When one thinks of the healthiest professions out there, truck driving is not often in the top ten (or generally anywhere near the top). Bob Perry, a long-time trucking consultant with Fit to Pass, is looking to change this – one driver at a time.
In a recent episode of DriverReach Chats, Jeremy Reymer, Founder and CEO of DriverReach, sat down with Bob to discuss the Fit to Pass program, the need for a health and wellness program for professional truck drivers, and the impact these programs can have on driver recruiting and retention. In addition, Jeremy and Bob engage in a little friendly push-up competition you won’t want to miss. You can watch the entire DriverReach chat here.
Introducing Fit to Pass
Every year, thousands of qualified drivers lose their DOT certification because of health and/or fitness issues. A few years ago, out of the 14 million DOT exams issued, almost 7 million drivers received a 1-year certification, which meant they were pre-diagnosed with hypertension or pre-diabetes, and nearly 1 million drivers received a 90-day certification. These numbers say it all: qualified truck drivers cannot drive because of health problems. So how can carriers – and the industry – help them get back on the road?
This is the opportunity Bob Perry looks to fill. After growing up in a family of truck drivers, Bob realized the long-term impact of truck driving was often in the form of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and other health problems. Fit to Pass is the combination of Bob’s interest in physical health and wellness and his familiarity with the trucking industry.
The two main areas of focus in the Fit to Pass program are education and action. In many cases, drivers aren’t even aware that something like high blood pressure could impact their driving certification. Much of the Fit to Pass program is dedicated to educating drivers on healthy habits and lifestyle changes, with easy fixes they can make on the road. Then, there is the action piece. Unlike other audiences who are at home, truck drivers aren’t looking for immediate changes (aka weight loss in a few days). They’re looking for long-term impact that moves the needle on biometric data to keep them on the road.
Fit to Pass contracts directly with fleets and educates drivers year-round on health and wellness initiatives. Then, when drivers are 90 days away from their certifications, the program intensifies and drivers receive personalized action plans to make necessary changes that can help them stay on top of their certification. Thanks to Fit to Pass, it’s not uncommon to see drivers doing squats or workout programs outside of truck stops across America.
Focusing both mental and physical wellness
While Fit to Pass focuses mainly on physical health and wellness, mental health and wellness has taken a front seat throughout the 2020 pandemic. The need for EAP programs like Talk Now (a related program designed to give drivers 24/7 access to registered counselors) has increased exponentially during the pandemic. With programs like Fit to Pass and Talk Now, it is all about delivering the right access and communication to drivers to make it easy for them to engage.
These programs can also help improve driver recruiting and retention efforts as well. Health and wellness benefits are, like health or dental insurance, a bottom-line perk of working with an organization. Carriers invest in their equipment by upgrading trucks and trailers on a regular basis, so it makes sense that they would want to invest in their human resources – aka their drivers – to keep them operating at the highest level.
Want to learn more about Fit to Pass?
First, watch the entire DriverReach chat between Jeremy and Bob to get even more insight on the Fit to Pass program and how Bob’s team is delivering health and wellness initiatives to drivers. Watch to the end to see Jeremy and Bob’s push up competition!
Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.
Listen to Taking the Hire Road podcast, hosted by Jeremy Reymer and in collaboration with FreightWaves, for timely conversations with industry experts. For more information, or to join a live group demo, visit www.driverreach.com/livedemo