Sept. 16 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Day.   In a proclamation last week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson officially declared Sept.13 -19,  Truck Driver Appreciation Week in Arkansas. 

“Even as many Arkansans are adjusting to new ways of working, learning, exercising, and even socializing, truck drivers are continuing to do what they do best day-in and day-out—connecting Arkansans to all the things we need to live our lives,” Hutchinson said in the proclamation.

There are more than 38,000 professional truck drivers in the Natural State. These dedicated drivers deliver everything from seeds or livestock for local farmers to books and technology for neighborhood schools. They log 5.7 billion miles annually and last year, delivered nearly 87 percent of the state’s freight tonnage (over 113,600 tons) each day.

For Arkansas trucker Dwight Foster and his son Zack those miles are  a part of everyday life. The Fosters own their own trucks,and that helps financially. “ We don’t live from paycheck to paycheck anymore,” Dwight said.  However, he acknowledges that drivers have a bad reputation.  “The most misconception about truck drivers is that all truck drivers stink and are nasty. Not all of us fit that in that category. I like to stay clean and keep my truck the way I keep my house. Clean and smells good.”

Truckers face dangers as well. Recently, Dwight posted a video (above) to his Facebook page of the smog created from the Southern California wildfires. 

Dwight also says that it doesn’t take much to thank a trucker.  “As we deliver products all over the lower 48 we don’t ask for much, a simple wave means a lot.”  He also said that kids should definitely be doing the “arm pump thing” that encourages truckers to blow their vehicle’s horns.  “Since I’ve been driving full time I’ve had only 3 kids want me to honk the horn. So it gives both of us a smile. I love it.”