It’s been a while since anything was posted here due to BigRigShots co-working on The CONVOY facebook community page. There will be a CONVOY of trucks going from Grayling, MI to St. Ignace, MI on September 12, 2013. Anyone can join. It’s taking place on Thursday then there is truckshow on Friday and Saturday. It is trucker’s family gathering. For those on facebook, here is a link:
Few pictures from the project:
We like it bright. So other lost highway souls can have something to follow up on.
Few more shots
Here a are few pics from the Wendnesday evening and then late, cold night when everyone is doing finishing touches to get that “killer” look for coming opening.
I couldn’t sleep in Laramie last night. Laramie suffered initially from lawlessness. Its first mayor, M.C. Brown, resigned after three turbulent weeks in mid-1868, saying that the town was “ungovernable.” This was much due to threats he received from three half-brothers, early Old West gunman “Big” Steve Long, Con Moyer and Ace Moyer. Long was Laramie’s first marshal, and with his brothers owned the saloon Bucket of Blood. The three began harassing settlers, forcing them to sign over the deeds to their property to them. Any who refused were killed, usually goaded into a gunfight by Long. By October 1868, Long had killed 13 men. However, the first Albany County sheriff, rancher N. K. Boswell, organized a “Vigilance Committee”, and on October 28, 1868, Boswell led the committee into the Bucket of Blood, overwhelmed the three brothers, and lynched them at an unfinished cabin down the street. Through a series of other lynchings and other forms of intimidation, the vigilantes reduced the “unruly element” and established a semblance of law and order. So, it was either the spirit of pre-1868 western frontier making me restless or… there was too much light last night. Pictured below are two absolutely top notch rides: Rollin and Vanpelt parked just West of Laramie and screaming VICTORY! Because when I don’t know about white one (Vanpelt) the dark one (Rollin) is a… company truck driven by company driver which is absolutely unthinkable fact in todays transportation world being dictated by Walmarts and Englands who want us to believe they only can afford the cheapest piece of shit trucks and (more importantly) are forced to hire unskilled drivers because there is no money in trucking. Last night that corporate bullshit line was brutally lynched. There is enough money to treat your employee right. It can be done
Here is definition of a term few Americans ever heard of. It’s because it is used abroad to study Coolnes of American Civilisation. I took it from wikipedia, so it sucks to read or feel:
Americana refers to artifacts, or a collection of artifacts, related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States. Many kinds of material fall within the definition of Americana: paintings, prints and drawings; license plates or entire vehicles, household objects, tools and weapons; flags, plaques and statues, and so on. Patriotism and nostalgia play a defining role in the subject. The things involved need not be old, but need to have the appropriate associations. The term may be used to describe the theme of a museum or collection, or of goods for sale.
The term can be used to describe studies of American culture – especially studies based in other countries. Americana music is contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound. 
Now, same thing in plain truckers language:
I’ve been sitting home for so long CARB started sending me love letters asking me to wear skirts on my trailer. Not sure what is going on with those gals but they seemed to be clueless on how to really put them on sliding spread – but what do you expect from people who brought you aerodynamic laws in state with 55 mph speed limit and traffic so heavy there is serious concern… that rolling car tires picking up road grim and send it airborne creating more smog than their engines. Perhaps mudflaps need to be regulated soon. Anyway, I got loaded and before even left California got to see this impossibly clean Peterbilt from South Dakota – they don’t get much sun exposure up north – I think thats why tend to stay on conservative side of life. If you look at the extra lights and chrome – everything is so perfectly thought out and measured and calculated it looks like work of life. Looks so good, even Denton could learn a lesson or two. Then I went up north and met hot, Southern Ride – sunny Florida based Kenworth and it wasn’t perfect – bad it was, full of bruises and crazy, unseen ideas instead. Like that cover for spare tire or trailer Texas bumper. Or “Spread-Um-Wide” motto supporting proper hmm, axle position.
These two, completely different in taste and style yet great trucks just give you some idea about how dedicated and knowledgeable their owners must be when it comes to trucks yet they didn’t feel the need for skirts despite the fact they travel at much higher speeds than mere 55 and pay the fuel bills too. Still, CARB knows better – those girls know garment.
One of the songs that made me run hard over last ten years was something like this: On a cold winter evening on eastbound thru Wyoming I met up with The Gambler, we were both too tired to sleep. I said “Son, I’ve made my life out reading people’s gauges and knowing what they miss in their lives by the way they held their signs. So, If you don’t mind me sayin’ – I can see you are out of grease. When you start playing your own life – you gotta play it right. You gotta know how to hold them, know when to fix them, Know when to walk away and know where to run. You never count your money when you’re sitting at the steering wheel. There’ll be time enough for countin’ when when you buy the house. ‘Cause ev’ry job is a winning and every quit is loosing and the best thing you can hope for is loving wife”. So, when I finished speakin’ he fired up the CAT and disappeared in the dark – it takes quite few miles to build strong family – one million and a half to buy that house. Seen him couple more times, then heard he sold that truck to a wrestler, hope he found his luck. I miss seeing that monster, it was big enough to match that song.
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
Unlimited truck wheelbase sure is as amazing as is puzzling thing for truckers abroad. Lack of total lenght law is something unthinkable for Western Europe or Down Under – then anyone who ever drove a truck for a living know it doesn’t make it easier to maneuver when its longer. Thing is, nowhere outside of US there is (nor ever was) anything even remotely close to trucking American Way where freedom of doing anything you want so often evolves into… doing it perfect or not at all – that is why at some point in time someone decided its a trucker’s problem what he drives and how he is going to back it into that narrow dock. I’m talking the 80′s when people were still sharp minded enough to know that introducing endlessly more and more laws makes citizens… lazy, uncreative and less responsible on a personal level.
That’s the secret of great country building – let the citizens run free and they will start minding own business – exactly the way these guys are doing on the pictures below with trucks that become icons of American Entrepreneurship. They build it. Obama and other parasites didn’t build a doghouse, they don’t know a thing about running own small business – all they know is how to ruin it so let’s enjoy those beautiful rigs before those idiots throw new rules and kill them custom trucks
Around 2am last night I got into middle of serious standoff taking place at famous Iowa80 truckstop. There was tension I could breathe with diesel fumes idling engines. This place is all about trucking history: World biggest, most famous truckstop includes trucking museum with numerous unique, antique trucks and hall of fame of showtrucks hanging by the showers doors. No matter how tired you are – you can’t miss it. It is trucker’s sacred place and I love hanging there and… the best showtrucks. I apologize poor picture quality but I was under load of strawberries latte (they were late to show up in my trailer) and could only afford 30 seconds for each picture before I could run back to the truck and hammer it again. Anyway, here is the first part of this late night coverage featuring whats best in new(er) technology – some breath taking world famous rides. Note – however – scared eyes of that Peterbilt 579 in the last picture… Old school trucks ruled. Just wait and see second part later on. It wasn’t spanking. It was major ass whooping! What a great show!!!
Some trucks are black, some are scary looking and some are black to look scary. Then there are some black, scary looking anger management tools. I believe trucking has some healing potential – shut the door, put the pedal to the floor and get away…. You’ll be back in few years as a changed man when you figure your anger does nothing but destroys everything around you. Too bad if that scary truck you built didn’t make it – they feel bad emotions thru the clutch and the heat from flooring them takes engine early. Pretty much like it is with people around you. I am only writing this for few nuts on some forum after learning what a mess they are. Hey, dudes – try trucking – it can save your souls.
Disclaimer: Awesome rides below are just illustration, I don’t know the owners, I don’t say they have anger problems – they might just like dark colors, some trucks are scary looking for no reason. Just some though.
Sometimes, when I roll down the eighty and get really high on caffeine (34 oz “Bubba Keg” is my cup of choice – sits well in he dash) I’m starting to believe I’m diving coral reef again trying to find the most amazing fishes just to figure them out… to realize what makes them so stunning in viewer eyes. Because there are benefits of colors and patterns different species of fish use – as a means of communication, mate selection, and predator avoidance. That is what nice, educated fishes do – they might be pretty dumb creatures – but they are essentially right: who likes to be mistaken for a next door neighbour when attractive girl is asking help? Here is 5 strategies smart truckers use to stand out from the white-volvo crowd:
1. The colors. They use colors and shades unseen before. On a truck or anywhere else on the planet
2. The patterns. It used to be stripes that would give you custom look – today we have whole patterns
3. The models. Classic Pete or KW is not enough. Gotta be unique model – so rare people will get into fight about it (I was told it is… NOT 377 !)
4. The cabovers. What’s more male than driving tallest horse sitting on the engine
5. The old rigs. Driving 30-year old trucks is a way of saying “I was here before you. Now, shut up and start learning” without using any words.
So, I was wrong again thinking that 359 had its cab chopped when… it was just exactly the way them Peterbilts were built before I was born in 1973. Now, we have some pics of extended hood 379 that had their already extended hood extended even further. Few years back I have asked first owners of that truck as they were leaving the truckwash bay why they did it and answer was… “for the look of it”. That is right, we have truckers lowering cabs or extending the hoods for the look of it… but I felt there is gotta be something more to it
Here is my new discovery: why they are seeking small cab & long hood apperance ? Because there were times when engine compartment was way bigger than living quarters – days when driver’s ego wasn’t more important that having job done. Hard to believe but true, look at the proportions on that stunningly beautiful GMC… The Pete has the same cab/hood proportions… Can you say C O N S E R V A T I V E ???!!!!
Here is a set of 3 totally amazing trucks with lowered cab/sleeper roof – not that it is totally unseen thing that can be done to the truck but it sure is extreme in a way it is altering the factory blueprints for those cabs. When I think about it… Europe comes to my mind – if you would try to do such thing to Scania (which would not probably make any sense since they use the top of the cab as a living space) – government folks would GO CRAZY on so many levels, it is hard to imagine who would be first in line to hand you a fine or even put in jail the truck owner for doing such “evil” thing. In Europe government needs to run tests on every truck before it is allowed into marked, they run Test A, Test B and Test C to see if the cab is safe or not. Mind you, it is not the truck builders – no, it is government, because European Bureaucracy knows everything about anything including truck cab structure. So, what is this all doing to the fatality ratios? Well, we don’t really know but for the miles driven USA roads are… the safest on Earth. Long live slammed, custom trucks and professional owner operators - the more freedom we have, the smarter we are using it and with more gov false security intervention people become careless. Don’t forget your daily dose of “government bitchin” – remember, they can’t wait to introduce new regulations and put hundreds new desks in Washington DC, hire own friends and make a good living on our taxes providing nothing but more misery in exchange
Aaron Smith, who is third generation trucker from highly regarded Colorado trucking family (you might know him and his father from brilliant posts at LCM forum) noticed that 359′s cab below wasn’t lowered, its just the way “narrow window” cabs were. Im just second gen and didn’t grew up around Peterbilts and wasn’t sure about it either its just that there was article in Overdrive magazine (Im still looking for it) saying it was lowered – but maybe I misread it and it was all about the sleeper. This way or another – Aaron comment made me realize why people would seek this custom look – check out Extended Extended Hoods soon
There is so much confusion about what green trucks are and what are not – government officials who get paid for pushing climate-warming agenda want us to believe, that green trucks need to act as an air-purifiers: suck up dirty air, burn diesel with it and… blow clean air out of the stacks. Making power to pull the load is just an option at this point and so is reliability of the “filter” as long as they don’t pay the bills. These folks are idiots who never had a real job and lately they proved that exposure to “particulate matter 2.5″ (thats what we need the failing DPF for) has… no effect on human health. That is right, after years of fear mongering they finally started (in 2010) doing some studies and came up with… NOTHING. No proof. All the EPA2007 and up motors are not any greener than other diesels – just way more expensive in upkeep. So, screw that, here are truly green trucks – the ones that don’t eat resources coz don’t need to be replaced every 2 years, don’t ruin trucker families and don’t make road hazard parked on the shoulder with the flashers on
Here is what happened. Back in 2009 I got stuck when the company I was leasing my power unit to went belly up due to horrible family fight between the owner and underestimated general manager who quit and destroyed 25 years long story. So I had t0 stay home for a while and could see my first ever truck show where I immediately fell in love with some incredible combo of KW cabovers hooked to spread axle trailers – one of them being sliding spread 53′ Utility reefer… Simply amazing combination of old and new technology dragged me to the owners who happened to be super nice guys who answered all my questions and put so much faith in me that… 3 months later I got my own reefer and started hauling freight again which allowed me to get my family finances back on track and to take rolling truck pictures again – some of them ended up in cult 10-4 Magazine under “The Spirit of The American Trucker” series – and the latest issue is featuring exactly the very Bob Keffer’s KW. God only knows how many other lost folks he inspired to move on and change their life just by rolling down the highway – but I sure know he and his friend Scotty B changed mine that day.
The other night I rolled thru a scale and got stopped for Level III inspection. The officer was checking my logs and dragging me into typical conversation where they want to figure out stuff they can’t see in the paperwork and got me to shoot him th
is line: “look officer, I find this job very hard on me but also very rewarding as I feel like doing something meaningful and demanded by lots of people – I don’t push papers… I bring them people food” Then I looked him straight in the eye and went: “It’s same thing you guys doing here – screening trucks to eliminate those unfit for 40 miles long steep and twisted mountain road known to kill the weak” He wished me good night and I was really happy to hit the road. That was the night I realized that nobody can stop you from doing the right thing in produce hauling world. If anything, they want to be a good guy like you… Because if you don’t eat fresh fruit – your immune system gets weak, you get cancer and you die.
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The other night I rolled thru a scale and got stopped for Level III inspection. The officer was checking my logs and dragging me into typical conversation where they want to figure out stuff they can’t see in the paperwork and got me to shoot him this line: “look officer, I find this job very hard on me but also very rewarding as I feel like doing something meaningful and demanded by lots of people – I don’t push papers… I bring them people food” Then I looked him straight in the eye and went: “It’s same thing you guys doing here – screening trucks to eliminate those unfit for 40 miles long steep and twisted mountain road known to kill the weak” He wished me good night and I was really happy to hit the road. That was the night I realized that nobody can stop you from doing the right thing in produce hauling world. If anything, they want to be a good guy like you… Because if you don’t eat fresh fruit – your immune system gets weak, you get cancer and you die.
Here is what sets apart American lifestyle and economy from the rest of the world standards. Relentless competition is the difference – under socialist regimes competition is slowly eliminated by increasing government intervention which always kills the small and helps to maintain monopoly of the biggest fishes – those who are able pulling strings at the very governments they use to gain market control. When US gov is also trying to grow and achieve exactly the same effect they took over the Europe with – it’s still far cry from that unfortunate situation where there is only rich and their laborers with pretty much nothing in between. We know better than that – everyone who dare to enter any competition game is a winner already because just taking part in it will make him stronger not to mention living whole life fighting to gain slightest advantage over its fellow competitor. Well, what if big corporations would be this smart? They would all rock the market the way Paccar is for decades. They own both, Peterbilt and KW but want them to keep fighting the fight… trying to get over each other in sales…hopefully forever!
Here, at BRS we are serious about educating general public as to how to become and remain successful in that demanding field of independent trucking. Today I’d like to point out few rules about proper image building – very important aspect when you realize that this is what every customer will have in plain sight: unobstructed view of your personality reflected by dozens of character marks your rig has on display day and night. Everything starts with that first phone call, so you need to show the right number on your truck. Not some MC, KYU, VIN or other meaningless numbers nobody even ask about unless you find yourself in some really unusual places like scales. Nope. You need to show your cell phone number. Next, you need a quick way to explain your commitment to serving that caller business – you need good name on your truck. Not some WTF Inc. crap. You need a good name no one else ever remotely even thought about. Lastly, you need something custom on your truck – something what tells your story with no words. Like a door step busted by your h e a v y f e e t. Class dismissed.
I wish everyone independence from any lobby, think tank or other criminal organization that plots to diminish the very piece of freedom that is still left to The People. I truly hope that proud owner operators who by definition are beyond modern day slavery systems (perfected by mega-fleets with their lease programs) – I hope they will still grace our highways with their amazing equipment just to remaind everyone the power of ownership. Because when you own that sleeper – you can spend the night whenever and wherever you want and you don’t need nobody telling you when to take a shit.
So, I was like “whatta beast! where is my camera” and started sudden shootout at Home Depot parking lot downtown Millwaukee. Sure seen that gangsta youth watching me but what I didn’t notice was… they made some quick phone call and now I’m suddenly facing some real big,black guy straight from “Green Mile” movie. No kidding, same guy with two or three buddies around him asking me “WTF you are taking pictures of my truck for?” I said “look, its 359 just this morning” and showed him other shots from my camera and we started talking trucks, tires, rates and years – he said he bought it new but then lost his license years ago (I think he lost more than licence) and had to hire drivers for long time and thats how the truck looks the way it looks… “like it was to hell and back” – I said, he looked at his rig and goes “yeah, in the 90′s money was good, I loved going to Cali and back to WI… sometimes twice a week”. Then my cellphone rang and I never learned how the fuck he was doing this, but if you look closely at this badass piece of iron you will see how: f a s t
It’s not going to stop for nothing. Possibly fuel, some sleep – eventually. Sleeper called ‘coffin’ for a reason – you are not going to remember going to it either. Long wheelbase for high speed stability and flat roof for low gravity when chasing that Friday evening last load opportunity. Old school heavy duty driveline to support kids education and under the load reliability – that 44,000 lbs top iced lettuce is a bit too much of a salad bar for one man to eat it…. when comes to The Nation feeding – few hours late – and its all yours… there is no kidding. It simply pays to drop that hammer – or thousands Canadians don’t get their daily portions of Vitamins. Then, there is always fuel efficiency thing – it takes less fuel when your engine running time is shorter – that helps to pay for that rig. – then all those in-and-out frames every single million odometer ticks… That’s what LargeCar is all about – making money, not just driving for kicks!