Taking turns at the big rig's wheel

September 16, 2007|by DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - Nita Jones said she thought driving a big rig for the first time would be a daunting task.

But the petite Hagerstown resident got behind the wheel, pressed down on the gas and drove off like she had been doing it for years.

"It was a lot easier than I thought," she said. "The clutch and steering wheel were easy to handle."

Jones was among dozens of people who paid $1 Saturday to drive a truck tractor - if only for a few minutes - around a parking lot at the Volvo Powertrain North America plant in Hagerstown.

Each truck had a certified driver ride along to give instructions.

The Drive-A-Truck-For-A-Buck event was just part of the festivities at the 13th Bulldog/Viking Roundup sponsored by Volvo Powertrain.

Ken Stiles, a company spokesman, said the roundup is open to the public and designed to bring the community together.

The roundup also uses proceeds from Drive-A-Truck-For-A-Buck and other events to raise money for charities, such as the San Mar Children's Home.


"We try to do a lot for charity," Stiles said. "It (raises) a substantial amount of money for the community."

Last year's event raised more than $17,000 for local charities, said Janet Gardner of Volvo Powertrain's human resources department.

Besides the charitable events, several truck drivers showed off their vehicles during the roundup on another parking lot.

Brodi Freeze said he came all the way from Harrisburg, Pa., to show off his 1979 Chevrolet truck tractor.

Freeze said his truck has about 735,000 miles on its original engine.

"That's pretty average," he said.

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