In an executive proclamation, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has officially declared September 13th through 19th Truck Driver Appreciation Week in Arkansas.

The Arkansas Trucking Association, along with American Trucking Associations and the entire trucking industry, is celebrating the millions of professional truck drivers who work each day to deliver America’s freight safely.

“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.

For over 20 years, the Arkansas Trucking Association has shown their appreciation by inviting truck drivers traveling along I-40, where more than 15,000 trucks travel east of North Little Rock each day, to join them at the TA Petro Stopping Center for a free hot meal. For this year’s low-contact event, “Loads of Gratitude,” ATA will deliver a lunch and laundry drive to show appreciation for the men and women who have proved that the loads they carry are essential to our way of life.

“National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is an annual opportunity to celebrate the dedication of these essential workers. Truck drivers have endured incredible challenges this year keeping themselves and their communities safe and healthy while providing food for our tables, life-saving supplies for hospitals, computers on our desks and in our pockets,” Arkansas Trucking Association president Shannon Newton said in announcing this week’s events.

Almost 87 percent of Arkansas communities depend solely on the trucking industry for their goods and commodities. There are more than 38,000 professional truck drivers in Arkansas – delivering everything from seeds or livestock for local farmers to books and technology for neighborhood schools. These men and women log 5.7 billion miles annually and last year, delivered nearly 87 percent of the state’s freight tonnage – or over 113,600 tons each day.

The Arkansas Trucking Association invites all citizens to join the industry and Gov. Hutchinson in public and private displays of gratitude for the people behind every package on doorsteps and box on the shelves.

“In times of prosperity or times of crisis, Arkansas’s and our Nation’s economy rides on the shoulders of professional drivers who bring what we need every day to thrive and survive, build and rebuild our lives across the State,” the proclamation states.

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