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National Truck Driver Appreciation Week events happening throughout Pa.

Organizers said professional truck driving was often a thankless and underappreciated job.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — In honor of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which runs Sept. 10 to 16, the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA), PennDOT and the PA Turnpike teamed up to host a series of events honoring drivers’ work.

The events are happening in at least four locations throughout the state. At each location, PMTA is giving out free treats such as coffee, barbeque, snacks and even Hershey Park tickets.

Organizers said professional truck driving was often a thankless and underappreciated job.

“Truckers don’t get the credit they deserve. Usually, they get the black flag, I’d say. But they’re definitely important and their presence is needed,” said PMTA board member Emerson Hauck. “Everyone likes being told thank you and that they’re appreciated, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The York area event was held Sept. 12 at a weigh station off I-83 Southbound in Newberry Township. Drivers who pulled into the weigh station were greeted with some lunch, a cold drink and the chance to win a gift card.

“It means a lot, yes,” said Abdiel Rivera, a CDL driver with Norfolk Banana who won a gift card. “This bag right here with all these goodies, I’m happy.”

The trucking industry is still recovering from the pressures of supply chain snags during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You’re waiting, you have downtime, you need to get loaded. Then you’re in a hurry to get to your destination, so it’s stressful,” said Hauck.

Drivers said though supply chains were functioning more smoothly now, some parts of the job were still tough.

“Bathroom breaks are a big thing because sometimes you go to places and they don’t have bathrooms and you have to find one,” Rivera said.

They said the appreciation events, though, helped lighten their load.

Trucking is a $940.8 billion industry in the U.S. Each day, more than 3.5 million professional truck drivers move 54 million tons of goods throughout the country.

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