As we near Truck Driver Appreciation Week, it’s important to consider how much of an impact that the individuals who are responsible for moving product over the road every day have on our lives, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear.
When I was a kid, my Dad spent his early years in the U.S. Army as a truck driver in Mannheim, Germany. Although he wasn’t always home for dinner every night, I have distinct memories of my Dad returning home from days on the road and looking forward to spending time with me and my sisters. In tribute to one of his favorite bands, he would always sing the song “Roll on Eighteen Wheeler,” by Alabama.
The song describes a truck driver who is having to say goodbye to his family before he goes “off on a Midwest run.” As his children and wife are sad to watch him go, he encourages them to “roll on,” while he’s gone, much like the 18 wheels on his truck. The song was a constant reminder and a mantra that although my Dad wasn’t with us all of the time, he was part of something bigger.
Now that I’m older and have spent the last three years working in the supply chain and logistics industry at C.H. Robinson, I have even more respect for truck drivers. Whether they are driving throughout Europe, like my Dad did, from Berlin to Munich to Amsterdam, or making weekly runs from Joliet, IL, to Wichita, KS, the amount of dedication and sacrifice that goes into this job is extraordinary.
Next time you see a truck on the road, I encourage you to remember that these men and women often miss out on quality time with their families to ensure that the world’s supply chains continue to keep moving. They continue to “roll on,” and we thank them for that.