Fit for the Road

Misty Bell | February 01, 2011

TA and Petro Launch Driver Wellness Program

TravelCenters of America officially launched the StayFit driver health and wellness initiative Jan. 1.

The program is designed to assist drivers in making healthier choices on the road. “A little over a year ago,” says TA/Petro Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Tom Liutkus, “our president, Tom O’Brien, started a concept where his senior management team would all go out to several of our sites and invite about a dozen drivers to sit down and have a meal with them. In all cases, we would sit down and have a meal together and … just talk about life on the road, the challenges that drivers have, the needs that they have and how we can help them become successful. One of the items that came out of this dialogue was almost a plea: ‘Help us live healthier on the road.’”

One of the primary benefits of the program will be the addition of the StayFit icon to menu items at Petro Iron Skillet, TA Country Pride and other full-service restaurants; these icons denote menu items deemed “healthier-for-you” options. “We’re trying to provide drivers with some options when it comes to diet,” Liutkus says.

This icon also will appear on grocery and snack items at TA and Petro travel stores to designate items lower in calories, sugar, carbohydrates or sodium or with other dietary advantages designated by their producer as better for you.

In addition, 10 Petro and TA travel stores along I-95 and I-40 will have driver fitness rooms available for drivers who are members of UltraONE, a free rewards program offered by TA. Liutkus says the equipment will be primarily aerobic equipment, such as stationary bicycles, at first. “It’s a starting point,” he says. “We want to at least provide an opportunity, and we certainly have the space.” Other locations will offer maps of local walking and jogging trails.

TA also will team with the St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund (www.truckersfund.com) to provide health-related information, screenings and different types of health services to drivers at various locations through the non-profit’s Medical Resource Vehicle.

“Drivers … live in their trucks, and they don’t get home often enough,” Liutkus says. “We’re really trying to look at our role and be that home away from home. So if we can help them with these healthier options, it just lives by our mission in serving them.”


CDL Medical Refresher

Do you think you know what kind of health you have to be in to pass your CDL medical exam? Take our quiz and find out!

1. T or F: A person who has lost an arm or leg can potentially return to driving.

2. T or F: A person with any type of diabetes is automatically disqualified.

3. T or F: Your blood pressure must be 120/80 (considered “normal”) to pass the CDL medical certification test.

4. T or F: If your BMI is greater than 35, you will be required to take a sleep apnea test.

5. T or F: There are no standards relating to specific mental illnesses.

6. T or F: Your eyesight must be 20/40, but this can be with the aid of corrective lenses.

7. T or F: A clinical diagnosis of alcoholism disqualifies you.

8. T or F: Under CSA, medical tests can be ordered at the whim of a roadside agent.

9. T or F: If you wear a hearing aid, you can still maintain your CDL if you pass hearing portions of the test.

10. T or F: There are no exceptions to FMCSA’s written rules for CDL medical certification.


ANSWERS

1. True. A driver who has lost a limb can be granted a skill performance evaluation (SPE) certificate, which is an alternate form of certification based on the ability to perform certain standard actions related to driving a CMV.

2. False. Only insulin-dependent diabetics may be disqualified. Those who manage their diabetes by other methods, such as diet and exercise, are still eligible.

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