Trucks at Work

The spirit of the season

Christmas time has come round again, and with it come tidings not just of joy but of good works as well.

Take Penske Truck Rental for starters, which recently donated $255,157 to help the Paralyzed Veterans of America fund its “ABLE” campaign – an effort designed to enlist all Americans, from citizens and their local communities to corporations, to help ensure paralyzed heroes veteran receive: the physical care needed to live a healthy life; receive the benefits they've earned through military service; and obtain job training and employment opportunities for new and fulfilling careers.

Then there’s this year’s “Truckers for Troops” holiday campaign sponsored by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which raised $46,861 this year to pack and send care packages to U.S. military service personnel stationed in combat zones. OOIDA added that over the last seven years it’s conducted this holiday care package campaign, it’s raised over $400,000.

[As an aside, here’s one of my favorite Christmas sights of the season: my local Shell filling station, which gets decked every year in thousands upon thousands of holiday lights and assorted decorations. This is an old video, so I promise to freshen things up by filming next year’s Christmas display extravaganza.]

Then there are the businesses that step in to give something back to the many truck drivers who will spend Christmas day hauling freight – like these two truck stops in Idaho that will provide free Christmas meals to those truck drivers who will be on the job.

Along those lines, I’d like to close this post with a poem sent to me by Schneider National. Written by Patrick Moore, a longtime driver for the Big Orange fleet, it’s called Highway Santa and encapsulates almost perfectly the important role truck drivers play in keeping the U.S. economy rolling:

It’s Christmas season,

He packs his clothes.

He’s Highway Santa

And nobody knows.

He grabs his bags,

The girls crying “No.”

He tells them softly,

“I have to go.”

He gives them a hug

And tells them bye,

Kisses his wife,

And she starts to cry.

Up jumps the dog,

Ready for fun,

“I’ll miss you too,

My K-9 son.”

He pulls on the road,

Floating the gears,

Looking in the mirror,

And fighting his tears.

All over the country,

On every road,

There’s a Highway Santa

Delivering his load.

He drives through mountains

Covered with snow,

His chains are tight

And ready to go.

It’s almost Christmas,

Just a few more trips.

He thinks of his wife,

The touch of her lips.

He pulls in the drive,

Where the highway ends,

For a couple days home

With family and friends.

So on Christmas morning,

When you see the smiles,

Remember who brought it,

Thousands of miles.

He does it for his family,

Not fortune or fame.

He’s Highway Santa.

Remember his name.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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