It's a Date

By on May 1, 2009
RoadKing Mag

Have you heard? The American Trucking Associations is shifting National Truck Driver Appreciation Week to later in the year. In case you aren’t aware, the observance — a national effort to acknowledge the contributions of truck drivers to the nation’s economic survival — has been moved to November. The week had always been celebrated in mid-August.

This year, the nationwide pat on the back for America’s more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers will take place Nov. 1-7.

What hasn’t changed is that National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is still a time for companies, customers and the public to show their appreciation and honor these professionals and their families.

There will also continue to be events to remind the public that everything they rely on daily is delivered by a truck driver. Motor carriers, state trucking associations, trucking industry manufacturers and suppliers will continue to honor drivers in various ways.

I’m a big fan of truck driver appreciation and not just during the designated national observance. I have always encouraged my friends and others to offer a resounding thank you to truck drivers, as well as their companies, at any time.
Why? Because professional truck drivers are one of the hardest working segments of our nation’s economy. They are the essential driving force that moves the economy forward by ensuring that freight moves through the supply chain so Americans have the necessary goods to survive. More than 80 percent of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for the delivery of their goods and commodities.  

That is why National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, begun in 1995, is so important. Our nation’s truck drivers deserve much appreciation and recognition for the difficult job they do well, professionally and safely, all while trying to balance the variety of demands and duties of family life.

I’d like to know the reason for shifting National Truck Driver Appreciation Week from August to November. When ATA announced that the week would be moved, it offered no explanation.

The change has me worried. I’m afraid the national recognition of truck drivers will get lost in the hustle and bustle of the start of the busy holiday shopping and shipping season.

In years past, the week was observed prior to the National Truck Driving Championships. Dating back to 1937, when it was known as the National Truck Roadeo, this event always caught the industry’s and the public’s attention. There was a nationwide focus on truck drivers.

Now, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week will be mixed in with all the activities of preparing for Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season — a time when the center of attention is far from truck drivers. Truck drivers won’t get the attention and recognition they so well deserve. And that’s just wrong.

I understand that change is inevitable. But it is always easier to accept when the change makes sense.

To all truck drivers, I say thank you for powering America. I appreciate the difficult job that you do day after day.

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