Highlighting the heroism of truck drivers

As the old saying goes, not all heroes wear capes. Some, in fact, drive enormous 18-wheelers throughout the country on a daily basis.

When they’ve been needed most, they’ve historically risen to the occasion without much fanfare. Working behind the scenes, truckers have managed to play a pivotal role in keeping the country running.

This doesn’t just apply to times of crisis, however, as truckers do a lot to make sure our homes are all stocked up with essential items and our favorite products. Considering how essential the trucking industry is to the everyday lives of Americans, perhaps more can be done to highlight their work.

This is something that the White House recently noted, as they honored truckers for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In the war against the virus, America’s truckers are really foot soldiers that are carrying us to victory,” President Donald Trump said, according to the American Trucking Associations. “Truckers are playing a critical role in vanquishing the virus, and they will be just as important as we work to get our economic engine roaring.”

Truckers have been a cog in relief efforts, delivering essential items throughout a time of need in the United States. Additionally, they’ve played key roles in crises of the past, staying on the road to help efforts during natural disasters that have occurred. 

Outside of times of emergency, today we’ll also highlight the importance of truckers on a daily basis, as they’re essential to the American economy and our way of life.

Heroics in times of need

Whenever trouble has struck in the United States, truckers have been there to help. From delivering materials for rebuilding infrastructure to providing necessary medical equipment cross country, the trucking industry has made it all happen.

Amid the recent pandemic, with the economy slowing down and life is put on pause, truckers have been hard at work throughout the country, delivering goods such as food, fuel, and medical supplies, among many others. 

Their work has proven to be essential, not just for keeping the American economy, but for continuing to get much-needed items and supplies to the public. While the industry has always been known as America’s backbone, it’s only continued to be cemented in recent times.

The fact of the matter is, without trucks, nothing in this country moves. In order to keep a slice of the economy moving and to keep people around the country fed and safe, truckers are needed more than ever.

In an interview with CNBC’s Kelly Evans, OOIDA’s Todd Spencer noted the importance of truckers during times of crisis. 

“Realistically, truckers are first responders,” Spencer said. “Our whole economy runs on trucks… Everything we need, the vital things in the stores, they only get there by truck.”

Putting their lives on the line, specifically to provide for the needs of the nation, is a prime example of the heroics and patriotism that has been on display throughout these trying times.

However, considering their potential exposure to the virus, Spencer also noted that there is a great need for safety equipment for truckers, as well as easily accessible testing for COVID-19. According to CNBC, Spencer believes that greater efforts need to be made to provide drivers with protective gear. 

In addition, according to Fox News, folks have been appreciative of truckers’ efforts, as explained by a truck driver from Denver that they interviewed.

“One driver said that he was at one of the stores and he had a gentleman come up to him and asked if he could pray for him,” Nate McCarty said, per Fox News. “It’s really heartwarming to hear that.”

“We all have been just getting a lot more kudos from the motoring public. People holding up signs and passing us cards, thank us and people waving to us more on the road than they ever have before,” he added. 

This acknowledgment from the public, in addition to the aforementioned event held by the White House that lauded trucking efforts, will hopefully help attract more attention to the overall heroism that has been on display by truckers,

Nevertheless, this situation is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that truckers emerge as heroes during a time of need. 

In 2019, two states of emergency were declared because of the California wildfires and Hurricane Dorian. In both of these cases, truckers were there to provide aid to the relief efforts.

Similar to the current situation, truckers jumped into action, quickly making their way to affected areas, where they delivered goods, supplies, food, fuel, and other crucial equipment. 

Everyday heroes

Being a trucker isn’t easy, especially considering how long they’re away from their loved ones while they’re on the road. 

Additionally, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, trucking is considered a high-risk job, as it needs professional drivers to be active and aware for hours on end while on the road, which only adds to the difficulty of the occupation.

When people walk around department or grocery stores, they seldom think about how their favorite products got to their destinations. 

As previously mentioned, the work performed by truckers goes largely unnoticed, but they’re vital to our day-to-day lives. 

Whether you need food, clothes, or furniture, there’s always a willing trucker available to deliver your item, in bulk, to your preferred stores. 

They spend hours, days, and weeks on the road, away from their families, going from state to state delivering goods. It’s by far one of the most humble jobs in the country, especially when you consider how little people pay attention to the trucking industry.

Additionally, the trucking industry fundamentally influences nearly every other industry in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, trucks accounted for $721 billion of freight that was moved in 2017. By comparison, the nearest mode of transportation was rail, which only accounted for $174 billion. 

Per the BTS study, trucks carried 63.3 percent of freight that was transported in 2017. In combination with the dollar amount listed above, trucks as a mode of transportation for freight have proved to be the single-most-important factor for the United States economy.

Because of its importance to other industries, trucking has a great effect on the economy as a whole. Since truckers haul products for manufacturing or for selling, they’re a vital cog for revenue throughout the country.

By connecting virtually every industry, truckers, in particular, have made themselves an essential part of the economy, and their importance should not be understated.

Overall, one thing is clear: truckers, while not the most heralded folk in the world, are true red, white, and blue heroes. Their labor is important to all of our lives and it is ultimately essential to making the world run smoothly. 

So, what do you think? Should truckers be seen as heroes by society at large? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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