“What is Driver Appreciation Week?” asked the student in the back row. Truck Driver Appreciation Week or National Trucking Week as it’s known here in Canada are two weeks back to back in September each year that celebrate the truck driver and the people that work in transportation. As you may or may not know trucks keep our economy moving in so many ways it is important to recognize the men and women that keep our store shelves full and our economy in check. The Canadian week begins on September 5th or first Sunday of September each year until the 11th. The United States version called Truck Driver Appreciation Week begins September 12th until the 18th or the second Sunday of September.
How did the appreciation weeks begin?
Years ago the Canadian Trucking Alliance in conjunction with various trucking associations began the week long celebration to acknowledge and celebrate the half million people that work in transportation specifically the truck driver.
In the United States Truck Driver Appreciation Week is celebrated during the second week of September to celebrate the millions of drivers operating south of the border. Both weeks have the same flavour of celebrating drivers and was started in 1998 by the American Trucking Associations to recognize the men and women behind the wheel.
What will happen during the celebrations?
Celebrations are left to individual States or Provinces to find ways to say thank the driver but the majority of celebrations will come from carriers, truck stops, and other partners in the industry. As a driver you may see barbecues during the week, free coffee at truck stops, and more. Often prizes are given away and flags or signs are put up to say thank you. Gestures can be as small as a thumbs up on the road way or a friendly wave. You can even say thank you online by using the hashtags #thankatrucker or #NTDAW although the Thank a Trucker hashtag has lost some value from over use due to the pandemic.
Personally I believe National Trucking Week should be celebrated all year long. Not that we need to have barbecues all year long although many companies do for their employees, but truckers should get recognized for a certain period. Often drivers are looked at a nuisances at other times of the year. If you have ever had to drive through a blinding snow storm or push through a driving rain you will understand that the job can be hard on the driver at all times of year.
Many truck drivers that I talk with especially during the pandemic were held as heroes and mentioned they didn’t want to be singled out as anything special, they are just doing their job. What they do want is the respect as people who work hard and the treatment as a human being like the rest of the population. If you know a driver say thank you. If see a driver on the road a friendly wave can make someone’s day. If you are an employer certainly recognize your drivers during the week, but why not take it up a notch and recognize them throughout the year. Thank you to the many truck drivers and people behind the scenes for what you do everyday.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a veteran in the transportation industry with over 40 years in the industry in a variety of roles from driver to fleet supervisor and more. Today he is a media entrepreneur in the industry producing a number of programs within the trucking industry. You can learn more about Bruce, his work, and his trucking podcast at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com
Disclaimer: This article is written and based on the opinion of the author and is for general information only