The Image of Trucking: How Can We Change It?

Editor’s note: This post originally ran on The Road, we got to read about it at and we too sharing it here, because this is an important topic which impacts all of us. We value our carrier relationships and the important role drivers play in our industry. Thanks to ChRobinson and TheRoad. Sharing it here as it is published.

Typically, as we reach this halfway point in the year, I like to discuss current, top-trending issues. Today, though, I’d like to talk about something else that has been on my mind lately: the image of trucking.

I recently took a family road trip that spanned about 600 miles, basically the equivalent of one day’s work for an over the road driver. By the end of our trip, I was worn out and tired from driving and managing through different traffic scenarios I faced, from construction, to rain and wind, to the occasional inconsistent—and somewhat erratic—motoring public. But, I noticed that the trucks I encountered were the most professional and courteous drivers on the road.

So why do so many people misunderstand the trucking industry? Those of us who live and breathe it every day know the critical part it plays in global economies and supply chains. We also know the amount of time, money, and effort motor carriers put into being the safest vehicles on the road. So why is there so often a negative connotation of the trucking industry? I can’t answer that question fully, but hopefully I can shed some light on why the image should change.

If you’re a trucking company owner, dispatcher, truck driver, or owner-operator, you are under great pressure—and have high standards to meet—to ensure products are delivered on time and safely to store shelves. You work long days and weekends, and you must comply with many regulations. Our great country would not be nearly what it is without the professional, sophisticated, hard-working, dedicated men and women of the trucking industry. It seems that, sometimes, a few media events—versus the millions of good things—can create an image of a scary, dangerous industry that is unfounded and statistically not true.

The next time you’re out on the highways and interstates, pay attention to how the trucks are operating. I think you’ll find that the trucks are engaging in a more professional and observant way than most of us in our personal vehicles. When you see a driver, thank them for what they do and how they do it. It’s time we help others start viewing the industry for what it is—the backbone of our economy and many things that make the United States the great place that it is. Make sure that when you talk to people who are not in our industry, you share that message. We all need to work to continue to improve the image of trucking. Please share your ideas in the comment section on how we can further that improvement.

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