Bread trucks to flower trucks: Barksdale receives 96 new rides

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Jessica Adams
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Over the next three years, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Management is receiving 96 new vehicles, which will result in every unit of Team Barksdale receiving a new ride.

Already roaming the streets are a host of personal transportation vehicles, with more specialized vehicles yet to come.

“It was definitely time for this new batch,” said Rob Petermann 2nd LRS vehicle management fleet manager. “The old models are 7 years past due to renew.”

The new models will not only be shinier and more stylish, but they are also more comfortable, job-effective, safe and environmentally friendly.

Barksdale’s new engines use flex fuel – distinguished by a yellow gas cap – which contains higher amounts of ethanol and burns less fossil fuels. This is good for the environment, but takes more attention from users. When borrowing a vehicle, Airmen must be aware that the yellow gas cap means the vehicle has a special fuel requirement, such as E85.

Of interest is the new multi-purpose van, affectionately known as a bread truck. When compared, the new white, high-roofed vans don’t even look like they were built in the same century as the old blue, boxy-shell trucks frequented by maintenance Airmen.

“The old bread trucks are noisy,” said Senior Airman Dennis Holland, 96th Bomb Squadron hydraulics specialist. “The suspension is really rough. You hit a small pothole and the guy in the back will come off the back seat. These new ones are smooth, and we can actually stand up. We have a guy who is 6’ 4” and he can stand up straight. We stay all day in it, and we’re amazed by it.”

Often used to transport Airmen on the flightline, maintainers are excited.

“We love them out here,” continues Holland. “They’re awesome for everything we’re doing. They don’t have the wall that restricts airflow like the old bread trucks. Being outside in 103 degrees stinks, it drains you of fluid. With these having AC, it’s going to be a lifesaver. We really can’t believe they bought us something new.”

There’s only one problem, continues Holland, “They don’t look like a very manly truck. We love the new ones, but we’d like to start calling them flower trucks since they look like they’d deliver flowers. If I could start that trend, I’d be happy.”

This change wasn’t made just for looks and comfort, however, the new vehicles will also be easier to maintain. The multi-purpose vans are made entirely by one manufacturer, not a conglomeration of others like the old bread trucks.

“We should have a quicker turnaround on vehicles. I can now go down to any mechanic shop in town and get the parts I need,” said Petermann.

The new arrivals also come with backup cameras, increasing driver visibility and safety of passengers.

“All we have to do now is take care of these vehicles for the next generation of Airmen,” said Petermann.