Schneider National, Inc. has found a unique way to support military veterans, prisoners of war and missing-in-action soldiers. Last month, Schneider added the patriotically painted Ride of Pride VI truck to its nationwide fleet. Lowell Wilderman, a retired Navy vet who has driven for Schneider for 17 years, will captain the special vehicle.
Prior to joining the Schneider fleet, the Ride of Pride VI (with Wilderman at the helm) participated in the Ride for Freedom, an annual event during which nearly a million motorcyclists ride through Washington, DC, to promote POW-MIA issues. This year’s Ride for Freedom was held on May 27.
The Ride of Pride VI is a Freightliner Cascadia’ truck, a new truck model launched in May 2007 by Freightliner. Each year since 2001, employees at Freightliner’s Cleveland, N.C. plant have volunteered their time to design a Ride of Pride truck. This year’s 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.
‘We had a large number of drivers request the Ride of Pride truck, so we selected one person from a pool of drivers with military service,’ said Darel Schoening, regional maintenance director for Schneider National and project lead for the Ride of Pride VI vehicle. ‘The task of selecting a driver was especially difficult because over 35 percent of Schneider’s 15,500 drivers are military vets ’ a statistic we are extremely proud of.’
Wilderman is thrilled to be at the helm of the Ride of Pride VI. ‘This is an experience of a lifetime,’ he said. ‘I am honored to get in the driver’s seat and show our troops how much we care.’