When you think of important jobs in society what are the first jobs that come to mind? Firefighter, soldier, police officer, astronaut? Perhaps given the Covid-19 pandemic you might say nurses, doctors, EMTs, and first responders. But what if I told you that one of the most important figures in maintaining your way of life is someone you encounter multiple times a day without even realizing it? That’s right – America’s truck drivers play a crucial role in keeping goods and services ready for you at a moment’s notice and work hard to get those products delivered rain or shine.
The Covid-19 pandemic did a lot to change the way the public looks at trucking, trucks, and truck drivers. Have you noticed any bare shelves at the store? While truckers are not to blame for supply chain problems, the shelves would be much emptier if the trucks weren’t running the overtime hours they already do. Truck drivers worked throughout the pandemic to see that grocery stores were stocked with the things we needed, that hospitals and other essential businesses had the PPE supplies they needed, and that once they became available that the vaccines got to their proper distribution points. In general, almost everything you buy at the store or online has been inside a tractor-trailer that traveled a long distance to its destination. If anyone claims trucks are a nuisance on the road just remind them that trucks transport 70% of all goods delivered across the United States. Ask them to imagine what their lives would be like if they could not get 70% of the things in their stores, homes, or offices.
In addition to transporting health equipment and personal goods, truckers connect businesses. Before interstate transportation, doing business was relegated to areas much closer to you. Businesses were forced to work with local suppliers because they couldn’t afford the time it took to get supplies delivered across the country by ship or train. If you ordered supplies from a much farther location, you knew it would take a very long time to get to you and it would often delay production plans or deplete your inventory levels. Truckers have opened the country for business. Now a manufacturer in Maine can do business with a supplier in Nevada and get overnight delivery of components so their production line doesn’t shut down. The same manufacturer can get his finished goods hauled to a retailer and sold the next day. Within a 2-day stretch, truckers made it possible for a local company to build goods and get them sold at market whereas without truckers this would have been impossible to accomplish. Such is the case with millions of businesses of all sizes in the United States which have relied on truckers to start their ventures and chase the American dream.
Lastly, the trucking industry contributes to a healthy economy by keeping many Americans employed. The trucking industry is responsible for employing approximately 7 million people, half of whom are truck drivers. A healthy economy needs people to be employed full-time with steady salaries in order to thrive. The trucking industry is constantly growing thanks to truckers being essential to society and keeping our economy moving. Trucking companies can provide a stable income to drivers of all ages and the good news is that as our society moves faster, the need for eligible drivers will only grow. According to American Trucking Association’s Chief Economist Bob Costello, the number of truckers is steadily rising, but not enough to keep up with the current demands of the economy, estimating the industry is short by at least 50,000 drivers, making it an opportune time to pursue a career as a trucker with demands higher than ever.
In conclusion, trucking is the beating heart of the American economy. Truck drivers deliver 10 billion tons of commodities and transport over 671 billion dollars worth of goods every year. Many people may not think twice about a truck passing them on the highway, but that truck could be delivering essential medical supplies to save someone’s life or could be shipping raw materials to keep a local manufacturing plant in business. On top of that, trucking and logistics industries are responsible for employing millions of Americans. Hopefully this article gives you some newfound appreciation for truck drivers as our way of life wouldn’t be the same without them. And if you’re a truck driver we just want to thank you for the very important service you provide this country.