CRST Dedicated Solutions company driver Jim Nalin drives the "American Patriot" 2022 Freightliner Cascadia featured in the video above. The truck features a wrap dedicated to the Veterans in Trucking organization.
Nalin, an 11-year Army veteran himself who served two tours in Iraq, was presented with the keys to the truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2022. He runs a dedicated route out of Dallas to Arizona and back hauling human plasma, and likewise participates in numerous truck shows and veterans-related events, including Wreaths Across America each December.
Overdrive caught up with Nalin at the 2023 Guilty By Association Truck Show at 4 State Trucks in Joplin, Missouri, where he had the truck on display.
CRST is one of many fleets around trucking making a point of bringing in veterans to transition from military service to civilian life. Nalin said in his experience of being a veteran truck driver, trucking's often strict time schedule resembles that of the military, making it a smooth transition.
As for "American Patriot," the truck is customized inside and out, Nalin noted, powered by a 605-hp Detroit DD15 with a DT12 automated manual transmission. Inside the rig, it boasts custom seats, custom flooring and more. The wrap features a number of military-related graphics intended to garner the attention of veterans.
Nalin's participation in Wreaths Across America is also signified with decals on the rig.
Catch plenty more views of the truck in the video up top. For more videos and custom-equipment features delivered to your email inbox, subscribe to Overdrive's weekly Custom Rigs newsletter via this link.
Jim Nalin: I'm Jim Nalin. I work for CRST, dedicated to hauling human plasma out of Dallas, Texas. And I do it on a weekly basis. I run back and forth out of Dallas to Arizona and back every week. I've been trucking since 2002. I've done flatbed, I've done oversized, I've done dry van, I've done reefer. I've been overseas multiple times.
This truck right here, it's the "American Patriot." I was actually presented this truck last year at Mid-America. It was actually presented to me by Mr. Chad Brueck, the president at the time of the Expedited Solutions for CRST. They did a whole ceremony and handed me the keys to the truck. This is a 2022 Freightliner Cascadia, and it's a fully customized truck inside and out. I mean, it's got custom seats, custom flooring, all the chrome, plus everything you see on the outside right now.
It's got a DD15, 605 horsepower, with back behind it a DT12 automated manual transmission, and it puts out about 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. The wrap, it's actually designed to bring attention to the veterans in the trucking industry. And what we're trying to do is to show that these larger companies, they do care for veterans and they're trying to make a mark by having these wrapped trucks out there to get the attention of the veterans and to get the attention of just veterans in general, for people to know that we care.
I spent 11 years Army and two tours in Iraq. I spent 2002 to 2013, I was in Iraq in 2003 and in 2006. When they told me at first, I was not expecting the truck to look as good as it did. And then when they actually presented it to me, I actually had my entire family with me. And it was just... I had no words for it. This is a very good industry for a veteran to come into because of the fact we actually, on the veteran side, we always had to keep that thing called time on target. And in trucking it's the same thing. It's just it's time on delivery instead of time on target. So it's a good way to transition into civilian life.