Paul Gardiner recently took over the running of Truckers’ Toilets UK (TTUK), which has now become 37plus, a preventative health initiative for the transport industry.
Paul explains: “After recently taking over the Truckers’ Toilets mantle on social media, my aim is to highlight, via social media, the link between poor health and poor or non-existent facilities.
I’m a committee member of the large-scale study into HGV drivers at Loughborough University. I have done a lot of work focused on diabetes, and the more I looked at the road transport industry, the more it became clear that young people would not go near this industry with a bargepole.
After unearthing statistics on HGV mortality rates, I undertook my own research into how we could improve them. The practicalities of implementing change into an industry that is stuck in a time-warp will be challenging, but I’m looking forward to changing attitudes.
A similar problem exists in the USA – a shortage of good, experienced drivers, even with the better wages experienced over there. Many are retiring from the industry because for the average person the work/life balance is unappealing.
One simple idea I’m starting with is to set up some exercise bikes at RDCs so drivers have an option of breaking up the day with a quick spin – not a gym, just somewhere to get the blood flowing. New research tells us we need to exercise throughout the day, and going to the gym after a long day on the road isn’t doing anything to offset the sedentary nature of the job.
I have some interested collaborators and hope to already have my first depot on board; simple but practical changes go a long way. Interested parties can reach me direct by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”