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Volvo donates special VNL to ATA’s team of image advocacy drivers

Volvo Trucks unveiled Jan. 16 the official America’s Road Team truck and trailer, a Volvo VNL 780 that the 19 new captains of the 2015-2016 America’s Road will use at events big and small around the country to promote trucking’s image and teach members of the public about the industry.

[related-post id=”109553″/]Volvo Trucks’ VP of Marketing Magnus Koeck handed the keys over to American Trucking Associations’ Vice Chairman Pat Thomas at a special dedication ceremony held at Volvo’s New River Valley plant in Dublin, Va.

“The Road Team Captains truly are the face of the industry,” Thomas said. “They’re going to do great things for trucking. Most folks don’t know a lot about trucking — the challenges we face with infrastructure and regulatory hurdles. These drivers and this truck will help the public and public officials understand the industry a little better.”

In addition to the special star-spangled graphics on the truck and trailer, the VNL 780 is equipped with the latest in safety and fuel efficiency technology. It employs Volvo’s integrated powertrain — centered around Volvo’s iShift automated-manual transmission — along with Bendix Wingman system. Wingman’s features include adaptive cruise control, rollover stability and active braking.

The trailer behind the truck is a walk-in with seven televisions and a truck driving simulator. It is used by the Road Team Captains at the events they attend.

The truck and trailer will also used to take lawmakers for ride-alongs.

“We want to improve the image of the industry,” says Volvo’s Susan Alt, the company’s senior VP of public affairs, about why the company sponsors the program and provides the Road Team tractor. “There’s no better way [to do that] than with actual drivers who do the job.”

ATA earlier this week named 19 drivers to the 2015-2016 America’s Road Team. Click here to see who they are. 

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.