Image of male truck driver with blue shirt, blue pants, and gray sneakers, with a red cape around his neck, standing in front of a white American semi truck.

Celebrating America’s Highway Heroes

Updated September 19, 2023

2023 National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

2023’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week occurred on September 10-16. Established by the American Trucking Association, this week celebrates and recognizes the invaluable work that truck drivers across the country perform on a daily basis. Their tireless contributions keep America’s economy rolling while allowing citizens to enjoy everyday life uninterrupted. Throughout the week, many trucking carriers, businesses, and companies will host various events and acts of service to honor these tenacious men and women. Keep reading to learn some interesting truck driver facts and how Diesel Driving Academy celebrates its past, present, and future!

Truck Drivers Are Essential to the Economy

Truckers still face many of the same issues drivers dealt with in the 1970’s. But, today, we recognize these men and women as the heroes of the highway. There is a much greater appreciation for the work truck drivers do to keep our nation prosperous. Chris Spear, the President and CEO of the American Trucking Association, recently stated during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week:

“Everything that we consume – groceries, school supplies, clothes, medicine – gets delivered by a truck driver whether it’s to your front door, your local market, or your workplace. These drivers improve our quality of life by dedicating themselves to safety and making every effort to deliver the things we need efficiently, professionally, and responsibly.”

Growth of the Trucking Industry

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 3.5 million truckers are currently hitting the road. With this number growing every day, there must be a reason why it’s become one of the largest occupations in the country. Well, those reasons vary from driver to driver, but include:

  • Opportunity to travel – many OTR drivers get to cross every inch of this country and admire everything it offers from the comfort of the driver’s seat.
  • Job security – companies constantly need essential goods and supplies delivered for proper distribution. As a result, there is a consistent need for professional drivers.
  • Compensation – the national average first-year driver salary is currently $65,000+. This number can vary based on location and carrier. However, like many other jobs, this rate can rise due to experience, holding special endorsements, or participating in extra tasks.
  • Possibility of Business Ownership – after gaining some on-the-road experience, carriers may offer many drivers the chance to become independent contractors with their current employer. This advantage does bring about more responsibilities, but those challenges incur more significant payoffs.

Ample Job Opportunities for CDL Holders

Although the professional 18-wheeler truck driver position is the traditional route a CDL holder takes, one can pursue many other positions. Other careers Class A CDL drivers can pursue include Engineering Equipment Operator, Heavy Equipment Hauler, and Tractor Trailer Technician, just to name a few. On the opposite end, Class B CDL holders can enter the field as Bus drivers, Dump Truck Operators, Delivery drivers, and Tow Truck drivers. Regardless of the position, all are equally important to keeping the country moving.

Celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week from the Driver’s Seat

Even though this year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week has come and gone, many truck driving schools, like Diesel Driving Academy, and carriers recognize and show appreciation to drivers daily. DDA’s experienced staff and instructors celebrate students’ achievements, no matter the feat, and provide guidance and support every step of the way. Our training program curriculum is designed with every student in mind, from those who have never stepped into a truck to drivers with ample driving experience. Lastly, our competitive advantages, including tuition assistance for those who qualify and job placement assistance for all students, allow us to be a national top driving school for new drivers.

Get on the road towards a successful driving career today – contact us to sign up for our next open class!