WINNIPEG, Man. –Bison Transport has converted two of its trailers into rolling billboards that show appreciation for the Canadian Armed Forces.
The trailers, designed by Direct Focus with vinyl graphics applied by Turbo Images, were put into service in Bison’s domestic lanes in November, Rob Penner, vice-president of operations tells Truck West.
He said the idea stemmed from a growing interest among the company’s workforce to give back to the men and women serving in Canada’s military.
“I and other members of our executive team were approached almost daily by someone -both driving and non driving staff -asking how we could become more involved and provide recognition, thanks and support for our Canadian Forces at home and abroad?” Penner explains. “We have over 1,600 employees and many of us have family, friends and/or neighbours in the military and many of our employees are also military veterans…We decided that since we are in front of the public every day, pulling 53-ft. mobile billboards, trailer wraps would really stand out and our support would provide reminders to thousands of people along the way.”
So far, the eye-catching trailers have been a hit. Running primarily in Bison’s prairie LCV operations, the trailers have resulted in many calls from the public and perhaps more importantly, from members of Canada’s Armed Forces.
“The response from the general public has been extremely positive, but the feedback we take the most satisfaction from has come directly from members of the Armed Forces,” Penner says. “From the top leadership through the rank and file, you would be amazed how many positive comments and words of thanks and appreciation that have come from the very people we are trying to honour. It means the project itself was a great success and we will do more of this moving forward.”
Mostly it’s the drivers who receive feedback while on the road, which has instilled a lot of pride and has resulted in many requests from drivers wanting to pull the trailers on deliveries to their hometowns. Penner said the company is attempting to accommodate those requests.
“As you can imagine, this will take a lot of coordination but we are working hard to figure out a way to accommodate these requests,” Penner says. “To know that this initiative inspires a great deal of driver pride on top of honouring our military is an added bonus.”
Bison plans to continue running the trailers in its day-to-day operations and will also display them at trade shows and community events. The trailers were displayed to members of the Armed Forces during Remembrance Day ceremonies in Edmonton and Winnipeg last November, but the company has done little to publicize the initiative for fear the project could be misinterpreted as self-promotion. In fact, Bison politely declined an offer from the military to invite members of the media to the Remembrance Day viewings.
“Remembrance Day ceremonies are very somber events and the last thing we want to do is offend anyone who could misinterpret our genuine thanks as commercial advertising,” says Penner.