Truck Driver Appreciation Week

2020 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Kicks Off | Transport Topics

It is truck driver appreciation week. Be sure to say thank you to a truck driver this week. They do not stop for Covid, hurricanes, rain, snow, sleet. They are always out there keeping stores stocked for you to be fed, clothed, get your medicine, etc, working long hours and being away from their families. I know we had four drivers that did not see their families for 3 months when Covid-19 started to keep their families safe since they were all over the country and did not want to take a chance.

September 13 marks the beginning of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and as such we thought it perfect timing to bring some more attention to the vital role truck drivers play in our society. This is especially true now during the COVID-19 pandemic as freight continues to move all across the country. Whether it is food to grocery stores, building materials to fuel the remodel boom, or moving e-commerce purchases, truck drivers are an integral part of our economy.
Did you know….
image About 73% of all freight
transported in the US in 2019 was hauled by the trucking industry, according to the American Trucking Associations.Wherever you are reading this now, just look around and you will see items that got to you by truck. That is a lot of freight serving everyone in our country.
image Long haul truck drivers travel up to 100,000 miles a year, according to the Federal Highway Administration.That’s four times the circumference of the earth!
image About 6% of all full-time jobs in the US in 2018 were in the trucking industry, according to an article in Business Insider.That’s about 7.4 million people!
image Most grocery stores would start running out of food in just three days if long-haul truckers stop working, according to Business Insider.Combining this with spikes in unexpected demand, and one can see how quickly shelves can turn empty, much like what most of the country experienced at the start of the pandemic.
In spite of how important this role is, People Element data shows that less than half of exiting drivers and only about seven in ten active drivers report feeling valued for their work. I encourage you take a moment in the coming week to acknowledge a truck driver. Wave to them as they pass or give them a little extra room on the road.On behalf of People Element, thank you to all the drivers out there who continue to safely and reliably keep our economy moving.

If We Didn’t Have Truck Drivers

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I apologize for not reading as many posts as I usually do or by writing much but the holidays are a busy time in the trucking industry.

Some of you may know I run operations for a trucking company and the holidays are always the worst time of year for me.  Customers want their loads picked up and delivered, while drivers want to take time, extended time in a lot of cases, and 1 + 1 does not equal 2.  But, I love my job.  It is like putting a puzzle together every day, just hope I do not lose a piece of the puzzle.

In honor of all those drivers that are out there working hard, being away from family, long, irregular hours, delivering at 0200 one day and 1400 the next, I wanted to post this article I read.

Thank a truck driver, a delivery driver today because without them, our nation would shutdown.

One Month without Trucks

Within the first 12 hours

  • Fuel becomes scarce
  • Manufacturing delays an product component shortages
  • Hospitals and nursing homes begin to run out of food and medical supplies
  • U.S. mail and other package delivery services come to a halt

Within 1 day

  • Fuel availability will decrease, which leads to skyrocketing prices and long lines at the gas station
  • Manufacturing comes to a halt and thousands are out of work
  • Food shortages start to develop

Within 2 to 3 days

  • Gas stations are completely out of fuel
  • Without fuel, police, fire, rescue, and other public service vehicles are unable to perform duties, which further endangers public safety
  • Container ships and rail transport is disrupted and comes to a standstill
  • Food shortages escalate, leading to consumer panic and hoarding
  • Essential supplies – such as bottled water, canned meat, and powdered milk – will disappear at major retailers
  • Garbage starts to pile up, which creates breeding grounds for insects and bacteria
  • Medical waste and hazardous material start to release toxins and infectious diseases into living environments
  • ATMs run out of cash and banks are unable to process transactions

Within a week of trucks no longer operating

  • Automobile travel will come to a full halt
  • Hospitals start to lack oxygen supplies

Within 2 weeks

  • Sources of clean water run dry

Within 4 weeks

  • The clean water supply is exhausted and water will only be safe for consumption after boiling
  • The number of gastrointestinal illnesses increases due to lack of clean water, which further exhausts the already weakened health care system

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I’m Back

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If any of you are in the transportation industry like I am, you will know the last three weeks have been nuts. I am an operations manager and there is not one person I know in my chosen field of work that likes the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and what it means and all that but it is heck at work.

First off, many, or should I say most drivers, want home. Many, or should I say ALL, customers have more product they need you to move to their destinations. You can’t force drivers to work or they quit so you tell the customers no, you just don’t have the drivers to help so they yell at you. You have calls and emails from people you have not heard from all year asking if you can help. Those are easy to handle, no we don’t, thanks for calling.

Secondly, you have weather. Snowstorms that delay trucks which means they don’t get unloaded and can’t pick up their next load. More unhappy customers. Add the bitter cold we have had for last two weeks which are heck on the trucks. One day last week we had 10% of our trucks in shops because they wouldn’t start, or all the alarms were going off telling drivers to stop immediately.

Thirdly, you have drivers that tell you yes, I will be back to work on Tuesday after Christmas so you tell customers you have trucks for them then the drivers disappear. More unhappy customers. Some of the drivers will show up Wednesday, others won’t answer the phone until January. Of course with the national driver shortage and the government forcing electronic logs, which forces drivers to drive when they are tired, which is another story, there is not much we can do to reprimand the drivers. They will just quit and go work for someone else.

Of course, those same drivers will be the ones complaining this week that they don’t have a paycheck or they are going to quit unless we get their miles up. Seriously, you just disappeared for a week and want me to jump through hoops for you? But, it’s what we have to do in this industry to make everyone as happy as we can.

And by nature, I am not a people pleasing person. I am a get the job done person while trying to meet the needs of customers and drivers. Not everyone is happy, but I do my best.

So basically I disappeared from the social media world and just took time to decompress. Come home and veg.

Friday was the first day I felt normal. Well, as normal as I think of normal because I am not normal.

With all that being said, I think life is back to being life and maybe now I can start to read posts and write again.

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