A week to show truck drivers some appreciation for getting goods around New Zealand no matter what, kicks off today, says Road Transport Forum (RTF) chief executive Nick Leggett.

“National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, from 22 to 28 February, has the very appropriate theme: truck drivers deliver,” Leggett says.

“Last week in particular, we have seen once again, the contribution truck drivers make to New Zealand as they navigated Auckland’s Alert Level 3 closure.

“Through natural disasters, pandemics, Covid-19 level changes and lockdowns, and all weathers, truck drivers keep delivering the essentials New Zealanders need to live on a daily basis.

“Road freight transport plays a critical role in the New Zealand economy, with 93 percent of all freight carried on the backs of trucks.

“Most truck drivers love what they do, but they can work long hours, be away from home for long periods, and shoulder tremendous responsibility with sensitive, critical, or dangerous loads.

“Everyone wants their goods yesterday, so there are time pressures as well. But most truck drivers will be the first to help out if anything bad happens on the road and always have a ready smile and bit of banter.

“Our economy is driven by exports and imports – goods that need to get where they are going as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, given our disadvantage of being so far away from the rest of the world. This is a well-oiled, logistics-driven machine and people in the trucking industry deserve credit for the role they play.

“Of course we think that credit should be all the time, but in particular this week I would urge people to say thank you to truck drivers for all the things they’ve delivered for them. Pretty much everything spends some time on the back of a truck. A friendly smile and a wave can mean so much.”

The RTF would like to thank NZ Truck & Driver magazine for organising and promoting the week and you can find out more about it here.

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