I have seen big advertisements in nearly every trucking magazine and signs in truckstops telling us drivers it’s Truckers Appreciation Week. I have seen television reports of state governors signing statements proclaiming Truckers Appreciation Week. I have seen the governor of Ohio at a Federal Highway Administration “No Zone” display at the Ohio state fair.
All of this adds up to baloney and not even enough of that to make a sandwich. The sponsors of this week make a big deal of saying how much America’s truckers mean to the nation. This proclaimed week has come and gone. Do you feel like you have been appreciated?
I don’t see any difference after this so-called “trucking appreciation” week than I did before it. I still see shippers who tell you not to use their facilities, proclaiming they are “Not for Drivers.” The recruiting ads that motor carriers place in magazines and trucking publications haven’t changed. I didn’t see one offer of more money (higher rates) or larger percentages. What I did see was a carrier patting a driver on the back with one hand and at the same time reaching in his back pocket for more money with the other.
I see truckstops putting up signs profusely thanking drivers and when they are done with that, the same people go change the posted cost of fuel, raising the price of diesel.
I see states still targeting truckdrivers for tickets to raise revenue. Whether they admit it or not, state police officers have a quota system for commercial vehicle citations. I have never heard of a quota system requiring enforcement folks to “appreciate” at least 10 truckers a day.
Appreciating us truckers is a great idea, but dedicating seven days a year to being nice to us is hardly a positive reception. Truckers do their job 365 days a year. This whole thing is a gimmick for the carriers and government to feel good about themselves. Telling everyone how they appreciate truckdrivers is such a whitewash job. I didn’t see any states offering to let trucks run without having to pay tolls for Truckers Appreciation Week.
I haven’t heard anyone really trying to understand how tough trucking is and how dangerous it can be. Many drivers lose their lives every year doing a job that puts food on the shelves of supermarkets or clothes on the racks at department stores. We don’t even have a memorial for the drivers who have lost their lives keeping America moving. I haven’t seen any companies donating to such a cause.
I guess I need more than an advertisement, a giant billboard or an official proclamation to feel appreciated. To me, actions still speak louder than words. I just wish they would give me the money they spent on the officious hoopla that took place during this “appreciation” week. Are you motor carriers, brokers, shippers and officials listening? Because there’s next year to think about. Or better yet, how about next week?