Have you thanked a truck driver today?
We have – It’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! The Agforce team appreciates its truck drivers more than we can express every week, but we love having the opportunity to thank them officially and publicly once a year.
This year, we’re visiting some of our local carriers bearing gifts as a thanks for everything they do. We’re also sharing some of the coolest, most mind-blowing facts about truck drivers and the truck driving industry so that all of you can share in our awe of these men and women who quite literally keep America running.
Understanding the importance of truck drivers
In 2018, there were 3.5 million men and women employed as truck drivers in the United States, and 7.8 million people employed in jobs related to trucking (hey, that’s us!), not even counting the self-employed. Business Insider did the math and determined that almost six percent of all Americans with full-time jobs did something related to truck driving. And a study by National Public Radio found that “trucker driver” was the most dominant job in 29 U.S. states, including California and Texas. That means even without taking into account all the industries truck drivers support, they are crucial to our nation’s economy on their own.
Then, consider how much the rest of our economic ecosystem relies on truck drivers: Trucks moved roughly 71.4% of the nation’s freight by weight in 2018, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA), which means without their drivers, virtually every other industry – from agriculture to healthcare to technology to food service to retail – would grind to a halt. Business owners, consumers and those in need of life-saving services would suffer almost immediately.
As it is, a truck-driving career isn’t without suffering of its own. Drivers put in up to 70 hours behind the wheel every week, and drive almost 300 billion miles a year, combined. These grueling hours can mean weeks at a time away from home, reduced access to healthcare and nutritious foods, lack of physical activity throughout the day and a lot of solitude. It’s not a career that’s a good fit for everyone, making our appreciation for those who love it and do it well even greater.
Because the domestic trucking industry isn’t affected by automation or offshoring, two of the biggest threats to the American workforce, the need for qualified, reliable truck drivers will only continue to grow. The ATA projects overall freight tonnage to “grow to 20.6 billion tons in 2030, up 25.6% from 2019’s projection of 16.4 billion tons. Truck drivers will continue to make a major contribution to society for decades to come, and we plan to continue thanking them for at least that long.
Agforce is growing quickly, and we recognize none of that growth would be possible without the network of carriers who allow us to be as agile and responsive as our customers expect. Our truck drivers get us where we’re going – literally and figuratively.
Want to thank a truck driver today? Use the hashtag #ThankADriver on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Want to partner with Agforce? Reach out! You can call us at 844.713.6723 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.