According to the American Trucking Associations, almost 70% of all freight in the U.S. is transported by trucks. The ATA estimates that there is 9.2 billion tons of cargo moved each year by 3 million class eight truck drivers. It may not be something you think about often as you purchase readily available items at your local stores, but truck drivers are a crucial part of our economy and availability of goods and materials. Shannon NeSmith is one of the incredible drivers that help meet the transportation needs of our Nation.
This month, Kronos is honoring Shannon NeSmith and her dedication to a difficult career that supports our country. She is 1 in One Hundred Million people that work hard every day in a career that is rarely honored. Her hard work is an essential part of our country’s daily needs, and Kronos is featuring Shannon’s story this month. Her passion and perseverance for a difficult but very necessary job is inspiring and deserves to be commended. From teachers to electricians, firefighters to nurses, Kronos is recognizing the hard working people that make the world go ’round. Here is Shannon’s story.
Born into a family lineage of truck driving, Shannon’s mother was as truck driver as well as her brother. She said she knew she wanted to follow the same path ever since she was a little girl, it was in her blood. Based in Clermont, FL Shannon drives coast to coast delivering everything from military equipment to log flume boats! While she gets to see much of the country and meet new people as she hauls interesting cargo, this job is physically and emotionally demanding. She drives a truck with an 18 speed transmission and hauls up to 18,000 pounds of cargo! This often makes for a very dangerous work day, but Shannon’s commitment gives her insight to the true motivation behind the job. She feels “if you don’t love it, you need to get off the road because you’re a hazard to everyone else.” This complete dedication is necessary for a safe and effective driver, but it is never easy.
This stressful job has also made it difficult to maintain relationships. As a mother of two and a grandmother, Shannon admits it is exhausting to live on the road. The long days and thousands of miles had taken a toll on her personal life, and she had begun to accept the fact that she would be alone forever, until…She met her soon to be husband unloading cargo in Tulsa, OK. Now, she will be marrying a fellow truck driver this September. Her devotion to truck driving led her to find a partner just as committed to the work and understanding of its nature.
Shannon feels fortunate to be able to pursue her passion, especially a passion that makes her feel accomplished at the end of the day. Delivering each load is like a small victory before she moves on to the next adventure. Shannon loves it so much that in 2000, she became owner of Happy Flats flatbed transportation. Her daily work, that we so often take for granted, is what helps our world function, grow, and change. Without truck drivers, our country would come to a grinding halt.
Visit 1 in One Hundred Million to see Shannon’s story and other stories of every day heroes. These are the people that create the support network that nourishes our Nation. It is time to honor them for their hard work.
This post is written on behalf of Kronos through Find Your Influence by me. All opinions are 100% mine.