This week America is celebrating truck drivers across the county with National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. The week kicked off on September 11th and extends until September 17th, honoring the 3.5 million men and women professional truck drivers committed to delivering products and supplies across America each and every day.
Whether its milk and cereal at the store, a drink from a vending machine or your child’s school supplies – these everyday essentials were most likely delivered by a truck. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), more than 80% of U.S. communities rely exclusively on truck drivers to deliver their goods and commodities. This allows the nation’s most isolated areas to have access to the necessities of daily living.
ATA’s President and CEO Chris Spear points out that this week is about raising public awareness and support for the professional truck drivers and the work they do in our communities year after year. “We’re fortunate that truck drivers have dedicated their careers to delivering critical goods like medicine, food and school books,” explains Spear on ATA’s website.
Beginning this week, Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the industry-wide education and image movement, has revealed TMAF billboards along major city highways and freeways as part of its advertising campaign. The TMAF billboard portrays #TruckingLife in a swim coach scenario, and can be viewed for the next four weeks in Dayton, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Missoula, Montana; Kansas City, Missouri; and Knoxville, Tennessee. The billboard displays truck drivers as more than just professional truck drivers; they are parents, friends and neighbors and getting home safe is their number one priority.
In the spirit of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, here are eight ways trucking companies and the general public can say thank you to all the drivers on the road that keep America moving.
• Give Thank You Cards. Trucking companies can send a thank you card to their drivers and the drivers’ families. And anyone can send a card to a truck driver they know. Or, look up a nearby trucking company and send a batch of thank you cards. If you don’t know a driver’s name, simply address the card “Dear Truck Driver.” You can also place a thank you note on the windshield of a truck that you see parked in parking lots, truck stops and gas stations.
• Pay It Forward. Companies can buy coffee or breakfast for their drivers this week. For the general public, when you are at a gas station or truck stop, look around for any truck drivers. If they are buying coffee or food, go ahead and pay for it at the cash register ahead of them.
• Free Lunch: Trucking companies can offer free lunch to its drivers. Since the drivers are most likely out on the road, providing packed lunches is a great option for the drivers to take on the road. Be sure to include a thank you note with the lunch. For the general public, if you see a truck driver eating at a truck stop or restaurant, offer to buy their lunch.
• Special Offers: Trucking companies can make a list of retail and restaurants that are offering specials or deals to drivers during this week or month. Hand the list out to your drivers.
• Share On Social Media: Promote this week by posting on social media sites and say thank you. Trucking companies can make a short video to show their appreciation and even feature a few of its drivers. The general public can post a thank you to a driver they know or to all drivers. Spread the #ThankATruckDriver movement.
• Host A Dinner: Trucking companies can organize a dinner for drivers and their families. Have a buffet-style dinner with some games or chances to win prizes.
• Offer Prizes: Throughout the rest of the week, companies can have giveaways with prizes. Each day until September 17th, have a drawing for prizes like CB radios, audio books or other tech devices. You can have the last prize be a grand prize, such as a trip for two or gift certificate to a restaurant.
• Say Thank You. The simple gesture of saying “thank you” to any truck driver you see will let them know you appreciate everything they do. Companies can tell their drivers not only how much they impact the company, but also the economy. The general public can simply extend a thank you to any driver they see or smile and wave to truck drivers out on the roadways.
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week may just be one week, but it’s important to remember that the appreciation shouldn’t end after September 17th. It’s crucial to still honor and recognize these road warriors and the hard work they put in each day. The products, clothes, food and supplies we use each day were made available because these men and women delivered it.
Anna Beck is an associate attorney at Roberts Perryman. Anna’s practice focuses on transportation, insurance coverage and defense.
Roberts Perryman has been a leader in transportation defense for over 50 years with offices in St. Louis and Springfield, MO and Belleville, IL. http://www.robertsperryman.com