Truck Driver Appreciation Week is upon us, so if you aren’t yet prepared it is time to figure out how to show your thanks to your drivers and support team. While you might settle on just getting everyone some stuff this late in the game, or if you are already thinking about next year, that doesn’t mean that stuff has to be junk.
There is nothing wrong with buying objects for your drivers if those objects have practical value. Hats are cool and all, but if they already have six hats, why bother? Gift cards are useful, but only if a driver has time to stop at that store or restaurant. The key is to be both thoughtful AND practical when it comes to showing your appreciation with gifts.
You need to know your drivers, first and foremost. If you don’t, you can’t quite grasp their wants and needs on the road. Because once you know what drivers could actually use on the road, you can think of something practical to get them. But it’s important to know that whatever you get should also last a while. Your drivers have put in a lot of miles for you; your gifts should do the same.
So what do we mean by both practical and thoughtful?
Here are a few examples you could use:
- YETI water bottles/thermos. These are especially nice water bottles that insulate much better than your typical thermos. Liquids can stay cold or hot for hours, which is very helpful for long trips.
- Portable A/C or heater. Any driver who has to spend time in the sleeper needs to have these around anyway, so you might as well get new ones. While they can be expensive to get for a whole fleet, you can maybe get half this year and half next year.
- Memory foam mattresses. Again, any driver who has to sleep in their truck will be grateful for any comfort you can provide. A small layer of memory foam goes for around $20 at WalMart, so this is pretty doable for a whole fleet of drivers.
- The IceKap. If you haven’t heard of this new toy, it’s a special hat that you can put on to relieve migraines. You can stash it in a cooler or heat it up and it lasts for a couple of hours. It could go a long way to relieving a bit of stress for a driver after a long day on the road.
These are just a few ideas you could kick around to show your appreciation. You could also just ask your drivers. Pooling their recommendations alone is a sign that you’re willing to show that you care and reward drivers for all of their hard work. But if you’re going for object gifts, be both thoughtful and practical at the same time. Your drivers will be grateful for both.