This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Drivers often scoff at trucking company efforts to celebrate the week; what is a free hot dog or cap, they say -- "show us the money"!

To me, the real impact of NTDAW is its reach outside of the industry. Many local papers and TV stations do stories and editorials aimed at the general public about why they should appreciate drivers. I thought I'd round up a sample of them for your reading pleasure:

"Unsung heroes: truck drivers". This editorial in the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minn., notes that "Too many motorists view trucks as an obstacle on the road. They don't realize the important contributions the people behind the wheel of a big rig are making."

"Trucks Haul the Goods, Bring Jobs, Tax Revenue. This piece on WOWK 13 in West Virginia highlights Joe Stanley, a Con-Way Freight driver with 25 years on the road. It notes that "Trucks transport more than 164,500 tons daily in the state, or 75 percent of total manufactured tonnage delivered. More than 80 percent of West Virginia's communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods."

"Need a job? Country needs truck drivers." This piece in the State Journal Register in Springfield, Ill., goes beyond the feel-good appreciation message and takes a look at some of the challenges the industry is facing, such as high fuel costs and a driver shortage.

Many trucking company executives, truck drivers and state trucking association representatives also took the time to write letters to the editors of their local papers asking readers to take a moment this week to think about the role truck drivers play in their lives.

Of course, many in the trucking industry are also hosting special events this week for drivers; you can find many of them at