Cement bulker strikes patriotic pose
Jan 1, 2003 12:00 PM
MOVIE HEROES John Wayne and Clint Eastwood are helping Colorado River Concrete Inc, Alvarado, Texas, deliver a message of patriotism and American pride. Hand-painted images of the two Hollywood actors adorn the newest cement bulker in the Colorado River fleet.
Painted in polyurethane, the trailer mural shows the actors in some of their most recognizable, and most American, roles. On one side of the trailer is the slogan “Remember our Heroes” and on the other it states “Freedom Worth Fighting For.”
This isn't the first custom-painted vehicle in the Colorado River fleet, which includes four cement bulkers and 36 mixer trucks. In addition to the Alvarado office, the company operates out of Texas locations in Glen Rose, Aledo, and Stephenville.
Established in 1995, the ready-mix operation started small. Owner Edgar Artecona wanted his company to make an impact in spite of its size. From the very start, he put highly recognizable designs and murals on his company trucks and buildings.
Cow spots were painted on the first mixer drums, and this evolved into more elaborate designs. Patriotism has been a recurring theme. The Statue of Liberty is painted on one mixer and an American eagle with an American flag is on another.
John Wayne is an all-time favorite of Artecona, and the new dry bulker was not the first place for the movie legend's image. Artecona also commissioned a painting of John Wayne on a 30-ft silo at the Aledo ready mix plant.
Other themes include family and regional history, community support, and college salutes. A building mural in Alvarado depicts the history of the company's Colorado River heritage. Displayed on the mural are pictures of the dam built on the Colorado River by Artecona's great-grandmother, his mother's prize bull, his two children, and a favorite dog.
In terms of community support, some of the cow-spotted mixer trucks carry the name of a local town and the high school mascot for that town. There are the Alvarado Indians, Grandview Zebras, Cleburne Yellowjackets, Midlothian Panthers, Glen Rose Tigers, Stephenville Honey Bees, and Aledo Bearcats. A Ballinger Bearcat truck honors the town where Artecona and his wife grew up. His college alma mater is remembered on the Tarleton State University truck. Company trucks also carry various slogans: Be Cool — Stay in School, Say No to Drugs, Building a Better Tomorrow, Foundation for the Future, and Be American — Buy American.
The newest trailer, a 1,000-cu-ft bulker from J&L Tank, was purchased through Southwestern Pneumatic Inc. It has Sure Seal butterfly valves, tees, and aeration; Knappco manhole covers; and Bayco check valves and pressure-relief vents. Running gear includes Hendrickson's Intraax axle and suspension system and Alcoa aluminum disc wheels.
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