Category: News


Health in Gear project report released

Health in Gear project report released

The OzHelp Foundation (OzHelp) has released its phase one report on the rollout of the health and wellbeing program for truck drivers, funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

Truck drivers are the second highest occupation group at risk of suicide, after construction workers. Risk factors include long and irregular work hours, poor diet, lack of exercise, fatigue, relationship pressures, isolation from friends and families, and the stress of regulatory burdens and tight deadlines – added to this are increasing pressures and regulations due to Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic is greatly impacting the industry with lockdown restrictions, border closures, and COVID testing requirements continuing to challenge the mental health and wellbeing of drivers nationally.

There are an estimated 209,300 truck drivers in Australia and 97 percent are men. Right now these people are experiencing unprecedented challenges to their livelihood and their mental health and wellbeing.

The Health in Gear program is a first for Australia and is specifically focused on the health and wellbeing of truck drivers in the heavy vehicle industry. The report highlights the co-design approach, along with the program development, rollout, and engagement with drivers. Key findings and lessons learned are also shared.

OzHelp developed and delivered a unique and tailored program that:

  • Took support ‘to the road’ and connected with 583 drivers and delivered 85 brief and engaging Truckie Tune-Ups (TTUs) at key roadside hubs
  • Reached 524,000 people connected to the transport and logistics industry through an information campaign
  • Provided accessible online information at accessed by 1549 visitors and a telephone support line 1800 IN GEAR
  • An engaging podcast ‘Share the Load’, downloaded 573 times, that drivers could listen to while on the road.

OzHelp Chief Executive Officer, Darren Black highlights that the health and wellbeing of truck drivers are so important, most importantly for them, but also for the nation too.

“Truck drivers are on our roads every day and night doing essential work that ensures our supermarket shelves are stocked, construction materials are delivered, fuel is in the bowsers and important deliveries are received. Fatigue, depression, stress, and isolation are common and with targeted and industry-specific support we can positively impact the lives of our nation’s drivers”.

“The report and our ongoing evaluation has made clear that this program should not be one-off and more must be done. I’d like to thank the NHVR for their ongoing funding support and we would love to see the industry and other partners step in to help us expand the delivery of the program as we have only just begun to scratch the surface of need.”

To read the full report, click here.

Truck Drivers struggling with their mental health and wellbeing can continue to access counselling support at 1800 IN GEAR (1800 464 327) or email Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm AEDT. For 24/7 crisis support call Lifeline at 13 11 14.


A Message To Our Community

A Message To Our Community

Message from Darren Black, CEO OzHelp (Health in Gear)

We are receiving regular updates from the industry, media, and the driving community, and recognise the hardships drivers are facing with the growing COVID situation.

Border closures, constant testing, isolation, and disruptions add to the many challenges of the transport industry and the uncertainty of the situation may lead to feelings of worry, frustration, and concern.

We want to remind you that if you need support, we are here. You can speak to one of our Wellbeing Support members or a Counsellor by calling 1800 464 327 (Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5 pm). Our website provides resources to help you stay well, maintain good routines and find additional supports. You can also listen to our podcast, Share The Load which might be a great way to switch off and listen to some stories from the road.

Our nation would stop without the transport industry and we feel incredibly grateful for the driver community and their continued hard work, even during the toughest of times.

Please stay safe and look after yourself. From the entire team at OzHelp’s Health In Gear program we are greatly appreciative of the work you do and the important role you play within the community.

For additional support services, click here.

Health in Gear is a health and wellness initiative for owner-driver truck drivers. It has been developed by the OzHelp Foundation (OzHelp), in collaboration with drivers for the driving community, and is funded by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.


Health in Gear podcast promotes ways to stay connected and well on the road.

Health in Gear podcast promotes ways to stay connected and well on the road.

The OzHelp Foundation has today launched Health in Gear’s first podcast mini-series, Share the Load. Hosted by OzHelp Wellbeing Support Officer, Frank Arsego, the podcast shares stories from Australian truck drivers and the driving community. The series aims to promote connection, discuss key industry issues and challenges, and inspire ideas from drivers, for drivers, on ways to feel healthier and happier while on the road.

Available on popular podcasting platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, the series reveals stories from well-known Australian truck drivers including Glenn “Yogi” Kendall, Tony “Tones” Fulton and Lyndal Denny.

OzHelp Chief Executive Officer, Darren Black commented “The podcast series aims to reach a wider audience within the truck driving community, whilst being able to share some great tips, advice and research on ways we can support truck driver’s health and wellbeing.”

“The podcast series will add to the many resources drivers can access through Health in Gear while they are on the road. These resources include health tips and tools, phone support and Truckie Tune Up health checks which are piloting across Queensland and New South Wales over the coming months.”

The first two episodes are now live and are available from all good podcast platforms with more to be released over the next four weeks, listen here.


Brisbane Truck Show Highlights

Brisbane Truck Show Highlights

Last weekend, tens of thousands flocked to the 2021 Brisbane Truck Show to check out the latest and greatest from the Australian Transport Industry. For some, it was also a chance to reconnect with colleagues and mates for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was an opportunity for Health in Gear to deliver its Truckie Tune Up health checks and commence a key partnership with the Australian Trucking Association and Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds. This partnership was announced with the unveiling of PACCAR Australia’s new custom-built industry truck. Click here for the media release.

Health in Gear is the first service to utilise the vehicle, delivering its Truckie Tune Ups health checks at the show. This is the first of many events to be delivered from the vehicle this year.

The first of its kind in Australia, the custom-built vehicle is a multi-purpose resource designed to connect, educate, support, and promote the trucking industry.

Many drivers undertook the Truckie Tune Up health check to measure general physical and mental health, cholesterol, blood pressure, height, weight, sleep, exercise, and diet.

The Health in Gear team also raised awareness of the program by promoting the website’s tips, tools, and resources.

Glenn ‘Yogi’ Kendall from Kendall Trucking & Co announced the winner of the truckie bag from NXT Journey. The giveaway included a range of goodies from Truckwiz, Kenworth, Isuzu, Tones Trucking Stories, Healthy Heads in Trucks & Sheds, PACCAR, and Health in Gear. 

Overall, the event was a great success for the Health in Gear program. Feedback following the health checks included, “I am so very grateful for your help and assistance. Your care and concern were so very humbling for me, you do not know how much I appreciate it!” and “I really hope this takes off. It is really needed in the transport industry.”

Special thanks to the HVIA and to the many visitors who dropped past to say g’day. We hope to see you out on the road or at the next event soon.

Find out about our roadside Truckie Tune Up events.

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Health in Gear joins the Brisbane Truck Show

Health in Gear joins the Brisbane Truck Show

Visit Health in Gear at this year’s Brisbane Truck Show!

The event, which runs from the 13th to the 16th of May will have a dedicated Health in Gear stand to promote the program’s health and wellbeing resources for truck drivers.  

The Health in Gear team will also be providing attendees with the option to participate in their Truckie Tune Up, a FREE mobile health check with a nurse or wellbeing support worker.  

Plus, a number of our ambassadors will be stopping by to say hello!

The team will be located at stand 122 and within the Paccar stand from Friday – Sunday. Find our locations here

So make sure you come down and say g’day!



Health in Gear Ambassadors Announced

Health in Gear Ambassadors Announced

Health in Gear is pleased to announce its line up of ambassadors who will support the promotion of health and wellbeing throughout the industry, and raise awareness of the Health in Gear program.

The ambassadors come directly from the industry, know first-hand the challenges drivers face on the road and have an interest in bringing about change within the transport industry.

Health in Gear’s Project Manager, Kristen Dixon said the ambassadors have been a pleasure to work with over the past six months.

“Our ambassadors have spent many months volunteering their time to participate in focus groups and answer our calls.”

“They have been influential in not only connecting us across the industry, but also on the ground too, reaching drivers, and sharing stories from the road. I’m incredibly proud to be working with this passionate group of supporters.” Kristen said.

Truck Driver, Yogi ‘Glen” Kendall said, “We get pushed from pillar to post and if we don’t look after ourselves nobody is going to do it for us. We need to focus, and find places like Health in Gear that will support us.”

“The industry is moving in the right direction, it is important that we acknowledge that it’s okay to not be okay, but you have to look after yourself and get the help if you need it.”

Health in Gear welcomes Tony Fulton, Rod Hannifey, Lyndal Denny, Sophie Reid, Glenn “Yogi” Kendall, and Nicole Rutledge.

Developed in collaboration with truck drivers, their families, and researchers, Health in Gear offers a diverse range of health and wellbeing tips, tools, and resources. The program will also be running Truckie Tune Ups later in the month with a podcast series to follow

By calling 1800 IN GEAR (1800 464 327) drivers can access support, and owner drivers and their families are eligible for free counselling.

To learn more about our ambassadors, click here.


Health in Gear Launches New Website!

Health in Gear Launches New Website!

Welcome to the Health in Gear website. A key component of a new health and wellbeing program for truck drivers.
The program has been developed by OzHelp, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, and drivers and families from the transport industry. The co-designed process has allowed Health in Gear to highlight and provide support for the various challenges truck drivers face on the road.  
The program has been informed by OzHelp’s literature review that draws on national and international research findings into the poor health outcomes of heavy vehicle truck drivers. The review highlighted the importance of truck driving in keeping the Australian economy alive and the unique health and wellbeing challenges that come with the job. The findings provided an evidence-based foundation for OzHelp to create a dedicated support program. 
The Health in Gear website offers a diverse range of health and wellbeing tips, tools, and resources that can be accessed by everyone, everywhere. Along with these readily available resources, Health in Gear will be running Truckie Tune Ups later in the month with a podcast to follow. 

Support and counselling services are also available, initially to owner drivers and their families, by calling 1800 In Gear (1800 464 327)
Designed with drivers to inspire action and encourage change, the program aims to help drivers feel happier and healthier on the road and at home.  

For more information about the program, contact