Stephen Kane

Interview by
Published on
February 28, 2023

In this episode...

On the latest episode of Life By The Mile, we sit down with Stephen Kane and discuss a wellness program offered by Rolling Strong that is specifically designed to help truck drivers stay healthy and active. Whether you're a solo operator or part of a fleet, Rolling Strong's program can be customized to meet your unique needs and goals. Stephen stresses the need for trucking companies to create a culture of wellness for their drivers by providing access to healthy food options, exercise facilities, and support from coaches. By making wellness a priority, companies can help their drivers stay healthy and productive on the road. Drivers - it’s never too late to take charge of your health and enjoy a long and fulfilling career in trucking. Get back on the road to health and wellness by watching the latest episode of Life By The Mile featuring Stephen Kane, delivered by FreightWorks.

Stephen Kane

Innovative leader in technology, healthcare and transportation. President of Rolling Strong


if we can create enough awareness enough podcasts enough relationships with associations you know enough uh you know truck stops and other entities partnering with us we can you know really highlight this message that is an industry we care we're going to do something different I believe that doesn't power the drivers as well that they can change um welcome to life of the mile delivered by freightworks one of America's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by Trucking indicted to tell stories I need to do something insightful industry experts all here right now it's a life of the mile delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch Maltby we are thrilled today to have Steve Kane with us he's the president of rolling strong rolling strong offers powerful customizable and scalable Wellness programs committed to creating a healthy culture for individuals families and the workplace we're gonna have the chance to go deep today talking about an area that we really care about here at freightworks which is drive yourself now quick reminder make sure you hit the subscription button engage make comments push this out on your social media it's the way that we grow the Life by the mile audience now Steve it's great to have you here thank you yeah thank you thanks for having me excited to be here let's let's jump in on the most important topic that will start our conversation with which is what is the state of affairs with health when it comes to drivers in America yeah it's poor um you know and not and I don't say that to slight any of the the drivers that are out there that are working hard to stay and help to stay in shape because they're certainly plenty of those examples but you know if you look at it statistically um you know twice the rate of diabetes hypertension um you know High bmis um you know so you know when you look at it from uh you know from a health standpoint yeah statistically truckers are unfortunately the most unhealthy person in the in the in the workforce right and and a lot of that is just obvious right it's it's the day-to-day of a sedentary kind of life except for sitting in the truck right uh what what contributes to all of it yeah um and I you know and I and I and I get to speak on this um from my personal point of view in addition to the research and all the work that we do now you know in the industry because I spent 10 years on the road as a you know as a professional driver um and so yeah it's a it's a tough challenge to stay healthy out there and if you look at it from uh you know Common Sense standpoint you know they're you know in the seat of the truck all day long it's long shifts limited healthy choices not a lot of you know place of exercise um but when you really start to drill in further and start to really understand this as as a cultural thing and what that means inside of companies what that means um you know as an industry as a whole it starts to illustrate itself a lot more clear um so you know I want to talk about a couple things there um number one it's kind of the the Readiness for change um you know truckers because they're in such a tough uphill battle because of their environment the challenges that they face um and because statistically more of them are unhealthy than others that puts them in a what we would consider like a pre-contemplation stage of change so they're you know they're just not ready to do it and this is the way it is I've been like this for a long time you know it's just what it is and so that's really tough to move that but then when you look at the carrier side of it it's challenging because you know the culture that we've kind of created over time because we put such a spotlight on the poor health of the of the driver community and the fact that we have such incredible turnover it's really tough for companies to wrap their mind around um the idea that there really can be an impactful and effective Wellness solution for for their drivers and for their employees um they're already super out of shape they're probably not going to stay with me that long um I'll find you know we'll find more drivers um you know so it's a tough battle from that standpoint um and you know and then you you know you look at all the you know the partners in in our Trucking industry truck stops you know where's the healthy foods you know when you look at other aspects of it where do they exercise um and then just what are we doing as a community as a whole to um you know create that culture to create leadership that you know cultivates a healthier Workforce it provides opportunities for them to do so what what do you find about companies that really get it I mean I know you interact with a number of different companies some or some companies predisposed to say yeah we're going to get behind this and how would you describe those companies yeah so um there are some there are companies out there that are definitely ready to get behind this we have several of them in fact if we're not if we're going through you know the sales process and we're kind of talking to them and trying to identify what their culture looks like what they're doing for wellness is Wellness a core value within your organization those kinds of questions if they're if they're not getting that piece of it if they're not really ready to get behind this at the leadership level and have that kind of buy-in you know then they're not the right partner for Rolling strong um because you really have to have that leadership buy-in this is not a this is not a a deal where hey we're gonna we're gonna throw an app out there we're gonna throw some fancy technology out there we're gonna throw up a website that has healthy choices that doesn't work this works by by changing culture and changing culture happens you know you know from the top you know so um you know but those folks that get it and they and they embrace it and they work with us as a partner so we can start to identify you know what that cultural impact means how do we how do we brand the awareness of of a healthy culture um everything from orientation to all from recruitment to orientation to ongoing safety meetings and you know annual HR meetings and other you know how do we create that layer of Wellness throughout the whole organization like that then we have something and so when you look at you know some of our carriers by example you know quality carriers or you know Messiah Valley um and several others cook Trucking they these are companies that 100 buy into the idea that we can change the culture that we have to embrace this issue um we can't ignore it nothing's going to change if we ignore it and we got to roll our sleeves up and get involved um you know this is big this is a big deal we've been talking about it for a long time um you know if you look at the actual report you know usually um driver Wellness will show up in the top ten um you know if you jump in any of the associations most of them have a subcommittee you know through safety on on driver health and wellness and so there's a lot of talk around this um you know but the actionable you know pieces just uh you know we haven't done the best job of that um I do commend my my fellow competitors um you know and or people that are in the same you know business that I am because you know we need more of it you know everybody's not gonna rolling strong might not be the answer for every carrier um but you know for all the folks that are out there trying to make a difference with this it's important um and when you look at the impact it goes beyond if you look at Global Wellness statistics and you look at things like you know what is what is the impact any wellness company that's going into Corporate America a corporate Enterprise and providing Wellness solution they're looking at how do we drive down cost how do we improve retention how do we increase productivity reduce absenteeism make the presentee of some um worker comp right these are all things that we all focus on when you get into the trucking side of it number one it's much more difficult to convey that message and to reach the population we need to talk to which is truckers they're in a pre-contemplation stage of change um and and so you know it's it's it's it's a tough uphill battle um you know right from the beginning and so yeah without that leadership buy-in and support um you know it's almost best of the fit talk very specifically about what the application is what the platform is what the tools are just just describe that for people sure so we we built a platform um that really allows not just rolling strong and our our kind of methodology for you know for coaching and how we deal with Wellness um to be successful but we really built a platform so other successful Wellness tools can ride on our platform and so if you are looking at rolling strong as a solution you're really looking at a menu of options that can be adapted and fit to your environment whether you know there's pieces that you know you have you know you have Financial limitations you have resource limitations um you know you're just getting started you want to go slow or you know you you get it you have a successful wellness program you know when you're in your corporate in-house environment and now you wanna you know you just want to hit the ground running and do it in this way um you know we have a menu and so you know that ranges so number one we've built everything ourselves it's all in-house our own in-house technology um we've partnered with CBS Medical clinic and Garmin and polar and Apple and Samsung and you know other uh clinical networks um you know we built up a um a staff of amazing coaches which I think is our secret sauce that our board certified Wellness coaches that have degrees and either they are registered dietitians or physical therapists or other life professionals um and so that group of people work with me and our technology developers and a think tank to figure out how do we take real solutions that make sense for the population we're working with and deliver those and and create the outcomes that the organizations are looking for um what what that means is we offer um this platform you can sign your company up upload a thousand or ten thousand users to it and we immediately begin building that culture for you so that comes by way of physical content posters digital content social media campaigns internet custom videos uh presence on your telematics eobr devices um but also a lot of on-site communication with terminal managers and regional vice presidents and and Leadership teams to get them to understand the importance of Wellness as a culture um you know so as we start to create that um that open door policy for wellness as a culture in the same way we want drivers to feel like there's an open door policy to leadership um in itself then once we can kind of gauge that momentum and see that we're getting buy-in then we begin to offer tools here's a mobile application here's a web tool here is equipment that you can purchase and so then once they kind of get into that environment we focus on let's get baselines let's get them in let's let's let's see if we can get a baseline on biometric information on lipid panels on cholesterol um you know all those kind of pieces let's get some history let's get some real-time data let's put a wearable on them so we can work with them and identify where they're at where they're trying to go and what the short-term goals what short-term goals can be made you know to build on that um so once you have that figured out anybody is going to say well this is great we know that I have high blood pressure we know I have belly fat or whatever but how am I really supposed to do anything about this when um I'm stuck in a truck on an 11 hour driving shaft I have a 10 hour break but in that driving break I have to stand the line for a shower ticket I have to you know grab something to eat I'm going to walk out to my truck I'm dead tired because I just crashed off the caffeine and five of our energy drink that I drank to make it through my 11th hour of driving and I'm getting in an uncomfortable bunk park next to somebody that's running their generator or a loud motor and uh and maybe people knocking on my door to move my truck so they can get back in through the night how in the world do you really expect me to be healthy how do you expect me to find a healthy snack any truck stop when I'm in a fuel Lane I have 10 minutes to run inside and get my fuel ticket paid maybe run in there and grab something from the convenient counter because I got three other trucks in line behind me to pull up and get their fuel um and there is a cooler in most truck stops to have some healthy options in it trick is you got to go on a you know on a scavenger hunt and you gotta weave through you know 10 aisles of junk food to to find that one cooler and so their question becomes this is great you guys have a platform you guys got my buy-in I know I'm fat or I know I am I have high blood pressure or I know you know my spouse you know doesn't think I look great and you know I have ankle pain whatever it is which I've been through all of it and uh you know and so they're just like so how do we do this so we give them tools that make sense an example would be predictive meal so I'm standing at a truck stop I'm ready to go inside um you know I don't know um what I'm supposed to order off the menu you press the button in the app based on your GPS location um based on your biometric information based on the caloric goals for that meal at that time of day and other recommended food sources by a registered dietitian we return to you the exact meals that you should eat at that truck stop with you know or restaurants within a mile radius of where you're standing and so you know a lot of intuitive technology that really helps guide people through their day um you know an entire exercise library that is built for drivers how do I get workouts in on the side of my truck and not just workouts but um you know we're not trying to make crossfitters or triathletes out of Truckers a lot of them are like hey I just don't move the way I used to it's not even comfortable to walk where do I start and so we have kinesiologists and physical therapists that have worked together to build an exercise library that really focuses on Mobility how do I get moving again and more importantly how do I move in a way so I can do a thorough pre-trip inspection on my truck without getting injured right jump behind a rig for two weeks or three weeks I've done it for years right and you you're sedentary you're not drinking enough water you're not eating the right nutrition your muscles and tendons get super tight you grab that you know that that landing gear right and you try to Crank That Old you know bent up you know landing gear and and all of a sudden bam there goes your back your shoulder right I'm trying to get in that awkward position reach under the truck and grab that fifth wheel pin and pull it and stop right there goes the shoulder and so what exercises um you know stretches and Mobility drills can you do for a few minutes um as a pre-trip on your own body that can enable you to do your respiratorial job duties without getting hurt so you know a lot of specifics like that folks we want to make sure just real quickly as a short little life of the mile and freightworks Commercial if you're going to be at the Mid-America truck show we're going to be there March 30th to April 1st at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville make sure you check that out it's a wonderful opportunity for you to get to know the life of the mile podcast team but also freightworks and if you have ideas for guests we're going to have some interesting incentives for you to tell us about that what are the major objections that you typically hear from a driver do they say or feel in their heart this is just too hard I mean what what do you what do you encounter that you have to deal with all the time all of them you know and not and this isn't I've been you know I've been in trucking in Fitness and all this you know my whole life and so you know I compare that I had a gym I had a few gyms in Concord were talking earlier you know being from North Carolina and I had you know boxing martial arts and and um you know and fitness centers there and uh you know it's the same thing you'd run into most people I mean you're not quite sure if you're ready you're like hey I got to change this got too many pounds around the belly my blood pressure's high whatever your your thing is you don't really you're not educated you don't know where to start and more importantly you have fear right you just you know it's it's the fear of the unknown it's the fear of failure um but what we what you end up hearing is you know excuses and um and that's fine and so you know like I said our coaches are trained to listen to people and let them really tell on themselves and and really explain to themselves what it is that they're trying to do and if you let them talk and talk through it uh eventually you know you'll find that that kind of Silver Lining um and they see it right when you see it right and then you can build on that um but yeah they're going to say the same thing where do you expect me to work out there's no way I'm going to stand outside my truck in a dirt parking lot and do jumping jacks and push-ups in front of 300 other truckers you know um you know so it's a lot of things like that that's why we've you know linked with Partners like all Trails so you can find you know Trail systems that are adjacent to the truck stop that's why we you know have geo-fencing and we can you know map out what the distance to walk around a truck stop or rest area is and we have videos that show you how to use a picnic table as a place to you know stretch and get your body mobile and so on um it's taking the excuses away but it's also just motivating this industry right if we can create enough awareness um enough podcasts enough relationships with associations um you know enough uh you know truck stops and other entities partnering with us we can um you know really highlight this message that is an industry we care we're gonna do something different I believe that doesn't power the drivers as well that they can change um and probably the biggest thing is we celebrate people's successes right to go on rolling you you know click on the testimonials link and you will see hundreds and hundreds of drivers who we have changed their lives right whether it be you know that 10 pounds that made a difference whether it then that they went from a short-term Dot card to a long-term card that they finally got in shape just days before retirement and they know how to live a healthy retirement now um the ones that we unfortunately we we don't really get the capture or the things that we've prevented that are unknowns and it's probably one of the most catastrophically impactful things in this business which is access um you know you go out there in your passenger vehicle and you get tired after a big meal and swerve and hit another car there could be a fatality and there and there certainly is going to be some damage and some insurance claims if you're an 80 000 pound red going down the road and you have a heart attack behind the wheel or a stroke um or go to a diabetic coma or you know you just get drowsy if you get drowsy if you're following um following distance rules for instance and how many seconds you should be behind the vehicle in front of you basically the weight that goes out the window even if you nod for two or three seconds even a second because she knows that um you know so you know you know you just gotta kind of you know think of all these things but when you think of that accident piece of it you know this is this is huge drivers want to you know the reasons why they want to do it is retirement return home safe to their families um you know having better Mobility I can remember coming home after a long trip and my kid wanted to go out in the yard and throw the ball around and stuff and I was just too darn tired you know I was like you know I'm tired I'm spoke I don't I can't get out there and I'll feel good and I'll feel good moving and that's that you know because these truckers are hard workers or good people let me tell you something when I had cancer in West Salem went to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital yeah I had 39 truckers sign up and donate an hour of their paycheck a week for five months so I could have income I could pay for my chemo and my surgeries and all this kind of thing they bought me a Trek Bicycle which I have track bikes now as a triathlete they motivated me um just to give me you know so I bring that up because these are incredible hard-working people that deserve this we we ride on their back every day and move America um and you know we and we talk about Health and Wellness when everybody else in the world has the opportunity to walk into a Planet Fitness to stop like Whole Foods to put a gym in their basement and truckers just don't have that so collectively we have to work together to um to make a bigger impact which is what our mission is it's not just how do we help the individual that's how do you guys and us and eight you know the associations and everybody how do we all work together to make this difference that's powerful and you know the personal testimony there even of your own life experience and the way people chipped in is is so reflective of the fraternity that we have in this country with professional drivers this Steve Kane president of rolling strong uh if people want to get to know you better they just need to go online right look up your website I've looked at it it's very intuitive very clean it's got good information so is that the best way for them to contact you yeah um if you're looking at you know Wellness in general um yeah if you just Google rolling strong our website is going to give you a really thorough understanding of what you know this movement is about um you know you're probably saying do page on there soon that says the war on driver Health um you know that we're really going to brand and and run with but um you know yeah because we from there whether you're an individual and you're looking to connect with us a coach and and and and look at some possible changes that's a great way to do it if your company same thing there's links on there um if you Google me Steve Kane rolling strong Stephen King rolling strong then you'll see a lot of my you know kind of personal testimonial stories as well which I think is relevant because you know I want truckers to understand this was built By Truckers you know this isn't a I've been on a lot of ends of the spectrum you know in business and and from driving trucks all the way up to leadership and lots in between and I want truckers to not feel siled in this in this instance I want truckers to understand that you have other Transportation professionals and other truckers that have worked our tail off have spent you know well over a decade and then some to build something unique for them we are going to respect them we're going to respect our privacy um and we're here to help them and uh you know so if you're a company that's looking to have that for your people then give us a call let's see if it works if you're an individual give us a call and let's see if it works excellent this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks Steve Kane president of rolling strong you've done a great job I knew you would just describing the dilemmas for professional drivers in America but also some of the solutions that are there now listen we we always take the opportunity to give a little gift to any of our guests and uh so I'm going to do that right now we've got two hats to offer this is the uh we're in freightworks one Studio you know we're an asset base carrier here in Western North Carolina Rutherfordton so this is a freightworks one cap or last year at mats we debuted this cap it's got a life of the mile logo it's uh on the back it's got the Patriotic theme it went over really well and Matt's you probably have more hats than you know what to do with but we'd love to send one to you so uh tell us which one you want yeah I'll take the one that's uh that that last one you had there that last branded one great so we'll we'll send that along to you and will you be at mats this year I appreciate that

we don't have that in the agenda right now but we probably will and um and I and I appreciate that hat I wear a lot a lot of hats I spend a lot of time outside training for Iron Man's and and spending you know 18 20 miles on a Sunday run and it's important to protect my my uh my head I don't have enough hair to do it anymore and you know what you know what we're we're sunscreen and we're like by the mile cap we're grateful that uh that you'll do that uh it's been an enjoyable conversation we look forward to people reaching out to you to find out how health and wellness can be part of their personal regimen or that of their company this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel push the content out help us grow our audience in the days ahead thanks so much for being here today so much appreciate you having us on appreciate being on life by the mile have a great one you have a great one thanks for watching this episode you know like by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to this channel by clicking here we'll see you there

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