NEWPORT, RI. Four of this year’s American Trucking Association’s (ATA) America’s Road Team captains have 11.5 million accident-free driving miles and more than 117 years of commercial driving experience among them. To celebrate its long-time partnership with the team, Volvo Trucks North America handed over keys to its new VNL 760 to the four captains during the Volvo Ocean race stopover here in Newport.
The Road Team captains will drive the VNL 760 and ATA’s Interstate One mobile classroom trailer all over America, meeting with everyone from members of Congress to school-aged children to help spread the word about how the trucking industry delivers America's freight safely, securely and on time.
“It’s an honor for us to work with such a dedicated, elite group of industry professionals,” said Magnus Koeck, Volvo Trucks North America vice president, marketing and brand management. “The America’s Road Team embodies all the greatest elements of this industry. They’re truly heroes and we’re happy to support them with the best tools for the job.”
Herschel Evans, one of the four Road Team captains honored in Newport, has been driving for 24 years for Holland. He is an LTL driver based out of the company’s Atlanta terminal, and before that, he spent eight years working for Ryder.
In his eyes, the optimal tractor is not only comfortable, but equipped with the right technology that helps make him a safer driver.
“We want to be comfortable,” he told Fleet Owner. “The days can be long. We can spend up to 14 hours – 11 of those are driving – on duty and at work. So, we look for something comfortable and that we don’t mind driving.”
“I look for technologies that will actually beat me as a driver,” he added, noting that he is a big fan of adaptive cruise control. “Any technologies that are faster, quicker, and more responsive than I am as a driver.”
The VNL 760 model is equipped with Volvo’s Active Driver Assist with Bendix Wingman Fusion fully integrated into the driver information display. It also features Volvo enhanced stability technology, and a lane-departure warning system. The tractor is powered by a Volvo D13 engine and is equipped with a 12-speed Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission.
The VNL 760 will be used by America’s Road Team Captains to haul the ATA’s Interstate One mobile classroom. The 53-ft. show trailer, which is equipped with a conference room, seven presentation screens, a truck driving simulator and educational displays enables the captains to deliver interactive trucking demonstrations on safety and the importance of trucking on daily life.
“America’s Road Team Captains speak to tens of thousands of people every year about the essential and safe role the trucking industry plays in the American economy, and being able to showcase industry-leading equipment like the Volvo VNL 760 really helps reinforce our message,” said ATA president and CEO Chris Spear. “Volvo Trucks’ generosity is deeply appreciated by ATA and goes a long way toward helping us reach our goals as an association."