Congratulations to All Truck Drivers

It’s very clear that during this COVID-19 Pandemic, you have given all truck drivers a good name.  Strike that – a GREAT NAME!

Back in the olden days when I was a driver (more than 40 years ago), truck drivers were the “White Knights” of the road. You need to remember that back then there were no cell phones and truck drivers were the ones that would stop and help someone when a car was broken down. We would change a flat tire for a motorist and then we got thanked. That was our payment; a simple and sincere ‘Thank You!’. We were respected!

In recent years, that glowing luster has been lost. Being a truck driver over the past few years is no longer respected and revered the way it once was. (Yes, truck drivers were once respected and admired.)

I am happy to say that the drivers of TODAY have once again brought respect back to trucking due to the tremendous job that all drivers have been performing during this pandemic. The public has once again been reminded about the critical role that you and your fellow truckers play in getting our basic supplies to the stores and to everyone’s home.

But also, in this article, I want to think about what long term changes might happen because of all of this. Where once you were not allowed to use a washroom, this frustration has been recognized as an issue and many companies are now welcoming truck drivers. Will this be a permanent change? I sure as heck hope so.

But what else might change for the truck driver in our society? Could you get more and better parking? We all know that in North America, there is a parking shortage for big rigs. Receivers and shippers are locking the gates and throwing trucks out into the streets to find their own parking spot. Might the shippers and receivers once again welcome drivers and encourage a truck driver to park in their safe and secure parking lot? For years, shippers and receivers have been encouraged by their lawyers to not allow you to park on their premises because of the potential liability that the shipper/receiver takes on. How about the cars that you share the road with? Could those drivers appreciate you and your truck just a little more? Will they give you just a little more room on the roadways? Or will traffic quickly return to the selfish ‘me-first’ driving attitude?  I think that long term there may be less traffic on the highways. Many companies have now figured out that having their staff work from home is productive, efficient and profitable. The employee saves money and time by working from home. The company/employer can reduce its office space and overhead. And how about sales professionals? Many of them are now realizing that they can stay in touch and make their sales in other ways, rather than face to face selling. This, too, can reduce traffic for you, the professional driver. And if traffic is reduced, it would also reduce pollution and wouldn’t that be awesome! Less traffic for you and reduced pollution for all of us. That is a win, win!

Lastly and perhaps the most important. The general public now know that truck drivers perform an essential service. You drivers are not a menace on the road but you are out there sacrificing your home time and family life so that we can all enjoy our lives with all the comforts that truckers deliver on a regular, reliable basis.

Am I dreaming or wishing too much? Will the public have long term memories of the outstanding service that truck drivers performed during this crisis? Or will things just return to normal when this is over?
Let me know your thoughts. Send me an email and, thanks for everything that you do!

Chris Harris
Top Dawg, Safety Dawg Inc.
@safety_dawg (twitter)

About Chris Harris, Safety Dawg

Chris has been involved in trucking most of his adult life. He drove truck for and worked in various office/management positions for a major truck company. His last position of 5 years in the safety department where he was responsible for the recruiting of Owner Operators and their compliance. He joined a trucking insurance company in 2001 and has been in the insurance side of things until making Safety Dawg a full-time endeavour.