It's mobile exhibit time!

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We use this tractor-trailer to engage our fleet and owner-operator customers in a discussion about the importance of lubricants and coolants to their operations.” –Jim Gambill, direct marketing specialist, Chevron Lubricants

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Like many of its fellow suppliers (and not a few OEMs as well), Chevron uses a special mobile exhibit pulled by a Class 8 tractor to help it talk with customers about how its products impact their business on a daily basis. And frankly, mobile exhibits like these offer an interesting opportunity to view any number of products – from motor oils to entire truck engines – in a new light.

In Chevron’s case, though, the use of mobile exhibits isn’t new – in fact, Jim Gambill, direct marketing specialist for Chevron Lubricants, explained during a special tour of the new rig at the Great American Trucking Show that the company has been using these specialized tractor-trailers since 1999.

A brand new 2011 model Kenworth T700, featuring a 267-inch wheelbase and powered by a 455 horsepower Paccar MX 12.9 liter engine, hauls Chevron’s mobile display, craftily fitted into a 48-foot long trailer.

In “exhibit mode,” the trailer’s side slide out to create a 22-foot wide display area featuring 19 different “learning stations” designed to highlight a number of issues, from how diesel engine piston engine size and shape has changed over the years to how Chevron’s “Delo” motor oil got its name.

[The U.S. Navy, believe it or not, is responsible for the “Delo” moniker, for during World War II, Chevron supplied the Navy’s submarine fleet with “diesel engine lubricating oil,” which the sailors promptly shortened to “Delo” for easier use. And thus a brand name was born.]

Chevron’s specialized tractor-trailer tops out at 70,000 pounds and logs about 40,000 miles a year making 30 to 40 stops at distributor locations, trade shows, and other trucking-related gatherings.

It’s an interesting tool, these “mobile exhibits,” used by companies such as Paccar to show off its new MX engine to Continental Tire for highlighting its tire lineup. And I expect we’ll see more such “mobile exhibits” used down the road as well.

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