Truckers have been on my mind more than usual for the past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I’ve accompanied truckers on our visits to fleets participating in Run on Less Electric. I also appeared on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Trucking channel and visited several trucks stops as we resumed our travels with our RV. Truckers are very talkative and I appreciate all this interaction.
I’ve worked on trucks my entire career, so I’ve always had a great deal of respect for the work of truckers, even though trucks and, by extension, truckers are viewed as a nuisance by many.
The COVID19 pandemic has done a lot to change the public’s perception of truckers, trucks, and truckers. Truckers worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure grocery stores were stocked with the items we needed, hospitals and other essential businesses had the PPE supplies they needed, and vaccines were delivered to the appropriate distribution points when available.
But many Americans have short memories and now that things have calmed down (except for a shortage of some key materials) it’s safe to assume that people will forget how important truckers are and will be annoyed when blocked. behind a truck on the Interstate or stopped at a red light as they drive through our cities.
I would like to encourage everyone in the trucking industry to remind the public of the importance of trucks, whether we are during a pandemic. Remind them that trucks carry 70% of all goods delivered to the United States. Ask them to imagine what their life would be like if they couldn’t get 70% of the things they need in their stores, homes, or offices. It would be a very depressing situation.
Every day, truckers face a variety of challenges, including not finding parking when they need it, dealing with terrible road conditions and bad weather, and being held up by shippers who don’t have deliveries ready when they should.
They also deal with some drivers who have no idea how long it takes to start or stop a loaded truck up to the legal limit of 80,000 pounds.
What about the physical strain required to drive a taxi, and the noise and vibration drivers experience during long days on the road?
Yet they drive their vehicles every day so that we can not only get what we want, but also what we need. To protect the environment.
To honor truckers, the week of September, 12 & 18 has been designated National Trucker Appreciation Week. But, in my opinion, we should show our gratitude to truckers every day of the year.
By Posnel Aristene, MBA