Celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

North America’s highway systems are the veins of our society, and truck drivers are the lifeblood that flows through them. Their work enables entire economies to function, delivering goods and services from coast to coast. Each year, we come together to show gratitude to these road warriors for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, a celebration to recognize their tireless efforts and dedication. 

As we gear up for this year’s occasion, we’re taking a step back to dive into the origins of Truck Driver Appreciation Week, remembering its significance and how it came to be. 

The Importance of Truck Driver Appreciation Week

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week traces its origins back to 1998, when the American Trucking Association (ATA) established it as a way to honor and recognize the hard work, dedication, and contributions of truck drivers across the United States. The inaugural celebration featured a national event in Washington, D.C., and key speeches from truck drivers, industry leaders, and even government officials. Truck stops joined the action, offering up free meals and showers to drivers across the country. Some stops even hosted their own events and gatherings to show their appreciation. 

Since that first inspiring week of thanks and gratitude, the industry has turned the event into an annual tradition celebrated the second week of September. Various trucking organizations, companies, and communities across America join in to show their appreciation to our unsung heroes of the road. 

This special time serves as an opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices and challenges these essential workers face on a daily basis and appreciate their endless professionalism and dedication. It is also about raising awareness about the importance of their jobs. Ultimately, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week aims to rally continued support and recognition for these invaluable contributors to our nation’s economy.

Ways to Celebrate Truck Driver Appreciation Week 

From carriers to customers, everybody can participate in Truck Driver Appreciation Week celebrations. Special events are a great way to not only celebrate drivers but also build a sense of community and healthy company culture. From BBQs to company outings to corporate retreats and informal get-togethers, any excuse to gather the crew together is a good one. If your drivers can’t make in-person events because they are out on the road, remember the week is about them, so be sure to include them in your celebration plans! 

  • Record personalized thank-you notes or videos from drivers’ friends, families and colleagues scheduled to arrive throughout the week 
  • Prepare and send care packages with ship-ready food gifts, high-quality thermal mugs, and other thoughtful items that might make life on the road a little more comfortable 
  • Publish shoutouts on social media publicly recognizing individual drivers 
  • Coordinate with customers on their routes to show them appreciation with gifts or notes of their own 

 This week might also be a good time to schedule award ceremonies, recognizing drivers’ hard work with personalized achievements, gifts, and awards. 

In addition to focusing on camaraderie, this week can also be an opportune time for carriers to examine operations. You might not have control over global markets, but you can positively affect their work experience in other ways. Invest in fleets and equipment that make for more comfortable rides and reliable transportation. Improve driver facilities and support their careers with professional development opportunities. Use this week as a chance to consider how you can make your drivers’ lives better.  

The Benefits of Appreciating Truck Drivers

The benefits of appreciation are compounding. Not only does it improve relationships, but it can also have a significant impact on business and company culture. Appreciation is the first step on the road to engagement. When drivers feel appreciated, they are naturally inclined to want to perform. They’re willing to engage with managers and have a genuine desire to contribute to the company. 

This kind of engagement spreads throughout the organization, driving improved productivity, high quality customer interactions, and better efficiency across operations. What’s more, engagement has a measurable influence on the business side of things. Gallup reports that companies with highly engaged workforces experience up to 24% lower turnover, 41% lower absenteeism, 70% fewer worker safety, and 20% higher sales, and more compared to less engaged companies. 

How Will You Celebrate Truck Driver Appreciation Week? 

As we approach National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2024, consider the many ways you and your company can celebrate our heroic truck drivers. This important celebration serves as a powerful reminder of the essential role drivers play in our society and our economy. 

At WorkHound, we have a front-row seat to the power of engagement and we know first-hand just how impactful appreciation is in the workplace. Drivers know how much their work matters. They live the experience every day, understanding that, without their hard work, goods go undelivered, shelves are unstocked, and communities don’t have the resources they need to run properly. It’s crucial that the carriers they work for, the customers they serve, and the communities they keep running know how much it matters, too. 

So…How will you show your support this year? 

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