All About Driver Fatigue and How to Manage It

All jobs can become tiring, but haulage work is a real killer when it comes to long hours. Many delivery workers agree that being on the road for long stretches of time can make it difficult for them to ensure they’re having enough rest, even if they allow themselves to stop once in a while.

If you’re a fleet manager, the wellbeing of your drivers should be one of your top priorities, and giving them enough time to rest and recharge is a huge part of this. Haulage work is not easy, and some workers may feel pressured into staying behind the wheel for hours at a time, due to job deadlines and road issues. Not only is fatigue bad for personal health, it is also extremely dangerous on the roads.

A Risky Business

Driving while fatigued is dangerous for anyone, but hauliers in particular have a huge safety risk since their vehicles are so large. Regardless of how safe their driving habits are, tiredness can still cause hauliers to make mistakes behind the wheel, and these mistakes can, in the worst cases, result in casualties.

The problem with driver fatigue is that it’s difficult to identify. Other road dangers such as alcohol and drugs are easier to control and avoid, but tiredness can creep up on your drivers without them (or you) even noticing. Whether they’ve been in haulage work for years or just a matter of weeks, the tiredness can build up and eventually cause harmful slip-ups.

How to Solve the Problem

Fleet managers have a whole host of responsibilities, but one of the most important is looking after their drivers. In order to recognise and effectively avoid issues, you should make sure you are aware of the various possible causes of tiredness during haulage work and how to manage these causes across your fleet. You must also be aware of the possible consequences and how to address these issues with your drivers.

Top Tip: There are various useful talks and seminars happening across the transport industry specifically addressing this issue. Attend one of these talks and you’ll be sure to avoid many more instances of driver fatigue within your fleet.

One of the best ways to help your drivers get back on track is to allow more time for jobs or simply encourage more rest stops. With the latest telematics solutions, you can keep an eye on your fleet and make sure they’re resting properly before heading back out on the roads.

Having a career in haulage work is no mean feat, whether you’re out doing delivery jobs or managing the fleet behind the scenes. Luckily, with useful talks from the professionals, various telematics solutions and improved tracking systems, keeping on top of driver fatigue is getting easier by the day.

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers, and is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

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