RENO, Nev.—In the 1970s, Reno’s population was 121,068 and growing. Casinos like the Sands Regency, Peppermill and Atlantis took shape … and so did another noteworthy business: U-Haul at Oddie Boulevard.
Off Highway 395 there was an Exxon gas station for sale. Down came the Exxon sign and up went a rotating U-Haul trailer. At the time, Executive Vice President Ron Frank was area district vice president of California and Western Nevada, and he had a very simple explanation for why U-Haul would use a trailer as a sign.
“U-Haul is here and intends to stay!” Frank declared. He wanted a clear message for all to see.
A U-Haul trailer with roots
In 2014, U-Haul Company of East Sacramento was split and U-Haul Company of Northern Nevada was born and now boasts a complement of five U-Haul Stores and 42 dealerships. A lot has changed in Reno since the 1970s, and Area District Vice President Jeremy Frank decided that the almost 40-year-old classic trailer sign needed a facelift.
“This sign represents our long-standing history of our commitment to the community,” noted Christopher Piedra, marketing company president of U-Haul Company of Northern Nevada. “It was important to restore the trailer because it’s a local landmark and a reminder that we are here to help.”
U-Haul contracted a company to take down this well-known landmark so it could receive the tender loving care it deserves. The trailer was put on a truck and hauled to a U-Haul Shop in Sacramento to make it look new again. The shop cleaned up the trailer with some new paint, nuts, bolts and a good polish. They also updated the trailer to have LED lights. Only the best for this hardworking sign that never stops moving.
Caring for a classic
Though the restoration only took a week, locals grew concerned when the trailer was absent from its post.
“I spoke to city officials who told me that they fielded phone calls from concerned citizens,” Piedra mentioned. “One commercial airline pilot uses our sign as a reference point when approaching the Reno-Tahoe airport. And, there was a rumor that someone created a Facebook page dedicated to returning the trailer to its rightful home.”
To the relief of many, the trailer was carefully re-positioned back on its perch, once again becoming a directional landmark for the citizens of Reno and a glowing reminder that “U-Haul is here!”
Have you seen this rotating classic in Reno? What about any of our other signature U-Haul trailer or truck signs? Let us know in the comments.