<p>Why's that Ford E-van tailgating that semi? Oh -- it's going to....</p>

Have you seen the ServPro commercial now airing on TV? It runs only 10 seconds, but packs in a lot of activity involving a semitrailer and a cargo van – two of the things that I happen to write about a lot for Truckinginfo.com and HDT.

Early this morning while watching (appropriately enough) CBS This Morning, the commercial came on and I said "Whoa!" and paused the recording in several places to shoot photos of the action. Let’s roll the DVR and watch it together.

First, we see the left side of a bright-green semi lettered ServPro Fire & Water Restoration & Cleanup as it’s traveling down what looks like a surburban street. The camera pans right and we see a bright-green Ford E-series van (an upscale one with a chrome grille) approaching. The trailer’s side and roof panels begin folding out as if to make room for the van which is going to – oh no! – drive right inside.

Then we cut to an aerial view of the two vehicles traveling along a road in what looks like rural California, with a brown, hilly landscape dotted with scrubby green bushes. It reminds me of a model railroad layout set in the desert Southwest – appropriate for Christmas (Merry to you, by the way) because this’s the time of year when guys who had model trains while boys tend to get all nostalgic and wish they could go back to the good ol’ days. My first set was an American Flyer, which rode on two rails like real trains did, not that fake three-rail setup that Lionels used. That attitude might explain why I’m questioning the realism of this commercial.

To wit: Those vehicles traveled rather quickly from the ‘burbs to the boonies, but never mind. From up high, we see the trailer’s rear doors open and the van eases in, without benefit of a ramp and while traveling along the highway at maybe 55 mph, presumably on its way to a cleanup job at a home or business (like the cavalry galloping over the hill to the rescue).

<p>No ramp, but the van -- this time a cutaway chassis with box -- prepares to drive aboard.</p>

But wait – this van is not that E-series Ford, but a cutaway chassis with a separate box (heh heh, they can’t fool me). The camera’s too far up for us to see the make of the cutaway, but it looks like a Chevy or GMC, and who knows who made the cargo box.

Anyway, once it’s aboard, the trailer’s rear doors close and we cut to a close-up of its left side as its panels fold back into place. Then we view a close-up of the trailer’s right side as it continues down the highway, and a Volvo VN daycab tractor (not the KW, Pete or whatever sleeper-cab unit out on the highway) pulls it into the job site where workers unload cleaning stuff.  

<p>Is it a real Kentucky household goods trailer? And who's "Systems"?&nbsp;</p>

What’s the trailer’s make? No name plate’s visible, but we see that it’s got several sets of side doors and a belly box, so it must be a Kentucky household-goods type. We spot lettering on the mudflaps: “Systems.” A quick web search finds Systems Transportation Equipment, a dealer and leaser of specialized trailers like this. If I weren’t on vacation today (really, I am) I’d call its Chicago headquarters and try to get the scoop on this commercial. Maybe I’ll do that next month, which is also the New Year (may it be a happy one for you!).

Oh – I mentioned that I record CBS This Morning. I do that with a lot of shows so I can fast-forward past commercials. And here I am, viewing at this one over and over and spending a lot more than 10 seconds dissecting and critiquing it. I guess they got my attention after all. Next time water creeps into my basement (it’s happened three times since we’ve lived here), I’ll have to call ServPro – and watch which type of vehicles they send.

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 trucks and trailers of all types.

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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 trucks and trailers of all types.

View Bio
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