Pictures of Big Shots

EducatingPublic

10-4 Magazine. Worldwide.

Here comes my little glory moment – first full-page trucking picture in trucking magazine distributed worldwide. I highly doubt there is another printed publication about trucks that can be picked up from a rack in America, Australia, Asia and… Europe (imagine that) while still being FREE. Quality all around at no charge. This kind of enterprise can only be possible in California and only by bunch of extraordinary people. I’m still not sure how and why they let me be part of this operation but there is more secrets to be revealed in September issue due to Magazine’s 10-th Anniversary anyway. If you are new to trucking and not sure what the hell I am talking about check this: 10-4 Magazine or the Facebook page or The Spirit Of American Trucker

Just be forewarned – if you never had anything to do with US truckers… it may blow you out of your socks.

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Bullhauler Manners

They blow a smoke out of stacks as a way of communication, like Ancient China soldiers stationed along the Great Wall would alert each other of impending enemy attack by signaling from tower to tower. In this way, they were able to transmit a message as far away as 470 miles in just a few hours. The North American Indians also communicated via smoke signal. Each tribe had its own signaling system and understanding. A signaler started a fire on an elevation typically using damp grass, which would cause a column of smoke to rise. Reputedly the location of the smoke along the incline conveyed a meaning. If it came from halfway up the hill, this would signify all was well, but from the top of the hill it would signify danger. In the first picture we can see such a dramatic situation – a  cow truck quickly approaching two company trucks – he scream “danger” trying to warn others using black smoke. Second picture – we see white smoke, it has the other meaning: “keep you line while I’m flying by”. Often we see important info concerning risk management when dealing with them displayed on the back of the trailer (third pic). Porch lights, unique feature seen only on top front of trailer –  informs us that we are dealing with the whole ranch including buildings and animals, not just another standard truckers house on wheels. Last thing – they blur easily due to speed, they are fastest vehicles on the interstate, second only to Producehaulers –  drivers who Bullhaulers learn their driving techniques from, no wonder they haul ass with having such a mentors

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How it is being done in US (Jak sie to robi w Stanach)

Here is short story in Polish requested by one of my readers – Bartek (he is learning english but not quite there yet) – he is about to start trucking career as a logger but I just shot this bullhauler yesterday so I will use them to make a few observations about the nature of O/O business here and how to get to drive such a nice piece of equipment without going broke instead of being company drier for life – just obvious things  everyone here knows very well so I skip the translation to english this time

Bartek, na tych kilku zdjeciach pokaze Ci kilka podstawowych rzeczy, ktore chce zebys wiedzial na poczatku kariery i nie marnowal czasu na zbedne glupoty, tylko przeszedl od razu do uderzenia. Pierwsza sprawa jest taka, ze tzw “Owner” (czyli kierowca-wlasiciel) to jest wiecej niz zawod – to kariera i sposob bycia. Jest to cos niemal przeciwnego do bycia “tylko” czyims kierowca i jesli zobaczysz cos takiego w lusterku to bedziesz wiedzial, ze ten blask to nie tylko LED-y powoduja – to jest bracie power bycia na swoim, to jest spelnienie zawodowe i zwyczajnie wolnosc – w tym pieniadze z wlasnej dzialalnosci. To wszystko wlasnie tak tam swieci mi w scianie naczepy. Inaczej mowiac jest dobrze tutaj na tym obrazku – bo mozna to zrobic i ludzie ciagle to robia nie tylko w Stanach, trzeba tylko wiedziec jak

Teraz jak popatrzysz na to zdjecie to zauwazysz, ze wszystko wyglada jak nowe tutaj – od razu Ci powiem, ze nie ma tu nowego wiele, nie potrafie jednak okreslic ile ten sprzet ma lat. I o to wlasnie chodzi, zeby tak bylo, porzadny owner dba tak, ze jakiekolwiek zuzycie jest zupelnie niewidoczne poniewaz zeby zbudowac showtrucka jak ten (duzo kasy jest tu wtopione) potrzebuje nim pojezdzic co najmniej pierwszy milion mil stopniowo go kustomizujac. Mozna to zrobic szybciej ale takie “szybkie” zmiany najczesciej koncza sie przejeciem przez bank i niepotrzebnym bankructwem, chyba, ze to jest juz flota i wlasciela po latach pracy w transporcie stac jest na te wydatki. W kazdym razie sam truck i naczepa musi byc tak zbudowana, zeby pozwolila przetrwac te lata, wybor klasyka jest tu calkiem oczywisty bo sa one najprostsze, kompletnie udoskonalone przez 70 lat – osiadacza  jednej ciezarowki nie stac na eksperymenty za bardzo, szcegolnie z pierwszym truckiem. No i wiadomo – im dluzej go masz tym lepiej go znasz

Tutaj popatrz na ladnek – ladunku tu nie ma. Zakoduj sobie gleboko – nie ma ladunku, nie ma ownera. Wszyscy jestesmy zawsze zwiazani poprzez miejsce zamieszkania z jakas strefa geograficzna czy gospodarcza – kazdy porzadny wlasciciel zanim myslial o sprzecie mial juz dokladna wizje tego co bedzie ladowal “z domu”, dokad i z czym wroci. Jak nie ma takiej wizji to na ogol straci pieniadze, naszarpie sie i nameczy a i tak trucka bank mu zabierze bo nie mozna wyzyc z internetu. Sam z zona przeprowadzilem sie z jednego konca ameryki na drugi aby byc na szlaku ktorym ida moje ladunki i tak dlugo jak slonce w Kaliforni bedzie swiecic, deszcz padac i Meksykanie ciezko racowac w polu – tak dlugo moja rodzina glodu nie zazna. Musisz obserwowac ladunki juz teraz i uczyc sie gdzie co chodzi i za ile i od kogo

Tu sprawa odstawowa, jako ze historia ta zaczela sie od konca – tak sie juz zdjecia ulozyly – gdybym nie zwolnil on by mnie nigdy nie wyprzedzil – popatrz sobie jak ta potezna maszyna kladzie sie na skrzydlo podchodzac do ladowania i wyobraz sobie, ze tam jada wyglodniale susza krowy kiedy jedna nagle spostrzegla ta zielona trawe po zewnetrznej bandzie i pisnela slowko na ucho przyjaciolce – 2 sekundy potem truck lezalby w rowie kiedy wszystkie poszlyby na lewa burte. Cala przygoda z truckingiem zawsze zaczyna sie od techniki jazdy, bez tego nie ma nic i nigdy nie bylo dobrego, sa i byli ownerzy co nie umieja jezdzic ale konczyli fatalnie – jak masz jezdzic i rozwalac sprzet to wyjdziesz lepiej jako kierowca. Dlatego amerykanscy ownerzy to zupelnie inny poziom umiejetnosci i zdarza sie, ze traktuja dosyc ostro roznego typu oszolomow – zestaw za cwierc miliona dolarow w ciaglym pedzie to nie jest cos co chcesz stracic z powodu cudzej glupoty. Lub swojej… na glupote nie ma tu miejsca, tylko poscig za perfekcja kazdego dnia – az dym wali z komina (jak powyzej). Kazdego dnia kolekcjonujesz nowe doswiadczenia, nabyte umiejetnosci i wiedze teoretyczna, cos jakby wieczny student – po kilku latach wiesz juz tyle, ze byle kto Cie z biznesu nie wygryzie, cala ta gromadzona wiedza pozwoli przetrwac najgorsze czasy – przetrwa tylko najsilniejszy – ktos kto ma niskie koszty bo wie co robi

 

 

 

 


Who want to outlaw good trucks?

Those shots were taken on my way across Central California picking up my load along I-5 so you can see our incredible Valley in the background of those super-clean trucks. They are all damn good looking pieces of solid machinery despite millions of miles on them altogether. None of those proud owners makes big money driving them – the goal here is to just make a living when avoiding uncalled debt staying home with their families instead. Now, most of those stunning classics soon will be banned by some greedy bunch of people who want to make big profits – not by driving trucks though. They want to push overpriced, unreliable $150k devices to the big fleets who otherwise would never be able to compete with true professionals from the pictures. But they will get a break and have new trucks for $99k each (volume discounted Prostars) and hire more unskilled “drivers” from that hundred million unemployed people on the welfare. That is what greed is doing to the small, family owned businesses in America – greed eats them alive and “cleaning the air” is just a convenient smoke screen to what is really going on: aggressive takeover by small bunch of liars who don’t know what honor is – big fleet owners, truck/engine makers and politicians are in it together, no doubt about it.

 


Diesel (Higher) Power

It needs to be said, that truckers are tiny bit on a harsh side when it comes to approaching 4-wheelers category which is causing unrest and tears between them non-truckers – especially those who work in big media outlets – poor dudes can never forget that air horn screaming at them due to their dumb action so we get all that bad-trucker image in revenge. I feel like owe little explanation on behalf trucking nation. You see, it starts with diesel power – tremendous amounts of energy stored in this fuel which can make those big wheels turn so fast you might suddenly see The Maker on your way to grocery store if your hybrid automobile gets in the way. Every seasoned trucker is somewhat prepared for its own last run because it is part of the job to be prepared to go when time comes but we know, that not every Prius driver is. Look at the pics below, envision this spinning wheel inside your mighty Mercedes-Benz Smart ride – you won’t have much time for prayer… Stay away from big trucks. Don’t hang along for too long, don’t cut them off. We want you to have a nice day.


Steering Wheel Holders Nation

Here is the perfect illustration for what is going on with our reality – all that matters now is just net profit at the lowest cost possible – so we have millions of trucks run by cheapest, unskilled and uneducated work force imaginable – people who failed at any other field they ever been to and ended up in “the drain”. In a big fleet company truck. Not that they wanted or see future in it – it’s only because they have no clue what else they could be doing at this point so they want to truck – but only “temporarily”, just so they “save some money” and move on with their life. That status quo is carefully maintained by the big fleet players – they are doing anything possible to keep them “truckers” uneducated because the first moment they learn anything about driving – they quit working for cheap outfits. So, there is that secret deal between our beloved government paid by our own taxes and the big trucking business – all the authorities pursuing safety on our highways do is pretend it is all right not to have ANY experience requirements to get behind the wheel of a 80,000 lbs truck and run it 80mph. The only concern they have is… if he is cheating on his employer by sleeping too much during his day work – so they all push  for electronic on-board recorders to make their workforce more efficient

Which is why we can see plenty scenes like this, where just another clueless steering wheel holder entered icy road for the first time and just kept going at full speed only to do something dumb with the steering wheel he was holding which catapulted him way off the road – to his big surprise, of course.  Then we will hear again about how “truckers” are bad, bad people and how FMCSA is breaking its back to “make our highways safer” bullshit.

 


Is trucking wild adventure?

No, it is not. It’s all about repeating routine sequences: pull over, get fueled, come back to the highway, left turn signal, get into hammer lane. Low fuel, right blinker, pull over, get fuel. Some states however don’t allow trucks in left lane forcing us to deal with stunts pulled by 4-wheelers community – since these folks can’t really handle task of driving in 3-lane straight highway without hitting each other for no apparent reason, you have to remember to move over or you will be blamed for everything what happened that day including  some broken heart not receiving that text message because you are damn cowboy making lot of money so why not hire attorney and sue you for all the damages and – of course – mental suffering, what else. Because under socialist regimes there is always someone to blame for your own shortcomings – that’s how living on someone’s else expense is being promoted in “modern” society.

 

 


The “BigMoney” Myth

Here is another myth about US Owner-Operators: they make big money. This belief need to be corrected as well – single tire can cost even $1000 now, fuel is very expensive, we all know how expensive fuel is, right? Fuel is so expensive, people go broke just from looking at the posted price, much less buying 250 gallons (!) of it – nobody can afford to buy it, not even rich people can pay that much thus drive hybrids. And how about truck parts? Inferior Chinese/Mexican quality plus $100/h labor… and this blah blah and that blah blah blah blah it all sucks blah blah blah blah.

On the top of that can you imagine electric bill for running all those lights and heating/cooling cost for that big sleeper? Of course there is no money in trucking as there is no cowboys but… the Swift is hiring – that’s where the money is (if you are an idiot)

 


NO.

When I was still living in the “Old World” I would often hear claims that Americans have no history long enough to have traditions and so there is no culture and if it is – it would be shallow like puddle from rat piss. You know, Europe is 4,500 years old (or so they say) thus they are so rich in old architecture and invented automobiles and shit. Well, let me show you something about American Culture. Look at this image below – it pictures some front yard along US20 on Indiana/Ohio stateline with 30 years old Extended Hood “A”, right? Well, the thing  is that American Farmers are really nice people and instead of saying “no!, no no no no it’s not for sale, never was, I’m so fed up with you all assholes banging on my doors day and night I would shoot you all if only had enough ammo” – instead he would just put that nice little cut corners plate saying “N O”. That is all about our American Architecture. We love to work it.

 


The Peterbilt People

One of the most amazing things about American Trucking is that never ending battle between two extreme fractions. First: Hardcore Conservaties – people who say you are not allowed to make changes to what Peterbilt Factory created because if you do it’s not going to reflect the way they were building them trucks at that time. You can kill the spirit and end up with worthless, undesired piece of steel on wheels. They believe in Intelligent Design and are happy with it. They are satisfied.

And… then there is opposition, The Dark Forces Of Progress. These folks believe there is better way and will go extra mile to find it. They are not afraid to take some really extreme measures, serious stuff that wouldn’t even cross true Conservatives mind. Like, for example shaving the headlights off the radiator.

On the top of these two we will have few folks that are totally out of this world and there is serious doubt if we will ever have them back. They are probably possessed by Kenworth lobby or were simply abducted in early years. Nobody knows what really happened so when they roll into truckstops conversations get muted and everyone is watching with disbelief:

Jokes aside, most of these guys are hard working, God-fearing family supporters. It really takes faith to stay on the road as an O/O in the pagan days we see lately

 


What Produce Hauling is

Some people stock up on AAA batteries because their worst fear would be TV remote controller going inoperable just when they are about to take their weekly dose of adrenaline by watching another episode of Ice Road Truckers. That is all right. Others getting high like a kite on prescription drugs because they really need to come up with another round of made up bullshit stories or their “reality” show will drop on popularity. That’s fine too. Then we have people who would use old fire department truck and beat up reefer trailer to roll it from New Hampshire across high altitude winter storms of Rockies freezing their asses trying to fix that old heap on the sideroad so they can grab that time sensitive perishable load from the other coast and try to make it back home. It is all good, everyone have their own idea of adventure – the last approach is called Produce Hauling.


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