Freightliner's Cascadia A Big Hit With Stuntman Ryan And The Movie Industry

April 28, 2012

You don't often think about it, but all those big rig trucks in the movies have stunt drivers that make sure they do what their supposed to yet walk away each time unscathed. Just like with cars, many of these specialized drivers have preferences when they get behind the wheel. One of the most popular is Freightliner's Cascadia model, which has become a big hit in the industry. One driver, Mike Ryan, has years of experience in the industry and shares his insights into his role in promoting many safety and movie magic when behind the wheel.

Ryan began his career as a stuntman when he was only 18 and soon became a top driver in the movies successfully executing complex stunts with everything from motorcycles to semi-trucks with trailers. Known for films such as The Italian Job, Herbie, Fully Loaded, Swordfish, Terminator II, and many others, he has accumulated over 500 films, commercials, and television shows to his credit. Behind the wheel of semi-trucks he has crashed, burned, and blown up these big rigs throughout the U.S.

He began collaboration with the trucking industry in 1997 when he built a modified Mercedes Benz-powered Freightliner Century Class S/T Super Truck. He soon began competing at the Colorado Springs Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and in 2006 set his 6th new record with a time of 12:43:66. During this period, he also began educating drivers on accident prevention maneuvers and safety. He was especially effective in his association with law enforcement by reconstructing accidents in order to serve as a prosecution witness.

According to Ryan, "Not many truckers have had the experience of sliding or crashing their semi-trucks, and it's easy to panic when placed in a dangerous situation. By sharing my experience, I hope to lend some insight to truckers that may help them avoid or survive a collision and make the highways a safer place for everyone."

His love of the Freightliner Cascadia was displayed once again in 2007 when he constructed a more powerful and better handling race truck. In collaboration with the Freightliner team, he began with Cascadia platform then powered it with a 2000 HP Detroit engine. As a result of their combined efforts, the new Cascadia race truck made its mark in championship classes including the "Climb to the Clouds" competition held in Mount Washington and exhibitions in events such as Formula Drift. He can also be viewed on YouTube in a series called "Size Matters."

Due to his involvement with Freightliner, when conducting movie stunts the Cascadia is Ryan's preferred choice. It powerful engine, maneuverability, and dependability ensure that stunts come off the way designed and he stays safe. Over the more than 25 years spent as a stunt driver and coordinator, he has had the opportunity to demonstrate that the right semi-truck will get the job done every time. In his experience, the Cascadia is the preferred choice.

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