Trucking’s biggest winners
On the second weekend of this past January, there was a major ice storm that hit the Northeast. Unfortunately for me, my path of travel coincided with its path of travel. I remember it was 22 degrees and raining before it finally turned to snow. I was headed west on I-80 across Pennsylvania. As with any such storm, I fully expected to see that a number of trucks had slid off the roadway, or even worse, but as it turned out, I did not see a single big rig accident in that state.
Why? The storm was predicted and the highway crews pre-treated the roads with calcium chloride to prevent the ice from forming. The point here is this: A little pre- planning and preventive action WILL result in a safer situation for everyone.
There is another storm predicted, a different kind of storm, that will put thousands of drivers out of their seats and into the cold if preventive action is not taken now. Federal regulators are beginning to seriously deal with issues of driver health. One way the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is addressing health issues is to require that medical certifications be on file in the state that issues each driver his/her CDL. The goal is to be able to identify medically unqualified drivers and prevent them from operating on the nation’s highways. Drivers who cannot obtain a clean medical certificate face losing their CDL.
States have until Jan. 30, 2012 to get their systems up and running to comply with the ruling. More rules are being proposed such as creating a national registry of DOT certified medical examiners to conduct DOT physicals in compliance with a standardized test that is the same for everyone. The medical examiners would be held accountable by the DOT in the same way that a bartender is held accountable for serving a client too many drinks. They will be watched!
Some estimates state that 30 percent of drivers who are now on the road will be suddenly disqualified. The drivers and companies that start to focus on driver health now will be the ones that survive this storm. They will be the only ones who have the manpower to get the jobs done. These are the ones we call “Trucking’s Biggest Winners!”
We are looking for participants to take part in a wellness program called Safety thru Wellness. I lost 180 pounds and got into shape and back to health with the program. That is why I wrote a book and started a business aimed at healthy trucking. I want to share it with others and let everyone know that while losing, we will be winners, big winners!
For more information, visit my Web site at safetythruwellness.com.
Jack Kelsh is a professional driver and certified sports nutritionist.