Shelves stocked at stores coast to coast. Online orders filled in two days. Fresh produce all year long. Without big rigs running 24/7 to supply our vast commerce network, the way we live would quickly grind to a halt.
September 9–15 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Uber Freight is proud to team with these hardworking men and women who improve our world on a national and individual level every day.
You could say America’s prosperity rides on 18 wheels. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 71 percent of the nation’s freight by weight is moved by truck. In 2016, that resulted in $738.9 billion in gross freight revenue.
To post numbers like that, trucking needs a lot of employees. In 2015, there were 3.5 million truck drivers on the road, with a total of 7.4 million jobs related to trucking activity.
As strong as the economic case is for appreciating truck drivers, there’s also the human side of the story, too. Truck drivers embody many the characteristics and ideals we value most.
For instance, you’ll find a high degree of discipline and commitment among truck drivers. Part of their professionalism comes from the fact that many trucker drivers are former military. Owner operator and veteran Tiffany Hanna is a great example of how armed services experience can translate into a career on the road.
Truck drivers are also known for their can-do spirit. It takes grit to work by yourself, hundreds or thousands of miles from home, in a job with more than its fair share of risks. This strong sense of drive also makes truck drivers very entrepreneurial. In fact, according to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, there are 350,000 owner-operators registered in the U.S.
Individual freedom is also a hallmark of professional drivers. In movies and country songs, truck drivers are often portrayed as modern-day cowboys. Tim Ghorley, shown below, like many in his profession, appreciates the excitement of the open road and travelling to new places. No two days behind the wheel are the same, he says, and it’s one of the best perks of the job.
We hope you’ll show your support not only during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, but also every day of the year.
And if you’re looking for a career that commands respect and a paycheck, we encourage you to join the trucking industry. There is an estimated 50,000 driver job openings in America today, and that huge talent shortage is projected to grow over the next decade.
To learn more, please visit the How to Become a Heavy or Tractor-trailer Truck Driver page at the United States Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.