TORONTO, Ont. – How do you show your appreciation for truck drivers and other essential workers, who have kept Canadians supplied and safe during the Covid-19 pandemic?Well if you have a 53-ft. trailer as a blank canvas, you design a trailer to send your message of gratitude far and wide. Over the past couple months, many Canadian trucking companies have deployed trailers designed to thank truckers and other frontline workers.
SGR says thanks
“We wanted to create a design that was both eye-catching, but also got our message across,” Paul Singh, CEO of SGR Trucklines told Today’s Trucking. “Our message is to thank all frontline workers for their hard work and perseverance while serving our community during this uncertain time.”
(Photo: SGR Trucklines)
The company’s drivers inspired the project, through their commitment to their work transporting essential items such as food, sanitizer and personal protective equipment (PPE). SGR wanted to acknowledge the important work of truckers as well as frontline medical workers. The wrapped trailer was deployed along major Quebec highways and the Hwy. 401 corridor.
“We want the drivers running on the highways to know that we appreciate their long hours and hard work,” said Singh, adding the trailer will continue to sport the wrap for one to two years.
“It’s being used regularly to transport essential freight such as PPE to hospitals and other freight as well,” Singh added. “We are deploying it differently from the other trailers as we are going to local hospitals to give staff a morale boost and to show our appreciation for the healthcare staff as well.”
Highlighting frontline workers
Highlight Motor Group is known for its colorful trucks and trailers. Now it has five bright additions to the fleet, in the form of new reefer trailers showcasing appreciation for all dedicated frontline workers. The trailers have been running cross-border.
“To put it simply, we just wanted to show how thankful we are to everyone who is working to keep us all safe and healthy,” said president and CEO Kirk Kalinitchenko. “What better way to achieve this than by creating 53-ft. rolling billboards which will be traveling across North America for years to come? It’s not just about the present. These trailers will be rolling for upwards of 10 years and as we say on the design, we want to salute these heroes today, tomorrow and forever.”
(Photo: Highlight Motor Group)
The company claims it has delivered needed supplies at no charge to help combat the virus. It also teamed with Flow Water to deliver truckloads of water to several hospitals in the Toronto area and in New York.
Highlight is also wrapping 13 new Volvo city trucks to continue delivering its messages of appreciation.
Mack takes its to the track
Mack Trucks took advantage of its platform as the “official hauler of Nascar,” to design four custom truck wraps that show gratitude and respect to Armed Forces veterans and essential frontline workers. Fans will vote on which two designs will be adopted by Nascar’s fleet of Mack Anthem haulers through the Nascar Salutes initiative.
(Image: Mack Trucks)
“We depend on the incredible efforts of our frontline heroes to help combat the coronavirus pandemic,” said John Walsh, Mack Trucks vice-president of marketing. “We at Mack are proud to show our support not only for those fighting the virus, but also for our Armed Forces as they work tirelessly to defend our country.”
“This year’s Nascar Salutes platform is unique in that we’re recognizing all of those fighting to keep us safe – whether against Covid-19 or as part of our U.S. Armed Forces,” said Jeff Wohlschlaeger, vice-president, partnership marketing, Nascar. “Our industry has tremendous respect for the responsibility in hosting events across the country during this unprecedented time, and as we travel to and from those races, Mack Trucks will help us recognize those selfless acts.”
The Essential Trailer
NAL Insurance has sourced a trailer from Train Trailer Rentals and Trailer Wizards, which not only pays tribute to truck drivers and other essential workers, but is also being used to raise funds to support them. More than $22,000 has been raised as of mid-July, which goes towards buying PPE and meals for truckers.
“All proceeds are given back to professional truck drivers at Thank a Trucker events,” said Aaron Lindsay of NAL Insurance. “To date we have provided over 450 free meals, PPE kits (including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and truck decals) and Thank a Trucker giveaways.”
(Image: NAL Insurance)
Carriers purchase sponsorships to have their name displayed on the trailer, and can enjoy its use for two weeks. The trailer will officially be launched at an unveiling at Titanium Transportation later this month.
The wrap is intended to remind the public that “truck drivers are always essential workers, not just during the Covid pandemic,” Lindsay said. “This is what we hear most from truck drivers. We need to continue to show them the respect they deserve now that the economy has opened up.”
Updates on where truckers can receive free meals and PPE kits are posted at www.ThankATrucker.co.
Marty Kroft, third-generation owner of 45-truck fleet Krome Transportation in Vaughan, Ont., enlisted the help of two up-and-coming local artists to design a trailer that would thank frontline workers and promote unity. Max Jamali and Diego Snow came up with the colorful design. They’ve done work for music artists including Drake and Justin Bieber.
(Photo: Krome Transportation)
“We just wanted to somehow give thanks back to the people who are putting their lives on the line,” Kroft told Today’s Trucking.
One side of the trailer declares ‘Thank You,’ while the other says ‘Canada Together.’ It took three days to complete. So far, the trailer has traveled to special events to raise awareness of the work frontline workers are doing.
“The pictures don’t do it justice. You have to see it in person to appreciate it,” said a proud Kroft. The company also donated its services to deliver a load of potatoes to Manitoulin Island as the Covid crisis took hold in March.
A group effort
Big Wraps Transport Trucks Advertising based in Oakville, Ont., but with offices in Newcastle, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y., has done several trailer wraps to thank frontline workers. One of its most famous was that done for the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) and Sharp Transport.
Surash Kumar of Connecting GTA is pictured in front of the wrap. (Photo: Big Wraps Transport Trucks Advertising)
One of its partners, the Connecting GTA networking group, was inspired by the project and wanted to launch a project of its own. It brought together business associates who shared the cost of a trailer wrap (Big Wraps supplied the work and material at cost) and LMB Transport contributed the trailer.
The trailer has been pulled along a regular route between Quebec and Mississauga.
“When (Connecting GTA) found out we had done the wrap for WTFC, they contacted me and said ‘How do we do this?’” said Angela Baltkois, one of the owners of Big Wraps Transport Trucks Advertising. She said the trailer has generated tremendous feedback and there’s no shortage of other companies wanting to replicate the initiative.
James Menzies is editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.