We are in the midst of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, and since I have spent the past 6 plus years covering the industry here at Fleet Owner, I’ve gained a new perspective, and appreciation, for the jobs truck drivers do.
I will admit, before I took this job, I had little understanding of how important a truck driver was the economy of the U.S. – and the conveniences we as Americans enjoy every day. Sure, I saw lots of trucks on the roads. Sure, because my grandfather drove a truck for a living, I had a basic understanding of what a truck driver did. Perhaps more than many Americans. But I didn’t really understand.
Today, some 3.2 million truck drivers travel our roadways each and every day – Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday, too. On holidays. In snowstorms. In the sun and the cold. And on special occasions – like their kid’s birthday.
(For a graphic looking at what truck drivers earn and where the jobs are, click here)
They do their jobs. They battle regulations. They fight traffic. They spend days, weeks, and even months away from loved ones. And they battle illness to keep the goods moving and the economy humming.
In some respects, truck drivers are similar to mothers. We never really appreciate them until they are gone. Take a trucker off the road and you will find it hard to get that meal at McDonald’s, or that shirt at Macy’s. And you’ll never be able to fill up your car with gas just so you can go joy riding with friends. Truckers make those things, and so many more, happen every day.
So, like mothers, who have their own special day (although, shouldn’t they have more?) truck drivers get recognition as well. Probably not enough, but it’s a start.
And thanks to the growth of social media, it has become easier than ever to show these hard-working professionals how much they mean to us. So take to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whatever social platform you prefer, and tell them how much you appreciate their work. So take time this week – and every week – to thank a trucker.
If you see one in a store, offer to buy him or her snack, a coffee or soda, or maybe even a meal.
Or just say “Thank you.”
There is a special hashtag on Twitter this week (#thankatrucker) for anyone wishing to send their thanks. If you are not on Twitter, here is a collection of some of the well-wishes. Enjoy.