Chantelle DeRose/Recorder staff Cyndi Dunham, Allan Dunham, Drew Szabo and Dan Jensen, with SLA Transport, stand in front of their trucks.


Recorder News Staff

FONDA — The life of a truck driver is anything but easy.

Shining a light on the hard work truck drivers do regularly, 200 trucks paraded through Fonda where a large crowd gathered, despite the rain, for the fourth annual Convoy for a Cause on Sunday.

“Truckers are unsung heroes,” Fonda Fair Board President and event Superintendent Richard Kennedy said. “We always celebrate our military, law enforcement and emergency personnel who spend a lot of time away from family and friends — and that’s great — but without the trucking industry, we wouldn’t be able to get our goods and services from place to place.”

Dealing with inclement weather, road construction and machinery difficulties are just a handful of the obstacles that truckers experience on a daily basis.

Kennedy noted that people might not be aware of just how many sacrifices truckers make.

“They often times spend days, weeks or even months away from their family members,” Kennedy said. “The whole Convoy for a Cause is to celebrate the trucking industry, raise awareness for them and to give them the opportunity to raise funds for local charities.”

Two of the charities being highlighted this year are the WGY Christmas Wish and the Leatherstocking Honor Flight program, which gives war veterans the chance to view memorials in Washington D.C.

“Anything that you can imagine has been on this truck,” Allan Dunham, of SLA Transport, said. “What we put up with out here to get it to people safely — there’s a lot to it. More than what people realize.”

Dunham, who has operated trucks for 47 years, has been employed by SLA Transport for 15 years.

“I would tell people to be a little bit more aware and safety conscious around the trucks,” Dunham said.

Dan Jensen, also a driver for SLA Transport, hopes that other drivers on the road are careful around trucks.

“I think there should be more awareness about trucks from people who drive cars,” Jensen said. “We can’t stop on a dime. We’re pulling a lot of weight.”

“We’ve got 80,000 pounds coming down the road,” Dunham agreed. “We pull doubles a lot too so you’re talking double that weight coming down the road.”

Jim Flores, a first time Convoy for a Cause attendee and driver for Power Recycling, also noted that the welfare of others is something that should be taken into consideration when working with large vehicles.

“Safety is the most important thing,” Flores said. “This event is great. It’s for a good cause.”