It sounds too good to be true, but I think people might be grasping just how important driving a truck really is. Not only are there the hashtags such as #thankatrucker on Twitter and the ATA’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week in September each year, but there’s also an underlying sense that people are beginning to get it.
So, why now? Perhaps it’s down to a deeper understanding of the extent of a trucker’s role in society. Truckers do more than keep a country’s economy moving – trucks are used to deliver food and aid to those who need it the most (i.e. victims of natural disasters or conflict), and truckers help emergency vehicles when required, keeping the roads safer. Plus, the industry is charity-minded, covering everything from fighting human trafficking to reuniting lost pets with their owners.
Or it could be because the public have seen the alternative (and by that I mean self-driving trucks) and they’re not that impressed.
But while more people are showing a greater appreciation for truckers, can the same be said for businesses?
Here are four ways freight companies can show their appreciation to truckers.
1 Show some respect, please
As we all know, a trucker’s schedule is almost always tight. Even the slightest delay can mean more time on the road and less time with friends and family. Companies need to go the extra mile when it comes to load times and be mindful that truckers are at the front line of product delivery (and therefore profit).
2 Be fair, be reasonable
There’s a lot written about transparency in business – and this extends to freight too. Companies need to be honest with drivers about the kind of freight being delivered and ensure the information about weight, quantity and description is accurate. This will avoid confusion and ensure the job gets done efficiently.
3 Remember, truckers have families too
Everyone likes to go home at the end of a long day – and truckers are no different. Freight companies need to make sure schedules are realistic and allow for periods at home. There will also be family events and get-togethers that truckers will want to attend, so a little bit of flexibility goes a long way. The key word here is compromise: if both parties are prepared to do that, it’ll be a win-win situation.
4 Give truckers a voice
No employee wants to feel they can’t express their thoughts and concerns at work. Companies need to build a solid relationship with truckers and create an environment in which everyone is comfortable with speaking out. Fleet owners should encourage drivers to ask questions and say if something is not clear – whether it relates to the truck, a piece of equipment or a colleague. After all, the more someone feels valued, the more likely they will offer their full loyalty.
So, a big thank you to everyone who is already showing truckers some love – it’s good to know you care! And if you’re late to the trucker appreciation party, don’t worry, we’re here with open arms!