In an industry that can be challenging for truckers on many levels, there’s a foundation out there that is truly committed to improving the moral of drivers, “giving people value when they feel they have none,” according to founder Brian Carlson.
Drive For Freedom Foundation is building a community and collaborating with other orginzations to advance the personal interests of the average North American trucker, and they’re taking the job very seriously.
“We are a non-fee based organization that focuses not on the problems, rather on the solutions to those problems. Our philosophy is People, Problem Solve, Application, Success,” Carlson said.
Through “rock-solid solutions”, the organization is fighting for the protection of drivers’ rights, speaking out against companies who ignore maintenance issues, exploit their workers through misclassification, and help companies reduce fixed cost in their business models.
The organization also wants truckers to realize career fulfillment, and they’re strategically focused on making this happen- working with insurance companies implementing driver forgiveness programs, easing the strain of life’s ultimate challenges through a Driver Support System (DSS), and offering a driver retention incentive program.
The foundation is funded through a strong business relationship with Delaware North Sports Service and the Green Bay Packers, according to Carlson.
Donations from the Public have started to come in by way of ticket sales and other means. However only a few drivers have donated since the Foundation’s inception. The drivers have shown support by purchasing DFF apparel. i.e. Ball Caps and T-Shirt.
“If you allow them [truck drivers] to come of their own free will, they’ll work together. Boost morale, then they may be more willing to give of themselves more freely down the road. Build trust, then maintain it,” he said.
A quick visit to the website and it’s obvious that this organization cares, a lot, about their fellow truckers. “Many times a truck driver afraid to ask for help, for fear of being ridiculed,” Carlson said. The company is striving to change that pattern.
To show truckers that they’re not alone in what can be overwhelming daily struggles, and to “hold others accountable when the driver feels he/she has no defense…”, is the foundation’s objective.
It appears Drive for Freedom is working hard and making great strides at bringing back the brotherhood to trucking.
Poem by Brian Carlson:
I AM AN AMERICAN TRUCK DRIVER.
I CHOSE TO SACRIFICE MY FAMILY & MY PERSONAL LIFE.
I AM ONE OF AMERICAS FREIGHT HAULERS.
I AM A MEMBER OF A TEAM.
I AM A SOLDIER OF AMERICAS HIGHWAYS. I TRAVERSE OUR CONTINENT DAILY.
SOMETIMES MY JOB REQUIRES BRUTE STRENGTH.
BUT I AM EQUALLY STRONG IN SPIRIT AND WILL.
I USE THESE STRENGTHS TO SERVE THE PEOPLE.
I WILL ALWAYS PLACE MY FAMILY, FELLOW MEMBERS AND MISSION FIRST IN MY LIFE.
I LIVE MY LIFE WITH THE DRIVE FOR FREEDOM VALUES.
I WILL NEVER ACCEPT SECOND BEST.
I WILL NEVER QUIT ON MYSELF, OR MY FELLOW DRIVERS.
I WILL NEVER LEAVE A FALLEN DRIVER BY THE ROADSIDE.
I HAVE SELF CONTROL, DISCIPLINE AND I AM MENTALLY TOUGH.
I AM TRAINED BUT MOSTLY SELF TAUGHT.
I HAVE SKILLS AND PROFESSIONAL ABILITIES THAT MANY DO NOT POSSESS.
I ALWAYS MAINTAIN MY EQUIPMENT AND MYSELF. I AM ALWAYS VIGILANT.
I AM AN EXPERT. I AM ALWAYS PREPARED TO TEACH.
I HAUL EVERYTHING AMERICA NEEDS. I ALSO TRANSPORT OUR CITIZENS.
I AM READY TO SERVE THE PUBLIC DAY AFTER DAY WITHOUT FAIL.
FOR THIS FACT, I COMMAND RESPECT. I WILL GIVE IT, BUT IT MUST ALWAYS BE RETURNED.
I PLACE MY LIFE ON THE LINE MILE AFTER MILE EVERYDAY FOR THE CITIZENS OF MY COUNTRY.
I AM A GENTLEMAN. I AM A LADY.
I AM AN AMERICAN TRUCK DRIVER.
*Please note that this group is not affiliated with the Truckers Ride for Freedom or the Truckers Ride for the Constitution.