By Raymond Brown
The start of the holiday shopping season has officially begun, but for me and my peers, it’s just another reason to deliver. I’m one of 3.5 million professional truck drivers on America’s roads who’s been working to safely deliver the holiday goods stocked in our stores, keeping our community running and local economy growing.
When headed out on the highways this season for your trips to see grandma or to shop at the mall, we hope you keep us in mind because we are helping you get what you need. We are delivering everything you need this holiday season, including the food on your table, the gifts for your family and the coats that keep you warm.
Here in North Carolina, over 85 percent of communities rely exclusively on trucks to transport their goods. The trucking industry is also a key driver of our state, providing one out of every 16 jobs.
Driving next to a large truck may seem intimidating, but you should know that I am well-trained and always prepared. Safety is my top goal, and that’s not just something we practice – it is a core value we live by. Driving next to you and your family is not a responsibility that I take lightly, and while I’m on the road, I am fully dedicated to ensuring your safety, this holiday season and all year long. No matter the circumstances, we are always striving to be the best.
You may be surprised to know that each year, the trucking industry invests at least $9.5 billion to improve safety and protect the environment. This investment, coupled with today’s technology, provides us with the most modern trucks to keep us all safe. New truck technology also makes trucks more reliable, which ensures the on-time delivery of holiday goods, as well as the highest quality of food and other goods upon their delivery.
Driving around this holiday season, you and I will share the same frustrations over crumbling infrastructure and bad traffic. With a trailer full of freight, I know the stakes are high. I aim to remain calm and operate at safe speeds and distances to make a successful delivery and ensure the safety of those around me. We must all stay alert, be kind to one another and remember that we all have someone or something to get home to.
While the holidays connect family and friends across the country, each day, trucks are connecting communities from all over America. So instead of viewing the trucks on the road as a large vehicle that is in your way this holiday season, I hope you’ll view us as keeping your holiday – and your lives – supplied and moving, and that vital link to making the last delivery.
Raymond Brown, of Charlotte, is a professional truck driver for Pilot Flying J and member of Trucking Moves America Forward.