In 1966, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) launched its first articulated hauler, the DR 631, in Braås, Sweden. This year, Volvo CE will be celebrating the articulated hauler’s 50th anniversary with a custom-painted gold hauler, dubbed the “Golden Hauler,” which will travel around the United States and Canada to make special appearances at dealer-sponsored events starting in February.
When Volvo CE’s engineers first introduced the DR 631, a 10-ton class articulated hauler nicknamed ‘Gravel Charlie’, it ignited a whole new range of construction equipment. Since then, more than 70,000 articulated haulers have been produced globally and are used to transport a wide variety of materials efficiently across rough terrains around the world.
To celebrate its golden anniversary, 12 employees from Volvo CE’s Shippensburg, PA, facility custom painted an A40G articulated hauler gold. The employees have a combined 240 years of experience painting construction equipment.
“This project is a lot bigger than any we’ve done before,” said Dave Harry, paint project leader. “We spent 650 hours gilding the hauler to make it shine for its celebratory journey across the United States and Canada.”
AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coating company headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, donated $15,000 worth of Sikkens Autocoat BT paint. The sparkling gold color was hand-selected and hand-sprayed by the project team at Volvo, with assistance from AkzoNobel.
Volvo Trucks donated a custom-painted gold Volvo VNX 630 to transport the Golden Hauler throughout the year. Volvo CE’s long-time partner Keen Transport, a national heavy equipment transportation and trucking company based in Carlisle, PA, is dedicating one driver to help drive the truck and Golden Hauler across the country.
“We are grateful that our long-time partners are all chipping in to help with our celebration,” said Göran Lindgren, president, Region Americas, Volvo CE. “I’m looking forward to seeing our Golden Hauler tour America and Canada.”
Proceeds to go to Career Development Training
The Golden Hauler will end its journey at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, where it will be auctioned off with proceeds supporting training programs that encourage new generations to enter the construction industry. Volvo is partnering with SkillsUSA, Skills Canada and regional career development programs located near the manufacturing facility in Shippensburg.
“We are thrilled that Volvo is partnering with us to encourage younger people to work in the construction industry, especially at a time when there’s a growing skills gap due to biases against technical careers and trade schools,” said Timothy W. Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA.
Portions of the proceeds from the hauler auction will be used to directly support SkillsUSA and Skills Canada’s mission. Both organizations provide leadership and character development educational programs and activities.
“Skills/Compétences Canada is excited to partner with Volvo Construction Equipment to profile the valuable and exciting careers in the construction and manufacturing sectors,” said Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills/Compétences Canada. “It’s important for youth to understand the full range of educational pathways and career opportunities in the skilled trades.”
From the Oldest to the Newest
As part of the anniversary year, Volvo CE will also be hosting a contest to find the oldest working Volvo hauler in the United States or Canada. The winner of the contest will be invited to join the articulated hauler celebrations in Braås, Sweden, this summer. Full details about the competition, including how owners can submit their nominations, can be found at www.GoldenHauler.com.
The company will also be introducing a brand new line of articulated haulers in 2016. The H Series will include the 60-ton-capacity A60H, which offers a 40% increase over the company’s previous largest hauler, the A40, while significantly lowering the cost-per-ton ratio for hauler customers. The new size also offers a viable alternative to rigid dump trucks and construction trucks operating on soft, uneven or steep roads, allowing a similar amount of material to be hauled in a shorter cycle time. The H-Series features a matched drivetrain, automatic drive combinations (including 100% differential locks), all-terrain bogie, hydro-mechanical steering and active suspension.
“This year is a very special year for Volvo. Not only are we celebrating the articulated hauler’s 50th anniversary, but we will also be introducing a new class of articulated haulers at Bauma 2016 later in the year that will mark a new generation of the class,” said Lindgren.