Robert Snyder’s run of tough times ended Friday, March 26, when he was announced as winner of Arrow’s Back On The Road 2010 campaign, presented by Volvo Trucks North America.
Snyder, of Dunnellon, Fla., receives a 2007 Volvo VNL 670, courtesy of Volvo, a one-year work agreement with Heartland Express and other products and services.
Snyder’s selflessness and devotion to his family was not wasted on his teenage daughter, Savannah Snyder, who nominated him for Back On The Road.
“My dad isn’t like most fathers, husbands, or even like most guys who are going through hard times,” wrote Savannah in her nomination. “He constantly puts everybody before himself. Money is tight and our family is struggling. I want the weight lifted off of my dad’s shoulders; I want him to smile. Not those fake smiles. The smile we haven’t seen in years.”
Financial problems began for Snyder, an 18-year driving veteran, when fuel became expensive and later with the onset of the recession. He became an owner-operator seven years ago, but was leased to a fleet that failed to pass along an adequate fuel surcharge.
As loads became scarce the last few years, Snyder found his career no longer provided for him, his daughter, and his wife, who is unable to work because she is disabled.
The family’s car was repossessed last year, leaving them to get by only with a Chevy Tahoe that belongs to Snyder’s son, Jonathan. One breakdown away from losing his livelihood, Snyder has continued driving his 14-year-old truck with more than 1.5 million miles.
“Driving is my life,” Snyder said. “I know receiving the 2007 Volvo VNL 670 from Volvo Trucks North America and job with Heartland will help me provide my family with the life they deserve.”
He said he looks forward to spending more time at home, allowing him to fish with Savannah and see her play tennis matches for her high school team. “Now he’ll be able to watch more games,” Savannah says of her father, a Florida Gators fan.
Country music star Aaron Tippin and Sirius XM host Dave Nemo joined program sponsors to announce the winner during a trucking industry event in Louisville, Ky.
Other prizes include:
• X One tires from Michelin
• TriPac auxiliary power unit from Thermo King
• Monthly $500 fuel cards from Pilot Travel Centers
• Business consulting tools from ATBS
• Insurance from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
• A three-year / 300,000-mile warranty from National Truck Protection
• One year’s worth of filter products from Genuine Volvo Parts
• Custom truck paint job from Dickinson Fleet Services
• Truck accessories and fenders from Minimizer Products
• Memory foam mattress from SleepDog Mattress
• Paint from Sherwin-Williams
Snyder “is passionate about trucking and providing for his family,” said Carl Heikel, president and CEO of Arrow Truck Sales. “He is doing everything he can to make it through the recession. We are proud to give him this opportunity of a lifetime.”
For more information on Back On The Road 2010, visit www.backontheroad2010.com.