What do you think about National Trucking Week?
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – National Trucking Week, an annual event sponsored by the Canadian Trucking Alliance, is used to recognize the more than 400,000 men and women who keep Canada’s trucking industry moving. While many associations, companies and individual truckers planned to take part in the events taking place Sept. 18-24 to celebrate, many didn’t care to take part and many more haven’t even heard of the event. Truck News stopped by the Husky Truck Stop on Shawson Drive in Mississauga, Ont. to find out if drivers think having the event is worthwhile and what they’ll be doing to celebrate – if anything .
Jim Gayette, a driver out of Winnipeg, Man., isn’t planning on doing anything to celebrate the event and neither is his company. “Just working” is all the 46-year veteran has on his mind.
“I think (the event) is a good idea, but they don’t do enough for us in the industry. They should have something more often.”
Like Gayette, Gerald Pettyjohn, a driver with Rapid Service Inc. in Greer, S.C., has never taken part in either the Canadian or American versions of the celebration. But he too sees a need for increased recognition from both trucking associations and the public.
“I think (the event) is a good idea because if it wasn’t for the truckers, the economy would stand still,” he said. “People should realize that the trucking industry is the backbone of Canada, the U.S. and all the other countries in the world.”
Rick Rawlings started his business, Rawlings Reliable Service Plus, four years ago and has concentrated more on keeping his company afloat amidst increasing fuel costs than taking part in events like National Trucking Week. Despite that, the driver of 23 years said the event would be an excellent way to promote unity among truckers.
“I think unity is important in anything in life,” he said. “You need people to work together instead of against each other all the time.”
In the 15 years he’s been on the road, Ben Moore, a driver with Bender’s Transport out of Moose Jaw, Sask., said he’s heard very little about the celebration. Though he hated to admit it, Moore said that recognition for truckers tends to be much better in the U.S. than in Canada. He said truckers tend to be welcomed with an obscene gesture when they meet up with Torontonians on the road.
“There’s not enough public awareness. That’s a big issue,” he said. “The people don’t appreciate us, so we don’t feel appreciated.”
Scott McAsh, a driver from Stratford, Ont., joined the vast majority of truckers Truck News spoke with when he said that more needs to be done to recognize truckers. However, McAsh was one of the few drivers who had actually had any experience celebrating the event.
“The company I used to work for would have a barbecue, but I work for a smaller company now, so I don’t know what I’ll do. Maybe I’ll take a couple days off,” he said with a laugh.
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