LUMBERTON — Truck drivers traveling on Interstate 95 through Robeson County were treated to box lunches Thursday as they stopped to have their trucks weighed.
Members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the North Carolina Trucking Association handed out 400 lunches from Firehouse Subs at the weigh station at Mile Marker 24. Each driver received a red box that included a sub sandwich, bag of chips and an ice-cold bottle of water.
Crystal Collins, president of the trucking association, said the group wanted to show its appreciation to truck drivers.
“Truck drivers are playing such a vital role as they continue to deliver supplies to stores. We just wanted to show a token of our appreciation,” Collins said.
Collins said as the nation deals with the coronavirus pandemic, the work of truck drivers is essential to keeping stores stocked.
People are more aware of the role that truck drivers play than they were 45 days ago, Collins said.
She said the association is grateful for the partnership with the Highway Patrol to ensure that roads are safe.
Truck drivers pulled into the weigh station with surprised looks on their faces that turned into smiles as they were greeted by a host of troopers.
Mike Gibson, who has been a truck driver for 48 years, was traveling from Roseboro and headed to Whiteville.
“This is such a welcome surprise to come through a weigh station and be given lunch. I appreciate such a kind gesture,” Gibson said.
Gibson was hauling a truckload of yarn.
Maj. Freddy Johnson Jr. of the Highway Patrol said on average, 1,500 to 1,800 truckers pass through the weigh station each day.
“We are able to keep our roads safe by the safety inspections that are performed at weigh stations,” Johnson said.
John Manus, who said he has been transporting goods for 41 years, on Thursday was hauling lawnmowers headed to the Lowe’s Distribution Center in Garysburg. Manus’ day began in Jackson, Mississippi.
“I had no idea what I was pulling up to when I saw so many state troopers at the weigh station,” he said.
Manus said his truck has been rolling during the pandemic to keep stores in stock.