Without truck drivers, it would have been impossible to imagine so many daily operations, such as the delivery of goods. Transportation of goods by truck is so smooth and seamless that sometimes we forget about the enormous difficulties that truck drivers go through to make our lives easier.
For example, data shows that some of the greatest challenges that truck drivers face in their job every day are pressure to deliver faster, fuel costs, and fleet tracking. These are some many reasons why all of us should celebrate truck drivers. Truck driver appreciation week 2022 is September 11-17. Moving forward let’s dive into the national truck driver appreciation week origin and look at some typical celebrations trucking companies organize.
Origins of Truck Driver Appreciation Week
The drivers’ appreciation week was established by Bill Webb, who is the former president of the Texas Motors Transportation Association (TMTA). The whole idea behind this national celebration was to introduce truck drivers and their hard work to people outside the trucking industry and encourage those people to show appreciation. Trucking businesses started to celebrate truck driver appreciation week in the early 1900s.
During the past several years Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has partnered with many healthcare organizations to administer blood pressure, vision tests, and glucose screenings for truck drivers as a way of showing appreciation and caring for their health. Initially, truck driver appreciation was supposed to be a day, instead of a week.
However, Webb noticed that drivers come to their respective trucking companies very infrequently, and because of the discrepancy in schedules, not many drivers were able to get their hands on the activities offered for their appreciation day. That’s why it was decided later on to make the celebrations last for a whole week.
Trucking industry news nowadays reports that many top trucking companies have started to offer different types of benefits to drivers beyond the drivers’ appreciation week as well. For example, offering pay raises or just simply listening to drivers’ feedback and acting on them.
What Does It Mean to Be a Truck Driver?
To understand better why each one of us should show appreciation for truck drivers during drivers appreciation week and beyond, let’s look at some typical scenarios and situations that these professionals get involved in every day.
One of the most common situations in a typical truck driver’s lifestyle includes unstable working hours and alternating locations. Furthermore, the majority of drivers start out their careers as Over The Road (OTR) drivers, which requires being away from home for more than several weeks.
Another important aspect of being a professional truck driver is being able to drive at night as well, even in bad weather conditions. Therefore, the best trucking companies to work for are those that offer the flexibility of work hours. AJR Trucking is one of the few companies that offer this option to its truck drivers.
A typical work day of a truck driver also includes a lot of responsibilities, such as checking on the dispatch updates constantly, making sure that the truck has no technical problems, and ensuring adequate availability of fuel for the duration of the whole trip.
One very significant detail to keep in mind if you want to become a truck driver is to always carry a hammer with you! No matter what technical issues arise on the road, a hammer can solve everything from fixing the tires to breaking a pile of ice on the road. Furthermore, a professional truck driver always checks the weather conditions before hitting the road, and based on the forecast, makes route changes if applicable.
Also, it is important to note that being a truck driver requires a lot of concentration. Drivers spend most of their entire shift on the road, which can be very tiring at times. That is why the best trucking companies always make sure to keep in touch with their drivers and check up on them constantly. AJR Trucking also offers additional benefits to make sure that drivers feel compensated and appreciated for all their hard work and dedication.
However, it is also essential to notice that there are many ways to make the life of a truck driver very comfortable and interesting during work hours too. For example, companies could give access to their drivers to a podcast streaming platform to make sure that drivers have something exciting to listen to during those long hours. Other ways to make their lives more comfortable are giving out showering tips, or tips on finding bathrooms along the way.
Trucking Industry Jobs
If you were thinking about getting into the trucking industry, then this is the best time. Nowadays truck driver shortages are reported in the US market. One of the biggest reasons for the shortage is the fact that 70% of freight is transported through highways.
Furthermore, the trucking industry has its own limitations when it comes to the demographics of drivers. For example, only those at least 21 years of age are allowed to acquire a license for interstate driving. That is why the average age of a truck driver in the US is 55.
Additionally, the statistics show that the majority of truck drivers are male and women account for only 47% of the workforce. Therefore, there is a lot of opportunity for women in the trucking industry currently, as many top trucking companies, such as AJR Trucking, have started hiring female drivers as well.
If you are considering entering the trucking industry, then you would probably also be interested in the benefits offered as well, one of the most important of them being the truck driver’s salary. Another major benefit offered is the full package insurance, which is necessary as driving can get a little risky at times. Other advantages of this job that are worth mentioning include flexible work hours and endless traveling opportunities.
Regarding the salary, the exact amount depends on many factors such as the company, the trucking niche, if any, type, years of experience, and the location. Even though these factors are significant in determining the salary amount, mostly mileage rate is taken into consideration while making the calculations. Some of the other aspects that are part of this calculation method are wait time, number of order deliveries, border crossings, etc.
Another common salary calculation method is the hourly rate, as it is easier to track for the company. Additionally, it gives a sense of stability and consistency to the driver.
How to Become a Truck Driver?
Becoming a truck driver requires lots of training and some licenses. However, for inexperienced drivers, the truck driver job may seem a little intimidating. That is why it is essential to find a trucking company that supports new drivers.
AJR Trucking offers all the necessary training and resources for beginner drivers to start right away and become professionals in a short amount of time. Furthermore, AJR Trucking has been working with USPS for more than 30 years, which promises stability and ensures that all drivers will have steady and consistent work.
When it comes to licenses, one of the most important trucks driver requirements is to have a Commercial Driving License (CDL). The exam can be taken at the nearest DMV location, and numerous online resources are available to help you prepare.
The license cost ranges from $20-$120 based on the type of truck that you want to drive. The license has three classes: A, B, and C. Class A gives permission to drive different types of commercial trucks, whereas class B permits to drive public or school buses, dump, straight, delivery trucks, and small trailers. Class C is intended for driving vehicles with 16 people or more, airport shuttles, or that carry hazardous materials.
In addition to the class of the license, you can also choose the type of trucking. Mainly three types are identified: regional, local, and over-the-road (OTR). OTR drivers travel across the USA and Canada.
Regional drivers stay in a particular area of a particular country. Regional truck drivers are mostly assigned to a territory of no greater than a 1000-mile radius. Finally, local truck drivers get to spend every evening at home as they cover areas within a 200-mile radius.
Future of the Trucking Industry
As already mentioned above, one of the major trends in the trucking industry is women truck drivers, who have a lot of opportunities for growth within the industry. Especially the opportunities
in the over-the-road (OTR) trucking industry, currently, only 10% of the drivers are female in that segment.
Another important future trend to mention is how trucking strives to become a more sustainable business in general. Research results have shown that 88% of customers align with trucking companies involved in different sustainability practices.
Therefore, when choosing the best trucking company to work for, always do your research and evaluate whether the particular company is keeping up with this trend in the industry. For example, AJR Trucking has been involved in such sustainability practices whose results are identical to planting 149,778 trees and eliminating 2,097 metric tons of GHG emissions.