Owner-Operators know that Preventative Maintenance (PM) on your truck pays off in the long run. Industry estimates say PM can cut your breakdown costs in half. Maintaining the health of your truck is important, but taking care of yourself is an invaluable part of being a successful Owner-Operator.
We talked to Bob Perry, the Trucker Trainer, who gave us his top three tips on
how to use personal PM to be healthy — which means staying out of the doctor’s office and on the road. Here are those tips.
1. Perform a pre-trip check of your refrigerator.
Just like you perform a pre-trip check on your truck; always inspect your fridge or your cooler before a trip to make sure you have healthy food packed. Foods like turkey wraps or all natural peanut butter and whole grain sandwiches are rich in protein and lean in fat. Have healthy meals packed to prevent you from stopping for unhealthy convenient food. Getting stuck in traffic or bad weather is inevitable, so be prepared with extra meals to keep you driving past the drive thrust.
2. Stay hydrated.
Your truck stays hydrated with fuel; you constantly have to replenish fuel to keep it running. Your body is composed of approximately 70% water and needs to be hydrated to keep it running. That doesn’t mean drinking a lot of caffeinated liquids.
(High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety and irritability, high blood pressure, and increase cholesterol.)
If you are tired and think you need caffeine to stay awake, try drinking water first and wait 10-15 minutes to see if it wakes you up. If you’re still in desperate need of caffeine, try some of the new flavored green teas like Lipton’s berry flavored diet green tea. It has 1/3 of the caffeine a cup of coffee or soda has and still tastes great.
3. Utilize your truck as a piece of workout equipment.
You would never skip an oil change if you want the engine to last. A work-out is a routine form of maintenance that your body cannot go without if you want it to run longer. It’s true that working out when you’re traveling is not easy. Getting to a gym is not always convenient, especially when you are working long, odd hours. But a terrific piece of workout equipment is always with you. While waiting for a load or unloading, use your truck as a piece of work-out equipment. Step-ups into the cab are a great way to get in some cardio. You can also do “push-offs” off the fender. The steeper the angle between you and the truck, the more weight you add to a push-off.
Staying healthy is an essential part of running your business. Steer away from disaster and the doctor’s office by using PM to keep your body and your business running smoothly.