Good reasons to appreciate drivers

By on September 1, 2013
Many-Thanks

William James, an American philosopher and psychologist who is often referred to as the father of American psychology, once stated: “The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”

So National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW) is a good thing. It’s nice to have a dedicated time for America and the trucking industry to recognize professional truck drivers for the difficult job they perform so well day in and day out in all types of conditions.

Companies that ignore Appreciation Week or make a half-hearted gesture don’t understand what they are missing. It’s amazing how those moments of appreciation stay with a driver and make them feel good about the company that does make an effort.

I distinctly recall one shipper who made it a point to shake the hand of every driver who delivered or picked up at his facility and thank them for their efforts. He then offered every driver a cold soda, as well as a pen and pad gift.

At one company I truck for, every one of the fleet dispatch, operations and safety managers took turns grilling hamburgers and hot dogs for all of the drivers during Appreciation Week. Those drivers who couldn’t be around for lunch received a gift certificate from the company to a nearby fast food restaurant.

Another company had Dispatch greet each driver who arrived for their shift, with instructions to report to Safety. When it was my turn I racked my brain trying to figure out what I had done, bracing myself for a lecture. Much to my pleasant surprise, I was greeted by a smiling manager who handed me a company T-shirt, and expressed the company’s gratitude for my efforts and my safe driving record.

What a relief! And the T-shirt had a pocket, something all drivers appreciate.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could keep the good feelings of NTDAW going? What if drivers appreciated one another and others they come in contact with all year long?

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. Express your appreciation sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. You’ll be surprised at the benefits you’ll experience.

A recent movement called positive psychology is finding that virtues such as gratitude can benefit a person’s health by helping people cope with daily problems.

Simply by making that effort, you’ll feel more positive, and you will have a positive influence on the attitudes and behavior of others. Maybe that can start a circle of appreciation that lasts longer than one week a year.

About David A. Kolman

David A. Kolman, an over-the-road driver for many years, is the Senior Editor of Road King magazine.

One Comment

  1. Dan

    September 13, 2013 at 12:42 am

    It’s amazing what a tad of sugar will do for a driver or anyone for that matter, but I have found in the near 30 yrs. I drove that vinegar was the preferable additive dolled out. Guess NO was easier said than YES, if anything was said at all. Also if you’re all about turnover (why? goes here) it’s best not to get too close to your drivers. You might actually get to like ‘em & you cannot have that if all they are in your mind are slabs of meat!

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