National Truck Driver Appreciation and Wellness Week is just around the corner — Sept. 14-20. In the next few weeks, we'll be saluting the pros who keep things rolling for the American economy.
For people who have the privilege of working in and with the trucking industry, you know that driving a truck is much, much more complicated than taking goods from point A to point B and using your blinker. Professional drivers add value in many ways that often go overlooked. In particular, we know a driver has at least four secret identities:
No. 1: Time Machine Pilot
Let's say you want a juicy slice of watermelon... but you live in Wisconsin and it's January. A visit to the grocery story satisfies your craving, thanks to a delivery from a truck driver who brought that melon from a summery place to your wintry home! Truck drivers defy the calendar to fill our modern-day lives with these treats.
Truck drivers provide us with instant gratification nearly every day. You don't have to wait for the local craftsman to build you a table — you visit the furniture store and pick up a dinette set that was shipped on a truck. It's the American Trucking Associations' PR campaign in action: "Good stuff. Trucks bring it." (Click here to download a PDF about the campaign.)
No. 2: Mechanical Master
If your work computer stops working (and you're not a computer person), you probably turn to an IT help desk. If you're a truck driver and your truck stops working, there's a good chance you're on the road by yourself, pretty far from any company mechanic.
It's up to truck drivers (to a certain point) to master their massive machines and keep them running. Think about all the knowledge drivers must possess to perform maintenance tasks! We're talking wheels, electronics, hoses, brakes, horns, lights... the list is as long as a tractor-trailer itself.
No. 3: Jet Setter
East Coast on Monday and West Coast on Friday? Pretty standard stuff for a truck driver. The U.S. has no shortage of scenic wonders, regional cuisine, and secrets only the locals know. And drivers experience it all!
Drivers leave a trail of dollars in local economies as they roll down the road. They meet tons of different people and get a peek into what makes no two towns the same. Drivers see it all!
No. 4: Philanthropist
Truck drivers get behind some serious charitable causes. For instance, there's Truckers Against Trafficking, an organization that encourages drivers to report human trafficking they see on the road. These guardian angels protect at-risk youth from the sex trade.
The giving doesn't stop there. The Truckload Carriers Association supports Wreaths Across America, which ensures that wreaths are placed on gravestones of veterans in Arlington National Cemetery. Another philanthropic endeavor is Operation Roger, truck drivers who transport needy pets to new homes. Drivers find lots of ways to give back!
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CEO and founder of HNI, Mike Natalizio, has developed and improved risk management solutions for transportation companies and organizations since 1985. Natalizio is the founder of The Risk Clarity Formula™, a tool used by HNI to help their customers identify risk susceptibility, create and help implement the solutions to these risks in order for executives to grow their business, expand their wealth, and reach their goals for the future.