Volvo's Gold Hauler Marks Anniversary of 'Gravel Charlie'

Fifty years ago the world’s first articulated hauler was completed by Volvo engineers in Sweden.

📅   Tue March 01, 2016 - National Edition


“Gravel Charlie” quickly became a construction industry icon and operators’ favorite, with more than 70,000 articulated haulers produced to date.
“Gravel Charlie” quickly became a construction industry icon and operators’ favorite, with more than 70,000 articulated haulers produced to date.

Fifty years ago the world's first articulated hauler was completed by Volvo engineers in Sweden. “Gravel Charlie” quickly became a construction industry icon and operators' favorite, with more than 70,000 articulated haulers produced to date.

To celebrate this special year of the articulated hauler, Volvo Construction Equipment employees in Shippensburg, Pa., custom-painted a metallic gold A40G that will travel across the United States and Canada in 2016.

The “Golden Hauler” will end its journey at ConExpo 2017. It will be auctioned with proceeds going to SkillsUSA and SkillsCanada to support training programs that encourage new generations to enter the construction industry.

Nurturing new talent

The shortage of technically skilled workers could cost the United States economy up to $180 billion, according to a report by the Associated Equipment Distributors, an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental and support of construction equipment.

“We are thrilled that Volvo is partnering with us to encourage younger people to work in the construction industry, especially at a time when there's a growing skills gap due to biases against technical careers and trade schools,” said Timothy W. Lawrence, executive director, SkillsUSA.

Portions of the proceeds from the hauler auction will be used to directly support SkillsUSA and Skills Canada's mission. Both organizations provide leadership and character development educational programs and activities.

SkillsUSA's Championships and community service projects serve more than 300,000 career and technical education (CTE) students and teachers each year. SkillsUSA is proud to work with industry to help close America's skills gap. Since SkillsUSA was founded in 1965 it has served over 11.9 million members and partnered with more than 600 national businesses, trade associations and unions to train and inspire CTE students.

“Skills/Compétences Canada is excited to partner with Volvo Construction Equipment to profile the valuable and exciting careers in the construction and manufacturing sectors,” said Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills/Compétences Canada. “It's important for youth to understand the full range of educational pathways and career opportunities in the skilled trades.”

Skills/Compétences Canada (SCC) was founded in 1989 as a national, non-profit organization that works with employers, educators, labour groups and governments to promote skilled trades and technology careers among Canadian youth. Its unique position among private and public sector partners enables it to work toward securing Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping young people discover rewarding careers. SCC offers experiential learning opportunities including skilled trades and technology competitions for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skilled trades awareness programs.