Until recently, you may have not given the supply chain, and truckers in particular, a whole lot of thought. Sure, you’ve always appreciated their ability to get products on shelves, and perhaps you were aware that the industry hauls more than two-thirds of the total freight tonnage moved nationally (more than 10 billion tons of freight annually). However, sometimes it takes a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic to truly appreciate the importance of others, especially those responsible for the logistics and distribution of vital items including food, medical equipment, medicine, and cleaning/sanitary equipment. These individuals are the unsung heroes of the pandemic.
As a majority of Americans are sheltering in place, the nation’s truck drivers (3.5 million strong) are working flat-out, risking physical and mental wellbeing to keep critical products in the hands of those that need them.
"I haven't stopped since this all started," says Applegate, 57. "If the freight's there, it's got to move. If people are going to eat, the trucks are gonna move. If they need medical supplies, the trucks are gonna move. If we stop, the world stops."
-Trucker, Ron Applegate
The U.S. government understands how essential truck drivers are, as The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) temporarily lifted hours of service (HOS) rules for truckers hauling critical medical goods, food for emergency restocking of stores, fuel, paper products and raw materials used to manufacture crucial items. This ruling is in effect through May 15.
Truck drivers, now more than ever, are indispensable for keeping the supply chain running smoothly. With their help, businesses are getting essential products into the hands of families in need and medical professionals on the front-line in the fight against COVID-19.
So, I hope you’ll join me in saying thank you to the often under-appreciated truck drivers who literally and figuratively keep America rolling (that’s not a toilet paper joke) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through good times and bad. Better days are ahead for our nation and the world, thanks in large part to dedicated truck drivers like Ron Applegate. Follow along and show your appreciation on social media with the hashtag #ThankATrucker