Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Stars and Stripes!

Went to the mall for some Christmas shopping and passed this gorgeous Kenworth T2000 on the way in. Parked outside Chevy's... which tells me that not only does this trucker have good taste in trucks, he/she also make excellent choices when it comes to culinary delights! :-)

On a sidenote, I must say I love my new phone, it has a camera in it and now I'm truly prepared for any gorgeous truck that crosses my path.... like this one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Custom trucks: Spiderman tribute

A friend of mine gave me a link to a truck page, where I found this gorgeous bumper-to-bumper airbrushed cabover Volvo. This truck is from Wagner Cargo in Denmark, the artwork is done by a guy named Ivar Aasland from Norway.

Take a moment and admire these photos. Please also note the custom interior, the spiderweb imprint in the upholstery is pretty cool :))

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

christmas time

hey everyone,

sorry for the long absence, but it turns out having a baby in the house is a lot of work... and leaves little time for bloggin or taking truck photos.

i want to wish everyone a merry christmas and i promise to be backwith more truck stuff very very soon... among other things, i have some photos of an old white (the make, not the color) firetruck that i am dying to share....

until then, have a great holiday season!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Eye Catching Trucks: MAYFLOWER

When I was a kid, I was always excited to see moving trucks around the neighborhood. At the time, the reason for my excitement revolved more around the fact that we'd have new neighbor and whether or not these neighbors had any cool kids I could play with ...

I'm all grown up now, and I'm still excited when I see moving trucks! Now however, my focus has shifted from the people moving in to the truck that carry their belongings. And now, I'm not scouting their belongings... I'm ogling the trucks. (Just to clear any potential misunderstandings! lol).

Most moving companies have really nice trucks, but the ones that always stand out are the Mayflower trucks! I really perk up when I see the Mayflower logo on a trailer, because I know with 99% certainty that I'm about to catch a glimpse of a gorgeous truck!

(So if any of you Mayflower truck drivers see my black pickup zooming by to get in front of you, it's not my intention to cut you off.... I simply wanna ogle your truck in my rearview mirror .... lol...)
A Mayflower truck I passed on my way to Arizona last year....

The Mayflower trucks are just so well polished! Both trucks & trailers are always well matched and they all look nice and clean and well taken care of. Some of the tractors have perversely huge cabs!! I'm talking apartment size cabs! Unfortunately I haven't been able to snap a photo of any of those, I usually see them when I'm driving myself & unable to take photos, but I've included a photo from one of my favorite websites, Hank's Truck Pictures , which showcases one of these cabs.

Mayflower truck with huge cab (Hank's Truck Pictures/Sissick Collection)

Another photo I found of a Mayflower truck with a good sized cab.

I recently stumbled across a Mayflower hub not far from where I live, and I was able to snap a few photos. Unfortunately it was a holiday so the gates were closed and it was hard to catch a good photo op of their trucks.

But fear not, now that I know where they are located, I'll be back there for more photos :)
(I guess I'll give up stalking United Van Lines and give them a break for awhile..... lol........)

Anyway, behind the wall of the Mayflower hub, I spotted a Mayflower trailer that probably isn't on the road as much anymore and certainly shows how the Mayflower trailers have evolved through the years... There was an old Ford truck parked next to it, but it was blocked by trees and difficult to photograph, so I'll have to catch it next time. I did, however, find a photo on the web of a similar Mayflower truck & trailer combo, so I borrowed that photo for my post.

Front end of the older Mayflower trailer parked @ the hub

Shot of the older Mayflower trailer parked @ the hub

Photo borrowed from the web, showing a similar trailer to the one I photographed,
hooked up to an old Ford truck.

Below are a couple of current Mayflower trucks & trailers I caught while out & about on my little photo safari. It's kind of interesting to compare them to the older trailer from above :)

Green Mayflower trailer outside a hub in Ontario, California

This gorgeous W900 was stretched out in front of the hub as well...

Mayflower Kenworth W900 truck, Ontario California

Mayflower Kenworth W900 truck & trailer, Ontario California

I visited the Mayflower website, just out of curiosity, and I was pleasantly surprised to find the following link:

It's a page that reiterates how to drive safely around a big rig, a topic that is near & dear to my heart and one that I cannot repeat enough in this blog so I decided to include their link.

Kudos to Mayflower for posting this! Hopefully at least a few motorists will read it & watch their behavior on the road.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to empty a trailer

My attention was recently directed towards Youtube, to these wood chip trucks and the way they unload these trucks and this is pretty crazy!

Apparently it's a cheap & efficient way of dumping out all these wood chips, but holy toledo, I'd seriously be worried about my truck if I had to send it skyhigh like this.

The drivers are not in the trucks by the way, in fact, as mentioned on one of the videos, they are usually the ones strapping down their trucks & handling the hydraulics.... that way if something goes wrong with their trucks, nobody else can be blamed .... (Makes sense!)

Anyway... below are three videos I found that were pretty cool. Two of them show the wood chip dumping from a distance so you can see the profile of the truck as it's jacked up into the air. The second video is shot from the rear so you can watch the chips as they are unloaded.

Pretty crazy stuff.... fascinating to watch. I tried to find some more info on this way of dumpting wood chips, but all that comes up in my searches are more However, if you read the comments on the videos, there are actually a lot of information there regarding braking systems & why they dump it this way.

Grab the popcorn & enjoy .... and by all means ....

KIDS (both big & small!)! Do NOT try this at home!! =P

Here's another video shot from the rear so you can see the chips dumping out....

And finally another clip from a thrill ride called "wood chips trucks" ... the person who shot this added a sound track to his film. :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's How Vampires Die!

What? Vampires?? What in the world are vampires doing here, ruthlessly invading this blog, which is supposed to be about big rigs?

Despite the serious topic of the following post, I couldn't help but post the photo of this
"vampire truck" that I found on the web... very clever observation by whoever took this photo!

I do enjoy vampire literature, it's a fantastic and imaginative world that I often visit through books. (And no, I have not joined the Twilight epidemic... I do prefer more mature vamps ;-))

Throughout these vampire books, the vampires vary quite a bit in the way they live & what powers they possess. Some can tolerate a few rays of sunlight, some die on exposure, some have beating hearts still, some eat regular food in addition to sucking blood.... I could go on and on. The one thing all of them do have in common is that they are very hard to kill. There are in fact only a couple of ways a vampire can actually die and that is something that most authors seem to agree on.

So... how does a vampire die?
Simple ... tailgating a big rig at 60 mph should do it. Not even a vampire can survive decapitation.

What prompted this detour of my mind you might ask.

Well, on my way in to work this morning, I spotted a Ford Focus that was literally glued to the bumper of an 18-wheeler. The traffic was moving at about 65mph, the semi may have been at 55. This Focus was following the semi truck so close, I just had to shake my head at how little the driver of this Focus must respect his life. Or perhaps it is a lack of respect for death? Surely the Grim Reaper is not someone you want to play with and this Grim Reaper is probably not someone who should be mocked so blatantly?

I don't get it. What exactly is a 4-wheeler trying to accomplish by tailgating a semi truck so close? Do they REALLY think that by tailgating so closely, the truck is going to get out of the way? Excuse me while I chuckle a little.

First of all, trailing that closely behind a big rig means the truck driver cannot see you. You know that sticker that says "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you"? Well.... that sticker is there to inform you that when you're trailing behind 53 foot semi, there's no way the truck driver can see you if you drive that close. (And the sticker is in fact slightly misleading as well ... it's in fact only when you can see the TRUCK DRIVER in his/her mirror that he can see you.... only catching a glimpse of their mirrors does not guarantee that you can be seen by them....)

The blind spot to the rear of a big rig is about 30 feet ... and I'm guessing that those 30 feet covers more than frontbumper-to-rearbumper of your car.

ALSO ... let's say the truck driver COULD see you when you drive that close ...
Do you REALLY think that your little, tiny Ford Focus can bully that 53', 80,000lbs vehicle out of the way?? Or perhaps you think your "sup'd up" F-350 can make that semi move out of the way...

Uhm. No. Maybe you can bully a Prius out of the way. Not an 18wheeler.

So... I think we've established that there's really no logical point in tailgating an 18-wheeler... not to mention it's rude (as is tailgating anything with less wheels too by the way) and last but not least ... this activity could be lethal!
What if said 18-wheeler has to come to a sudden stop? There's no time for a tailgater to react. You can't see ahead of the trailer... unless you have x-ray vision ... so you don't know what's going on up ahead. The only warning you get is the brake lights on the semi... which, if you're as close to the truck as this Focus was, will not going to give you any time at all to react... which means you'll be slamming face first into the truck, going at least 55mph, maybe more.

But wait.... did I say face first? The fact is, you won't actually be slamming face first into the rear of the truck. No... you'll be under the truck. Your Focus will promptly become topless.
And so will you.

That, my friends, is how you kill a vampire. Decapitation.
And if you're thinking right now "yeah but vampire's aren't real", then you completely missed the point. The point is, you don't want to lose your head & if you play with the big guys this way, chances are you literally will.

(What's that? You weren't tailgating, you were drafting? Um ... yeah ... first of all, Mythbusters proved that even if you are in fact drafting, if you get THAT close to the big rig... you are no longer saving any gas! Furhermore, those couple of dollars you could potentially save on gas by drafting won't mean much if you are dead... no matter where you think you're going in the afterlife, I doubt the currency there will be American dollars....)

I'm not going post any grotesque videos or photos here to illustrate my point.
Personally, I would think the word decapitation is a strong enough deterrent so I'll just put that in here a few more times:

decapitation, decapitation, decapitation!
Translation: It's what happens when you slam into a big rig @ 60mph!

Don't tailgate 18-wheelers!!! It could very well be your last mistake.

(Not to mention that the truck driver has to live with that for the rest of his/her life, even though it was not their fault... That hardly seems fair....)

Now ...... go play nice!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Big Rig Chronicles: Mack Trucks

"The first Mack was a bus and the first bus was a Mack"
True to my word and as promised, here's a post NOT about Kenworth! :-)

This post is kind of long and includes the following:

1. Brief history of Mack & some of their more popular truck models
2. History of the Bulldog (Was the first Bulldog really carved out of.... SOAP??
3. Major "firsts" by Mack
4. Collection of Mack truck photos - some from me, some from

I've been forever trying to put together a "Big Rig Chronicles" piece on the Mack.... Never in my studies of trucks and truck history have I seen such a complete & detailed history. I know the Mack is known far and wide across the world as a solid & well established truck, and boy has this Mack crew been busy since the two Mack brothers formed their company in 1893. (Granted, I realize the crew itself has changed over the course of the 117 years.....)

(MACK Granite )

I must have started compiling info for this post 3-4 times over the course of the past year. Each time I just wound up knee deep (no, forget the knees.... more like "eyeball deep") in info and time lines and I ended up shaking my head & putting my notes away. This time I was determined to at least get some history down in my blog. The Mack is too big of a name and too big of a trucker tradition to leave out.

So I've severely compiled the info I found on I've left out a lot of the company history (name changes, change of owner ship etc etc....) and some of the truck models that came out over the years.... If anyone wants to read more detailed information about the history of the Mack trucks, please visit the Mack website ... trust me, you'll get enough to last you for years :-)) It's a really good read and very interesting, just very hard to compile into a brief blog post ...

Here's my kind of brief compilation ... The photos I've included in the story itself are all borrowed from ...

At the very end of the blog post, I have some MACK photos that I've shot myself along with some genuine MACK photos from .

Enjoy the read!



I don’t know when the phrase “being hit with Mack truck” came into daily usage, but I do know that it had to be after 1893. That’s when 2 Mack brothers, Jack and Augustus, bought out a company that made carriages & wagons and started their own company, only to be joined by a third brother, William, in 1894. Following a steady stream of technological inventions, the Mack brothers wanted to follow suit by producing the more powerful heavy-duty trucks in the world. That was their dream.

In 1900, the Mack brothers introduced the very first Mack to the world. It was a bus! It was used for sightseeing for 8 years.After 8 years, it was converted into a truck and by the time this bus/truck retired, it had 1 million miles of service under its belt (hood, engine … insert your own mechanical part here….).The truck brought Mack into the spotlight and was a major part of its establishment as a reputable truck manufacturer.

1904 Mack Bus (not the one mentioned above)

In 1905, the Mack brothers made Allentown, Pennsylvania, the home of the Mack.

Mack was the very first company to mount the truck cabin over the truck engine. The first cabover saw the daylight in 1905 and that was the “Manhattan” cab-over model.

“Manhattan” was the name the Mack Brothers decided to use for their company’s motorized vehicle
In 1910, they finally dropped the Manhattan name and started putting MACK nameplates on all their vehicles. The Manhattan Motor Company officially became the Mack Motor Truck Company in 1914.
In 1910, Mack produced its first hook & ladder firetruck.

1910 Hook & Ladder Mack Truck

In 1911, the Mack brothers sold off their company and Mack went into “joint custody” to a Mack holding company, International Motor Company, and another truck manufacturer, Saurer Motor Company. John and Joseph Mack continued as directors of the International Motor Company until 1912.

The first standardized Mack was the medium-duty AB that was introduced in 1914. The first model had a chain drive (worm drive), and throughout the next 23 years, it was continually modified and upgraded and a total of over 55,000 units were produced over the course of those years.

1914 AB "worm drive"

In 1916, Mack introduced the AC model. The AC model rose to fame due to its reliability and durability as a truck, it was known for its ability to accomplish nearly impossible tasks, both for civilians as well as military usage. According to Mack, this is the truck gave Mack a degree of international fame that is unmatched by any other truck in history and was manufactured through 1939.

Mack AC truck 1918

Over the next few years, Mack came up with a lot of automotive improvements that became very popular with the automotive industry, I have a brief list of some of them at the end of this post.
In 1927, Mack introduced their BB and BJ series. The demand for trucks with larger storage capacity and higher speed, along with new state regulations for truck sizes and weight limitations, prompted new designs and finer engineering technologies.

BB Mack Truck 1.5 Ton 1928-1932

In 1936, Mack’s E-Series was introduced. It was a series of medium-duty streamlined trucks, gross vehicle weight up to 23,000 lbs. Through 1951, over 78,000 units were produced.

During the 1940s, WW 2, Mack built heavy duty military trucks to support our armed forces.

Mack 1940 NR Model for Allied Forces

1940 DE Mack Model Ambulance

Significant product advancements came from Mack during the 1950s.

The G series was introduced with an 100% aluminum cab for lightweight and ability to carry bigger loads.
The H series, “the Cherry pickers”, had really high cabs but short front-to-rear-bumper dimensions. It was a response to the 45 foot legal limit, so that trucks could still pull 35 ft trailers without exceeding the length limit.
The B series came out in 1953, it had a more rounded appearance and this style seemingly more pleasing to the eye than what was currently being produced, it became a styling standard for all new trucks.

1953 BGI with the rounded body style

Mack built off-highway or mining trucks from 1926 to 1972, from 15 to 100 ton capacity. It's first model was a Mack AP model

1960 M-series off-highway mining truck

Mack LF Coal Hauler

In 1966, the B series was replaced by the R series. Just like its older sibling, the R series became one of the world’s most popular heavy duty trucks

RS 700 Mack Truck - 1966 (starting to look more familiar now? :)

RW Super Liner 1977-1990

Mack F-Model, all-steel, no-sleeper COE, 1962

1990 – After years of Renault gradually buying up stock in Mack, Mack finally becomes a subsidiary of Renault.
1999 – Vision by Mack is born! Commonly seen on the freeways today, the Vision by Mack truck is sleek & stylish, featuring aerodynamic styling & high-tech technologies

Vision by Mack

The Bulldog:
The MAck AC model(ca.1916)is the truck that is credited with giving Mack its bulldog identity.

Here’s a direct quote from explaining how Mack earned its Bulldog reputation:

“The story goes that the British soldiers ("Tommies") would call out when facing a difficult truck problem, "Aye, send in the Mack Bulldogs!" The primary, and generally universal, story is that the British engineers testing AC's and the Tommys in France said that "the Mack AC's have the tenacity of a bulldog." At that time, the symbol of Great Britain was the bulldog, and this was high praise for the trucks. American "Doughboys" expressed the same opinion of the truck.”
The Bulldog was adopted as Mack’s company symbol in 1922. It was drawn first in 1921, showing a bulldog tearing up a book named “Hauling Costs” and the name of his collar is “Mack”.

The first Bulldog AB name plate

Mack’s Chief Engineer, Alfred Masury, was admitted to the hospital for surgery. The engineer wasn’t one to lie about idly while recovering, so he decided to carve a bulldog.Some rumors say that his first bulldog was carved out of a bar of soap, some say it was carved out of wood. He received a patent for his design and this is the bulldog that is being used for Mack hood ornaments today.

Bulldog patent illustration

A few of the many technologies & improvements introduced to the truck world by Mack:

In 1918, Mack became the first truck manufacturer to apply air cleaners and oil filters to trucks.
In 1920, they also came out with the first power brakes on trucks, using a vacuum-booster system.
In 1921, they greatly improved shock resistance by coming up with rubber isolators as cushions in mounting chassis components. This invention became so popular, they had to form a separate company, the Rubber Shock Insulator Company, in order to handle the demand for license agreements with other car companies who wanted to apply this technology to their vehicles.
In 1938, Mack was the first company to produce its own heavy-duty diesel engine, by which they established a tradition of “balanced design” (Quote from in which the integration of the powertrain and vehicle design maximize performance). This is still in use today.
In 1953, Mack introduced the Thermodyne open chamber direct-injection diesel engine, further establishing Mack’s leadership within the diesel technology and fuel efficiency.
1967 – Maxidyne engine is introduced, improving fuel efficiency and reducing the need for shifting by leveling the horsepower curve. With this type of improvement in engineering, a truck with 5-speed transmission could now be used for over-the-road applications, instead of the 10-speed trucks that had been used up till now.
1967 – Maxitorque transmission – first triple countershaft, compact length design for Class 8 trucks, providing a 5-speed transmission only 2/3rd the length of the multi-speed transmissions, welcomed among truckers who were concerned about the gross weight of their vehicle.
1969 – pioneered & patented cab air suspension
1971 – introduced & patented the Dynatard engine brake, the very first engine compression brake.

I'm sure there have been many more patents since... especially in the way of technology.

At last, here are some random Mack truck photos...... because a truck blog isn't really a truck blog unless you include some truck photos :)

The MACK below was photographed one afternoon at a local quarry (Holliday Rock). I see this faithful steed pulling loads up and down the streets a lot, it's almost like we're friends now. lol.

The MACK truck below is one I posted about in May, it's a 1918 MACK truck, now retired & on display @ Griffith Travel town museum. The info I got on this truck did not include the model name, however judging by the time period and the description, I'd say it's probably an AB (although, judging by the strength & the work load this fellow was able to pull, I'm tempted to say it's an AC.... however the grill on the AC photos I've seen don't look like this so I'll stick with the AB for now.... Anyone reading this, please feel free to verify or deny :))

The photos below have been borrowed from

I really hope these truck sites don't mind me using their photos in my posts, it's just that nobody else can do their trucks better justice than they can themselves! I love posting their pics in these blogs so people can get a nice, up-close view of their models.

A lineup of MACK's Pinnacle Series

MACK Pinnacle Smartway

MACK Pinnacle Sleepers

MACK Pinnacle Rawhide Edition

MACK Rawhide

MACK rocks! One simply can't argue with tradition. Their new Highway series looks very nice, I hope to see many more MACKs on the freeway so they can be thoroughly admired up close!