If you’ve been driving for any amount of time, you already know how hard it can be on your body.
Truck drivers are one of the top professions to be out of work due to an injury, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). That’s not good for you or your wallet. If you think it’s a lost cause, and you’re destined to be in pain as a truck driver, think again.
Getting the ergonomics right of how to sit, hold the steering wheel, and position yourself as you drive can go a long way to decrease your soreness and lower your chances of injury while in your cab.
Tips for Better Ergonomics for Truckers
Sitting in your truck isn’t the same as sitting in a chair. Poor posture, the vibrations while you drive, and the shape of your seat can all cause pain and injury. Try these tips when you’re on the road instead:
- Change your position in the seat at least once or twice an hour. Even a small adjustment helps.
- Move your hand position frequently.
- Don’t grip the steering wheel too hard for too long.
- Adjust your seat so your feet can comfortably reach the gas pedal, brake, and clutch.
- Adjust the backrest so your arms are at a slight angle while you’re holding the steering wheel.
- Your entire back – from shoulders to bottom – should lean against the backrest.
- Your thighs should be completely on the seat.
- The back of your knee should be no more (or less) than an inch away from your seat cushion.
- Make sure your bottom is at the very back of your seat and your torso is upright while you drive. Don’t slouch.
- Check your seat suspension. You don’t want it to be too soft. Your spine could be damaged if the seat hits the floor when you’re on bad roads.
It’s also important to take care of yourself out of the truck, too. Stretch slowly and carefully after you get out of the cab. Exercise to keep yourself in good shape. Watch your posture in and out of the truck. Do these things, and you’ll substantially decrease your chance of injury while on the job.