Argus Leader: Letter: Trucking: A bedrock of S.D.’s economy

Trucks – we see them every day on South Dakota roads. We ride alongside them on the highway. Long-haul trucks travel those roads delivering the goods we rely on every day; food, clothing and medical supplies throughout the Mount Rushmore state.

This week, beginning today through Saturday, as our country celebrates National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, let us not forget the sacrifices and strides these hard-working men and women of the professional trucking industry make every day to move America.

Seventy-one percent of the communities in S.D. depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. In fact, trucks moved 74 percent of total manufactured tonnage in the state. The trucking industry also means jobs. In 2013, there were 21,000 industry jobs in the state; that’s one out of 16. Total industry wages paid in 2013 exceeded $.8 billion.

Small businesses win, too. There are more than 3,650 trucking companies in S.D., and most of them are small, locally-owned businesses.

So, next time you’re traveling on the Interstate and a semi passes by, you’re not just looking at an impressive 18-wheeler; you’re looking at a vital machine powering S.D.’s economy.