This year the week of September 13-19 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to honor the more than 3 million truck drivers in the United States.
Why Truck Drivers?
We might be a little biased, but we think truck drivers deserve appreciation every week! When you look at the numbers and realize how integral truckers are to America’s economy, you’ll start thinking like us too:
- Around 7 million people work in the trucking industry, with nearly half being drivers. One out of every 9 truckers is an owner-operator.
- Nearly 80% of America’s freight is shipped by truck and more than 80% of America’s communities only receive freight via truck.
- The trucking industry is a $681.7 billion industry. That’s over 81% of the nation’s freight bill.
- Each year the trucking industry pays around $40 billion in state and federal highway taxes.
And while there are a lot of great things about being a truck driver, it’s not always the easiest job. On the website TruckingTruth, user TruckerMike details some of the pitfalls of life on the road.
“Truck drivers live a life of solitude and mobility. Truckers don't get to go watch their kids play a little league game. They can't curl up next to their husbands or wives at night. They don't get to take hot showers in the privacy of their own home. They live out of public restrooms and shower facilities. They don't get home cooked meals. They sleep where they work, and work where they sleep (which is an area smaller than a jail cell). They often times go months without seeing any familiar faces. All of this comes with few complaints from a seasoned driver,” he wrote.
Given the sacrifices the men and women of the trucking industry make to get their cargo from one location to another, it seems only right that we give them a special week of recognition.
How to Celebrate
There are many different ways to show truck drivers you appreciate their hard work. If you’re the owner of a trucking company or manage drivers, bringing in breakfast or throwing a barbeque to celebrate your drivers are fun ways to show your appreciation.
Many companies and professional organizations that serve truck drivers plan events or discounts for drivers. This year, for example, the Truckload Carriers Association will be hosting wellness events and health fairs at TA/Petco locations around the country.
Most truck drivers are professionals who take their careers seriously. And while they’re not expecting special thanks, acknowledging all they do can go a long way.
“It’s amazing how those moments of appreciation stay with a driver and make them feel good about the company that does make an effort,” said truck driver David A. Kolman. “I distinctly recall one shipper who made it a point to shake the hand of every driver who delivered or picked up at his facility and thank them for their efforts. He then offered every driver a cold soda, as well as a pen and pad gift.”