Driver Appreciation Week: How to Honor America’s Everyday Heroes

America’s truck drivers keep our nation moving. Nearly every necessity and comfort we enjoy in life is brought to us by truck drivers.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (September 11-17, 2022) represents an important time for all of us in the transportation industry to pay respect to and thank these professional drivers for their hard work and commitment to keeping our country running, no matter the circumstances.  We have learned over the last several years just how essential these 3.6 million professional drivers are to our economy.

This is always an exciting week in our industry as many carriers, shippers, truck stops, and other organizations offer fun ways to engage and celebrate drivers. These acts of recognition are ways for these businesses to say thank you, and every carrier can join in on the celebration in one way or another. Read on for some ideas on how to show your appreciation to your fleet during this special time, or whenever you want to show some love.

Gifts and Giveaways

Giving drivers a token of gratitude is one of the most popular ways to honor their efforts, and for good reason. A gift can make life easier on the road while demonstrating how valuable you find their contributions, and it can take many forms. Carriers can offer coffee and meals to drivers at the terminal for whenever they stop by. They can send out safety gear packs to ensure drivers have reflective vests, quality flashlights, extra safety glasses, and other handy tools on hand. Or they can send digital gift cards for retailers like Amazon, Love’s, or other businesses that drivers can redeem on the road. The options are endless.

Giveaways and raffles are also good ways to engage drivers during Driver Appreciation Week. Offering larger prizes like electronics, home goods, or vacations can help you to celebrate the accomplishments of members of your fleet while also encouraging participation and engagement.

For carriers wanting to launch a more permanent system that rewards drivers for positive behaviors while acknowledging the standouts among their fleets, Driver Apperciation Week is a great impetus to set up a Rewards program. These initiatives serve as a steady source of motivation for drivers to complete ongoing training, provide updated documentation in a timely manner, or any other behaviors you want to encourage in your fleet by rewarding points for these behaviors. Already using a rewards program?  Offer extra points for special activities so drivers can accumulate rewards faster this week.

Make Drivers Feel Heard

Drivers feel appreciated when their words are heard and their opinions are taken seriously, so surveying your drivers regularly through tools like Insights and FleetCheck is always a good idea so you can learn what processes or policies you can improve. You can also incentivize these behaviors by offering a $5 gift card to every driver who fills out one of your regular surveys during Driver Appreciation week, or offer a grand prize giveaway to one of your drivers who filled out a survey.

Want to make it clear that you take this feedback seriously? Use Driver Appreciation Week to announce changes in policy, pay, or benefits that have resulted from driver feedback to make it clear that you’re listening to your employees and using their opinions to shape your decisions.

Say Thank You

A kind word from someone at your company can mean more than anything else to a driver accustomed to spending his days alone on the road. Dispatchers or recruiters can call drivers to check in on them and thank them for their tenure, or send a thank-you note to the driver’s family at home. The CEO or owner of your company can send a video Broadcast message to the entire fleet to acknowledge everyone’s hard work and share big wins for the company over the past year. Making sure drivers know your business wouldn’t exist without them can help them stay motivated and feel seen.

America’s Heroes, Every Day

Those of us who work with drivers know they don’t do it for the praise – they travel our nation’s roadways because it’s their job, and they take pride in that work. Every single day, truckers transport critical medical supplies for our hospitals, food that feeds our families, and daily household products that keep our homes and businesses running.

These men and women are our modern-day heroes, facing their fears and leaving their families at home to help us take care of ours. That’s why it’s crucial to celebrate their efforts, make them feel heard, and say thank you.

If you are a truck driver, we appreciate you. We know your job is difficult and that our country would not survive without you.

If you’re not a truck driver, make sure you take time to thank a truck driver this week!

If you want to learn more about how to get involved with National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, please visit https://www.trucking.org/national-truck-driver-appreciation-week.

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