Rolling Celebration

| July 24, 2001

Overdrive takes to the road this summer with a truck full of new technology, information and freebies to mark its 40th anniversary.

“Truckers have made this magazine what it is today, and we want to return our thanks by meeting them where they work – on the road,” says Overdrive Publisher Tommy Belk.

A Volvo VN770, powered by a 465-hp Volvo engine, will pull a van containing an exhibit about Overdrive and trucking. The truck will be equipped with some of the latest communications and safety technology, says Curtis Jacobson, Volvo lead engineer.

“Following tremendous success with the 1999 VN660 Research Truck, in 2000 we created a follow-up based on the larger and more luxurious VN770 model,” Jacobson says. “The Silver Cab made a huge styling splash with its vivid cobalt-blue paint scheme, metallic trim accents and new interior materials. The truck is even more exciting inside the cab, where super-modern technology is demonstrated in a variety of exciting new applications.”

The 40th Anniversary Voice of the American Trucker Tour truck will spend evenings at TA and Petro truck stops from coast to coast. One tour highlight will be an Aug. 25 appearance at the Northwest Truck Show in Brooks, Ore., near Salem. This year’s show will feature “orphan,” or limited manufacturing brand trucks, such as REO, White, Autocar, Sterling, Diamond REO, Federal and others.

The tour will conclude in Dallas, where the anniversary tractor-trailer will be exhibited at the Great American Trucking Show, Sept. 7-9. Some of the industry’s leading manufacturers will give away accessories and components at GATS. Register at any of the tour stops or at GATS for prize drawings to be held Sept. 9.

In addition, the first visitors at the truck each evening will receive a T-shirt, a CD compilation of the top 10 trucking songs of the past 40 years and lapel pins. Thousands of 40th anniversary stickers will be given out. Visitors can view the trucking exhibits and inspect the features inside the cab and sleeper.

Overdrive‘s home on the Internet, eTrucker.com, will provide daily coverage of the stops and of the performance of the Volvo and its components. Among the truck’s special features will be:

A built-in monitor in the sleeper that can be used as a docking station for a laptop or as a television screen.

An Internet connection that allows wireless local area network Web browsing, e-mail and teleconferencing.

A Bendix X-Vision infrared night-vision system.

A SafeTrac lane-departure warning system.

An Eaton AutoShift II transmission.

An inverter/battery charger connected to a shore power system.

An Eaton Vorad “smart cruise” system that automatically keeps the truck at a safe following distance.

Belk says Paul Hartley, Overdrive equipment editor; Tim Barton, Truckers News equipment editor; and other Randall Trucking Media Group editors will staff the tour. “We look forward to meeting our readers, hearing what’s on their minds and sharing their concerns through Overdrive and eTrucker.net,” Belk says.

–By Max Heine

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