A new Truckload Carriers Association website, www.driverappreciation.com, allows professional truck drivers to easily locate upcoming National Truck Driver Appreciation Week activities taking place in North America and plan their schedules accordingly. NTDAW, being recognized Sept. 19-25, is an annual industrywide effort to honor and recognize professional truck drivers and to draw public attention to the role that trucking plays in the economic growth of North America.
In the United States alone, trucking employs 7.3 million workers (not including those who are self-employed). Of these, about 3.39 million are professional drivers who deliver 68.8 percent, or 10.2 billion tons, of the nation’s freight tonnage. Since 1998, when NTDAW was first launched, the number of businesses and trucking associations hosting recognition activities for truck drivers has increased.
TCA’s new website, which was developed for the organization by uDrove, is designed to make it easy for drivers to search for NTDAW events being held within a specified state/province, city and/or distance in miles from a city. Event listings provide not only basic contact and location information, but also the type of activity (free meal, discount offer, prizes/gifts, etc.), drivers who may attend (all CDL holders, only CDL holders affiliated with the host company, etc.), and if the general public and media are invited to participate. Any company that has not yet registered its driver appreciation activities can still do so.
“There are many, many companies offering entertainment, discounts, freebies and other thank-yous to professional drivers during Truck Driver Appreciation Week,” says John Kaburick, TCA chairman and president of Earl L. Henderson Trucking Co. of Salem, Ill. “This website collects them all in one place so everyone can see what’s going on, and the industry can thank and recognize as many professional drivers as possible.”
The American Trucking Associations and its state affiliates also are marking the celebration by holding events across the nation. “Professional truck drivers deliver our nation’s essential freight safely every day,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “As a result of this commitment, our nation’s highways are the safest they have ever been, and our grocery shelves are stocked. We as a nation owe a great deal to the truck drivers out on our nation’s roads every day.”
The celebrations this week hosted by motor carriers, shippers and other trucking related industries include million-mile and safety awards, cash bonuses or gifts, an extra paid day off, a cup of coffee or windshield cleaning at truck stops, goodie bags with fresh fruit and water, free health checks, and numerous celebration meals – some lasting all week until every driver cycles through company headquarters. Office personnel at some companies are also encouraged to spend a few days out on the road to see the driver’s side of their business. Many celebrations will be kicked off with a video tribute to the professional truck driver.
ATA is again hosting a video contest focusing on the professional truck driver; to view some of the industry submissions, go to www.youtube.com/results?search_query=”ATATrucksBringIt”&aq=f.
The dates for upcoming NTDAW celebrations will be Sept. 11-17, 2011; and Sept. 16-22, 2012.