Schneider has been selected by truck manufacturer Freightliner to receive the 2016 edition of Ride of Pride, a truck series designed to be rolling tributes to members of the United States military – past and present. The new military-themed tractor joins Schneider’s existing fleet of nine Ride of Pride tractors.
The Ride of Pride program originated in 2001, when Ed Keeter, a shift manager and U.S. veteran at Freightliner's manufacturing plant in Cleveland, NC, proposed the project as a way to honor military veterans. Initially the idea was to decorate a Freightliner truck and drive it to the local veterans’ hospital for a visit. However, Freightliner's employees embraced the idea wholeheartedly and it quickly became part of a national effort that includes participating in the annual Ride for Freedom, a procession through Washington, D.C. each Memorial Day.
“Schneider has shown great commitment to the U.S. military since its very beginning. Through the years, Schneider has developed a number of programs for military personnel and has been recognized as a national leader in supporting the military. Freightliner is proud to share this special vehicle with a carrier that feels as strongly about those who serve as we do.”
After the first year’s overwhelming success, Freightliner began awarding a military-themed Ride of Pride truck each year to a trucking company. Because of Schneider’s ongoing commitment to the military, Freightliner has awarded a record 10 Ride of Pride trucks to its fleet.
Schneider has a fleet of 10 Ride of Pride tractors, including the only two Canadian military-themed units ever produced.
The 2016 U.S. Ride of Pride truck, a Freightliner Cascadia™, includes historical images representing all U.S. conflicts from World War II on. The truck showcases black and white imagery of a beach invasion on D-Day, a helicopter landing in Vietnam and a patrol in the mountains of Afghanistan. The truck also features the American flag and a bald eagle. The words “Honoring all who have served” can be found beneath both doors of the tractor, and the hood pays tribute to prisoners of war (POWs) and those missing in action (MIA).
Jon Ritscher of Crown City, Ohio, has been selected as the driver of the 2016 Schneider Ride of Pride. Ritscher spent eight years in the U.S. Army as a petroleum supply specialist, and completed two tours in Iraq. He has a sense of nostalgia when he looks at his new tractor, as he manned convoys similar to those depicted on the passenger side of the truck.
“Yet the truck doesn’t really belong to Schneider or to me; it really belongs to everyone who has served or has family who have served. I look forward to the new experiences I will have with this truck and particularly all the interactions I’ll have with the people who come to spend time with it.”
The 2015 U.S. Ride of Pride truck, a Freightliner Cascadia™, showcases black and white imagery of each military branch from World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam as well as decals of the logos of the departments of the U.S. Armed Forces. The background features the American flag and a bald eagle. The doors on each side read, “Honoring all who have served;” and the hood honors prisoners of war (POWs) and those missing in action (MIA).
Jay Hull of Green Bay, Wis., has been selected as the driver of the 2015 Schneider Ride of Pride. Hull served in the U.S. Army for 24 years as a driver, completing tours in Iraq hauling fuel tankers. He also acted as a recruiter, career counselor and chemical, nuclear and biological warfare specialist. Hull joined Schneider in 2012 as an Intermodal driver based out of Chicago. Within a year of joining the Big Orange, Hull was promoted to a Training Engineer, a role that assists with the growth and development of new drivers.
“This experience allows me to give back and join others in saying thank you to those who have served. At the same time, I get to talk about how transportation jobs are a great fit for former members of the military. My two favorite worlds really do intersect each and every day.”
The 2015 Canadian Ride of Pride truck, a Freightliner Cascadia™, is decaled with imagery from the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, as well as 10 gravestones from Flanders Fields in France, representing the Canadian military’s first battle independent of the British Commonwealth. The Canadian flag and red poppies, internationally recognized symbols for remembrance of those lost in war, frame each side of the truck, along with the sayings “Lest We Forget,” and “Appuyons nos troupes” (French for “Support our troops”).
Darrell Esson, a resident of Milton, Ontario, was selected in 2011 to drive the first-ever unit produced by Freightliner to honour Canadian military members. He will continue to serve as the Canadian Ride for Pride driver for the new tractor. Esson began his military career as an infantryman in the Canadian Army in 1984. He served 21 years and completed tours overseas, including Cypress, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Upon his retirement, he toured the United States on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and was inspired to join Schneider as an over-the-road driver in 2006.
“People often slow down or come up to me at truck stops because they want to thank me or share their stories, and that’s because they feel a connection to the truck.”
The 2014 Schneider Ride of Pride truck, a Freightliner Cascadia™, is decaled with historical images representing all U.S. conflicts since World War II. It also showcases Arlington cemetery and the digital camouflage military uniform. The newest Ride of Pride is the only one in Schneider’s fleet to include logo decals of the Guard and Reserve segments of each branch alongside the logos for the active branches.
The 2013 Schneider Ride of Pride truck, a Freightliner Cascadia™, has a fully customized patriotic decal scheme, including the American flag, the Bald Eagle, military camouflage, the POW/MIA logo and the words “Those who serve deserve honor, respect, thanks” prominently displayed on the orange Schneider cab.
The 2012 Ride of Pride is the 10th edition, Rolling Thunder, “Ride of Pride” Cascadia tractor. The truck is decaled with designs that honor Veterans, POW-MIA and other service members of the United States military – past and present.
Employees of Freightliner who built the Ride of Pride also designed the custom graphics that adorn the tractor. With the American flag as a backdrop, a large bald eagle looks menacingly from the tractor’s side; the words “Home of the Free, Because of the Brave” written large around it. More graphics adorn the hood and the airfoil over the cab. The POW-MIA flag symbol is prominent, as is the Wounded Warrior logo on the side fairing. The words “honoring all who have served” are displayed on the side fairing as well.
The Cascadia is equipped with a Detroit® DD-15 diesel engine and the Meritor “OnGuard” Collision Safety System that warns the driver when the tractor is too close to the vehicle in front and takes collision avoidance measures, including reducing throttle, activating the engine brake and applying the vehicle brakes if the driver doesn’t respond in time.
As the United States marked the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Schneider was deeply honored to be selected as the recipient of a Ride of Pride truck. The one-of-a-kind Freightliner Cascadia is fully customized with symbols of America and the armed forces decaled on the orange Schneider cab. As with all Ride of Pride trucks, the 2011 model was designed by employees of Freightliner's manufacturing plant to show support for active duty personnel, retirees, families who have lost someone in service to the country, prisoners of war and those still missing in action.
The addition of the 2011 U.S. Ride of Pride to our fleet motivated Schneider’s Canadian associates to work for a Ride of Pride that salutes Canada’s Armed Forces. With Freightliner's help, the first-ever Canadian Ride of Pride was born. The one-of-a-kind Freightliner Cascadia is fully customized with symbols of Canada’s armed forces decaled on the orange Schneider cab. It was designed to show support for active duty personnel, retirees and families who have lost someone in service to the country. The words “Lest We Forget” and “We Support Our Troops” are written in English and French respectively, recognizing the two official languages of Canada.
The 2008 Ride of Pride truck is a one-of-a-kind Freightliner Cascadia, fully customized with symbols of the United States and the U.S. armed forces decaled on the orange Schneider cab. The truck was designed by employees at Freightliner’s manufacturing plant, just like the six Ride of Pride versions before it.
The Ride of Pride VI is a Freightliner Cascadia, a truck model launched in May 2007. The design features images of a bald eagle, an American flag, a POW-MIA logo and military campaign ribbons from World War I to the Global War on Terror.