At GATS in Dallas TX, this year was the lead off to a major event that will be taking place for driver health and wellness. Rolling Strong, along with Freightliner, and the Truckers Rolling Against Hepatits-C Campaign, had a driver wellness pavilion at GATS. At this pavilion one could have their blood pressure, weight and BMI calculated. Talk to a health coach about their fitness level, try out the FIT System, take the Big Rigger Fitness Challenge. As well as be screened to see if they had Hepatitis-C.
The first on the road event will be taking place in Carlisle, Pa at the Petro Stopping Center on U.S. 11. It will be on Sept. the 23rd, and run from 10-6. Bob Perry the Trucker Trainer will be there to encourage drivers to see how many times they can press a tire. This event and tires is being sponsored by Michelin. The winner of this Big Rigger Fitness Challenge will get a FIT System for their truck. As well as qualify for a chance to compete against Bob and other qualifiers at an event in California in December.
I tried the challenge at GATS. Lets just say I did not come close to meeting the 100+ of the winner and will be looking to redeem myself on Tuesday. Due to my schedule at GATS I was not able to do many of the screenings, so will be using this opportunity to make use of the FREE tests.
There will be workout sessions with Rolling Strongs CDL Wellness Coaches. Their Master Trainer Laura York has already threatened me with a personalized work out session. Freightliner will have a Cascadia there to show off a fully installed FIT System. Lastly and hopefully not least, there will be some cooking demonstrations to show how easy it is too cook on the truck. These demonstrations at to be done by Tom Kyrk from Road Tested Living. (Note cooking demonstration has only been scheduled for the Carlisle event)
I have been given a challenge. To bring nothing but my kitchen gadgets, (hopefully a few spices will be allowed), and a roll of duct tape. (No I am not cooking the Duct Tape.) From this I will have to go shopping inside the PETRO, and cook a meal, and snacks with just ingredients I find inside. The duct tape is to tape off an area the size I work with in the truck to show how easy it can be.
It is always a good idea to have an idea of where you stand on your overall health picture such as BP, Weight, BMI etc. Being on the road it can be a challenge to find places to have these screenings done. When you have a group of people who set up an event for drivers that is FREE it is a win-win in my opinion.
An additional screening that is being offered is the Hep-C screening. One reason this is such a concern is Hepatitis-C can not show symptoms for as long as 20-40 years. By the time symptoms show it can already have causes severe liver damage. Early detection can lead to treatments that can prevent this damage. Further more new treatments have been developed ot ensure drivers do no have to miss work. Ora-Sure Technologies have developed a test that can show if you have been exposed to Hepatitis-C with a drop of blood in about 20 minutes. AbbVie is a bio-pharmaceutical company that has worked to develop a treatment with fewer side effects than past treatments. This allows people to maintain normal activities during treatment.
The reason Hepatitis-C should concern drivers is this. Those of the baby boom generation (who make up a large part of trucking), are more likely to have Hepatitis-C. This occurs for a number of reasons. The main causes are lack of proper sterilization of needles, as well as shared ink, and blood transfusions in the past. During the 1990’s as awareness of this disease and how it was spread grew. This allowed the development of methods to prevent its spread. As a result due to test of blood, single use needles, and ink. The spread rate from these sources has been greatly reduced.
There have been some preliminary studies that show Hepatitis-C may be more prevalent in drivers than in some other populations. As a result of this OraSure, AbVie, along with the HTAA has developed the Truckers Rolling Against Hep-C campaign. Rolling Strong and its partners are working with them to provides screening at the Rolling Strong Wellness events. Those who obtain a positive result from the screening, medical personnel will be on hand to discuss options.
All in all this looks to be the start of a great driver focused health and wellness tour. Here is the current schedule of locations. All events will be from 10-6 local time.
10/7 — Bordentown, NJ, Petro Stopping Centers, I-295 Exit 57, NJ Turnpike, Exit 7
402 Rising Sun Rd, Bordentown, NJ 08505
11/4 — Tampa, FL, TravelCenters of America, I-4, Exit 10,off Mango Rd., 11706 Tampa Gateway Blvd. Tampa, FL 33584
12/2 — Ontario West, CA, TravelCenters of America I-10, Exit 57, Milliken Ave. 4265 East Guasti Road Ontario, CA 91761
More pictures, videos, and stories about these events to follow.