“Thank You” To The Truck Driver
Hopefully I don’t open up a can of worms with this column. I felt the need to write it only because a member of my family has been a truck driver for 25 years and it is a thankless job. The trucker is a behind the scenes worker that many people forget. Not many of us, me included, stop to think what and who has brought this to us for consumption. And yes, I complain a lot when I get behind that slow truck or a truck passes me when it’s not really safe, yet, we all have much to thank the trucker for.
My brother drives over a thousand miles every time he goes on a haul. No trip is ever the same and most of the time mechanical or broker issues hold him up. Being a trucker not only impacts his life, limiting the time spent at home and affecting relationships, but also it affects his family as well. Every time he leaves on a haul, I wonder if he will be all right, if he’s getting enough rest and if he will be coming home. Sometimes the stress and worry is overwhelming, but we manage, as a family to get through and have become stronger over time.
Being a trucker is more of a lifestyle than a job. It’s a nomadic life, traveling from state to state. Long hours are spent alone, pushing to get to the next drop or pick up on time. Truckers are expected to cover as many as 125,000 miles per year (2,500 miles a week or 500 miles a day). That’s a lot of country to cover, many times in only a day or two. It’s no wonder my brother always sounds so tired and worn out when I talk with him. A trucker may bring home $300 to $1,200 a week depending on the load and the distance to be covered. They definitely won’t get rich.
Truckers don’t do the job to get rich; they do it because they love to travel, to see different places and to meet new challenges everyday head on. We never stop to think what we have to thank the trucker for.
Without truckers, you wouldn’t have your car or fuel for your car. Each day, truckers deliver fuel to gas stations across the county. Without truckers, you wouldn’t have clothes to wear. More than 90% of all goods come by truck. Without truck drivers, you wouldn’t have groceries in your cabinets, fresh produce to purchase or food to feed your pets. Most food travels 1,500 miles before it lands on your table. Without truckers, you wouldn’t have toilet paper. You wouldn’t have a roof over your head without the truck driver. Everything you need to build your home, from lumber to insulation, came by truck. Hospitals wouldn’t have the necessary tools to take care of patients without truckers. Within two to three days, hospitals would run out of basic supplies. Pharmaceuticals will deteriorate and become unusable. Truckers are the true angels of the highways. They often go above and beyond to help other motorists and sometimes even risk their own lives to save someone. Truck drivers are a giving group of people. Truckers across the county join the Special Olympic Convoy every year which helps raise money for the Special Olympics. Drivers donate their time and money to many great causes.
The trucker touches every aspect of our lives. We owe what we are able to purchase and consume to the truck driver. He or she sacrifices family, friends and relationships to carry goods across the country for sale in stores for people like you and me. It is a thankless job and most truckers do it because they love the road not to make money. So remember the next time you see a trucker say “Thank you,” because without them our lives would be a lot different and more difficult than it is.