NIAD Member

Truck drivers – they should be viewed as friends, not enemies

We encounter trucks in our travels and commutes every day. These trucks, which include not only tractor trailers but straight trucks and delivery vans, are part of our daily life.

According to the US Dept. of Transportation there are over 15.5 million trucks operating in the US. Of these over 2 million are tractor trailers. Over 16 Billion tons of raw materials and finished goods are delivered by truck in the US each year. These trucks deliver practically everything we own or touch. Everything.

It is the job and responsibility of each and every truck driver to operate their vehicle in a safe and legal manner, and obey speed limits and laws. It is also their livelihood – so proper and safe operation not only means they will be arriving home safely at the end of their trip, it also means they are able to put food on the table for their families.

A tractor trailer equipped with a 53 ft. trailer can have a total length of over 70 ft. The maximum weight – when fully loaded, can exceed 80,000 lbs, or more with proper permits. This is 40 tons of rolling steel and product. All drivers on public roads need to keep this in mind, and provide trucks with ample room and adequate distance to operate and stop.

The majority of the general public has never operated a truck of this size – or even ridden in the cab alongside a tractor trailer driver. If you had, you would have a much higher respect for these vehicles and drivers who operate them – and for the skill required to operate them properly.

Also, some of these drivers scan log up to 60,000 – 80,000 miles per year. What obstacles do they encounter? Driver’s texting or making phone calls, reading emails and drifting from lane to lane, drivers under the influence, inclement weather conditions and many others.

Remember, trucks are on the road day and night delivering the products you may have just ordered on Amazon or some other website, or delivering products to your favorite store, or food to your favorite restaurant.

Show truck drivers the respect they deserve, and help make sure they are able to perform their jobs in a professional manner, keep the public safe, and arrive safely home each night to enjoy their families – and continue to perform the work that keeps America rolling.

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