While your Labor Day weekend may have been stocked with food, refreshments, barbeque grills, beach toys and lots of other fun items, truck drivers across America made that happen. They were busy traveling and making deliveries door-to-door and then getting back on the road to the next safe delivery.
Chances are you saw a truck on the road while you were heading out with your family to celebrate the holiday weekend at the beach, or on your way to the store to pick up school supplies for your child’s first day of school. That’s because trucks are on the road with us every day, rain or shine, including weekends and holidays. Millions of trucks travel our roads every day, and behind the wheel of that truck, regardless of the weather or terrible traffic, is one of 3.5 million hardworking truck driving professionals who is working to deliver the goods that keep our lives supplied and the economy moving forward.
Truck drivers deliver all of our essential goods that help us live, including our food, clothing, medication and gas, which is why we celebrate them during this National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 9-15. The trucking industry delivers to our neighborhoods and businesses, keeping our stores stocked, and as a result, is an essential driver of our economy, contributing $738.9 billion in revenue a year.
Through their dedication and tireless work, truck drivers, who travel over 4.5 billion collective miles a year, deliver these goods safely and on time to every community across America -- often spending days, or even weeks, away from their loved ones.
In the U.S., 80 percent of communities rely solely on trucking for the delivery of their goods. Fewer truck drivers on the road would equate to slower deliveries and higher prices of goods throughout the country. If there were no truck drivers on the road, there would be no deliveries to our businesses, hospitals or schools; the country and our economy would essentially come to a standstill.
While we see trucks on a regular basis, we don’t always appreciate their value or stop to think about how significantly the trucking industry contributes to our lives, communities and economy – and we rarely stop to thank the driver behind the wheel.
During this week-long commemoration that is hosted every September, we give a nod to these hardworking Americans and provide the appreciation that they don’t always receive, but truly deserve.
It can be intimidating driving next to a large truck, but the driver next to you could be a former classmate, the neighbor down the road, or even a family member. These trained professionals take pride in their jobs and making their deliveries safely and on time. They’re especially proud of the industry’s safety initiatives and efforts, and they celebrate their own millions of accident-free miles because the safety of those on the road is not a responsibility they take lightly.
This week, I hope you will join me and take a moment out of your busy day to reflect on the importance of a truck driver’s work. If you see a driver, please use it as an opportunity to say thank you to these real-life heroes. Without truck drivers, our lives would not be the same, and a simple smile or wave while on the road is a great way to say thanks. You may even get a friendly honk of the horn in return.