A few months ago I met Mr. Yukio Yamada, a mild mannered gentleman who I had invited to assist me with some design for a project I was working on.
Yukio walked in and introduced himself to myself and my staff and immediately begin to spread out his body of work across the table, he sat down and began to speak.
In a very soft and gentle tone, in a very methodical way he began to explain “I am not from the transportation industry and I know nothing about it, however in planning for this project, I spent the last two weeks researching in order to educate myself.”
The Picture Isn’t Always Clear
He sat back in his chair and said “to me a driver is: the small house, a white picket fence, a spouse, two children, and a dog.” Immediately my mind began to race into my very own backyard and I quickly realized that all my drivers fit that description so perfectly, I tried so hard to find a single driver in our current fleet that didn’t fit that description and couldn’t . It’s not that I ever thought our drivers were anything less than, it’s just that I had never had one sentence or phrase that truly drew such a complete detailed picture.
I admired the way Yukio described truck drivers but I was disappointed that he had to conduct research before he came to this description. It made me confirm that people outside of our industry do not have an accurate picture of the trucking industry.
What I Learned From an Industry Outsider
Time has passed and I find myself feeling shameful that even I have not been able to effectively describe a true truck driver or for that matter our industry as such. Our associations, industry leaders, carriers, and we as individuals have all done a poor job in promoting ourselves in a positive manner.
We have allowed the general public, lawmakers, and organizations to view us in a much different way. An inaccurate picture hangs on the wall and it must be re-painted and framed for all to see who we truly are.
How Can We Change the Image of the Trucking Industry?
The time has come to forget about yesterday. Get out our paint brushes and create your own masterpiece for our industry. Let’s showcase who we really are and shine a light on our talents.
Let’s stop calling it a lifestyle and rather a means with which to support our families and our homes. Let’s begin to raise awareness of the great responsibility and the great people that we truly are.
We need to start painting the true picture! What will your canvas look like?