It turns out that your chances of being injured on the job as a truck driver increase significantly if you have poor cranking technique. Particularly, the risk of shoulder injury goes up considerably if you practice frontal cranking rather than sagittal cranking. It’s a simple switch that has the potential to save countless truckers from serious injury.
Sagittal cranking is safer than frontal cranking
Shoulder injuries are still extremely common in the trucking industry. Drivers can mitigate this issue by strategically placing themselves when cranking their vehicle’s landing gears. Injury can happen while both lowering and raising their trailer.
According to the latest research, sagittal cranking is the safest technique for truckers to use while carrying out this everyday aspect of their job. This method tends to be better for truckers because it utilizes the strength of the whole body, thus lessening the amount of work the shoulder must do.
These findings come from the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and North Carolina State University. The study looked at 12 male truck drivers and focused on 16 muscles that play a part in moving the shoulder.
Lowering versus raising the trailer
Your body is up against plenty of resistance when raising a trailer. It’s important to treat the task carefully and treat your body well so you can continue performing your duties for years to come while minimizing the chances of an injury that requires workers’ compensation.
Sagittal cranking is done by standing parallel to the trailer while cranking to raise or lower it. The other way to stand while cranking is in the frontal position. This means you’re facing the trailer, and it tends to cause the ligaments to rub and grind together. This may cause injuries from the added wear and tear.
Since lowering the trailer doesn’t involve as much resistance, drivers are more likely to get away with applying the frontal cranking technique and never experience any problems. Still, it’s not bad to always play it safe with sagittal cranking.