For all the work they do, and the massive impact they have on the American economy, truck drivers rarely get the respect they deserve.
Trucking is one of the primary sources of jobs across all 50 states, with many areas showing the job ranking near the top of the list for sources of employment.
Not only that, but trucking is America’s preferred freight modality, delivering over two-thirds of the goods the country depends on. An undeniable cornerstone of the consumer market, an asset to businesses of all sizes, and a profession with workers reminiscent of frontiersmen, this industry is worthy of recognition.
And it appears it will get it. FreightWaves recently reported a trucking museum and hall of fame to be opened up in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Dubbed aptly the “Haul (sic) of Fame,” the establishment will have 10,000 square-feet of historical archives dating back over a century, detailing trucking’s incredible evolution through all the eras – including its humble beginnings, information on regulations and deregulations and much more – all the way up to the modern era.
There will also be an event space known as the Freight Alley, which will essentially be a hallway full of diecast trucks and even a trucking simulator donated by US Xpress. Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves and Haul of Fame founder, spoke about the effort and how it was inspired by his father and grandfather telling him about the trucks they saw on out on the highways when he was younger.
He said: “These ‘war-stories’ helped to shape my understanding of the trucking industry and laid the foundation for an appreciation of the colorful shaping of our industry. With the Haul of Fame we hope to bring this history to life and preserve it for generations to come.”
The effort is more than just for nostalgic value – it is designed to help preserve pieces of history. Truckers, their rigs, and the companies they work for are an integral part of the economy and society. Sadly, many of their stories and legacies have been lost to time, living on only in the minds of a select few. By taking these stories out of small circles and putting them on display for the world to see, this establishment could do a lot to help bring trucking more recognition.
While there are trucking-themed events that take place throughout the country every year, these events are traditionally made for those who are already inside the industry, either as drivers or managers, and who want to network regarding future opportunities.
As of now, this will be the first major establishment of its kind dedicated to educating the public about the history of truck driving.
And, many organizations have already been working hard to help with the museum’s setup – offering cash rewards to those who contribute diecast trucks and other contents that will eventually be needed for the facility. For those who can’t make the physical location, which is set to open by mid-2019, a virtual simulation will also be created online to offer a similar experience.