Trucking makes our lives better

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Brenda Neville, guest columnist

Every day you are impacted by the trucking industry in a positive way and Iowa carriers are proud of the valuable service they provide. Trucks move more than 70 percent of all freight in this country and will continue to be the dominant mode of delivery far into the future. That is an important responsibility that we take very seriously.

Recently, a poll sponsored by the Iowa Motor Carriers Foundation found that eight out of 10 Iowans hold a favorable opinion of the trucking industry. Despite this positive assessment, it’s very easy to take for granted the role that trucks play in our lives every day.

Take a look around at the products in your kitchen, the supplies in your office or the clothes on your back. This is a direct impact of Iowa’s trucking industry. We are responsible for ensuring that you have what you need at all times and that is a significant responsibility that the trucking industry is proud to handle seven days a week, 365 days a year despite unrelenting weather conditions, road construction, distracted commuters and intense regulatory oversight.

Our agricultural and manufacturing bases are dependent on trucks as well, making trucks a common sight here in Iowa. Almost 350,000 tons are moved every day by trucks in this state. In addition, over 70 percent of Iowa communities are 100 percent reliant on trucks for the delivery of products that are needed on a daily basis. The trucking industry further drives the economy by distributing one out of every 13 paychecks.

Professional drivers are no different from you or me. They have families that are counting on them, communities they support and give back to, and they have chosen a career that brings them great satisfaction and personal pride. The demands put on a professional truck driver are much more rigorous than the average employee and the sacrifices that they make on a daily basis enable all us to enjoy our high quality of life. This is all thanks to the dedication and commitment that has always been — and always will be — prevalent within the trucking industry.

Trucking is not easy, but for the over 4 million men and women nationwide that proudly call themselves professional truck drivers, that’s OK. Instead, they are proud of having an important job and they take that job very seriously. All Iowans are the beneficiaries of that hard work, pride and commitment.

Here in the heartland, we have an innate desire to work hard, take risks, and be a valued leader while relying heavily on our honesty, integrity and relentless commitment to professionalism and excellence. That is what you will find in today’s trucking industry: smart, hardworking men and women that embrace the tremendous responsibility that is required to move this state and nation on a daily basis.

Please join me the week of Sept. 11-17 in saluting Iowa’s dedicated trucking professionals during national truck driver appreciation week to say thanks, offer a handshake or give a wave to the unsung heroes who make our lives easier, day in and day out.

• Brenda Neville is President & CEO of the Iowa Motor Truck Association, a statewide trade association representing over 700 trucking companies and trucking suppliers throughout the state.

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