Thanksgiving doesn’t have an official sponsor (thank goodness!), but you could make the case that the holiday is brought to us by the American trucking industry.
The turkey, cranberries, potatoes (mashed, sweet and otherwise), pumpkins and green beans were carried by truck, not to mention the dinner table and chairs, the appliances and sofa into which we’ll sink to watch football on our big-screen TV, which arrived at the big box store by truck.
But it’s a good bet that all the four-wheelers traveling for Thanksgiving this month will grumble about the number of trucks on the highway. No doubt, all the drivers working the holiday weekend will feel the love and gratitude.
But drivers are a humble lot and used to being unsung. Instead of dwelling on the lack of appreciation for the trucking industry, we asked drivers what they’re most thankful for. Here’s what they told us:
I am grateful for my health. As a cancer survivor, every day is a gift. My family would be next. My son, daughter and grandbaby are a blessing. Third would be my truck; I'm thankful she has given me all these miles. I’m also thankful for the employees who work holidays. We work every day and it’s nice to see a place open where we can get fuel, food and goodies. — Maggie Riessen, RoadPro Pro Driver Council
I'm grateful for a loving and caring family. My wife and two girls have given up so much in order for me to pursue a career that I love. They miss me when I'm gone, but they never complain, and they support me in all I do.
I'm grateful to live in a country that, with all of its problems, still allows individuals to pursue their dreams and makes it possible for them to achieve true independence and entrepreneurship. As an owner-operator, there is no greater sense of accomplishment.
I'm most grateful for our soldiers. I've had the opportunity to train them and listen to their stories. That will make you grateful that these men and women are willing to put it all on the line for millions of Americans that they have never met and never will. — Thomas Miller, RoadPro Pro Driver Council
I’m most grateful for my wife. Her patience and understanding have gotten me through some very trying times. Not only did I have to deal with almost dying again, but also losing my job and my hobby. I had to sell my Harley, an activity we enjoyed together. I couldn’t have made these transitions without her strength and companionship. She’s not only my wife; she’s my best friend, and that is so important to me. — Robert Stoviak, RoadPro Pro Driver Council
I begin with my dad and mom who raised me with good morals, values and a good work ethic. Realizing I wouldn't be where I am or who I am if it weren't for their love and support. Thanks, mom and dad!
I continually remind myself where it all began with my trucking career, who was there by my side, guiding me, supporting me, motivating me. This I am truly grateful for! Grateful for all that life has offered me. — Joanne Fatta, RoadPro Pro Driver Council
After God and Jesus, it would be family, health, friends and being able to provide for my family. Everything else is bonus round items: driving, seeing the country, meeting new people, vacations and all the other frills life gives us. — Henry Albert, RoadPro Pro Driver Council
We also polled drivers on our Facebook page and their answers ranged from the serious (paychecks, scenery, meeting other truckers) to the not-so-serious (coffee, long hoods, seat covers), but the most common response was freedom. Despite the many hardships of the job and the life, these drivers feel free behind the wheel and for that they’re truly grateful.
Thank you, drivers.