(This blog post was originally published in September 2015 and was updated September 2018)
This year, National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is September 13-19, 2018 and we would like to use this time as an opportunity to express our appreciation to the 3.5 million plus professional truck drivers that are responsible for transporting over 10.5 billion tons of freight each year.
One of my first recollections of the industry and its drivers is from elementary school, riding the school bus home each afternoon. It was a daily thrill when we passed one of the large tractor trailer trucks on the road and all of us on the bus would wave madly out the window to catch the driver’s attention and gesture for them to blow their horn. The drivers always knew just what we wanted and would dutifully oblige by giving us a big smile and reaching up to pull the chain that sounded their massive horn. The drivers were always friendly and made us all smile on our way home.
I didn’t realize then that these were the very people that delivered the food to our grocery store shelves, the latest shoes and clothes we all wanted or the medicine and supplies to our hospitals and pharmacies. I had no idea that some of them may have already driven hundreds of miles by the afternoon or that they wouldn’t be able to return back to their homes for several days.
Below are facts and figures we’ve gathered about the industry that we hope you enjoy. Though often in the background and at times underappreciated, America’s professional truck drivers are the ones who keep delivering.
An over-the-road driver logs an average of 500 miles each day.
Collectively, approximately 421 billion miles are traveled by truck drivers each year, and 152 billion of these miles are from class 6-8 trucks.
More than 80% of US communities depend solely on truck drivers to deliver their products.
Truckers deliver 40 million boxes of chocolate each Valentine’s Day,
257 million Roses for Valentine’s Day,
46 million Thanksgiving Turkeys, and
33 million Christmas trees each year.
In 2018, over 70% of America’s freight was hauled by truck. Rail came in a distant second at 11.4%, followed by Pipeline at 10.3%, Water at 6.1%, and Air 0.1%.
Of the 3.4 million truck drivers, 5.8% of them are female
Ryder has partnered with womenintrucking.org to help encourage the industry to be more welcoming to women drivers. Women in Trucking is a non-profit organization founded to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles they can encounter when working in the trucking industry.
Since 2003, trucks have seen an 88% drop in Sulfur Dioxide Emissions and a 32% drop in particulate matter.
If you connected all the loads delivered by trucks in 2013, the chain would stretch from the Earth to the moon more than 11 times.
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