Canal Blvd ice New Orleans

A couple of 18-wheelers travel on an icy Interstate 610 at Canal Boulevard in the New Orleans area in January.

While we reflect on our blessings, we don’t always stop to think about those who make the holidays possible, such as the truck drivers here in Louisiana, delivering the holidays to our communities.

Many consumers may be surprised to learn that all of the goods that make the holidays so special were delivered to us by a truck. The coat on your back, food in your fridge and presents under your tree traveled sometimes thousands of miles in a tractor-trailer to the store and then to your home. Sometimes they bring it straight to your home. And behind the wheel of that truck is one of 3.5 million professional truck drivers who goes from one stop to the next, making deliveries door-to-door at local stores and then getting right back on the road to travel to the next destination. These hardworking professionals work throughout the winter to make sure we have everything we need for our holiday celebrations.

Here in Louisiana, more than 78 percent of communities rely exclusively on trucks to transport the goods that we all rely on, including our food, medication, clothing and gas. Trucks keep our stores stocked and daily lives supplied. The trucking industry keeps our economy strong, contributing $700 billion in revenue a year. Trucking provides one out of every 18 jobs in our state, thanks to 5,800 trucking companies in Louisiana.

If the Grinch really wanted to interrupt the holiday season, taking trucks off the road would do the trick. Without trucks, our deliveries would come to a halt, our stores would be empty and our economy would come to a standstill.

While you are traveling to a holiday gathering, the grocery store or the mall, you may share the road with a truck driver this winter. Driving next to a large truck can be intimidating, and it may even be frustrating if you are heading somewhere in a rush, but you should know that sharing the road with you and your family is not a responsibility that any of us take lightly. The skilled professional behind the wheel is well-trained and committed to the safety of everyone on the road, which is why we always aim to remain calm and operate at safe speeds and distances. At the end of the day, we all want to make it home safely to our families, too.

Sunshine bridge to open two lanes starting Saturday as repairs continue

Whether its family, good friends or the meal on your table, while you count what you are grateful for this year, I hope you will keep in mind the truck drivers who work year-round to make our deliveries happen. There’s no greater feeling than knowing our deliveries are bringing joy to our fellow Americans, especially during the holiday season.

Henry Brewster

professional truck driver

Port Allen