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National Truck Driver Appreciation Week shines spotlight on truckers working during pandemic

Around the country, people are saying 'thank you' to those who have made sure we have the goods we need

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — It is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Around the country, people are saying 'thank you' to those who have made sure we have the goods we need during this pandemic.

If you ask Stacy Strausbaugh, a local truck driver of 8 years, his job can be pretty thankless.

"I don't think people appreciate truck drivers enough," Strausbaugh said. "With what you deal with on the roads and people always cutting you off."

But today it's food trucks, pizza, and endless 'thank-you's.

"[They work] very hard," Jeffrey Shellenberger, President of S&H Express, said. "The hardest thing about truck driving is your sleep schedule."

During the pandemic, their job has become undoubtedly more important than ever.

"It was challenging but I have to say that the shippers and the receivers stepped up to the plate," Shellenberger said. "We practiced social distancing, masks, sanitizer."

"This has been a very difficult year for everyone," Brandon Moree, with the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, said. "But truck drivers helped keep us going, helped keep our stores, stocked, helped keep us able to move life forward as close to normal as possible."

Moree said more than 87% of communities in Pa. get all of their goods delivered exclusively by truck, which is why he's calling it an honor for this national appreciation week to be recognized by Governor Tom Wolf with a declaration, during a year which brought some of the most challenges to the industry.

"We want people to understand that the toilet paper is on the shelves now because truck drivers got it there," Moree said. "So if you have that opportunity, we'd like you to say thanks."

Shellenberger said there is never a shortage of work when it comes to the industry. The Shellenberger Family of Companies does hire people right out of school. They must go to driving school for a month to learn to drive truck and obtain a Class A license. After that they must train for one month with a driver on the job.

National Truck Driver Appreciation week ends this Saturday.