National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 11-17, 2016. This is the one week of the year that is set aside for Americans to say thank you for the hard work and infrastructure the 3.5 million professional men and women working in the trucking industry have created. It is a week to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and dedication for successfully tackling one of our nation’s most demanding and important jobs.
In reality, trucking has been a historical backbone of American capitalism as early as the mid 1800s. Before the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse drawn buckboard wagons. Trucking saw it first extensive use by the military during World War I. Crude though they were, many early trucks were designed with open cabs, had chain drive axles accompanied by chain driven steering. With the increase in the construction of paved roads, trucking began to achieve a significant foothold in the 1930s. Since the improvements of our paved roads network, trucking has helped grow the economy of the United States immeasurably.
Having been in the trucking industry for many years I want to discuss what truly are some of the things we are being thanked for during National Truck driver Appreciation Week. As a trucker the answer probably won’t surprise you. It isn’t that driving a truck for a living becomes a way of life to many of us, nor is it the responsibility of handling, caring for, and delivering someone’s freight across the country. So what are we being thanked for?
Well, not surprisingly that depends upon the person, the sacrifices many of you make when you leave your homes to go to work. This may often require a strong will and by far more mental strength then somebody that knows that they will be back home by the end of the working day. Many American’s could not imagine taking a job that will separate them from their families for long miles, days, and for some several weeks at a time. Furthermore, many would not like the loneliness that will accompany a truck driver knowing that they will not always be back home for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or their children’s birthday. Many of us will keep doing it because we are people that care about our family and know that our paycheck will provide for them.
So the next time you have a moment to consider why you are part of America’s trucking industry, ask yourself what sacrifices you make that are important to? What would you personally like to be thanked and recognized for during this National Truck Driver Appreciation Week?