Over the 4th of July holiday, I had some thoughts about trucking and our freedom. Now that I’m back to work and waiting at a shipper, I have a little time to recall some of those thoughts.
It started with the thoughts about patriotism and how blessed we are to have the opportunities that we have. Thoughts of freedom and what that means to each of us quickly followed. That’s when I started looking at my own situation. I’m a self employed independent truck driver. That’s when I realized that trucking is one of the ultimate expressions of what America stands for.
Our forefathers and the following generations fought to give us not just a country, but an opportunity to make our dreams come true. To allow us to achieve what ever our skills could afford and our ambitions would carry us to. America is about a place to make those things happen. Now, let’s apply those principals and ideals to trucking.
Trucking is truly an industry that will let you develop a skill and start the process of independence. Like many drivers today, I started in trucking because it was a job that was available to me. I needed to take care of my family. I had some skills that I brought to the table (as many do) to make me a good investment for training. That was the start of my life’s enduring career. It has been that American dream for me because it has provided the things that embody the very things our forefathers sought for the generations to come. Granted they could not have envisioned trucking as it is today, but they did envision our ability to produce with our talents and bring those things to market. They envisioned the free flow of commerce.
Trucking also is the ultimate expression of freedom in many respects as well. We are free to move throughout the entire United States at our will. There are rules to follow, otherwise it would be anarchy. We are free to choose what level of participation that suits us. We can go local or coast to coast. We can be an employee, private contractor, or independent. You can learn enough to simply operate the truck and no more or you can learn enough to be a very successful company owner. That choice is one that is sometimes decided by ambition, talent, or mentality. Other times, it is a situational choice. Either way, it is an expression of our freedom.
The quality of our job is always on display whether or not there is an understanding by others of what it takes to produce that quality. Quality still sells for a premium. There is higher value for higher quality. As we look at all of what is wrong in the world, we often fail to remember that here in America, we do have a say. We must first set our own standards high and live by them before we can expect it of others. Then we must find people of like mind and speak together. We must not be afraid to have these conversations with others to see if someone else has a better understanding of the problems. That is an educational process that is available to us all. The only enemy is a closed mind. We are free to dream, pursue, achieve, learn, prosper, fail, worship, or a number of other things. The choice is ours as to what we shall pass on to our descendants. Such is true in trucking as well. We have to stop looking at our differences and look at our common goals and take the tough and sometimes uncomfortable steps to work together in spite of the differences our freedom affords us. The strength of many can overcome the power of the few. We are the custodians of our industry and our country. We, as truckers, stand to be the most visible symbol of what it is to be Americans.