Final Take: Looking good

For trucks traveling thousands of miles a day, having a good design gets you noticed. Having a great design can win you an award. San Antonio-based Holt Cat discovered the benefits of a striking design after being named to the top five in the combination category in the National Private Truck Council/Commercial Carrier Journal’s annual Commercial Fleet Graphics Awards.

The design has the Holt Cat and Express Parts System logos on the side and an eye-catching visual trick on the back of the trailer – an employee choosing parts from a long row of shelves. Holt Cat marketing manager Joe Carreon says the design was a collaboration between himself and a designer his department uses frequently, Lyndie Warner of LMW Design in Phoenix.

This year was the first entry in the Commercial Fleet Graphics Awards for Holt Cat. Although Carreon was pleased with the design, he wasn’t aware of the competition. “The company that printed and installed the vinyl, First Choice Graphics, suggested we enter,” he says. The competition, held since 1978, recognizes fleets for creative graphics designs and color schemes.

Carreon says Holt Cat has four large parts trucks that carry the design. “The parts express trucks travel 6,500 miles every day and anchor the parts system,” he says. “That’s a lot of visibility.”

Save the date: Transportation museum plans April opening
Steel erection has begun on the America on Wheels museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and museum officials plan an April 7, 2008, grand opening. Conceived by retired Mack Trucks president Jack Curcio in the 1980s, the museum will include a Mack display with trucks and parts dating to the early 1900s. “The Mack Trucks museum will have 17 vintage Mack trucks as well as Mack parts and service records,” says museum board member Paul Manwiller. “Someone restoring a Mack can call the museum for engineering information.”

The 43,000-square-foot museum will feature exhibits designed to be both fun and educational, such as race car and motorcycle displays, alternative fuels, propulsion systems and hybrid and fuel-cell-powered vehicle development. Manwiller says the museum will showcase interactive stations as well as static displays. It will also have classrooms, a research library and a theater.

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The American Truck Foundation partnered with the Allentown Economic Development Council to provide building funds and the America on Wheels board of directors has launched a capital campaign to raise money to complete the interior of the museum. For more information visit this site.

Word for Word
“It’s an antidote for any bad day, to go out on a job.”
– Outgoing Washington Department of Transportation chief Doug MacDonald, telling the Seattle Times that getting in construction dirt was his favorite part of the position.

“We’re way beyond potholes. You know it’s bad when you have dandelions growing in the cracks.”
-Lafayette, California, city manager Steven Falk to the San Francisco Chronicle about the city’s roads, some of which haven’t been upgraded since the 1960s.

“Right now, we don’t have a whodunit – we have a who is it?”
– Pierce County, Washington, sheriff’s detective Ed Troyer to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about human remains buried up to 30 years found by workers on a strip mall construction site.