This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! As an industry leader, we know what it takes for people to get what they need to manage their daily lives. From stocking fridges to getting online deliveries to keeping businesses running, none of it is possible without the millions of truck drivers on the road everyday.
We want to take the time to acknowledge and thank the millions of truck drivers who keep our supply chains running. Today, we’re spotlighting DJ and Rhitney — better known as Trucker and Trucka — and asked them to share their experiences as truckers. DJ’s responses are below.
What motivated you to become truck drivers?
“In 2019, I (DJ) was laid off from my job after eight years. I didn’t see it coming. My wife (Rhitney) and I had just uprooted our life and relocated to a new city to stay with the company. Yet, two years later I find myself unemployed. I was jobless for nine months. Unemployment was okay, but it just wasn’t enough to provide for my family.
I had heard about the trucking industry. My wife’s dad was a trucker her entire life. I began doing my research. I wanted whatever I did next to push me into my purpose. I didn’t want to just do anything else anymore. Whatever I did, I wanted it to be intentional. Trucking it was.”
What are common, but unexpected challenges of being a driver?
“I have to say missing home, missing family. Being away from my wife. At the time we had been together for 12 years. Worked together for eight and a of those. For 8 1/2 years, we were together all day everyday.
I don’t know about most guys but I like my wife. I mean I love my wife but I like her too. She’s my friend and to go from spending every waking and sleeping hour with someone to a couple phone conversations a day is a big change. A stressful change for us both.
After a year of me being a driver, I was fortunate to have my wife join me on the road. We now team drive together. We’re back together again and everything to us is complete!”
What is it about being truck drivers that you wish people knew more about?
“We’re thankful to have it easy. I say that because we’ve got each other to lean on. But as for other truckers, it’s stressful out here. It’s a mental thing, an emotional thing. Don’t be so hard on truckers.
When you see a trucker, thank them for their service. They could be home doing anything, but they chose a career where they sacrifice being home raising their children or bonding with their families to make sure your world keeps moving.
It’s a sacrifice that few understand. Be more kind, more patient and more understanding. You never know what someone is dealing with in their life. Just try to be more conscious of that when interacting or seeing a trucker, and be intentional about your kindness.”
Learn about our other featured truck drivers
We’re spotlighting a different driver every day this week. See who else we’ll feature for National Truck Driver Appreciation Week!
Enter our NTDAW Instagram Giveaway
As a small token of our appreciation, we’re giving seven truck drivers one month’s free subscription to DAT and a DAT swag bundle to use on the road.
We’ll be posting a giveaway on our Instagram daily from September 12-18, 2021. Check out our Instagram to learn more on how to win a giveaway, and how to nominate a truck driver who you want to appreciate.