The truck industry forms the backbone in Indian economy and leads more to economic growth. Road transportation contributes upto 90% of the country’s passenger traffic and heavy loaded trucks. This sector is managed in an unorganized manner in spite of its importance in economy. Truck drivers plays a major role in the transportation industry. The stressful nature of the work done by the drives affect their physical and mental health.
A research was done by Kantar IMRB – a research organization along with Castrol for a month-long period over 1000 truckers to analyse the heath issues faced by truckers. In this they came across certain challenges faced by truck drivers in India.
Challenges faced by cargo truck drivers in India:–
Cargo Truck Driver Working Pressure on Indian highways :-
Truck drivers are framed with time limit to deliver their Cargo . They are always under pressure to meet their target time. They have to travel long way within hours continuously. In some interview a driver named Imran from delhi said that he travels from Delhi to Kolkata in seven days. He carries out this trip 2-3 times in a month. They don’t even get much time to spend with their family.
Improper Cargo Truck drivers Sleep issue increase accident on Indian Highway daybyday :–
Cargo Truck Drivers cover longer distance and are bound with time target. To make sure they meet the target, they drive miles and miles without taking a break .They even force themselves to work for 15 hours a day. This negatively affects their health and is one of the main reasons for accidents taking place on road.
Cargo Truck drivers have a high rate of occupation-related injury and highest job fatality rate. According to one survey, more than 50% drivers face driving related health issues, yet for 63% says health is not in top three priorities in their life.
Low Salary Payment Meaningless Future Cargo Truck Driver Operators India :-
In the earlier days Cargo availability was a major concern for the truck owners but now availability of truck drivers is a major concern for those who are in business with large number of vehicle as well as single vehicles. According to survey, truck drivers are earning 10,000 to 15,000 per month in which payment is also not made on time. Due to this drivers do not get much as a fixed income. Most of the youngsters are thus discouraged and as a result shortage of drivers persist in transportation market. It’s difficult for them to manage their house from the salary as it is very less and not on time. It becomes difficult to look after the family.
Improper Food Facility Truck Driver Operators India :–
Truck Drivers mostly remain away from family on roads and cover miles to deliver Cargo on time. Due to this they are not able to get food on time. They always have to eat on roadside eateries or restaurants which do not provide good quality of food which adversely affects their health. Most of the drivers have the same kind of lifestyle. They travel from one place to another place covering miles. Mostly they make out 3 trips in a month. It’s very hectic schedule for them to cover miles to reach their destination on time without proper food and sleep.
Cargo Truck Driver Operators Regular Highway Robberies Increase :-
There is increase in highway robberies in India. According to the report in Times of India, there are more than 82,000 cases of robberies across India, and out of which 80% of them are only in Uttar Pradesh.
Cargo Truck Drivers And Highway Conditions India :-
Indian road transport contributes almost 90 percent of country’s passenger traffic and 65 percent of its goods transported through trucks. India has one of the largest road network in world but many of them are not well maintained. According to reports overloaded vehicles caused 77,116 accidents and 25,199 deaths in reported in accidents.
Cargo Truck Drivers Problems faced due to authorities :-
During the journey truck drivers have to come across different states and they have to cross various checkpoint while entering or leaving the state. At this point several authorities shows partiality and their authoritative power to frighten the truck drivers and extract a good amount of money from them. Most of the drivers are illiterate and they do not know much about laws framed for them. These authorities take advantage of this and harass them financially. Truck drivers can’t even argue with them as they have to cover a long route ahead to deliver their goods. Different state has formed some different laws. Drivers of one state are not aware about the laws of other states and authorities take advantage of this.
Cargo Truck Drivers Road Accidents Increased daybyday :–
Most of the accidents on highways are between truck and other vehicles. Every time the truck drivers are blamed for the accident even if they are not responsible for it. Driving the bigger vehicle goes against them. They do suffer with public on the accident site. Some start beating without even giving them chance to prove their side. Public do not look after the issue and start blaming drivers and also in some cases it is recorded that they are beaten till death. They don’t get any help as they are away from home. They are jailed by police authorities and tortured. Even some truck owners do not help their own drivers and leave them alone to tackle the situation. They don’t even get financial help from owner’s . Nobody is there to look after their family. Mostly they are the only person in the family who earns. Along with them, their families are also forced to suffer.
Cargo Truck Drivers Poor Sanitation:–
Truck drivers remains 24/7 on the road for many days. They need to take rest on dhabas without any other option. There is no firm to look after that. Though some companies have taken initiative to overcome these issue as a part of their CSR activity. Government also need to look after the challenges faced by transportation industry and truck drivers in India. Very well known Agarwal Packers and Movers Ltd., launched a project known as ‘Driver Seva Kendra’, which is an effort to decrease number of accidents which happens in India due insufficient sleep of truck drivers. According to them around 1,39,000 people die in road accident in which 26,678 people are killed due to insufficient sleep. Agarwal gave a new trend by providing place for drivers where they can rest, eat and sleep.
Despite of many difficulties faced by truck drivers no steps has been taken to tackle them. Most of truck drivers complain about their unusual working hours, long periods and staying away from home and family. They also face difficulties during driving on uneven roads, weather conditions. Some surveys declare that 50% truck drivers have trips where duration in more than 12 hours and 46% drive continuously without any break. Maintaining physical and mental health is very important in this business but still 62% do not undergo any medical check-up in the past one year.
Truck Drivers also face problems of chronic back, neck and joint pain due to their fixed postures, repetitive twisting of back and neck, working and sleeping in tight spaces during driving.
How to improve condition of driver?
Cargo Truck Drivers Short Delivery Deadline Time Limit: –
Government should bring some rules and regulations for truck drivers to restrict their working hours. Many of the western countries are following this.
Cargo Truck Drivers Health and Hygiene:–
Truck drivers always face the heath issues as they spend most of their time on road. They cannot have access to proper food, rest and sanitation. Government and CSR teams should come up with plan for free medical check-up for them.
Cargo Truck Drivers Overloading of trucks:-
Many accidents on roads are caused due to heavy loading of trucks. Government should take strict steps against overloaded trucks . This will reduce the number of accidents taking place in the city and will also save lives of innocent.
It’s not an easy job for truck drivers in India. Their life is full of stress, danger and insecurity. There are no guidelines made for them regarding their work and health problems. Government also lacks in taking strong steps in favour of truck drivers. All these factors are responsible for youth going away from this jobs. Social welfare firms and government together can come up and look upon this scenario.
Cargo Truck Drivers Shortage :–
Indian demography has gone under a major change past couple of decades. Growth in e-commerce has increase and so there need to deliver more goods to the sites is also increased. This in result has increased the demand of truck drivers. Ironically the industry is not successful in fulfilling the demand. There were about 1300 truckers on demand of 1000 in the early 80’s. This has reduced to about 750 truckers per demand of 1000 truckers. Means almost 25% to 30% truckers are sitting jobless every time.
Truck industry forms the main base in the Indian economy as well as in daily life of people. All the goods used by citizens are loaded and carried out through road transport, mainly through trucks. Imagine what happens if this industry shuts down due to shortage of truck drivers. The country will get to a still and everybody will have to suffer. It is governments and local people’s duty to come through solution for the truck industry.
How to tackle Truck Driver Shortage :–
The problem of truck driver’s shortage cannot be fixed quickly and efficiently. Several correct measures have to be taken which have to be evolved continuously to look after the shortage.
Let’s have look on positive factors which can be beneficial to truckers :-
Roads and Highways for Cargo Truck Drivers :–
After the launch of Golden Quadrilateral plan condition of roads and Highways have improved but they need to be improved more in the inner parts of the country.
Cargo Truck Drivers Increase Earning :–
Most of the people are going away from driver job as they are not paid as per the expectations. Government should be involved here and decide some basic pay scale for the truckers.
Cargo Truck Drivers Better Medical facilities :–
Provide a quality medical service for the truck drivers to keep them healthy and fit.Today in India, 30% Commercial Vehicle are due to lack of Operator (truck drivers) . 20% of the truck is standing in the warehouses of the banks, due to non-payment of installment. 25% of the trucks are waiting for Genuine Freight in the transport offices. Only 25% of the trucks are carrying our load and the entire country. Are you capable to imagine the horrific future?