Here’s wishing a healthy and happy July 4 to all of you, whether on the road or back at the house. That’s Pete and Lori Ingram above — the team-driving couple’s currently based in Virginia but is making a move to Florida fairly soon, after having started with U.S. Xpress earlier this year. Pete’s a recently-retired veteran of the U.S. Navy, and he and Lori were selected from more than 100 applicants to receive the Navy-themed 2017 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution that is one of six specially-design Cascadias U.S. Xpress put into service this week, dedicating each to a U.S. military veteran currently within the company’s driver ranks.
Pete’s left-forearm tattoo
Pete and Lori looked forward to running in the rig, pictured below, particularly now that they’d be setting up a proper radio in-cab. The couple was so new to trucking they hadn’t had an opportunity to set one up in the prior truck as yet.
“I’m going to really need it in this truck,” Pete says. “It’s going to be a blast talking about [the truck] going down the road.”
It’s sure to catch some eyes, for sure, and serve as a nice tribute to what Pete believes is the most routinely important branch of the service.
The Navy-themed tractor the Ingrams now drive
“The Navy is the world’s 911,” he says. When trouble calls, “we always have somebody there and ready to respond.”
I imagine some of his fellow drivers might well argue with that “most important” designation, bragging rights being what they are. Nonetheless, I’ll give credit where it’s due — find further information about the other trucks in the U.S. Xpress effort, and their drivers, below.
U.S. Xpress Senior Vice President Gerry Mead introduced the trucks at the event in Chattanoga this past Friday. The 2017 Freightliner Cascadia Evolution models are equipped with several safety/comfort advancements, Mead said. A collision-mitigation system deploys forward-looking radar, air-disc brakes on the steer axles boost stopping power. A "state of the art" auxiliary A/C system with an inverter -- donated to the effort by Dometic -- runs on battery power. Solar panels installed on the roof of each tractor assist in charging -- the solar panels were in turn donated by their manufacturer, eNow.
For the numbering of each truck, Mead noted, the company attempted to represent the month and year in which the particular branch of service was born (the first single number 7 is the year-model of the truck).
The exception to the rule is the 70776 truck, which represents the July 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The team of Tom and Weazy Sullivan was selected to drive the 70776 truck.
Driver-side detail of 70776.
John Omaster of Burwick, Penn., served in the Air Force between 1988 and 1998 in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield, he says. He will haul in this Air Force-themed tractor on northeast-regional lanes for his customary dedicated account.
Air Force tractor detail shots
Lincoln Brown of Dalton, Ga., by way of New Jersey, will run the Army-dedicated tractor.