Most Americans don’t realize how essential truck drivers are to the quality of their lives. To see how the trucking industry has affected your life, take a look around your house, your yard, the food in your pantry, the products at your child’s school, or the clothes on your back. Most of what you see was delivered by truck.
Truckers are the unsung heroes who are responsible for ensuring that you have what you need, even in the face of merciless weather, terrible road conditions, long distances to traverse, distracted commuters and intense physical demands. And what is even more remarkable is that they do their jobs seven days a week, 365 days a year with pride and professionalism.
Professional drivers are just like you and me. They have families that count on them, communities and charities that they support and they have chosen a career and lifestyle that is extremely difficult. Whether they are leaving for work at the crack of dawn and getting home late, or staying on the road for weeks at a time, this job comes with significant personal sacrifices. The demands placed on today’s drivers speaks volumes about their continued dedication and commitment.
Please join us in celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 9-15, 2018. Here’s why you should thank the millions of men and women who are professional truck drivers:
- 71 percent of all freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks. This requires more than 3.6 million Class 8 trucks and over 3.5 million truck drivers. More than 80% of communities rely exclusively on truck drivers to deliver goods.
- If trucks were suddenly pulled off the road: we would have perishable food shortages within three days, drinking water would disappear within two to four weeks, food supplies in hospitals would be gone in 24 hours and ATMs would be empty in two to three days.
- Nearly every sector of the economy relies on truck drivers to transport their goods. It starts with shipping raw materials to manufacturing centers. Once these manufacturers turn out a finished product, they are then transported via truck to their final destination or a distribution center.
- 6 percent of the U.S. working population is employed by the trucking industry and 3.5 percent of those are truck drivers. Truck drivers have the most common occupation in 29 states.
- Truckers perform critical services to victims of natural disasters, delivering food and other essential needs and help haul away debris. And when the crisis is over, they deliver goods to help rebuild communities. Drivers provided emergency relief efforts to areas all over the country impacted by wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
- Truckers are operating on the front line in the fight against human trafficking. According to Truckers Against Trafficking, truck drivers alone have made 1,216+ calls to the national trafficking hotline. This equated to 570 cases being opened – involving 1,058 victims, with 324 of those being minors.
Truck drivers rarely get the public praise and recognition they deserve. So, please take time to show your appreciation – wave to truck drivers, buy them a cup of coffee, and acknowledge their importance by being more courteous to them on the road.
For free information regarding the trucking industry, including webinars with ATA directors, visit our Resource Library.