A BIG Thank You to our Truck Drivers: Our Nation's Unsung Heroes
September 13 marked the start of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. This annual event is hosted by the American Trucking Associations and the entire trucking industry to honor the nation's un-sung heroes: our Truck Drivers. These men and women work days, nights and weekends, and are often gone for a week at a time in order to deliver goods to stores and consumers on time. Not to mention they deal with the same driving struggles we all do day in and day out.
The American Trucking Association compiled some amazing facts to recognize truck drivers for their role in “Moving America Forward,” noting that the transportation industry is a major contributor to the American economy, employing more than 7 million people. For those who don't work in the industry, It still plays a huge role in each of our lifestyles and daily routines. More than 80% of U.S. communities depend solely on trucking for delivery of goods and services!
To shed some light into the daily lives and hard work of our professional drivers, we compiled a couple of our favorite Pro Driver Fun Facts below.
Stats that put the hard work of truck drivers into perspective.
There are about 5.6 million semi-trailers with over 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States. Out of the 3.5 million, 1 out of 9 are independent drivers, meaning they are self-employed and offer shipping and delivery services. Truckers travel anywhere from 2,000-3,000 miles per week and are “limited” to a driving maximum of 70 hours over an 8-day span— well over what most consider to be a standard workweek at 40 hours. Together, the industry logged close to 421 billion miles last year!
Truck drivers are the reason you were able to purchase most of what you own.
Sixty-eight percent of all goods in the U.S. are delivered by semi-trucks, which equals about 60,000 pounds per American, per year. The commodities delivered in the largest quantities are agricultural and building materials, but much of what you use on an everyday basis— clothes, food and even the desk you are sitting at— are able to reach the consumer because a truck transported it to a store or directly to the consumer. An infographic by the CDL adds perspective into how heavily we rely on our truck drivers to deliver essential goods and services. If trucks stopped delivering for even one day the supply of medicine at our hospitals, food on our shelves, availability of gas, and more— would deplete.
Truck drivers have their own special communication device— and language!
Truckers are the largest audience to use CB Radios as a form of communication, using them to keep in touch with other truckers and their employers. CB Radios help truckers through a variety of situations, including emergencies, road conditions, lane closure updates and even the occasional police spotting— which depending on where you’re traveling— might be called a City Kitty, County Mounty or Full Grown Bear based on the Trucker’s Report guide to CB Radio lingo.
Passenger Vehicles Are the Cause of MOST accidents involving a semi-truck.
One of the most common causes of trucking accidents is passenger vehicle drivers. Drivers of passenger vehicles can help keep themselves and our truck drivers safe by understanding the limitations and performance capabilities of trucks. Semi-truck’s have 5 axels, about 70-80ft in length and have a limit of 80,000lbs, or 40 tons, while cars are a mere 5,000lbs. This, along with other factors like load weight, road conditions and bobtailing takes them about 40 percent longer to stop. Passenger vehicle drivers can do their part in preventing accidents by familiarizing themselves with the most common truck accidents, compiled by the attorney’s at FindLaw, in order to avoid them.