Reflections on the trucking industry

Dec. 19, 2016

The end of the year seems like a good time to reflect, so I will take this opportunity to talk about why I am so proud of the trucking industry.

Those of us in the trucking industry already know how vital we are to the economy, but I think we all need to do a better job of reminding the general public about our place. All you have to do is tell to someone to look around their home or office at all the things in it and then ask them how those things got there. Of course the answer is on a truck.

Remind them that whether the temperature was 115°F or -20°F, truck drivers still climbed into the cabs of their vehicles and drove hundreds if not thousands of miles to get us the stuff we need for our daily existence…and even some stuff we didn’t necessarily need but just want.

Sure there are times when something like a huge snowstorm, hurricane, etc.  will sideline trucks —that is necessary for the safety of the drivers — but day in and day out and night in and night out trucks are traversing highways, streets, avenues and lanes to make deliveries.

They do this no matter how the economy is doing, in good economic times and in bad ones. Sure they do it less often in soft economic times but trucking rarely if ever comes to a complete standstill.

And as important as delivering goods consistently is, the focus of truck makers and component builders are finding ways to make those deliveries safer and more fuel efficient. Protecting drivers (in trucks and in the cars those trucks share the road with) and improving the environment.

So as I reflect on 2016  — a year that was fraught with challenges both profession and personal  — trucking stands out as a bright spot. And I am proud to be associated with all the folks who make it possible for us to have the things we want, where and when we want them, even if it means driving through the pouring rain in the dead of the night.  Thanks for letting me be a small part of this amazing industry!

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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