Four designs, including this one, salute truck drivers and other employees.

Four designs, including this one, salute truck drivers and other employees.

One way to liven up a business meeting is an interesting raffle, and the American Trucking Associations obliged at its recent Management Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, giving away two sets of colorful vinyl trailer wraps with pro-industry messages.

The wraps for the sides and rears of 53-foot vans are part of Trucking Moves America Forward, a campaign that ATA and other trucking groups are involved in to boost trucking’s image among the general public.

Some of the tag lines being used in the campaign include “It Takes 7 Million Americans” – the approximate number of people who work in the industry and “America’s Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes. The latter is both topical (there’ve been a lot of superhero movies in recent years) and retro (some of the fictional characters like Superman and Captain America were born in the 1930s, during the Great Depression when Americans needed hope and got some in comic books featuring crime fighters with supernatural powers).

Those themes are on four wrap designs company executives can choose from if they buy a set of wraps or, in the case of the Philly conference, win one. Two companies did.

Raffle chances were on sale for $1,500 apiece during the five-day conference. Executives could also order wraps at $2,300 to $2,500 per set (they’re still for sale, of course) and installation is estimated at $1,200.

On Wednesday, the two winning tickets were pulled and winners revealed: Steelman Transportation, a carrier of specialized cargo and provider of logistics and brokering services out of Springfield, Mo., and U.S. Legal Services, a nationwide network of attorneys and agents based in Jacksonville, Fla.

Anne-Marie Hulsey, director of business development at U.S. Legal, said she hasn’t officially been notified about winning, but "I was there for the drawing and heard our name called." The law firm obviously doesn’t run trucks, but it will give the wrap set to a customer who does. “We’ll donate it to a client that feels the same way we do about the program.”

Steelman Transportation, however, was surprised about its win. “You’re telling me something I didn’t know,” the fleet’s president, Jim Towery, said when I reached him on his cell phone six days later. “One of my business partners mentioned it this morning when he called me.” It was I who told the partner, after asking ATA’s public affairs people about the raffle.

A reporter’s call is occasionally how coaches of college and professional sports teams learn that they’ve been fired, I commented, but I’m glad that this news was more pleasant. You did buy a ticket, right?

“I bought three of the tickets,” he answered, “because I want to support the Move America Forward program. I’ve been thinking about buying some of the wraps but I haven’t gotten around to pulling the trigger. This will be the first one.”

Though its website (www.steelmantransport.com) shows flatbed and drop-deck trailers, the fleet does operate some vans on dedicated runs, and one of those will get the wrap treatment, Towery said.

He didn’t know which of the four designs he would pick, but wanted one that was more subdued. That’d probably be Option 1, I said (see choices below). The message takes about a third of a trailer’s side and there’s plenty of room for a company’s name and logo.

 

Author

Tom Berg
Tom Berg

Tom Berg

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

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Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.

View Bio
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