The Spirit of the American Trucker – August 2016

“You don’t wanna take advantage of a guy who is down, because you might be his last chance!”
~ Mintu Pandher, Owner, Akal Travel Center, Laramie, Wyoming

AugSpirit2Many of you might be looking at this picture and wondering, “Why the mismatched trailer? That doesn’t look cool!” Well, this month’s “story” is not a story at all – it is a true depiction of what this article is all about and what it represents. My friend Andy Styrczula’s light green Volvo recently broke down bad in Salt Lake City under a load of produce. Mintu Pandher, owner of the Akal Travel Center in Laramie, WY (one of our 10-4 Magazine distributors and my friend) heard about the trouble and immediately sent one of his trucks 400 miles west and then let Andy use it (which is blue and explains the mismatched trailer) for no charge and saved Andy’s load. Why would Mintu do such a generous thing? Well, back in 2003, while pulling a tanker on Christmas Eve, with his wife along for the ride, his transmission suddenly exploded while climbing Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado in the middle of the night. Thankfully, a big pickup truck showed up and a young guy and his girlfriend, on their way home from a Christmas party, stopped to offer the stranded couple help. Turns out the guy is a mechanic of sorts, and there is a 10-speed transmission at the shop where he works. The guy asked Mintu, “If I bring a special dolly back with me, can you install it?” To which Mintu replied, “Sure can!” So, the couple left to get the transmission and tools. Two hours later, Mintu was shocked when they actually came back with everything, including a compressor and an impact gun. They all went to work and, despite a few problems, before long, Mintu and his wife were on their way. They replaced the transmission right there on the side of the road, on a freezing cold Christmas Eve night, and the guy only charged him like $1,500 for the transmission and nothing else. When Mintu asked him why he did what he did, the young man said, “I just knew if I didn’t help you, nobody would, because there is nobody else around here who could.” And that is why Mintu gave that truck to Andy without hesitation. And that, my friends, is the Spirit of the American Trucker!

About Art Czajkowski