The Dangers of Burnout for Commercial Drivers
Normally for truckers, lots of miles means good days ahead. Sometimes a guaranteed number of miles is more than enough to get a person to apply for a job in the industry, even if that position doesn’t immediately offer the other things they want.
Getting steady work allows a driver to build up confidence, experience, and bargaining power they may use as long as they remain in the freight industry. For those who look to earn their living as drivers, a sure-thing as far as time on the road means stability to build a future on.
However, diminishing marginal utility is true with everything. The first bite of food is always better than the tenth – we value things less as we get more of them. In many cases, too much of a good thing can be bad. Likewise, too much work can cause truck drivers to become burnt out.
Burnout can occur for a number of reasons. A driver may simply have worked too many hours in a row, or they may have had a very rough few days and simply feel overwhelmed by the turn of events. Some truckers can drive for days, weeks, and even months on a steady schedule, taking overtime when its available and never feeling burnt out. But for those who do, the condition can take a heavy toll.
Burnout can cause a driver to feel fatigued and irritable. This can affect their skills, putting them in danger and possibly making them a liability on the road. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions as far as how often a driver should rest or how many hours they should take in a given period, but every trucker should know their limits when it comes to the job.
Even drivers who love their occupation and want to make extra money may choose to turn down work at some point if they have the opportunity. Resting up and refocusing is important after dealing with the demands of life on the road.
Too much time on the road can make a person long for home. Commercial operators should always take time to let themselves rest when possible – the open road will wait.