High Mileage Drivers: Loading and unloading

Back_of_truck_with_lift_mediumOne of the most important things to understand about driving is that prolonged sitting in a vehicle, with your back slightly slouched can cause the ‘shock absorbers’ of our back to get a little out of position.

If you drive for a while, then jump out and start lifting or unloading tools or equipment, your back is at a higher risk of injury. If driving and handling heavy items are a part of your job, here are things you can do to help you protect your body and your back:

  • After driving and exiting your vehicle, take at least 2-3 minutes after exiting your vehicle before you lift anything heavy.
  • If you have to lift items more than 50 pounds as part of your job, and have the means, have you look into lift assists that could help you.  You could consider something like a Spitz Lift (http://www.truckcrane.net/about.htm).
  • Keep the materials in the back of your vehicle organized to ensure that frequently used items and the heaviest items can be accessed easily without working hunched over in the back of your truck. Consider truck bed options such as a cargo slide (http://www.truckcargobed.com/gorilla/gorilla.html).
  • If possible, use a dolly or something else that is easily accessible to carry bulky items more than 10 feet.
  • Do preventative maintenance for your body (e.g. core stability exercises or strength training).  No amount of workplace equipment being fit and healthy (both at and away from work).
  • Look around at truck accessories if you are using your truck as a work bench (e.g. detachable work platforms or vicse) to help you work in neutral posture.