Specially wrapped tractor, part of a line unveiled on Memorial Day yearly, pays homage to active-duty service members, veterans, and POW/MIAs
Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. took delivery of a specially-wrapped 2022 Freightliner Cascadia tractor as part of manufacturer Daimler Trucks’ 2021 Ride of Pride program. The tractor’s patriotic design honors America’s veterans, some of whom will have the chance to drive the tractor as it crosses the country over the next several years.
The Ride of Pride program launched several months after the 9/11 tragedy, as designers at Daimler’s Cleveland, N.C. plant considered ways to honor past, present and future military veterans, with an emphasis on POW/MIA service members. The first tractor, “Eagle One,” took to the road in 2002, and the unveiling of each year’s Ride of Pride trucks has been a Memorial Day tradition ever since. Daimler has now produced more than 30 Ride of Pride tractors for carriers across the U.S. Old Dominion took delivery of its first Ride of Pride Truck in a presentation at its corporate office in Thomasville.
“Each of these tractors is built with P.R.I.D.E. – passion, respect, integrity, discipline and excellence. Those are the tenets our veterans follow when they’re serving our country, and we want the tractor to represent each one of them,” said Darrell Plonk, logistics manager at Daimler’s Cleveland, N.C. Freightliner plant.
Old Dominion’s Ride of Pride tractor begins its journey this month at the carrier’s Greensboro, N.C. service center, where it will haul freight for the next six months. After that, it will rotate to a different Old Dominion service center biannually and will be driven by veterans at each facility.
“Veterans are a core part of the OD Family, and we’re proud we have the chance to honor our service members in such a unique way,” said Jim Raynor, vice president of maintenance and equipment at Old Dominion Freight Line. “Whether the tractor is at one of our service centers, on the road to its destination, or at a customer’s dock, we hope it will serve as a reminder to those who see it of the debt we owe those who have served our country.”