Drive on any interstate or county highway in the United States, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find an 18-wheeler on the road. For decades, trucks have been a staple of American culture. Most people would even agree that trucks are a defining symbol in our country, embodying the American spirit’s foundation of hard work, perseverance, and prosperity. It should go without saying, but the trucking industry is the lifeline of commerce in the U.S. Trucks carry vital resources that maintain our communities daily, from produce and medicine to clothing to building materials and hazardous chemicals. The truth of the matter is that we wouldn’t survive a week if trucks stopped rolling in America. Read on to find out how trucks impact different economic sectors and what it truly takes to be an American trucker.

The Impact of Trucks on the Food Service Industry

Every week, thousands of restaurants, grocery stores, and cafeterias across the country have their meat and produce delivered via trucks working for wholesale food distribution companies. According to the International Food Service Distributors Association, trucks cover a combined 3.2 billion miles, or the equivalent of 1,700 trips to the sun and back, delivering nearly 8.7 billion cases of product every year. The incredible demand for food distribution also employs over 130,000 truck drivers, making up almost 4% of all truck drivers working in the industry. If it weren’t for the trucking industry managing to deliver products to your favorite restaurants, the U.S. economy would lose out on the 51 billion dollars generated by wholesale distribution. Consider the supply of clean drinking water as well. Water treatment facilities receive the vital chemicals used to make drinking water safe for consumption. If trucks stopped delivering within the U.S., most of the food and beverage industry would quickly run out of supplies within a matter of days.

The Impact of Trucks on the Healthcare Industry

Nearly every hospital across the country relies on the daily delivery of medication, supplies, and equipment to operate their facilities and treat patients. Consider the consequences of the trucking industry shutting down for one day. To reduce cost, hospitals have turned to just-in-time inventory management. If trucks stop delivering medicine, thousands of patients would be left without medication in less than a day. It’s simple. Human lives depend on the trucking industry. And it’s not just hospitals that rely on the trucking industry. Homecare is another large sector of the healthcare industry that depends on the timely delivery of medications. Medication delivery is such a growing industry that even pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have begun offering home delivery services. It is estimated that nearly 70% of independent pharmacies offer delivery services, according to the NCPA Digest. If it weren’t for the dedication and diligence of truckers all across America, thousands of people would be left without life-saving medications.

The Impact of Trucks on Waste Management

In this country, we often take for granted the system in place that keeps our streets clean and debris-free. Waste management is essential because it is a matter of health and public safety. Every day around the country, trucks collect millions of pounds worth of garbage from suburban communities and cities from coast to coast. According to Research and Markets, the global waste management industry is estimated to grow from 423 billion dollars in 2021 to $542 billion in 2026. The growth is fueled by an increase in the overall population around the globe. Here in the U.S., the Environmental and Protection Agency estimates that the total amount of solid waste generated in America is close to 292 million tons, or nearly 5 pounds per person every single day. If trucks stopped waste management for even a week, the majority of the country would be buried by garbage within a day or two. This event would ultimately present a tremendous public health crisis for the U.S.

The Impact of Trucks on Financial Institutions

Banks, ATMs, and businesses around the country rely on the delivery of cash via armored trucks and other secure transport vehicles daily. Without these crucial deliveries, cash reserves would quickly run dry, and bank branches would be forced to shut down operations. Armored vehicles provide timely, efficient, and safe transport for cash and are essential to the U.S. economy. According to Grand View Research, as recently as 2018, the armored vehicle market was valued at 25 billion dollars. Banks rely on these cash deliveries to process transactions, and any disruption to the delivery chain would cause a massive financial crisis for people and businesses alike.

The Impact of Trucks on Manufacturing and Transportation Industries

Fabricated metals, machinery, and food packaging rely on the trucking industry to deliver their products to retailers and consumers. Without truckers, manufacturers in all industries would be unable to move their products. A shortage of drivers or a complete halt of the supply chain would cause prices to rise for both businesses and consumers. Without trucks, manufacturing in the U.S. would shut down within a day, causing damage with long-term effects to the country’s economy.

Trucks also help transport crude oil from pipelines to terminals, where various petroleum-based products are made, such as gas, diesel, jet fuel, kerosene, and asphalt. Most importantly, trucks deliver fuel to the gas pumps where millions of drivers stop to fuel their vehicles every day. Gas stations typically sell between 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of fuel per day, which results in the need for delivery approximately every three days. If there were to be a disruption in the supply chain, gas stations across the country would run out of fuel in 24 to 48 hours, resulting in a significant disruption to the U.S. economy. Consider the fact that most people rely on vehicles to get to work. Disruption would also cause public transport, police, fire, rescue, and mail-package delivery vehicles. Airlines would have to ground their flights, and thousands of people who rely on supplies via air cargo would go without necessities for days or even weeks.

The U.S. is Only as Strong as Its Trucking Industry

The trucking industry is not only the critical lifeline for commerce but also the backbone of our nation. Without trucks and the indispensable men and women who log millions of miles across the country every year, our communities would run out of clean water, food, medicine, and other essential supplies within days. For this reason, the value of truckers on American culture and economy cannot be stressed enough. There simply would be no America without truckers. If you’re a valued member of the commercial trucking industry, call Brother’s Insurance today at 516-246-5835 and see how we can help you with your insurance needs.