by Pride Transport | Jan 08, 2019
What If There Were No Truck Drivers?
Truckers Impact Many Aspects of Our Daily Lives
If you want an easy way to understand how important truck drivers are, just try to imagine what would happen if there were no truck drivers in the world. The impact could be more immediate and wide ranging than you think.
We see trucks on our highways all the time but few of us really connect how they impact our daily lives. If you’ve worked retail, then maybe you know the labor of unloading a truck twice or three times a week. If not, then you probably go to the grocery store, grab what you need and never really give any thought as to how the milk, eggs, cheese or onions got to the shelf. We know these items come from somewhere but we rarely give much thought to how they get to our local market. The answer is: by trucks and truck drivers.
So what would happen if they suddenly all disappeared?
Daily Life Without Truck Drivers Would Be Extremely Unpleasant
A world without truck drivers is not a pretty world — it isn't even a very habitable world. In the United States alone $700.4 billion worth of goods is moved by trucks on a daily basis. The magnitude of this is almost unthinkable. If truck drivers stopped working, even for a day, the ramifications would be insane.
Most retail stores and groceries operate on a just-in-time basis, meaning they wait until stock levels are almost gone before they re-order. Without truck drivers, grocery stores and retailers would soon run low on supplies. Food shortages would suddenly be a reality. Drinking water would be in short supply in regions where the chemicals needed to purify water are delivered by trucks.
Health conditions would be drastically impacted. Medical supplies would quickly run out because most hospitals have moved to the just-in-time delivery system, waiting until essentials have gone before ordering more. In the US alone, 55,000 pharmacies receive goods and drugs daily via truck delivery. If the trucking delivery network were interrupted, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies would soon run out of medicine and supplies.
The environmental impact could also be rather devastating. There are an estimated 236 million tons of waste generated by Americans annually, and without trucks to help dispose of it properly, the waste could accumulate and become toxic breeding grounds for infectious disease.
From shipping our food in and taking our trash out, trucks and truck drivers play a role in our most vital daily tasks.
Breaking Down the Truckerless World Minute by Minute
Let's break this terror down to specific blocks of time:
Within 24 hours: Gas stations would run seriously low on gas and all mail delivery would cease.
Within 48 hours: Gas supplies would be so low that prices would skyrocket. Think of the gas lines in the late '70s times a million. Food supplies in stores would dwindle and prices would rise.
Within 72 hours: The essentials like bread, milk, water, canned meats, due to lack of delivery, panic and hoarding, would run out. ATMs and banks would run out of cash and not be able to complete transactions. Gas stations would be completely out of all fuel, garbage would become building sized mountains in the streets and cargo ships would remain moored in their docks.
At the one week mark: All automobile travel would cease. All forms of public transportation would also cease. People would not be able to get to work, grocery stores or seek medical care. Hospitals would have depleted medical supplies, including oxygen.
At the two week mark: All clean water supplies would run dry.
At four weeks: Only contaminated water remains that must be boiled to be used. This would increase intestinal illness, which would be a death sentence in an already weakened healthcare state.
Within one month: The country would be totally disabled and in complete chaos.
Final Thoughts (Hopefully Not TOO Final): Truckers Do An Important Job
You know it's an important job when eliminating it leads quickly to riots, looting, violence of all manner and the breakdown of civilized behavior completely. What we've learned is that if all truck drivers suddenly disappeared today, the level of death and disease would be the stuff of science fiction films and the degradation of humanity would be unimaginable.
So if you're thinking about becoming a truck driver, you should know it's an important job — very important. For everybody else on the road, when you see trucks on the highway, be careful, be vigilant, make sure you’re doing your part to keep the roads safe for them. Maybe you should even thank them, because without truck drivers, life is going to be some serious, sci-fi mayhem and really, no one wants to deal with that.