National Trucking Week happens every year in September in North America. In Canada it is from September 3rd to September 9th, and in the United States it is from September 10th to the 17th. For drivers this may be the most important weeks of the year. Company’s will be holding barbecues, giving out awards, and trying to celebrate the drivers as much as possible. Truck stops and other venues will be doing the same thing as drivers roll through their premises conducting their daily duties trying to show their appreciation for what they do. My question is does this go far enough?
If you think about it does a free hotdog go far enough? What does it say from a celebration standpoint? Drivers get a bad rap in our industry because many times what is shown on television is the damage caused by a truck in an incident or times when an illegal substance is found on a trailer at the border. Then the trucking industry gets lots of attention from the media, but it’s the wrong kind. I am not saying that truck drivers are perfect and never do anything wrong that would be insane as some do cause problems and make mistakes. If you look at the numbers in a percentage based equation you will see that the number of issues where truck drivers are involved is very low considering the number of drivers on the road. In Canada alone there are over 300,000 drivers on the road and you can add that to the billions of miles added on to the U.S. drivers operating south of the border. Take those numbers and divide them by the number of incidents on the roadways and you will see that incidents are relatively low for the amount of driving being done over our roadways. Divide those by how many of those were caused by some other motorist’s driving mistakes and the number goes even lower.
Many of my industry friends will say the same thing that we are very good at telling people in our industry how good we are, but not the general public. Oh sure let’s keep giving drivers free hotdogs at the truck stop, but maybe we need to take it a step further. What if we made it similar to a National Holiday where we take a day and really show our appreciation.
What if we were to match a Holiday such as Remembrance Day with of course another name. All drivers are given the day off with pay and the media shows what drivers really do for our Country. Maybe we could have a giant convoy or celebration showing the trucks to the general public and allowing them to meet the people that drive them on a regular basis.
When you look at some of the causes that truck drivers show up for year after year you can see all the good we do. Causes like Trucking for a Cure or Truck Convoy for Special Olympics are just a couple that also happen in the month of September. If you can get out and see the important work and help that the trucking community provides. We do a lot of good whether it is helping in areas of disaster or helping out a great cause, truck drivers are there. Let’s give them the respect they deserve because without them we wouldn’t have anything. This week make sure you thank a truck driver, they deserve it.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, and host of The Lead Pedal Podcast. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com