Professional Truck Drivers Keep America Moving
Truck driver appreciation week
According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), semi-truck drivers transport nearly 70 percent of all freight distributed in the United States — making the trucking industry an integral piece in our economy. To honor commercial drivers for their hard work and dedication, the ATA hosts National Truck Driver Appreciation Week each year. The 2017 celebration takes place September 10-16. Learn more about the impact truck drivers have on our daily lives and see other ways they’re recognized for the work they do for our nation.
Saluting America’s drivers
From retail products shipped to stores to household goods moved across the country, trucking impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. Without trucks, retailers and banks would run out money, factories would go offline, and our healthcare system, airports and public transit systems would all shut down. Simply put, the goods we need to survive couldn’t get to us without truck drivers. To honor them for their professionalism and service, several programs and competitions take place every year. Apart from truck driver appreciation week, programs like the Highway Angel Program, America’s Road Team and the National Truck Driving Championships recognize individuals for their skills and positive impact on the industry.
The Highway Angel Program
The average truck driver travels between 2,000 to 3,000 miles a week, so it’s not surprising drivers often see motorists in need and go beyond their job descriptions to offer a helping hand. These deeds could range from repairing a flat to pulling someone from a wrecked or burning vehicle, and it’s because of these actions that the Truckload Carriers Association’s Highway Angel program was created. Highway Angel drivers:
- Are rewarded for the kindness, courage and courtesy they show to others while on the job
- Are nominated by their employers, fellow drivers or the motorists they’ve assisted on the road
Since the Highway Angel program started in 1997, 35 drivers from ArcBest LTL carrier ABF Freight® have been selected as Highway Angel recipients.
America’s Road Team
Drivers are not only rewarded for their good deeds, but for their safety on the road. Since 1986, the ATA has recognized professional truck drivers with excellent safety and driving records to be on a panel called America’s Road Team. The group is composed of a dozen individuals who:
- Have superior driving skills and safety records
- Serve as a voice for the trucking industry
- Stress the importance of safety on roadways
Every two years, ABF Freight selects 12 drivers who display exemplary standards of safety and professionalism to serve on the ABF Freight Road Team. Modeled after the national program, the ABF Freight group represents our company in the community. These drivers attend speaking engagements and other seminars to share news about the trucking industry, driver safety and other matters of interest.
The National Truck Driving Championships
As an incentive for professional truck drivers to perform their duties safely, the ATA hosts annual National Truck Driving Championships. Drivers who compete in this skills-based competition must pass a series of tests including maneuverability, pre-trip inspections, a written examination and a difficult driving course. According to the ATA, competitors must display a high level of safety and professionalism and be accident-free for at least one year prior to the event. ABF Freight drivers have received numerous awards from these competitions, with 11 finishing in first place and several finishing in second and third place. Other drivers have received professional excellence awards and lifetime volunteer awards, with one rookie driver earning the rookie driver of the year award.
Celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
We appreciate the hard work our drivers do every day, to not only deliver goods safely and on time, but for being leaders on and off the road. We want to extend our gratitude to every semi-truck driver for their continued dedication to quality and service. If you see a driver this week, say thank you!