Celebrating National Truckers Day
National Truckers Day is October 4th and we’re hard pressed to think of a group of individuals who are more deserving of praise. Their commitment to taking on one of this country’s most demanding and important jobs while keeping the economy moving is truly impressive.
Keep reading to learn more about what being a trucker entails, how they impact the economy, and how we can truly show our appreciation for these amazing people on National Truckers Day, and every day.
National Truckers Day
National Truckers Day falls on October 4th, and is a perfect time to show truck drivers how much they are appreciated. Here are a few ideas for saying “Thanks for all you do:”
- Gifts. Personalization is key, when gifting something to a truck driver – a generic gift that doesn’t take the individual into account is as good as not giving anything at all. Some drivers are passionate home cooks – a cookbook, or fun kitchen tool might be perfect for them. Other drivers are more interested in tech or entertainment – a bluetooth speaker or subscription to satellite radio would be an excellent idea. Think about the person you’re buying something for, and tailor the gift to their preferences.
- Buy them lunch! Or dinner! Long hours on the road and lots of stops at restaurants are the hallmarks of truck drivers’ days. One way to say “thanks” is to buy or cook them dinner when they’re home, send them on the road with a home cooked meal, or get them a gift certificate to a restaurant they’ll stop at on the road.
- Thank you notes. This is the simplest way to let a trucker know that they’re appreciated. A heartfelt and sincere note can make a huge difference in someone’s day.
How Do Truck Drivers Impact The Economy?
In 2019, the US trucking industry was a $791.7 billion industry. As an industry that makes billions of dollars, trucking is clearly vital to our country’s economy. But how exactly are truck drivers impacting America’s economy?
There are around 7.4 million individuals with jobs in the trucking industry – approximately 3.5 million of them are truck drivers. Despite the current global recession, the trucking industry only continues to grow. From April to June of 2020, the number of available truck driving jobs increased by over 10,000. Considering the losses sustained by nearly every other industry in the country, trucking offers a sense of stability in an uncertain time.
Helping Other Businesses and Individuals
Grocery stores, small businesses, corporate warehouses, and many other places depend on truck drivers to supply them with goods and raw materials. Without reliable transportation, these businesses will not have products to sell, or the necessary materials to create their products or manage day-to-day operations. The current recession has created a greater need than ever before for the trucking industry, as more and more businesses have had to increase their online presence and more individuals are shopping online.
Businesses aren’t the only ones who benefit from the trucking industry – the other side of the coin has the individuals who depend on truckers to deliver goods. Experts at Time magazine believe that if there were no truck drivers to deliver goods, ATMs would have no cash within just a few days, perishable food would be in short supply after three days, and drinking water would be unavailable in two to four weeks. Truck drivers are an absolutely necessary part of the economic fabric of this country.
What Does a Day in the Life of a Truck Driver Look Like?
Though no two days are the same for a truck driver, many prefer to follow a routine in order to ensure that their equipment is in good shape, and that their minds are sharp.
Most truck drivers wake up with the sun; they have a lot of miles to cover and a lot of work to do before they are able to get on the road. Most drivers begin their day with a shower and breakfast, followed by a pre-trip inspection of equipment. This inspection includes checking on the coupling system, the vehicle lights, tires and brakes, engine compartment, the chassis, the fuel tanks, and an in-cab inspection. Everything must be in proper working order before a driver can get on the road.
A truck driver’s afternoon can vary based on what the dispatch dictates. These are a few typical options:
- Drop and Hook. This is an industry term that refers to when a truck driver delivers (drops) a full container of goods to a warehouse and receives (hooks) an empty container in return. In this way, empty containers are moved to where they need to be, rather than sitting at a warehouse, and trucks drivers are able to quickly get back on the road.
- The long haul. This is the trucking industry term that most people are familiar with. Truck drivers will drive around 500 miles a day, on average. For those drivers making the long haul, they might spend multiple work days (around 8 hours each) getting to a single location that is further away.
- Live unload. The driver waits on site while the warehouse staff unloads the container that was just delivered. After the container is unloaded, the driver returns the empty container to the port. This delivery option is essentially the opposite of a drop and hook.
Sometimes, a truck driver doesn’t have particularly far to go in a day and has unloaded a container in the afternoon. In these instances drivers might have time to get a head start on the next delivery or pick up of the next container. If they’re close enough, they might even head home for the night.
After The Drive
Given their very early mornings, truck drivers will typically stop overnight at some of the best rest stops in the U.S., some of which provide amenities like showers and laundry facilities. The rest of their evenings spent on the road will involve a few guarantees:
- Finding a good parking spot. A good spot at a rest stop ensures better access to amenities and restaurants, as well as an easier way out of the parking lot in the morning so that truck drivers can get an early start on their routes for the day.
- Inspecting the truck. Just as drivers must inspect their rigs in the morning before hitting the road, they must also give them a loon before turning in for the night to ensure that nothing has been damaged or come loose, and that everything is as it should be.
- Paperwork and workflow. This administrative task sets truck drivers up for success the next day. It gives them a good idea of what the following day will entail in terms of driving and delivery. Staying on top of paperwork throughout the drive cuts down on time taking care of it afterward.
What a truck driver does after completing those tasks is up to them, but a hot meal, a shower, and a good night’s sleep are usually a good bet.
Would You Like To Be A Truck Driver?
If this booming industry and its economic impact appeals to you, you can learn to be a trucker at Truck Driver Institute. You can earn your Commercial Driver’s License in as little as three weeks. We also provide competitive tuition rates and consistent job placement.