WE ♥ TRUCKERS
We feel pretty strongly about appreciating truckers at the National Transportation Institute, but it’s not enough in our opinion, to only set aside one week of the year to focus on the value of our driving team members. We wanted to take that gratitude a step further, now and into the future, especially after working for nearly two years in pandemic conditions. Professional drivers deserve a new level of recognition.
It all started with Mark Colson, president of the Alabama Trucking Association. He pointed out to industry executives while on a panel with other CEOs, that trucking must shift its focus from equipment to the people operating it.
“There’s a lot of objectification in the industry. Lots of talk about the objects, the trucks themselves. But It’s the people that do the work and those are the stories we need to tell in trucking.”
“Instead of saying ‘I Love Trucks’ or ‘If you got it, a truck brought it’ we need to change our terminology. So the way I talk now is I say ‘If you got it, a trucker brought it’ and ‘I LOVE truckers’.”
NTI could not agree more. So together with Colson, we decided to start a movement. The team at NTI created a new logo that says “I ♥ Truckers.” Very soon, you’ll see stickers, mugs, and other memorabilia with this emblem. It’s our hope that industry leaders will don these items as a show of support for the people behind the wheel. We hope even more that having our swag on display will be a reminder to everyone, whether they work in trucking or not, of all the hard work that drivers put in. Ultimately, it’s our goal to foster love for the people in the seat.
We had to take it a step further than individual proclamation though. Companies want and need opportunities to better tell drivers how they feel, and to share with the motoring public how important the role is that drivers serve in their communities and in the supply chain overall. We ♥ Truckers is an opportunity for truck and trailer wraps, for website and social media statements, for collective expectations for all levels of workforce to not only proclaim on their own, but also as a company overall the value of the men and women that deliver across North America every day.
Trucking as an industry finds its greatest success when there’s an emphasis on the human connection. We’ve seen that time and again over our 27 years of providing data and working with companies that employ techs and drivers. It’s something that we as a sector cannot afford to let up on, especially when it comes to our drivers.
Awareness of trucking as a profession swelled in the early days of Covid-19. The public gave a lot of thought, not just to how produce and household appliances made it to store shelves, but who was making that possible. As Colson explains, we can’t let it dissipate once the pandemic subsides. That can only happen if we keep highlighting the personal side of professional driving.
“This level of awareness will go away with other distractions, so we want to make sure that we keep the essential function of a professional truck driver front and center. The way to do that is to humanize the profession.” That’s why we’re starting this movement. Created by National Transportation Institute President Leah Shaver and Alabama Trucking Association President Mark Colson, the We ♥ Truckers movement is dedicated to the hardest working men and women in the trucking industry!
About Leah Shaver
Leah Shaver is the President & CEO of The National Transportation Institute (NTI), the trucking industry subject matter experts on professional driver wages, best practices, and programs and in 2019 joined the lineup of Talk Radio Hosts on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Trucking Radio. Recognized as a Top Woman to Watch in Transportation, Leah is a subject matter expert on driver compensation and strategies addressing driver recruiting, retention and development of the driver candidate pool.
Leah’s career has been spent supporting long-term growth and expansion of the transportation industry while reinforcing its best resource – professional truck drivers! Today, with Leah’s leadership, NTI works to deliver opportunities for companies that employ professional drivers to grow, to attract additional workers, and then expand in their marketplace with that appropriately compensated, engaged and retained workforce. Tagged the “Sunshine Girl” by SiriusXM listeners, whether on-air with professional drivers or consulting in the boardroom at fleets of all sizes, Leah offers encouraging guidance with an upbeat, and direct manner focused on top performance, career growth and retention.
Philanthropy is vital to rounding out Leah’s efforts in the trucking industry. NTI donates a portion of all revenue generated to non-profit causes that support professional drivers and foster children in the US. In addition to owning and operating NTI and contributing on-air at SiriusXM, Leah serves on the Board of Directors of The Next Generation in Trucking Association, as an officer on the Board of Directors of the Women In Trucking Association, as a mentor to other trucking professionals, on a variety of advisory boards and volunteers in foster care advocacy. To connect https://www.linkedin.com/in/leahbshaver/
About The National Transportation Institute
The National Transportation Institute (NTI) was founded in 1995 with a goal of providing accurate and authoritative mission-critical benchmarks to truckload carriers on company driver and owner-operator compensation history and changes. NTI’s publications are used by insurers, consultants, carriers, shippers and nearly every equity analyst who follow transportation sector stocks. NTI’s largest subscriber base remains in the transportation sectors Private and For-Hire LTL and truckload fleets where they are widely used as a tool for fleet executives to understand the direction and velocity of the Class A & B CDL market wages and emerging pay strategies. To learn more, visit www.driverwages.com