I HEART TRUCKERS
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week wrapped up on September 18th, and we were thrilled to see so many pictures and hear heartwarming stories of businesses and individuals supporting truckers. Our men and women work hard every day of the year. We love having a week set aside for them each fall and getting to see the recognition that they receive during it.
In case you couldn’t tell, we feel pretty strongly about appreciating truckers at the National Transportation Institute. But it’s not enough, in our opinion, to only set aside one week of the year to do it.
We wanted to take that gratitude a step further this year. After working for nearly two years in pandemic conditions, we felt that drivers deserved a new level of recognition. So we came up with a plan.
It started with Mark Colson. As the president of the Alabama Trucking Association pointed out in a recent speech to industry executives, trucking must shift its focus from equipment to the people operating it.
“There’s a lot of objectification in the industry. Lots of talk about the objects, the trucks themselves. But It’s the people that do the work and those are the stories we need to tell in trucking.”
“Instead of saying ‘I Love Trucks’ or ‘If you got it, a truck brought it’ we need to change our terminology. So the way I talk now is I say ‘If you got it, a trucker brought it’ and ‘I love truckers’.”
The National Transportation Institute could not agree more. So together with Colson, we decided to start a movement. We’re launching a new campaign, with a new logo that says “I Heart Truckers.” Very soon, you’ll see stickers, mugs, and other memorabilia with this emblem. It’s our hope that industry leaders will don these items as a show of support for the people behind the wheel.
We hope even more that having our swag on display will be a reminder to everyone, whether they work in trucking or not, of all the hard work that drivers put in. Ultimately, it’s our goal to foster love for the people in the seat.
Trucking as an industry finds its greatest success when there’s an emphasis on the human connection. We’ve seen that time and again over our 26 years of coaching companies and providing data. It’s something that we as a sector cannot afford to let up on, especially when it comes to our drivers.
Awareness of trucking as a profession swelled in the early days of Covid-19. The public gave a lot of thought, not just to how produce and household appliances made it to store shelves, but who was making that possible. As Colson explains, we can’t let it dissipate once the pandemic subsides. That can only happen if we keep highlighting the personal side of professional driving.
“This level of awareness will go away with other distractions, so we want to make sure that we keep the essential function of a professional truck driver front and center. The way to do that is to humanize the profession.”
That’s why we’re starting this movement. Created by National Transportation Institute President Leah Shaver and Alabama Trucking Association President Mark Colson, the I Heart Truckers movement is dedicated to the hardest working men and women in the trucking industry!