Driver Appreciation Week 2020

Driver Appreciation Week Contest 2020 Winners and Top Ideas

Thank you to all of you who submitted your great ideas for celebrating National Truck Driver Appreciation Week! Wow, we received more than twice as many submissions this year as last year–and so many great ideas! We had a tough job choosing the winners, but here are the top 3 winners along with some of the other top ideas.

Driver Appreciation Week Contest Winners!

  1. $250 Amazon gift card: Shuree Behr, Tucker Freight Lines

I think just overall office/driver engagement is huge, along with driver appreciation frequently. Here is a list of some of the things we have put in place to help make our drivers truly feel appreciated and part of family even though they are out in their trucks most of the time:

Work Anniversary: $50 Visa Gift Card plus a card signed by everyone in the office. We also send out all company emails so when we see or talk to the driver it is also acknowledged.

Birthdays: $25 Gift Card with a birthday card signed by everyone in the office as well as company all email sent out to be sure we acknowledge it if we see or talk to the driver.

Clean Inspections: $100

Life Events: We will buy personal gifts and card for events such as weddings, new babies, etc.

Weekly Driver Shoutouts : We all nominate drivers who really went above and beyond that week, had good safety scores, etc. Message is sent to the whole company including drivers via ELD.

–  Medical: When a driver is off on medical, we send a card and sign it along with a gift card.

Random Acts of Kindness: When we know a driver really likes something such as a certain snack, collectable, etc., we will randomly get them that out of nowhere. For example, a driver collected Minions, driver built Legos so bought him a Lego truck. We ask about favorite snacks at orientation and randomly surprise them in their mailbox.

Wednesday Lunches: We cater food in and any drivers in our terminal that day get food as well

Driver in the House: If a driver is here due to Truck breakdown or waiting on a load and it is around lunch time, we will buy them lunch

These seem like small gestures, but we have really gotten a lot of positive feedback from our drivers and it just makes them feel appreciated and not just a driver but part of the family.

This is some of the stuff we are doing this year for driver appreciation week. Unfortunately it has to be held virtual because of COVID, so we will be doing daily giveaways each day along with every driver getting basic swag. Winners are announced on our Facebook page, but all active drivers are included.

Day of Giveaways: We also will do fun, interactive giveaways where the day of we will say “the 5th person who calls the dispatcher will win a $25 gift card” (This way it’s exciting because they’re calling in for something basic and hey, by the way—you’re the winner!)

Big Giveaways/Drawings: Any active driver can win a CB Radio, Ninja Grill, Bluetooth headset, etc.

Video Collage: We are in process of making a video collage of people thanking truck drivers which will be posted on our Facebook page.

Coloring Sheet: We created a coloring page of a semi with text saying: “Truck drivers deliver  _____ and I am thankful for truck drivers because _____.” These were completed by our local preschool class. We will have them for our drivers to read to get a funny laugh and feel appreciated from afar

We are always striving to be better and come up with new ideas! And we appreciate all drivers, not just Tucker Drivers!

  1. $150 Amazon gift card: Andres Camacho, Pilot Plus, Inc.

We founded a company dedicated to helping truck drivers have a regular life. By using a concept of relays based on Pony Express/airline industry, truck drivers no longer exceed their driving hour limit, and return home on a daily basis. Long gone are the days of time away from home, or not seeing their family.

Through this relay system, trucks never stop, but truck drivers get to go home. With 8-10 hour workdays, everyone is happy.

On a final note, since truck drivers are now 8-10 hour workers, they get paid every 15 days, just like a regular 8 hour job. As they always drive the same distance, they get a fixed paycheck.

  1. $75 Amazon gift card: Justin McKinley, Barnett Millworks, Inc.

We cater to drivers’ hobbies. All of our guys are handy and do a lot of DIY projects. We already offer employee discounts on stuff they order from lumber to custom furniture pieces. To sweeten that part of being a driver here, we like to show appreciation with Lowe’s gift cards whether for safety awards, gratitude for pulling us through a tight spot or just being a dedicated and reliable driver. We allow drivers to accumulate PTO time each month of safe driving and each month we do a cash drawing and the drivers are all entered for each month of safe driving.

For their hard work and consistent safety-minded driving, we offer them a lot of opportunities to earn what they all want more of as well as an excuse to HAVE to go to Lowe’s. We do quarterly luncheons for the entire plant and numerous events during the holidays. None of our drivers go long without a thank you in some form or fashion; we have 35-year veterans still kicking around for a reason. Morale and gratitude are king.

Honorable Mentions

Two entries receive an honorable mention. So congrats to:

• Allyson Lentz, Volume Transportation

At Volume we have a driver mentor program where our professional senior drivers are paired with new drivers and their driver managers for a period of time to help transition them into the company as well as be an extra set of ears for the new driver or the DM to help facilitate communication between the two parties. Often our office staff do not understand 100% what drivers experience on the road, so a seasoned driver can help reduce tension in order to better service our internal and external customers. The driver mentor gets compensated for his time mentoring and graduating drivers through the program. It is a great way to retain new drivers and shape them into professional drivers and make sure our senior guys are appreciated and their knowledge being used.

• Ryan Miller, Sunrise Transport, Inc.

Each day we have a new food & beverage item: Monday – candy , coffee & waters; Tuesday – doughnuts & coffee; Wednesday – fruit, bars, juices, coffee, water; Thursday – fully catered meal with main course, 4 sides, drinks & dessert; Friday – snacks, bars, juices, coffee, water. We also have a daily handout of gifts, gift cards and cash prizes. We have one large gift raffle (iPad or $500 gift card) and we make sure every driver receives a raffle prize. We also have a token item given from the company to our drivers each year, this year every driver receives a Portable Charger!

Other great ideas:

Rachelle Baker, Searcy Trucking, Ltd.

Typically, Driver Appreciation Week is a week-long celebration that involves lunches, giveaways, cake and lots of interaction! Unfortunately, this year is going to look a little different.

We had a food truck come on 09/10/2020 to provide lunch to all staff working in the office/yard/shop and any drivers that are around. We also do daily giveaways of Tim Horton Gift Cards, Searcy Merchandise, and Searcy Merch Gift Cards.

During the year, we do a monthly Driver of the Month program where employees submit entries for Drivers that go above and beyond. The Driver of the Month wins a Searcy merchandise gift card, have their name published in our quarterly newsletter, and their name goes into our year-end Driver of the Year contest.

We provide recognition for Drivers that obtain a million miles of no at-fault accidents as they enter our “Holden Award” circle of Drivers. They are awarded a $500 custom leather jacket and a $250 gift card.

Al Batista, Gold Medal Bakery

We detailed the trucks and are cleaning and sanitizing the inside of the trucks weekly. We have also provided boxed lunch on a regular basis with lunch provided each day during the Driver Appreciation week. We do driver spotlights on our company intranet with raffle drawings for prizes. and the company also provided swag bags for all drivers with items for drivers and their families.

Chelsea Skiles, McIntosh Trucking

Truck Driver Appreciation Week is a huge week for me as Safety Director here at McIntosh Trucking. I start the week with a personal letter that I mail out to each driver the week before. I highlight some things throughout the year they have accomplished whether it be a clean DOT inspection, turning paperwork in on time, good communication with their dispatcher, etc. The list goes on and on. Then each day throughout the week I get the chance to teach some safety also with daily trivia questions all based around safety. Once they reply with the correct answer, their name is put in a jar for a daily prize drawing and at the end of the week a grand prize drawing, so they have a chance to have their name entered 5 times for the grand prize. Prizes go from gift cards to company shirts, cups, and hoodies. All of our drivers love it and it gives me the opportunity to teach some extra Safety tips. We truly appreciate our drivers every day of the year, however I look forward to truck driver appreciation week every year as it is so much fun for both myself and the fleet!

Jennifer Davis, Meteor Express

Meteor Express purchased duffle bags for all 86 of our dedicated truck drivers. We felt this would be an item they could use for many years to come. Meteor Express is also purchasing our driver’s lunches during the week of Driver Appreciation Week.  We will be having daily raffles with many giveaways. We also have a final raffle on Friday where we will give away gift cards. The top three gift cards are a $250 card, $500 card and a $1,000 card.  We want to celebrate our dedicated Meteor Drivers as well as other drivers out there on the front lines this week and every day because they all deserve it!

Stacy Ortega, Primary Plumbing Services

Have a car wash in appreciation of the drivers in which the owner and office staff wash the outside of their car while they sit under an umbrella enjoying a refreshing drink and small snack.

Thanks again to all of you who participated in our Driver Appreciation Week Contest 2020! We were so happy to see all the terrific ideas you have for recognizing our awesome truck drivers, especially this year when they’ve been so important to our country.

If you’re looking for more ideas to show your truck drivers your appreciation and ways to keep them happy doing one of the most demanding jobs in the U.S., check out our Driver Retention and Driver Safety Resource Centers.

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