If there ever was a time to publicly thank the truckers in your life, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week might be a great opportunity. Designating the first full week after Labor Day to celebrate our country's toughest laborers, America's professional truck drivers, The American Trucking Associations (ATA) started the party September 10. The entire week, said ATA, is set aside to honor the country's ~3.5 million truck drivers, those everyday heroes that safely and professionally deliver everything that is making America great right now.
Defining what National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, is all about, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear wants the national media and everyone living in the U.S. to know that "Truck drivers are an integral part of the nation's growing economy and deserve to be celebrated by their companies, customers, neighbors, families and friends."
These Drivers Improve Our Quality of Life
Everything that we consume says Spear, from food and clothing to shelter and medicine, is delivered by a truck driver and there is simply no disputing their immense impact on our daily existence: “These drivers improve our quality of life by dedicating themselves to safety and making every effort to deliver the things we need efficiently, professionally and responsibly.” Amen, brother.
Appreciation Long Over Due; Let’s Party!
September 9-15, has been set aside for the entire trucking industry as well as all U.S. industry to make a special effort to recognize the important and critical role truck drivers play in delivering the American Dream. ATA says thousands of trucking companies, manufacturers, suppliers and others will be taking time to acknowledge the contributions of truck drivers by hosting cook-outs, offering merit bonuses, rewarding safety achievement, introducing new driver incentive programs and more.
ATA’s central agenda is to prompt the entire trucking industry to reach out locally, and to meaningfully engage communities in celebrating our truck drivers’ awesome contribution. To get with the program, ATA puts together a NTDAW toolkit for public officials, community groups, members of the media, local businesses—pretty much anyone wanting to roll out the bandwagon and start a party.
They Drive, We Win
FoxBusiness financial Analyst Charles Payne kicked off National Truck Drivers Appreciation Week with a game-changing Monday-morning stock market report. Explaining that of the several important economic narratives being played out in financial markets this summer, the one that is least discussed, but probably reflects the true state of the economy "better than any other" was the trucking industry.
Payne said, “Forget about the gossip, the scandals, the intrigue, I’m talking about revving up that diesel.” Revving up, indeed. Payne declaring the trucking sector was his favorite investment vehicle, noted that two prominent trucking companies, JB Hunt and CH Robinson World Wide had powered the Dow Jones Transportation Index to “an all-time high.” This is really huge, Payne exclaimed using a colorful anatomical analogy to prove his point; “We are talking about the circulatory system of the economy,” and “It’s pumping along like an Olympic athlete!”
Olympians Would be Proud
Without digging out all the national accident and health effects statistics, everyone across industry and commerce understands that no matter what category, being a truck driver has its rewards, but it certainly has its risks. Certainly physical for sure but often deeper emotionally. Driving professionally is physically and emotionally demanding and it takes Olympian stamina. Few jobs place a person so generally in jeopardy and apart socially than driving a truck and that includes the growing ranks of last-mile operators and the coming wave of independents and owner/operators.
Write that Thank You Note
Yes, it is high time the entire country wrote truck drivers a thank you note. Actually it should be a love letter, and one should be written about once a quarter (wouldn’t want to go overboard here, more would seem insincere don’t you think?) whether or not the stock market is doing great.
To mark the occasion and honor truck drivers, the White House and the President offered its own thank you letter; here’s an excerpt:
“The enterprising and determined men and women who drive trucks are essential to our country’s economy, delivering 11.6 billion tons of freight in 2016, including essential goods like food, medicine, and clothing. Truck drivers travel from coast to coast to ensure factories have the raw materials they need and store shelves are stocked to meet the demands of our Nation’s booming economy. America depends on our trucking industry, and it continues to be a major contributor to our country’s workforce and infrastructure.
The American trucking industry and its drivers advance our economy and provide many Americans a path to a good living in service of others. These men and women work day and night, through the harshest conditions, and endure long periods away from their loved ones to fulfill their task safely and effectively. In the aftermath of disasters, American truckers deliver life-saving supplies, lend a helping hand to communities in need, and assist in the rebuilding of cities.
Our Nation applauds the dedication of America’s truck drivers, and we thank them for the hard work they do every day.”
It’s an amazing tribute—and finally Washington seems to be getting it. Should we all go find a truck driver and invite he, or (increasingly) she, out for a beer? Not a bad idea, but only after logging out! Regardless, besides throwing a party (JB Hunt and CHR better be throwing a big one) at least we can all show our appreciation with a little bit of action; for instance how about giving that truck a little bit more room to maneuver in traffic, and offer nice wave when they let you get into traffic and get over immediately when you see a rig on the shoulder. It’s pretty simple: share the road with these folks and cheer them on—and thank your truck drivers today!