Originally appeared in Fleet Owner

I recently heard some promising news. A study from CloudTrucks found that Americans have a favorable opinion of people in trucking, and some even have a basic understanding of the trucking industry.

Trucking is so vital to the American economy, so I was pleased to see this information. The American Trucking Associations says trucking moves 72.6% of the nation’s freight by weight.

I am also pleased because the trucking industry has greatly reduced its environmental impact. According to the Engine Technology Forum, 57% of Class 3 to 8 trucks today have 2010 or later aftertreatment systems. This means trucks on the road today emit substantially less emissions than older trucks. In addition, some fleets are already beginning the journey to zero-emission goods movement by looking into alternative fuel powertrains such as battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, renewable diesel, compressed natural gas, and others.

The industry has also done a lot of work to make trucks safe. A large number of fleets are investing in advanced driver assistance systems, such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot warning systems.

The face of trucking has also changed, with more women and people of color joining the ranks. The 2023 Women in Trucking WIT Index states that women make up 7.5% of technicians and 12.5% of drivers, as well as 31.6% of C-suite executives and 36.9% of company leaders.

Trucking is also doing good things in the community. Truckers Against Trafficking is one example. The group trains drivers to recognize and report instances of human trafficking. Reports by drivers have resulted in countless arrests and the recovery of victims across the country.

I’ve been in the transportation field for more than 30 years and am very proud of our industry. As with all industries, our industry competes for top talent, and we all need to do our part in recruiting the next generation of workers. In 2022, 8.4 million people were employed in trucking-related jobs, according to ATA.

Seeing that more than half of the people outside of trucking have a favorable view of the industry makes me feel good. Now, we need to go out there and show the other half all the positive things about trucking.