Before you tied your Christmas tree to the top of the car and carted it home, a truck driver worked to get it to the Christmas tree lot in the first place. John Reed is one of those drivers. He has been delivering Christmas trees for 15 years. “It’s just part of driving a truck every year,” says the veteran owner operator (and Drive My Way columnist).

When we spoke with Reed, he had just delivered a load of 640 Christmas trees from a farm in Washington state to a business in southern California. They ranged from 18-inch decorative trees to eight-foot conifer spruces.

Loading the trees in Washington state

Loading the trees in Washington state

“I always enjoy having the responsibility of transporting Christmas trees because I have an 11-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son and they love the holiday season,” Reed says. “They’re thinking about their Christmas lists and wondering if they’re going to get what they want. I really enjoy this time of year, and I get a lot of pleasure out of watching my kids.”

When Reed first began transporting Christmas trees, he got caught up in the festive holiday vibe easily.

Now, Reed happily brings the spirit of the season to people through his delivery. But, Christmas trees resemble his other loads—they just have to get there.

Unloading the trees in California

Unloading the trees in California

“After a couple years, you don’t think about it as much,” Reed says. “It runs just like a normal load would. It pays the same. For me, it’s just about keeping busy before the holidays.”

Reed hauls the trees in a dry van. They don’t travel with a water source because it usually takes only a day or two to transport them. But when Reed opens his trailer, the fresh scent of pine hits him hard. “It’s overwhelming sometimes,” he laughs.

For Reed, the Christmas trees are no-touch freight.

Workers at the Christmas tree farm load the trees into Reed’s truck and when he arrives at his delivery point, staff unloads them.

john-reed-trees-wrapped-up“I just have to sweep out my trailer really well because it’s full of pine needles when the trip is over,” Reed says.

As the longtime truck driver that he is, Reed can’t help but feel for his colleagues who won’t be able to spend the holidays with their families this year.

“The responsibility of delivering the essentials for everyday living sometimes gets in the way of the family bonding we all need for a healthy existence,” Reed says. “Let’s remember people who will be away from their families over the holidays and keep them in our prayers.”

Do you have a special load that gives your CDL trucking job a sense of purpose? Connect with us here and tell us about it for the chance to be featured in a Drive My Way story.


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