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Time to be proud of trucking’s triumphs

Feb. 16, 2022
Trucking continues to push innovation, search for breakthroughs, and develop new technologies. Now is the time to recognize those achievements and celebrate the industry.

Something cool happened at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before the start of the Busch Light Clash event last week. In fact, Penske and Freightliner made history that night as a pre-production battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia pulled a Team Penske race car hauler to the Coliseum.

Freightliner has primary sponsorship of the No. 2 Freightliner eCascadia Ford driven by NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Austin Cindric.

I was taken by something Mary Aufdemberg, general manager of product strategy and market development at Daimler Truck North America, said about that event: “At Freightliner, we’re driven to deliver purposeful innovation for our customers, and there’s a tremendous sense of pride to see the innovative all-electric Freightliner eCascadia used by our long-standing partners at Team Penske to make racing history.”

I’ve been in the trucking industry for a long time, and I think most of the people in trucking are pretty humble. There is not a lot of bragging about the things we have accomplished, including the work the industry has done lowering emissions in diesel-powered vehicles, and our efforts to move to a more sustainable way to transport goods.

See also: Find success in trucking in 2022

I applaud Aufdemberg and the Freightliner team for being proud of their accomplishments. I think more of us need to become a little more vocal about all the great things trucking is doing. Trucking rose to the challenge of keeping shelves stocked during the pandemic, ensured that doctors, hospitals, and essential business had all PPE supplies they needed, and then made sure the vaccines were delivered where and when they were needed.

We also are in the middle—call it the messy middle—of some significant changes in trucking, and we should be proud that we are working our way through some interesting technology challenges to move trucking forward to an even cleaner future.

So go ahead and brag a little. Tell people about how cool trucking is and share with them all the innovative technologies—including advanced driver assistance systems, battery electric, hydrogen fuel cells, renewable diesel, autonomous trucking—in which we are involved. I’ve said it before, “this ain’t your father’s trucking industry.” It’s an exciting time to be in trucking, and I plan to be a little less humble about what we are doing.

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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