Happy ThanksGiving for Truck Drivers in America 2019!
Happy Thanksgiving for Truck Drivers in America 2019! What does that statement mean on today, actual thanks giving day? First, let’s think about what that generally means for most of us and what comes to our minds eye. For most of us in America it means that we are in the thick of the holidays and the crisp air of fall is upon us. It means that many of us are going to be spending time in the air or behind the wheel of our vehicles speeding off to family gatherings of laughing and warm endearments. Yes, I am very aware that description is very much a normal Rockwell type scene and not 100% reality, so let’s describe a little bit of reality that one demographic knows all too well.
Happy Thanksgiving for Truck Drivers, especially over the road (OTR) long haul truck drivers, means another holiday away from home. On average it is estimated that more than 50% of OTR drivers are working away from their homes and family on Thanksgiving Day. It is true that in today’s economy that there are many people working on thanks giving day such as retail workers with the ever-increasing demand for “Black Friday Sales” starting sooner and sooner. I am also very well aware that the emergency response industry works on holidays as well. There is a bit of a difference with these industries and the truck driver holiday.
Let me just give a surface description of the truck driver Thanksgiving Day environment and let you, the reader, decide if it is one of festive warmth. Description:
- Long stretches of near silence other than the sound and vibration of a large machine going on for at least 8 -10 hours without stop.
- In most cases, frigid temperatures constantly working at one’s muscles wearing on comfort.
- Total Isolation within an area of no more that 4-5 cubic feet of movement.
- High levels of emotional stress due to having to be constantly aware of potential death at the hands of others.
- Low quality health due to lack of movement due to physical restriction.
- Deprivation emotionally due to infrequency of time spent with family including spouses and children.
There is just a short description that I have come up with from my very limited experience. In my history I have worked in retail, the EMS field, and as a business owner. All of the jobs that I have had in my past required, at some point, that I work on Thanksgiving Day and the holidays as well. I mention this so that you understand that I agree there are other fields of work that require holiday work schedules. The difference is that how it is spent by those fields of work in comparison to Truck Drivers. When I wrote this post I looked into what other field of employee spends the Thanksgiving holiday in nearly the same conditions. I found some career fields that required working on the holiday but I only found one that closely resembled the factors that I have listed above, a prison inmate in America. I know it sounds like a horrible comparison but if you read without judgement you will see the similarities.
Prisoners do not see family on Thanksgiving Day, they do not get the turkey with all of the trimmings, they are in constant alert for something that could harm them or even kill them (prison gangs), emotional deprivation due to infrequency of time spent with family, total isolation within an area of no more than 4-5 cubic feet, and the list goes on. Now do not get me wrong, I am not saying that the American truck driver and the prison inmates in America are one and the same. I am not here to judge prison inmates either, that is for the courts and the citizens in the states to decide, I am simply pointing out a comparison of how truck drivers spend their holidays. I bring up the way that many truck drivers spend Thanksgiving Day simply because most of us do appreciate what they sacrifice for us every single day and more on the holidays. Do I believe the industry is going to change overnight and there will be a ticker tape parade for truck drivers because I wrote this post? I am not so blind that I believe this article will change things for truck drivers overnight. I simply wanted to give my thanks to all of the truck drivers across America today on Thanksgiving Day.
- Thank you for the food you have made available for me and my family today and every day.
- Thank you for making the sacrifices in your personal life to assure that if my family or myself are harmed in some way that there are medical facilities and supplies there to help and even save lives.
- Thank you for making the fuels that allow all vehicles to operate in order to get me and my family to where we need to go and the vehicle that protect our society (fire and police).
- Thank you on behalf of the crazy shoppers in my family for the black Friday sales that wouldn’t happen without the products you deliver.
- Thank you for watching out for the stupid drivers in cars (I am one of those sometimes) in such a hurry that they do not drive safely and cut your 20-ton vehicles off without a care.
As I mentioned earlier here, I am not foolish enough to believe that my little article and wish will turn the truck driving industry around and there will be no more Thanksgiving work days for truck drivers, but I can bring this to the minds of many of us that are unaware or ignore the men and women that sacrifice so much for us all. I can also hope and wish that today when families are all gathered around the table giving thanks for all we have that is positive in our life’s, that maybe one us at at the table can throw in a silent prayer of safe travels and a Happy Thanksgiving Day for Truck Drivers in America 2019!