Truck drivers are getting some well-deserved pats on the back this week. National Truck Driver Appreciation Week runs from September 15 through 21.
American Trucking Associations executives asked all Americans to reflect and appreciate the 3.1 million professional truck drivers that deliver America’s freight safely and securely, every day as part of the 25th annual National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
“For 52 weeks a year, America’s professional truck drivers make sure that our most essential items--food, fuel, medicine, clothing,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “And lately they are doing so more safely and efficiently than ever before despite increasingly congested highways and ever more demanding logistics schedules. Their commitment is second-to-none and that’s why we’re asking that Americans take a few minutes to appreciate the effort these professionals put in every day.”
During this 25th anniversary of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, ATA, its state affiliates, and America’s Road Team Captains will mark the celebration by holding events across the nation. ATA is once again hosting a video contest focusing on the professional truck driver. The best video will receive $1,000 to be used towards promoting the winning company’s workforce and the image of the trucking industry.
ATA began celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in 1988 in an effort to honor those hard working men and women who deliver life’s essentials, every day. There are over 3.1 million professional truck drivers delivering life’s essentials, nationwide. These professional men and women log close to 398 billion miles each year. In 2011, trucking professionals delivered 67 percent of the US freight tonnage, equivalent to 9.2 billion tons of freight. Eighty percent of US communities depend solely on the trucking industry for the delivery of goods. Professional truck drivers keep America moving.
The celebrations this week will be hosted by motor carriers, shippers and other trucking related industries. Ways in which said entities show their appreciation include million-mile and safety awards, cash bonuses or gifts, an extra paid day off, a cup of coffee or windshield cleaning at truck stops, goodie bags with fresh fruit and water, free health checks, and numerous celebration meals. Several events will last all week, until every driver cycles through company headquarters. Office personnel at some companies are also encouraged to spend a few days out on the road to see the driver’s side of their business.
State trucking associations getting involved in National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, include the Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) which will be honoring the state's professional truck drivers with a special event at the Clearwater Travel Plaza on September 17 from 3 pm to 7 pm.
MTA Chairman Dan Savaloja and MTA President John Hausladen will be on hand to greet truck drivers and thank them for their service. "Healthy Drivers" is the theme for Tuesday's event and will feature information and demonstrations designed to help truck drivers stay healthy while on the road:
This will be much the same event format for the Texas Motor Transportation Association, which will hold a driver appreciation event and driver health fair on September 17 at the Travel Centers of America location in New Braunfels TX. The program runs from 3 pm to 7 pm and will include TXTA Driver of the Year Gary Babbitt.