Think about your day. It’s probably pretty structured – you wake up, wash, eat breakfast, and go to work. You work for a set period of time, have a break to eat, and go back to work. When your work day is done, you go home, relax, have dinner and go to bed, ready to do it all again tomorrow.
But for HGV drivers, their day is rarely structured in such a simple way. Instead, they will work all sorts of hours, in different patterns sometimes changing every week, with non-regular breaks, and they are rarely in one place for very long. And more importantly, they often don’t have access to a kitchen. So the big question a lot of newer drivers ask us is – what do I eat when I’m on the road?
When a HGV driver knows they are going on the road for a while, most will choose to meal-prep. This means they will choose meals that can sit in Tupperware boxes, can be eaten hot or cold, and will travel well. They’ll make them at home, pack them up, and store them in their cab, or in their overnight compartment (which usually has a fridge). This is the healthiest option for HGV drivers, as it means they aren’t relying on fast food all the time, and can still eat a balanced and healthy diet. Most service stations will have a microwave available for public use, so drivers can heat up their food if they want to. Of course, if it’s a long-haul trip then they can only plan a certain amount of meals, but meal prepping keeps food costs down and drivers healthier and more energised.
Much as we don’t like to admit it, most people will eat fast food from time to time, and long-haul truckers are no different. But since they can’t exactly pull the HGV up through the McDonalds drive-thru, the options are often limited to what you can find in a service station. HGV drivers will see the inside of a service station more than their own homes some months, and will know the food options inside out. And while there are healthy options there, the vast majority are fast food outlets, or mini-shops where you can buy sandwiches. Long-haul drivers will often try to choose those healthier options if they have to go for fast food, but it’s not always possible. But hey, no one said every element of the job was glamorous!
As well as your main meals, you probably snack a bit throughout the day. This is particularly important for HGV drivers, as they need to keep their energy levels up while they’re on the road. As you probably know, spending a long time behind the wheel is draining, and fatigue can set in after a while. But HGV drivers don’t always have the option to stop for a prolonged break, or to stop and stretch their legs. If they do, their telematics will report the unauthorised break, and this can have a knock-on impact on meeting their deadlines. So most HGV drivers will have a ‘snack stash’ of healthy (and sometimes less healthy) foods that they can eat on the go in their cab, along with several bottles of water to keep them hydrated.
At The HGV Training Centre we don’t just teach you how to drive an HGV – we teach you how to be a career driver. This means understanding all the different elements of driving an HGV, and the life on the road that goes with it. Our trainers are all experienced HGV drivers, and can give you insight, advice and tips on making healthier diet choices on the road. If you would like to know more, just get in touch today.
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