Truck drivers deserve our thanks, today and every day: Guest MINDSETTER™ Maxwell

Sunday, September 18, 2022

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A convoy of trucks for the Special Olympics in RI. PHOTO: Maxwell

As Rhode Island grapples with the post-pandemic challenges we face, including a bottlenecked supply chain and increased consumer demand, truck drivers remain on the front lines to keep our communities supplied. . America’s truck drivers are truly the heroes of the American everyday, and as we come out of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which ran from September 11-17, we are remembering an industry – and the people – that are vital to the American economy and our communities.

More than 80% of American communities rely on trucking as their sole means of delivering their everyday goods; it is not ships, trains or planes that deliver directly to our doorsteps. The clothes we wear, the food in our kitchen, the medicine in our homes – and all the other items you use, come to you from a truck driver. Truckers collectively work seven days a week to deliver. On holidays and weekends, when many are enjoying time with family and friends, truckers are on the road to ensure our deliveries continue.

As hurricane season approaches for many coastal states and climate change threatens other weather systems like tornado winds and wildfires, truckers are working during the toughest weather systems. Whether it’s a downpour or a snow blizzard, truckers keep deliveries going, so our most needed items don’t get lost or delayed. They are also often among the first responders who are the first on sight during national emergencies – delivering trucks loaded with water and other supplies, as we have seen mostly recently in Mississippi this month. after floods damaged the water supply system.


While the trucking industry delivers to every corner of America, the industry’s goal is to deliver the items that support our communities and our economy efficiently and affordably, and to do so safely and time. Truckers take great pride in ensuring the safe and timely deliveries of goods that keep communities strong, but the dedication and passion of the men and women in the industry extends far beyond the deliveries they make.

As the “eyes and ears of our road,” there are countless amazing stories of selfless acts of service truckers perform on the road. Whether it’s stopping to help change tires for motorists or road accidents, or helping to identify and report cases of human trafficking on the roads, truckers can be considered as community guardians – an extra set of eyes and ears to help protect the communities they serve.

When you think of trucking cargo delivery, the first companies that come to mind are often the major national trucking brands, but the fact is, there are all types of carriers. These carriers deliver everything from groceries and medicine, road construction equipment, oil and gas to our homes and cars. In addition to the specialized delivery sectors within the trucking industry, there are also companies of all sizes – from branded trucking companies to large and midsize trucking carriers and small businesses.

In fact, you may be surprised to learn that trucking companies are mostly small, family businesses. The U.S. Department of Transportation cites over 91% of trucking companies operate six trucks or fewer, and over 97% operate fewer than 20 trucks.

The success of the US trucking industry is essential to a strong economy. With trucking employing more than 7.6 million people, including 3.36 million professional truck drivers, in communities across the country, the industry is a true economic engine for our country’s economy. Here in Rhode Island, the industry’s more than 3,000 businesses employ more than 17,000 residents.

A projected annual shortage of 60,000 to 80,000 truckers over the next decade is looming, putting additional pressure on our current group of truckers, making it even more important to appreciate the workforce. current trucking.

Each September, we recognize the American trucking industry and its drivers at the annual event. This Appreciation Week was created to raise awareness of the critical contributions the U.S. trucking industry makes to our country and our economy, and to thank the drivers who make these final deliveries possible.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a timely reminder for our community to reflect on the critical role America’s truck drivers play in keeping our communities supplied, the supply chain strong, and the country moving forward. despite all the challenges the industry is facing. So when you see a truck driver, say hello to a good trucker, say hello or even offer him a cup of coffee. A little thank you this week goes a long way.

Chris Maxwell is a resident of Warwick, RI and is President of the RI Trucking Association

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