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Transporter provides integral support to championship run

Jason Cannon December 13, 2012

About the rig

Collins’ Freightliner Coronado is one race-season old. With the transporter trailer, it’s 75 feet long and is powered by a Detroit DD16. The engine delivers 2,050 foot-pounds of torque and 600-horsepower.

“I’ve been driving the Coronado since I left Petty,” he said. “We had the first one that came out in 2002…It’s comfortable to drive, and it’s super quiet…I’ve never had any complaint with the power (it pulls 80,000 pounds) and climbs hills without any issues.”

The interior is furnished with a refrigerator and other odds and ends that make cross-country treks more bearable.

The hauler itself, a standard 53-foot trailer, carries two race-ready cars (a primary and a backup), replacement gears and parts, transmissions, a spare engine and a small office is located in the nose.

“It’s got everything the team could possibly need,” he said. “Almost anything you’d find in a race shop is on there.”

Penske’s race teams will make a change in manufacturer from Dodge to Ford next season, and another – slightly smaller change – is planned for the trucking fleet the following year.

“In 2014, we’ll get new Cascadias,” Collins said.

Professional advice

If you love NASCAR and trucking, it’s hard to argue that Collins doesn’t have one of the coolest jobs in the world.

But if you’re looking to join the ranks of NASCAR haulers it will take someone with a broad knowledge base who is willing to learn new things almost daily.

“You have to know a little bit about a lot of stuff,” he said. “It’s not just about driving the truck. The drivers joke that we’re like the Team Mom. We make sure everyone has everything they need. You put in a lot of work that doesn’t really have anything to do with actually driving.”

Aside from the eagerness for on the job training, Collins said taking care of the obvious things are critical.

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