Letters to the Editor: Drivers Deserve Our Thanks Every Day; Knowing Your Drivers Cultivates Success

These Letter to the Editor appears in the Sept. 14 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Drivers Deserve Our Thanks Every Day

As you know, we are celebrating the 27th anniversary of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week on Sept. 13-19. I would like to extend a very special and warm “Thank You” to all the men and women who keep America’s economy moving, 24/7/365. I am especially proud of all the female drivers out there, whom I support with my membership in the Women In Trucking association, and my hat’s off to you for a job well done.

I wholeheartedly believe that one week is just not enough to show appreciation to our truckers. Every day is Truck Driver Appreciation Day. I say this because it’s true, and if you think about it, what would happen if trucks sat for just one day, let alone a whole week? No deliveries, no groceries, no fuel, no medicines.

If the American people truly understood this and appreciated it the way I do, I think truck drivers would be looked at in a much more appreciative light.

I also mention NTDAW to our local news media and plead with them to recognize this event marking appreciation, but my requests usually go ignored. The sad thing is, the media are the first to criticize and point blame at the trucking industry when accidents happen. Trucking is so misunderstood and unappreciated.

It is an industry that continues to change and develop. Over the years, trucking has become more technologically advanced and has turned the old paper logs into onboard e-logs. Driver comfort has become the best it’s ever been, with air ride cabs, air ride seats, collision avoidance systems and sleeper bunks that are designed like the Hilton Inn. No more rough-riding trucks with a skinny bunk to crawl in and out. Remember the old movie, “They Drive By Night”? Not to forget the trailers, which have gone from 40 feet to 48 and 53 feet long.

I am proud of seeing the changes that have developed and look forward to future developments in the trucking industry.

One thing that comes to mind, being an old-school trucker: I look back and remember when I was growing up listening to the trucking music from the 1970s and watching all the movies and television shows from that era. I have great memories of those days and, of course, building the 1/25th scale semi-trucks and trailers that decorated my bedroom from wall to wall.

In closing: Wishing you all a very safe and happy National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Thank you, drivers, for a job well done — delivering America one truckload at a time, safely and on time.

God bless you all.

Steve Homer

Logistics Specialist


Streetsboro, Ohio

Knowing Your Drivers Cultivates Success

Thirty-one years ago, I was on the threshold of an exciting career as a social engineer and motivational speaker. Being young and lacking the content needed for such a job, I made the decision to pose as a truck driver to study the trucking industry from the inside to find answers for many of the issues facing drivers and their companies.

I’ve driven 4 million miles, worked for a dozen motor carriers, talked to thousands of drivers and have been in thousands of plants and warehouses in 48 states and several Canadian provinces. When I returned to social engineering, designing events that inspire and motivate people, there was something missing from my information.

My intuitive wife, Cher, insisted on paying for me to attend school to become an ethical massage practitioner to help in her holistic health business. While in school, I studied massage, anatomy, reflexology, polarity and the mind-body connection. My study and work as an emergency medical technician led to the discovery of new perspectives on the causes of sleep apnea and obesity in drivers, along with a better definition of fatigue in keeping with the laws of physics and anatomy.

We wrote to members of Congress with some of our findings and perspective.

I received a call from Washington, D.C., by a special interest group that focuses on small carriers. They made arrangements to meet us at the Mid-America Trucking Show to hear my story. We underestimated how this information would affect the future of transportation and policy until we had three top executives — including a vice president — of a private fleet fly to Pittsburgh, grab a car and drive to Ohio to listen to us for four hours. They left with six pages of notes and inspiration to promote a driver wellness program.

Trucking executives, managers and business owners, please take heed: Becoming a driver and walking in their shoes gave me insight into the trucking industry that I would not have had.

Take time to get to know your drivers and employees. Share with them things about yourself. Keep looking for the positive qualities of your company and each individual around you, and you will develop a more positive environment with solutions to every issue.

You’ve wrapped your drivers with technology. Now try wrapping them with respect and appreciation.

W.M. Sunshine Jones

Social Engineer, Speaker

Cher’s Massage

Steubenville, Ohio