Cargo Transporters Inc., an asset-based transportation operation, announced on May 27 that Freightliner’s Cleveland Truck Manufacturing Plant (TMP) has chosen Cargo to receive one of its new 2019 Ride of Pride tractors. The unit is dedicated to Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients.
“The founders of Cargo Transporters, Jack Brown and Forrest Pope, both served in the military, and Pope’s sons Tony and Charles served as well,” said Jerry Sigmon Jr, COO for Cargo. “Today we have many employees who are veterans. We received our first Ride of Pride tractor in 2010 and in 2012 we dedicated our Veterans Wall. Receiving our fifth Ride of Pride tractor this year is a great honor and another way to show our respect for veterans.”
The Ride of Pride tractor, named Courage, is wrapped by another local company, Hyperformance Graphics, of Conover, N.C. The Freightliner p4 model sports Purple Heart and Medal of Honor emblems, The Ride of Pride seal, a Blue Star to honor family members serving in the Armed Forces during any war, and a Gold Star to represent a family member who died during military operations.
The Cargo Transporters Ride of Pride tractor was to be driven by Derrick Whittle, who has been an enthusiastic ambassador for the program and has given a significant amount of his personal time to help share the group’s message.
Following a dedication ceremony at Cleveland TMP for companies and drivers receiving the honorary units, the tractor led a contingent of motorcycles from Rolling Thunder, a local veteran’s group, on its annual Memorial Day weekend “Ride to the Wall” of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. The event, which supports veterans and POW/MIA families, draws over half a million riders each year.
The Ride of Pride originated in 2001, when Ed Keeter, a shift manager, and veteran at Cleveland TMP proposed the project as a way to honor military veterans. It quickly became part of a national effort that includes participating in major events like the annual Ride for Freedom and Wreaths Across America. This year, Cleveland TMP produced two Ride of Honor tractors, along with the Ride of Pride tractor. Crete Carriers Corp and Gully Transportation received the Ride of Honor Tractors.
Cargo Transporters is a truckload carrier operating 525 trucks serving the continental U.S. Based in North Carolina, the company operates terminals in Claremont, Charlotte and Rocky Mount. The company employs over 700 people.