Four things you may not have known about long-distance truck drivers
As we’ve mentioned before, three of our key cornerstones are road safety, social development and sustainability. With that in mind, it is important to look at some things that the general public might not be aware of when it comes to the real heroes of our logistics network, our drivers. Here are four things you might not have known about long-distance drivers.
They Face Numerous Health Risks
Long-distance truck driving can take a toll on the health of truck drivers. Drivers often face long hours behind the wheel, exposure to hazardous road conditions, and limited access to nutritious food and exercise. As a result, many truck drivers in Africa suffer from health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. At Unitrans, we are mindful of this and work hard to ensure our drivers are equipped with knowledge on effective body functioning by sharing the benefits of sleep, exercise, nutrition and mental health. Our must-have training experience for every driver also shares info on the most common health concerns facing drivers along with signs and symptoms to be aware of. Through our health and wellness campaigns, we offer legal advice, financial advice, unlimited telephonic counselling and face-to-face counselling to all Unitrans employees. Driver behaviour is monitored through onboard technologies and drivers are referred to the EWP (employee wellness program) for support when behaviour such as critical fatigue becomes a repeated occurrence. This hands-on, one-on-one attention and coaching creates a psychologically safe environment with continuous opportunities to work towards wellness goals and allows us as Unitrans to support the employee both on the truck and at home.
They Play a Vital Role in Africa’s Economy
Long-distance truck drivers are crucial to the functioning of many African economies, as they transport goods and raw materials across the continent. Many businesses in Africa rely on these drivers to transport goods to markets and customers, making them a vital part of the supply chain. At Unitrans, we are mindful of this and work hard to ensure our drivers understand that they are the very core of our business. We show appreciation for our divers by investing heavily in a safety-first culture. This is lived out by our award-winning training in the market on-board technology and high-quality processes in risk mitigation.
They Face Challenges with Border Crossing
Crossing borders in Africa can be a challenging and time-consuming process for truck drivers, with lengthy customs checks, fees, and roadblocks being common. These challenges can cause significant delays in the transportation of goods, increasing the cost of doing business and reducing the competitiveness of African businesses. At Unitrans, we are mindful of this and work hard to ensure our drivers have safe overnight stops, with good facilities to rest properly. Unitrans makes use of border runners to ensure our drivers go through customs as quickly and effectively as possible. In certain cases, double drivers are used to ensure they are always well-rested and not fatigued due to long waiting periods.
They Are at Risk of Crime and Violence
Long-distance truck drivers in Africa often travel through areas that are known for high levels of crime and violence. Drivers may face risks such as theft, hijacking, and physical violence, making their work particularly challenging and dangerous. At Unitrans, it’s our priority to create a safe environment for our colleagues, our customers, our families, and the public at all times. One of the ways we do this is by dedicating a training module to ‘handling unexpected situations’ which creates a realness around the current risks to drivers and provides processes and protocols to follow to help our drivers reach their homes and families safely. Our vehicles are also fitted with monitoring equipment that assists in keeping the driver safe and provides route guidance through the monitoring and supervisory teams. Safe and secure overnight stops are identified and drivers are requested to make use of only these dedicated safe areas to rest.