Opinion

TWAL: We all need to sing the same song

TWAL-column---Issue-20

While cleaning out some old papers, reading past news articles of my own and others plus answers to various interview questions over time there was a recurring theme – industry image and how we can improve it.

This pandemic may be the first and best chance we have of making it happen. As Truck Driver Appreciation Week ended (in the US), there were more signs than ever that just maybe trucking is being seen as an essential service.

So, can we capitalise on this as we have so many (too many) industry associations representing the trucking, freight, logistics, supply chain or whatever we want to call our sector, but we can’t seem to come together on this.

When I lived in the convent we had to be in the choir, sopranos altos, the good singers and the terrible (that would be me)  but we were all on the same song sheet,  singing the same song,  some  off-key, out of tune and others pitch perfect.

We were still coming together for the same purpose to make music and to praise God and also to try to escape the cane of Mother Berkman who was the choir mistress and who ruled with an iron fist and willow cane but she got things done.

I’m not suggesting we get someone to cane us to come together to form a national image campaign that surely is something we should be trying to do together.

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel we can rethink and rejig the ‘Baby’ campaign or revamp the ‘Truckies Carry This Country’ campaign. We could look over to our American colleagues with the ‘If you bought it, we brought it’ campaign or the ‘Trucks Move America’ campaign.

We could have the sides of tautliners and  fridge vans wrapped with what we carry on the sides; we could have information on the back of trailers, ad campaigns,  TV campaigns and the role models of industry speaking about what we do and how we do it and how essential it is to getting food on the  supermarket shelves and the family table, how everything everyone eats and needs to live at some point came on the back of the truck. It’s not rocket science. We even cart the vegans and vegetarians’ vegetables.

We just need to come together and sing the same song. This is our industry; we should be proud of it and we should be encouraging more people to join it.

Until we can come together on this most essential issue of making our image a positive one, we will be reading and talking about this in 10 years time.

I may not be any good in the choir, as many can attest, but the image message is something I am happy to proclaim from the rooftops. No, you won’t need earplugs; I promise not to sing.

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