t listed as a side effect.
Some great healthy snack options for the road are protein bars, mixed nuts, fruit (for healthy sugar intake), and beef jerky. Chewing gum or snacks like sunflower seeds can be doubly beneficial in keeping your jaw occupied to encourage attentiveness.
Take a break or a short power nap
Dozing off at the wheel during a long haul? Pull over as soon as possible and take a nap or stretch your legs at a rest stop. Walking around and fresh air help to fend off fatigue. Whatever the situation, it’s not worth putting yourself or anyone else at risk just to meet a delivery deadline.
A short nap resets both mind and body. In order to ensure you wake up rested, rather than groggy, restrict your nap to 20 minutes, so as to not disrupt your sleep cycle. The most rejuvenating naps occur when people only go into the first or second stage of sleep.
Turn down the temperature
A warm, cozy truck is enough to make even the most seasoned trucker yawn. Turn up the air conditioning, crack a window for a breeze if the weather outside is already brisk, or even use ice or a cold towel to sustain peak mental focus.
Listen to upbeat music or an audiobook
Another foolproof way to energize yourself while completing a long haul is by engaging your mind. Upbeat music can lift your mood and get you naturally pumped up. Sing along to your favorite songs for optimal results. If music doesn’t appeal, a good action-based audiobook can break up the monotony of a long haul. When looking out at the road ahead, make sure to move your eyes left to right to scan the road rather than keeping your gaze fixed in one place for too long.
Autosled cares about our haulers and strives to make your lives easier with free access to our platform, so you can find loads on your routes with ease. We also offer reduced paperwork and electronic invoicing to save you valuable time. Since life on the road isn’t always easy or conducive to regular sleep schedules, we gathered some helpful tips for staying awake and driving safely during long hauls.
What’s your longest ride? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story and favorite tips for staying alert. Follow Autosled on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, to see if we feature your story!