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A. Duie Pyle truck driver Joann H. Photo: A. Duie Pyle

We need more than a week to appreciate truck drivers

This well-deserved recognition for drivers across our country underscores the need to show concern for this essential workforce each and every day.

Last week was National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, recognizing the 3.5 million truck drivers who safely and professionally deliver America’s critical goods to communities from coast to coast.

This well-deserved recognition for drivers across our country underscores the need to show concern for this essential workforce each and every day. And there are a variety of ways we can show how much we value and appreciate their service.

It can start with the way we specify our vehicles. Do your specs include things that make it easier or safer for the driver? I am thinking of items like automated transmissions, APUS or battery HVAC units, lane departure warning systems, and collision mitigation systems.

It carries over to training. Are we making sure they know how to properly use all the safety and other devices/components on their trucks? The best components in the world are worthless if the driver doesn’t know the proper way to use them.

Do you pay close and serious attention to the concerns drivers are noting in the DVIRs?  When they find a problem during their pre- or post-trip inspections do you see that the problem is fixed quickly? Doing this shows drivers that you value their input and you care about their safety out on the road.

Have you trained your dispatchers on the proper way to interact with your drivers? For most drivers, dispatch is the face of your company. If drivers feel disrespected by dispatchers, they are likely to make a move to another fleet.

Drivers are a critical part of the trucking industry and despite all the chatter about autonomous trucks and drone deliveries, they are likely to be a factor for years to come.  Let’s show drivers how much we appreciate them, not just one week out of the year, but every single day.

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