Healthy On The Road.

Topic 22142 | Page 1

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Jenny's Comment
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So I'm curious how everyone deals with being sick on the road.

I currently have bronchitis, it seems to be getting better, but I had the flu while on hometime at Christmas and can't imagine living through that one all alone and stuck in a truck.

Do you find motels? Suck it up? Park and hide for a few days? Doctors are difficult to access, so I'm not asking about immediate treatment (like call 911 style), how hard do you push to find one?

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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Some truck stops have clinics where one can get care. I was at a truck stop in Nevada where I found an urgent care place to get treatment. I currently have a cold and sore throat. I have day time cold medicine and cough drops in the truck. It is wise to keep things like that on the truck. It is up to the individual to decide how sick is to sick to drive. It is often possible to find health care a short walk or Uber from a truck stop.

Jenny's Comment
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I carry a first aid kit. I know the doc are out there, so maybe I wasn't clear as to my questions.

What do you do when you're too sick to drive but don't need 911?

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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If I was to sick to drive I would notify dispatch. If I was under a load they would deal with it and let me know. We are the captain of our ships. It is our CDL on the line. No load is more important than your life and health.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
PackRat's Comment
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Let your dispatch know via a Qualcomm message, ASAP. They will advise if you need to follow up with your safety department. If it's not "9-1-1 immediate", then you'll probably be granted up to 48 hours to get straightened up. If it's taking longer, best bet is to see a doctor. You'll lose miles and money, but you'll hopefully get better, plus you should get a 34 hour reset. Don't drive sick. I get migraines, that are completely debilitating. I can't do anything! Hurts to breathe! Hurts to move! Any light hurts, and I develop almost super-human hearing at those moments. Thankfully, these are extremely infrequent.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jenny's Comment
member avatar
I get migraines, that are completely debilitating. I can't do anything! Hurts to breathe! Hurts to move! Any light hurts, and I develop almost super-human hearing at those moments. Thankfully, these are extremely infrequent

Exactly the type of thing I'm asking about. Migraines and I go way back, though I haven't had one in 10yrs or so, I know this awfulness. Trying to recover in a rest area or truckstop would've killed me. As you mentioned superhuman hearing and all the noise would be excruciating. So would a motel be a better place? Just uber ride to one? Or do you just tough it out with earplugs and pillow?

My current condition is just an annoyance at this point, but it got me thinking, would I reasonably heal if it were worse while I'm in a truck.

I've been lucky for these 3 years to only be knocked down sick while on hometime. The Manthing feeds me and watches over me. If I had the flu out here instead of there, idk how well I'd of done. I'm sure I'd be torn about my comfy truck home and using a motel. And possibly not even have cared.

My job is secure, I also have paid sick time, and my DM will make sure I get what I need so I can get back as soon as possible. Even prepay a room if were to need it, of course it would come out of my next paycheck.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
member avatar

I've always parked in the back corner at the truck stop, nosed-in, and just sort of stayed in a coma until it passed. Dark, quiet, and time.

JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

I'm gonna catch some flack for this, deservedly but still, I didn't care how I felt, I was driving. I had days where I was stopping at every rest area, every couple of truckstops, but I still drove and made miles. Big Scott is absolutely correct tho. If you feel you need to stop then you should. I was always aware that I risking a lot, but I made that choice and came out lucky. I carried a first aid kit and had a bag with some of the OTC stuff were allowed to have in the truck like Aleve n stuff as well.

Jenny's Comment
member avatar

I'm gonna catch some flack for this, deservedly but still, I didn't care how I felt, I was driving.

*throws flack*

I unfortunately was first truck on scene when a driver laid it over on I84 last year. I helped get flairs and triangles out until the real responders showed up.

I didn't see the accident happen, so I checked with the officer before I left the scene. I walked into the officer interviewing the driver who stated " I don't know what happened. I've been sick, and I'm a bit dizzy"."

So I took heed. Some days I do park if I'm nauseous or dizzy. A quick nap is all I've ever needed to feel better though.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

I've only once felt so bad that I didn't think I should drive. I began to have flu-like symptoms and was realizing I wasn't really as alert as I should be. I messaged my driver manager and let him know I was going to make my delivery that day, but I was really sick. I told him I needed a couple of days off and that I'd let him know when I was ready for a load.

Once I finished my load, I found a nearby hotel with truck parking, got plenty of rest, and took several long hot soaks in the tub. After taking it easy in the hotel for a few days, drinking plenty of water, and just getting some much needed rest, I was on the mend. As soon as I felt like I was ready to drive, I contacted my driver manager who promptly got me moving again.

Driver Manager:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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