"Welcome to My Cab" – Revealing the Life of Hauliers
Ever wondered what goes on inside the cabs of other professional truck drivers? Welcome to My Cab is a fun and thought-provoking series created and curated by Volvo Trucks, in the USA, that exposes the softer, more personal side of the trucking industry. The project gives drivers a medium through which to share their unique customised trucks and offers a fly-on-the-wall glimpse into what "life on the road" means in different parts of the world. And apparently it's not all about the haulage jobs…
Every Life a Story
Professionally shot and produced, each video in the Welcome to My Cab series is a three-minute vignette of the lives of the men and women that make up the international trucking community – or at least the ones who drive Volvos!
For many of these drivers, life on the road doesn't simply mean taking on as many haulage jobs as possible and getting goods from point A to point B. It has evolved into a true lifestyle choice, but they don’t so much bring their work home with them, as create another home-away-from-home on the road.
Because haulage drivers often spend more time in their lorries than anywhere else, the fit out, adaptations, technology and external décor of their vehicles is a way not only to enjoy all the comforts of home, but also to express their individuality. Welcome to My Cab is a wonderful way to get up close and personal to the details of some extravagant customisations that most people don't ever get the opportunity to see. And it seems there's no shortage of drivers willing to share their little micro-world.
The Nature Lovers
Like Kenn and Beth Zelton from Wisconsin, USA, whose careers have spanned 45 years. The couple work as a team, and are together 24/7, travelling from one end of the country to the other doing haulage jobs. But it's no hardship in their highly-customised truck Kermit, which features a full sized double bed, LED lighting, microwave, two fridges, printer, computer, state-of-the-art leather seats and even an on-board kennel for their dog! They claim their truck is so environmentally sound it puts out cleaner air than it takes in, and it's painted in green and decorated with butterflies, leaves and flowers to reflect their strong connection with nature.
The Pirate King
Lucjean Igras, from Poland, has a very different kind of passion: piracy on the high seas! Lucjean's Black Pearl is customised inside and out with images of scenes and characters from the popular Pirates of the Caribbean film. With striking black gloss paintwork and a three-metre high graphic of Captain Jack Sparrow on the exterior, the fun continues inside the cab with a horn that sounds the theme music, JS initialled seats, and a pirate map built in to the dashboard.
Tim Baumgartner is an ex-soldier whose truck, the Freedom Flyer, honours his time in the military. Decorated with a giant bald eagle and the red and blue stars and stripes, the graphics also detail memorabilia from WW1, Vietnam, and 9/11 and the mantra, "Freedom is not free".
The Trucking Mogul
Across the world in Sweden, Ralf Ekdahls has taken his family business from a fleet of 20 trucks to over 200. His over the top lorry is one of the most recognisable on the roads of Europe. Outside, the double rig is finished to represent the world's oceans, complete with huge graphics of marine creatures, while inside, it's the most luxurious cab imaginable, complete with high-tech electronics, remote control drinks fridge and an on-board TV.
The above are just a few examples of Welcome to My Cab episodes, and this highly entertaining project reveals a fascinating sub culture many people don’t even know exists. For lorry enthusiasts it's a fantastic source of inspiration, but even for those not part of the haulage industry, it's a fun insight into how people around the world live and work.
With upwards of half a million views on some of the videos, it seems there is no shortage of interest – and there's no disputing Volvo have struck marketing gold!
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day haulage jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.