The big yellow truck is our main means of transport to competitions for the Plymouth-Canton Marching Band. It is also the marker we use to tell new members where to find the band room. It's hard to miss. But where did it come from? What exactly is it?
This is not the first semi-trailer the band used to transport large instruments and props. The previous trailer was also a big yellow 52-footer. That trailer was quite old and by the late 2000s and our Booster semi driver at the time, Tom Cross and our AlumniRepresentative Chris Hensel had some ambitious goals for a replacement that included a large lift on the back. After years of searching, fund raising and hard work, Tom and Chris organized a collaboration with Visteon, Castrol, the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools the Board of Education as well as the PCMB Board to work out the acquisition of the new semi-trailer. The truck was dedicated on September 22, 2009.
The 52-foot trailer was built in March of 2003 by the Kentucky Manufacturing Company of Louisville, KY. The back door folds down to create a large hydraulic lift originally designed to lift cars. This lift allows the Crew to load heavy pit equipment and props to the upper level within the trailer without throwing out their backs. The lift can be operated using commercial power or by portable generator. Both the interior and the exterior are also outfitted with lights powered by the same source. There are a couple doors on the passenger side of the trailer which allows easy access for carrying out the less bulky equipment such as saxophones, mellophones and cymbals.
David Armbruster from a field of about a dozen design contest submissions. The song emblazoned on the side of the truck is "Oh Sacred Heart" by Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676), which has been the piece the marching band traditional used for warm up before a marching competition. We also left room to thank our sponsors who have donated to our music programs through our CCOP program.The trailer needed some work to optimize it for the band. The interior was outfitted with shelving and specialized blocking to secure the instruments during travel. The exterior design was created by Bob Riggs, whose design was selected by director
As spacious as the semi is, it's still not quite enough to transport a large band. We also have a smaller yellow trailer
affectionately named Mini-Me and a "chuck wagon" supplied by the Canton Community Foundation that houses our Food Crew supplies. The band also uses one or two rented 26' box trucks. The band doesn't always travel with all the vehicles; we use the right mix of trucks and trailers to serve the needs of the specific trip.
The tractor to pull the semi-trailer as well as the driver has been generously donated for the 2014 marching season by A.D. Transport Express, Inc.
PCMB Parent Alumni Chris Hensel contributed to this article
Here are some photos of the semi before it was converted for the band:
Here are some of the conceptual drawings proposed for our new trailer: