The U.S economy is highly dependent on some 3.5 million individuals who spend their lives on the road delivering goods to move our economy. Yes, we are talking about truck drivers who deserve praise and gratitude for what they do every day.
Trucking has been around for over a century. Alexander Winton built the first semi-trailer in 1898, and quickly over the next hundred years, its significance really started to take shape. In 1998, the American Trucking Association (ATA) decided that a celebratory week shall be commemorated on the 2nd week of September. Every year since then, we’ve reserved that date to celebrate and give thanks to the millions of OTR and local drivers.
Impact on the Economy
Trucking plays an integral role in the U.S economy. Some have stated that trucks act like the red blood cells in a human body. The red blood cells deliver oxygen to vital parts of the body, the same as trucks deliver goods to every corner of the country. Without them, the entire economy comes to a halt.
According to official statistics, trucks move 72.5% of all the freight inside the U.S. That’s about 11.84 billion tons of goods! The good news is that the demand for truck drivers is increasing every year. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that by the year 2026 approximately 108,400 more heavy-load truckers will be required to maintain the network. The future is bright for anyone who wants to join the party.
Life on the road is not easy. Truckers are away from their loved ones several months out of the year.
Sometimes a simple thank-you can mean the world. Being courteous on the road, goodie bag, or even a few words of kindness can lift spirits. It’s not easy for truck drivers to always cook and pack their meals, buying them a meal goes a long way!
In spite of our current pandemic, truckers are still delivering the essential goods across the country. Keeping the shelves stocked, delivering critical medical supplies, helping us get from manufacturer to doorstep, truckers have taken on a special significance in these times. We must not forget these hardworking men and women. The National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a wonderful time for Americans to acknowledge these unsung heroes who make our lives easier and keep the economic wheel spinning.
By Aldous Aldwin