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New Name for National Truck Driver Appreciation & Wellness Week (NTDAWW) Demonstrates Industry’s Commitment to Health
To complement traditional driver appreciation activities, wellness focus adds health fairs, “celebrity” walks, and an anti-smoking initiative
Annually since 1998, the trucking industry has set aside the third week of September to recognize and thank its professional drivers. Now, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), led by Chairman Robert Low, is adding a new component that will help drivers benefit from the ultimate thank-you present: The education, resources, and programs they need for good health to live fuller— and longer—lives.
Low, the president and founder of Prime, Inc., of Springfield, Missouri., is deeply concerned about the health problems that a sedentary lifestyle can create. Diabetes, sleep apnea, obesity, and high blood pressure are just a few of the many ailments that can cripple a driver physically, emotionally, and financially. Beyond the obvious threats to current drivers and their families, the thought of dying young may also deter potential drivers from getting into the industry.
So with Low at the helm of TCA, the organization is taking action. Per his request, the former “NTDAW” will now be known as National Truck Driver Appreciation & Wellness Week, or NTDAWW. For 2012, it will be held September 16-22.
“During NTDAWW, companies can continue hosting driver appreciation events and providing giveaways like they’ve done in the past,” said Low, “but we’re asking that they mix in some type of health component this year. How about giving away cookbooks with low-fat recipes for people ‘on the go’? Perhaps you could bring in a speaker to discuss stress reduction techniques. At your driver appreciation picnic, why not trade that heavy potato salad for fruit or a pasta salad with light vinaigrette? Anything that offers people healthier ideas or alternatives is going to be a step in a positive direction.”
TCA and state trucking associations are coordinating a number of health-oriented events for NTDAWW. On September 18, from 3-8 p.m. (local time), they are teaming up with TA/Petro to host health and wellness events at 12 truck stops that are located within a high concentration of TCA members. The sites will feature health fairs that include glucose testing and sleep apnea information. Participants can take 1-3 mile walks—with well-known trucking leaders/personalities at some of the locations—and tour StayFit gyms located on the properties.
On September 20, TCA will host “Ditch the Pack” day, designed to encourage all trucking-affiliated smokers to reduce or even give up the habit for 24 hours. The goal is to raise awareness of the benefits of quitting and to show support for those starting or continuing their smoke-free journey.
TCA is asking all companies that are planning NTDAWW activities to post details about their promotions on http://www.driverappreciation.com/. Drivers can easily locate events they want to participate in and plan their schedules accordingly. Events can be searched within a specified state/province, city, and/or distance in miles from a city. Event listings provide not only basic contact and location information, but also the type of activity (free meal, discount offer, prizes/gifts, etc.), drivers who may attend (all CDL holders, only CDL holders affiliated with the host company, etc.), and if the general public and media are invited to participate.
Let’s get ready for a terrific 2012 National Truck Driver Appreciation & Wellness Week. It is sure to be the best and healthiest one ever!