National Truck Driver Appreciation Week runs from September 11-17. This week of acknowledgment started in 1998 by the American Trucking Association to attract and retain drivers. By appreciating the current workers, the idea was that a week of appreciation would make the profession more appealing and create transparency on what it meant to be a trucker.
Truck drivers transport roughly 72% of freight in the United States, creating one of the most important jobs in our economy – as a quick example, research suggests that grocery stores would run out of goods in just three days without truckers (this puts a whole new spin on the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, right?). Professional truck drivers always step up when they are needed and have kept the economy on its feet despite facing unprecedented obstacles, and National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is just one way organizations can publicly demonstrate the value these hard-working individuals deliver.
Hermann Transportation, however, doesn’t wait until September to show our thanks. At least once a quarter, our management and driver hiring teams coordinate events at Hermann offices, warehouses, and terminals.
Earlier this year, Christine Van Hise organized a lunch for our drivers at our Myerstown, PA, terminal. Food, coffee, and company swag were provided as drivers stopped by according to their schedules. Talking to the drivers, Van Hise said, is one of her favorite parts of these events. “It’s great to hear how things are going from our drivers and show that Hermann wants to be involved with them,” she says, having worked in her driver recruiting role for about six years.
At the end of July, several Hermann staff from our New Jersey offices visited our Houston terminal and organized a dinner with the employees and drivers. Approximately thirty drivers attended the event for a great night of food and conversation.
Cookouts and prepared food, group dinners, and company outings have all factored into ways Hermann appreciates their drivers. And during these events, we make sure that our drivers feel heard. From the types of events they’d like to participate in to hearing input on processes occurring at Hermann Transportation, our staff takes the time to receive feedback directly from our essential workers.
When asked what he enjoys most about driving for Hermann, Byata Wilder, who comes from a family of drivers, noted how the office staff and dispatchers are very helpful with solving problems on and off the road. His favorite part of driving a truck and being part of the industry? "Being in control of the vehicle and getting product to customers who need it."
Tyanna Smith’s whole family drives trucks. "It’s in my blood," she says. "I figured it was a good thing to keep the family tradition going. Besides, I love to help the economy by delivering what they need." On working for Hermann Transportation, she noted, "It feels like home; you’re not just a number or a seat filler – you’re FAMILY! They always make me feel that way."
"I got into trucking because I am not a typical 9-5 person. I love working on the road and not in an office," says Benjamin Drandakis. "I like the challenge of driving a truck and meeting interesting people along the way. I also love working at Hermann because of the people I work with and feeling appreciated."
Hermann Transportation has loads of appreciation for our drivers, and during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week and beyond, we like to acknowledge them for going the distance for us!
To learn more about how essential truck drivers are to their communities and the economy, or for more information on NTDAW 2022, please visit www.ntdaw.org.