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The trucking industry celebrated the people who have kept the wheels turning in this unprecedented year during 2020 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which ran Sept. 13-19 and was notable for the variety of ways drivers were recognized amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are 3.5M professional truck drivers in America, including 136k+ UPSers, who have been delivering for our communities throughout the pandemic,” UPS CEO Carol Tomé said via Twitter. “Thank you for moving our country forward, especially during these challenging times.”
RELATED: Other Scenes From NTDAW
Baylor Trucking planned to recognize its drivers during an event Sept. 19 that also would serve to celebrate the carrier’s 75th anniversary. The company was founded in 1945 with one truck by World War II veteran Chester Baylor.
“To be able to start a trucking business from the cornfields of Indiana and sustain it through 75 years of economic cycles is a remarkable accomplishment,” President Cari Baylor said Sept. 10. “We are grateful to God and give praise to all of our professional drivers and team members who have contributed to our success.”
The family-owned expedited dry van and refrigerated truckload carrier presented gifts to its drivers and entered their names into a raffle for prizes.
“As we commemorate our 75th anniversary during NTDAW, Baylor Trucking wants to go above and beyond to acknowledge our gratitude and to honor our amazing professional drivers,” the company said. Some of its drivers will be assigned to a fleet of 75th anniversary trucks.
The company used its corporate Facebook page to post driver recognition messages and broadcast daily giveaways for the month leading up to NTDAW.
Saluting the men and women of the trucking industry who kept America's essential goods flowing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Garner Transportation Group provided refreshments to drivers throughout the week at its Findlay, Ohio, location and gave them backpacks featuring the company logo that were filled with gifts.
“We are so proud of you,” Garner President Sherri Garner Brumbaugh said in a video message. “We have so many things going on this week, and we want to start the week by saying thank you but inviting you to come through the shop here at Findlay. In the lobby we have some snacks. Stop by, pick something up, some drinks. Staff will be fueling your truck so you’ll be able to take a break.”
Others turned to social media to praise drivers. Penske Logistics recognized drivers via Twitter, while Great West Casualty Company posted on social media images of a surprise lunch for 200 drivers at a weigh station in Jefferson, S.D.
What a great day - Great West surprised 200 truckers today with free lunch at the Jefferson, SD, weigh station as part of Truck Driver Appreciation Week #NTDAW. Thank you to all drivers for keeping our supply chain moving. #ThankATrucker @TruckingFWD @SouthDakotaDOT pic.twitter.com/GAelmTNIPQ— Great West Casualty Company (@GreatWestCC) September 15, 2020
Truck stops also got involved.
“We enjoy celebrating professional truck drivers all year long and with special promotions each September, but with the pandemic we are especially ready to say, ‘Thank you,’ ” said Jon Archard, vice president of fleet sales at Love’s Travel Stops. “As essential workers, professional truck drivers have continued to work hard to deliver important products and goods throughout the country, and the country is really in their debt.”
TravelCenters of America offered discounts on showers and parking. TA Services provided gift packages, refreshments and catering to drivers at its offices nationwide.
“Professional truck drivers play an integral role in keeping our economy moving, and that was especially apparent since the onset of the pandemic this year, delivering everything from gasoline to groceries and medical supplies,” Volvo Trucks North America President Peter Voorhoeve said in a statement Sept. 15. “Volvo Trucks would like to give these drivers the recognition they deserve and thank them for their commitment to the crucial job of transporting the food, cargo, consumer products and equipment that are essential to our everyday lives.”
Peterson Manufacturing celebrated the week by launching an initiative to help drivers in conjunction with American Trucking Associations. The company is awarding $1,000 each to 10 drivers who have undergone hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are proud of our industry truck drivers, and how they have supported our country during these uncertain times,” said David Black, fleet business development manager at Peterson. “We are happy to be able to give back to the industry with our Shining the Light on America’s Truck Drivers campaign.”
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week has a special meaning this year. Kids all over the country are out there thanking their highway heroes with a honk! #honkforhighwayheroes #NTDAW2020 pic.twitter.com/Z5266BHtPE— American Trucking (@TRUCKINGdotORG) September 14, 2020
“The critical impact and service of the professional men and women behind the wheel who drive our economy forward every day can never be understated,” ATA President Chris Spear said in a Sept. 14 statement. “National Truck Driver Appreciation Week provides a chance for America to honor and thank these national heroes, let them know how much we appreciate them, and tell their remarkable stories.”
“There isn’t an American in any community today that isn’t impacted by the work of professional truck drivers,” added ATA Chairman Randy Guillot. “America’s truck drivers provide for our families and uplift our country, often in the face of immense obstacles, and their efforts must never be taken for granted.”
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