Truck drivers are vulnerable to considerable cardiovascular and other risk factors, exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle, limited access to healthy food at rest stops, and sleep disruption. Their frequency of being overweight or obese is also double that seen in the general population.
This is according to a study of the health of Southern African truck drivers done at various Free State and Gauteng truck stops and published in the BMJ Open journal in 2019 – but Hollard Trucking, a specialist division of the Hollard Insurance Company, is committed to helping to turn around this worrying state of affairs.
This week, the insurer teamed up with Kuhle Eatery at Middelburg N4 Truck Stop, Mpumalanga, for an all-day event to actively promote healthy food and wellness choices to drivers, and to create awareness about the tailored weekly menus of discounted wholesome foods available to them at the stop through its Hollard Trucking Rewards Card. The stop’s on-site dietician was also present to discuss healthy nutrition with drivers.
In addition to the nutritious food options on offer, the truck-stop eatery’s healthy-food packaging features useful tips about good eating and portion control.
This week’s event was part of a wider, ongoing pilot initiative to provide truck drivers with discounted healthy food items through the rewards card.
Hollard Trucking shares the tailored weekly menus of healthy foods with drivers using the card every Monday morning. These special offers and discounts change from week to week.
Middelburg N4 Truck Stop offers safe parking and facilities such as Wi-Fi, overnight and restroom facilities, laundry services and more, and – importantly – cater for the specific needs of women truck drivers, with separate toilet and shower facilities.
Hollard’s Better Futures business purpose compels everyone in the company to create and secure better futures for more people in everything it does, explains Paul Dangerfield, National Operations Manager for Hollard Trucking, who was present at the event.
“We’re extremely excited about this partnership. We want to make a difference by supporting our drivers – and by extension their families, employers and all trucking stakeholders – in every way we can. This includes the vitally important aspect of truck drivers’ physical and mental health and well-being,” he says.
Healthy truck drivers who are equipped and supported to drive responsibly help make South Africa’s highways safer for all, says Elka du Piesanie, Operations Manager at Hollard Risk Services, and campaign manager for the insurer’s successful annual Hollard Highway Heroes competition for truck drivers.
“We already support drivers through programmes such as our Hollard Trucking Rewards Card, allowing them to earn up to R400 a month simply for driving well. This worthwhile and ambitious driver health and wellness project takes that a step further,” notes Du Piesanie. “We look forward to everyone involved reaping the success and benefits of this initiative.”