Friday, August 7, 2015

Winning an International truck at MATS a ‘life-changing’ experience for member

James Wright went to the Navistar booth at the Mid-America Trucking Show looking for some free swag from the company. He came away with a lot more than he bargained for.

“I went up there looking for a T-shirt or a cap,” he said in a phone interview with Land Line on Friday. “They didn’t have anything like that, but the woman asked if I’d like to have my own truck. I said ‘sure.’”
Photo courtesy of Navistar

OOIDA member James Wright and his wife Katrina, of West
Helena, Ark., are the proud owners of a 2012 International
ProStar tractor. James won a drawing for the tractor at MATS
this spring. The drawing was to promote the company's
Diamond Renewed line of refurbished power units.

Wright, an OOIDA member from West Helena, Ark., said he filled out an entry slip for a chance to win an International tractor, part of the company’s effort to promote its Diamond Renewed program. The truck he ended up with was a 2012 International ProStar, with a MaxxForce 13 engine and a 9-speed manual Eaton Fuller Transmission.

When he got a phone call two weeks after show, Wright said he thought the whole thing was a put-on at first.

“My first thought was ‘yeah right,’” he said. “I was waiting for them to say ‘Now all we need is your credit card number and life history, and we can make this possible.’”

According to Navistar, Diamond Renewed is one of the leading reconditioning programs for the used commercial truck industry. As part of the program, all trucks are put through a rigorous 180-point inspection and reconditioning process, which includes cleaning or replacing the DPF and DOC and ensuring the engine has the latest EGR components. All Diamond Renewed units are late model, 2011 or newer, and have under 400,000 miles. Diamond Renewed units also feature a 1-year/100,000 mile warranty, which covers 100 percent engine parts and labor and has no deductible. In addition, all Diamond Renewed units feature Navistar’s OnCommand Connection telematics solution and are available with OnCommand Repair Advocate, an expedited repair service. 
Photo courtesy of Navistar

“They went through and put as much chrome as they could put on it,” he said. “They decked this truck out, man. I got a buddy that was so impressed with them, he just bought a Diamond Renewed truck (last week).”

The company took Wright, wife Katrina, and their youngest child, 18-year-old son Billy, to Nashville to pick up the truck in June. That’s when Wright said the reality started to sink in.

Prior to winning the truck, Wright had been a company driver for Knight Transportation for four years. He’s since become an owner-operator, and leased back on to Knight, where he hauls “anything you can put in a dry van trailer.”

“In the first five weeks of being an owner-operator, I’ve been pretty profitable,” he said. “Of course it helps if you don’t have a truck note. This has been a life-changing thing for me and my family right here. I just can’t put into words how they have changed my family’s life. … I can drive myself with my wife as my partner. We can go on the road together again, work another eight years, and then hopefully retire. International has made that dream a reality.”