Not all dump-truck drivers are self-assured enough to roll onto a project site in a bright pink truck loaded with hot-mix, and get down to business like it’s nothing. But then, Senate Asphalt has never been afraid of standing out from the crowd, especially for a worthy cause.
That’s exactly the motivation behind the head-turning paint jobs being sported by Senate equipment in and around the DC metro: Breast Cancer Awareness is the worthy cause, and pink is the color supporting it.
The inspiration for the pink paint job came about in 2007 when Rob McKeever, then Area Manager of Senate Asphalt, and his team provided volunteer traffic control at a Susan B. Komen Race for The Cure event in DC.
“It happened at a time when we were making an effort to get more involved in the community,” McKeever says. “As a company, we felt it was important to be engaged members of the neighborhoods and cities where we worked. So, we were looking for meaningful ways to contribute and be more visible.”
A pink dump truck, they decided, was as visible as you could hope to get. With that, the Senate Asphalt breast cancer awareness truck was created. The next challenge was choosing the lucky driver who would get behind the wheel first.
“We had this big Romanian guy, Ivan, who drove for us back then,” McKeever remembers. “Real manly sort of guy. We really weren’t sure what he would say about it, but we asked him would he be willing to drive this pink dump truck, he was all about it. Having Ivan in the cab just made the whole picture that much better. He and the truck drew a lot of positive attention.”
The success of the Breast Cancer Awareness paintjob led to additional painted trucks, including one with a multi-colored puzzle piece design to promote autism awareness. The Senate Asphalt team also utilized free space on their vehicles to advertise community-organized events, and began participating in fundraisers like “Touch-a-Truck” events.
McKeever describes the positive impact of the trucks as two-fold, benefiting not just the communities in which Senate Asphalt does business but the paving and construction industry, too.
“Road crews get a bad rap a lot of the time,” he says. “This was an effort on our company’s part to change the public’s perception of our industry.” To this end, McKeever says the dump truck was deliberately chosen as the vehicle with the most stigma surrounding it.
“They’re on the road probably more than any other piece of equipment, in the public eye, delaying traffic. The painted trucks change what people see,” says McKeever. “Instead of looking up in traffic and noticing this big, loud, dirty truck, they see something eye-catching, something positive.”
Since the original paintjob in 2007, the Breast Cancer Awareness dump truck has been repainted once, to keep its signature bright pink coat shining as bright as possible. It’s still an essential part of Senate Asphalt’s equipment fleet, and is still turning heads and defying stereotypes on its daily routes through the DC metro area.