My Name on the Door

The name Jeff Clark has never been on the door of a truck before, as far as I remember. It was with a lot of pride that I saw it on this truck. Yes, I requested it. The first time that I saw Clark Trucking on the side of a truck was cool. It was also a legal requirement. Having my company name on the side of my truck is not as personal as having mine on there.

It is not just a sign of pride. It is a responsibility. Jeff Clark is ultimately responsible for how that truck is being operated. It is not Paper Transport 113, 125, 144, 5537, 5537A or even 5587. Those are the truck numbers that I have had here. Yeah, a few other drivers knew that was my truck parked in the rest area or driving down the road. Now, everyone does.

That got me wondering what if every truck had the driver's name on the door. What if every car had the driver's name on the door? Would people become more responsible? I think they would. Traffic safety does not come from being anonymous. It comes from being responsible. Why should we stop there? Car drivers are responsible for far more crashes than truckers because of their irresponsibility. Maybe putting their names on the door would make them more responsible.

In the end, putting my name on the door was a personal choice. Putting marathon trucker and the 26.2 sticker was too. The 26.2 sticker portrays a sense of pride. It signifies that I am a marathon finisher. Other marathon finishers will recognize it. We share a sense of shared accomplishment, and suffering. It isn't just that. Truckers are suffering from obesity related diseases. Type 2 diabetes is a problem in the industry, even more than in the general population. If a trucker, or anyone sees that I can train for and complete a marathon, maybe that will inspire them to walk 30 minutes a day.

26.2 does not mean that I am better than anyone else. Finishing a marathon gave me a sense of confidence to attempt things that I had not tried to do before. It is not the only thing that a driver can put on the side of a door. I have seen -X million safe miles driven – on a truck before. Companies are now recognizing veterans for their service on trucks now. These are great things for the trucking industry, and the individual drivers.

It would be a good thing to see drivers' names on the side of trucks. Over the years, our sense of professionalism has changed. Drivers are seen as temporary assets in an industry fraught with 100% turnover and short careers. Will putting the names on the side of a door change that? No – but evolution is usually not done with one giant leap. It is done with many small steps in the right direction.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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