Duncan Putman Trucking Photography - Cool Photos of Cool Trucks

Truck of the Month

June 2020
Brittney Richardson's 2019 Volvo VNL 860
Brittney Richardson's 2019 Volvo VNL 860
  • Mark Harter
  • Brittney Richardson

On any given day, millions of trucks are crisscrossing the highways and roads of the United States. From local operations such as garbage trucks, dump trucks to over-the-road tractor-trailers moving freight from one coast to the other, all these rigs and their drivers have a purpose. But chances are if you're not involved in the transportation industry in some capacity or another, to the average onlooker, if you've seen one truck, you've probably seen them all.

But sometimes a rig and its driver stand out amongst the crowd. For Kansas City, Kansas based trucker Brittney Richardson, her 2019 Volvo VNL 860 does just that! Pretty in Pink? Absolutely, but like her handle and the name on the side of the VNL 860 says, she's "Brittney in Pink" and her big Volvo grabs attention wherever it travels.

Brittney Richardson's 2019 Volvo VNL 860
Brittney Richardson's 2019 Volvo VNL 860

As part of the Riverside Transport, Inc. (RTI) based brand ambassador program, not just anyone gets to drive one of these special trucks in their fleet, which is impressive considering an industry where driver shortages are common and companies anxiously get drivers hired and moving as soon as possible to cover their customers’ freight demands. Brittney had to go above and beyond to prove she was the kind of driver that RTI was looking for to pilot the unique Volvo. Beyond the normal hiring process, Richardson had to submit a video, telling RTI why she was the right choice to promote the company, and also promote women in the trucking industry as well as being a role model for young women who might consider a career in the transportation industry.

Painted in Susan G. Komen Pink, Richardson's Volvo VNL 860 is spec'd for efficiency as well as power and comfort. Riding on a 229-inch wheelbase, the pink Volvo is powered by a 425 HP 13-litre Volvo D13 engine with the XE 1750 lb High-Torque package mated to a Volvo 12-speed I-Shift overdrive transmission. All that horsepower is then pushed to 2:64 Meritor rear-ends with a 38K Volvo air-ride suspension. Finishing out the driveline, the Volvo has 22.5 polished Alcoa aluminum rims all the way around wrapped in lo-pro Continental EcoPlus HS32 on the steers and Bridgestone M710 on the drive axles. The VNL 860 is equipped with a full fairing package and its edgy, aggressive look allows it to slip through the wind with minimal resistance.

Richardson told us that "the combination of the Volvo's integrated driveline and aerodynamics has been amazing for fuel mileage." She continued, "I'm currently averaging between 7.5 and 8.5 mpg or better depending on how heavy I'm loaded as well as the terrain I'm operating in."

While the Volvo driveline and its fuel-efficient styling help keep Brittney in Pink operating in the black, Brittney said, “The interior is what I really love about this truck." Equipped with Volvo's Premium Interior package, the big pink VNL 860 "has every option a trucker could ever want! It's my home away from home," she said with enthusiasm. "From the large oversized heated leather seats with a massaging option to the stereo system, it’s a very enjoyable truck to drive. Most trucks I had driven in the past were noisy, rattled and at the end of the day, you were tired, whereas the Volvo is very comfortable and you're not physically and mentally worn out after a long day on the road."

One option Brittney really likes about the truck though, "I love the fridge!" she told us repeatedly. "The fridge is a larger size than available in trucks from other manufacturers I had driven prior to my Volvo. Being able to stock up and keep more than just some snacks and drinks in the fridge is really nice."

Brittney Richardsons 2019 Volvo VNL 860

Even though Richardson loves the fridge, she said that "the Volvo is truly amazing. The technology and the driver-centric aspects of the truck go above and beyond what I expected." She continued, "For example, the Volvo has a heads up display and the VADA safety system (Volvo Active Driver Assist) helps manage my distance to other vehicles when I am using the cruise control so I don't constantly have to adjust it or operate the truck with the accelerator pedal as I'm running down the highway."

Initially overwhelmed by all these options and features, she told us that it was a bit of a learning curve, but Brittney quickly adapted and fully embraces and uses the technology of the Volvo to her advantage to make her job easier as well as more enjoyable. "One thing though, as I had never driven a truck with an automatic transmission before! I kept looking for the gear shift knob and was 'air shifting' the truck for about 3 months before I finally got used to the automatic transmission," she jokingly told me.

While Richardson operates her Volvo in regular revenue service at RTI, providing valued and reliable service alongside her fellow drivers in the RTI fleet, Brittney was recently asked to take part in an initiative put together by CDLLife Vice President of Marketing, Sadie Church. The initiative, called "Fueling Our Heroes" shows appreciation for the American trucker by providing meals during the COVID-19 pandemic since most restaurants located in truck stops and travel centers around the country were forced to close.

"While the rest of the country shut down, the freight still had to move and those shelves in the grocery stores need to be stocked up along with other vital supplies that the general public requires on a daily basis," said Sadie. "The truckers are the unsung heroes and we want them to know that we care about them, support them and that they haven't been forgotten about." With that in mind, and with Brittney's iconic pink Volvo VNL 860 out front as the initiative's ride of choice, it wasn't long before Volvo Trucks North America took notice, helping sponsor the program along with Cobra Electronics.

Even though CDLLife, RTI, Volvo Trucks and Cobra are the primary sponsors of the “Fueling Our Heroes" initiative, anybody can make a donation to help out and thank a trucker during the COVID-19 pandemic via the CDLLife Fueling Our Heroes GoFundMe page, located at: www.gofundme.com/f/cdllife-fueling-our-heroes.

Sadie Church and Brittney Richardson with Brittney's 2019 Volvo VNL 860
Brittney Richardson handing out meals to truck drivers

While Sadie has been involved in the trucking industry her entire life, she has enjoyed riding along with Brittney and thanks her for being so supportive of the initiative and its mission, and then tells us a great story. "We had stopped at a rest area and were giving meals out to the truck drivers parked there. It was raining and we were both soaked when we got back in Brittney's Volvo, I was tired, wet and cold from being out in the rain." As the two sat there in the truck, Sadie continues, "I looked at Brittney and told her I needed to warm up! She looked over at me and told me to reach down on the right side of the seat and turn on the seat heater as well as another button to turn on the seat massager!" said Sadie when we asked her what she liked best about Brittney's Volvo.

Fans and followers interested in keeping up with Brittney and Sadie on the Fueling Our Heroes adventure can do so on the Brittney in Pink Facebook page, the CDLLife app, the CDLLife Facebook page, the CDLLife YouTube channel and the American Truckers YouTube channel.

  • Special thanks to Brittney Richardson for sharing her 2019 Volvo VNL 860 with our readers!
  • Do you own a unique rig? Get your truck featured here on our website and show-it-off to the world! Click Here to contact us and tell us about your truck!

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