FleetWatch launched the innovative Your Truck Your Gym truck driver fitness programme on Friday, 27 July at GRW’s Driefontein premises in Boksburg, Johannesburg.
Your Truck Your Gym is a Fleetwatch initiative that aims to motivate truck drivers to work out while on the job.
The programme and associated mobile app are supported and partnered by GRW, MAN Automotive, Shell, Hollard, Cartrack, the NBCRFLI, Trucking Wellness and NOSA Logistics. The initiative is also endorsed by the Stellenbosch University and the Road Safety Foundation of South Africa.
Your Truck Your Gym is the brainchild of FleetWatch publisher and editor, Patrick O’Leary, who had the idea when he attended a truck drivers’ strike a few years ago. The drivers had walked from Johannesburg central to Braamfontein and back.
“I walked with them to take photographs and report on the day’s happenings,” explains O’Leary. “It was when they got back that to the venue in front of the Johannesburg City Hall that I noticed many of them were in really bad [physical] shape. That’s when the thought struck me that we needed to do something about the fitness of our truck drivers. But the question was how?”
O’Leary explains that truck drivers cannot visit normal gyms at the end of the day like office workers can and so an innovative concept was required.
“Truck driver’s hours are not structured around a 9 to 5 clock, so being a member of Virgin Active or similar would be of no use to them. At the end of their day, they are either stuck at a border post, parked at a truck stop or still out on the road. So we decided to make their trucks their gyms,” he explains.
Below video: The Your Truck Your Gym programme is a world-first and through the app of the same name, can extend to the global trucking industry as a proudly South African venture.
Participants can pick from a variety of exercises, which are grouped into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Everything is covered, from simple stretching routines to cardio, leg, chest, back and ab workouts. Some of the workouts are done outside of the truck, while others are done right in the cabs.
The workouts are demonstrated by former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Brian Baloyi and O’Leary‘s son, Dylan. Short workout videos are viewable on the Your Truck Your Gym app directly as well as on a dedicated Your Truck Your Gym YouTube channel.
As an incentive, users can track their progress and see how they stack up against other truckers in their companies. And the top 5 performing drivers will be rewarded monthly with a prize – measured by the amount of points they have recorded.
Drivers receive points for every workout group they start and complete. The more workouts done, the more points they earn. Drivers that don’t have the app can send videos and photos of them doing the exercises to 060 730 8862 or can email them to [email protected] to win prizes.
O’Leary says a huge gratitude of thanks must go to students from the University of Stellenbosch Biokinetics department which falls under the department of Sports Science at the university.
Under the guidance of Dr Elbé de Villiers (PhD Sport Science), and project leader Kimberly Smith, the team used two rigs provided by MAN Automotive and GRW to devise all the exercises for the Your Truck Your Gym programme.
To get involved, transport operators can send a list of their drivers, with telephone numbers and email addresses to [email protected]. FleetWatch will then send an email to each driver with their user name and password (which can be reset) and a link to the download of the app.
Drivers are welcome to download the app on the Google Play Store and register themselves. The app will also be available for iPhone users shortly, once all of Apple’s publishing requirements have been met.
For drivers without a Smartphone, a 100-page booklet has been produced which shows in detail the various exercises via photographs as well as videos, which are accessed by QR codes.
“We believe that a healthy driver is a safe driver,” concludes O’Leary.
Your Truck Your Gym is available in the Google App store.