Allow me to indulge myself a bit with my “Editor’s Choice” this month. I have had the privilege of being the editor of 10-4 Magazine for the past 23 years, and over that time have met some great people. Over the years, many have leaned on me for favors, which I gladly oblige (when possible), but a few weeks ago, it was me asking for the favor.
Over the past few years, in my spare time (LOL), I have taken up the hobby of smoking meat. Recently, in an effort to step up my game, I was given the opportunity to get a custom-built smoker trailer from Johnson Smokers in Texas. The order was made – the rig was built – and now it was time to pick it up. Not knowing how to get it from Texas to California, we started to call some of our trucker friends.
One of the first people called was Truett Novosad of Equipment Express in Caldwell, TX. Truett couldn’t help, but he put us in touch with one of his friends – Rj Martin of Taylor Transport in Cartersville, GA. Without hesitation, Rj put the wheels in motion (literally) to get the job done. Putting two of his top drivers – Darrell Jackson and David Houston – together as a team, these guys picked up the unit on a cold morning in Ennis, Texas, and had it to central California the very next day, stopping only once in Barstow for fuel, a shower and a truck wash.
When they arrived to deliver the smoker, it was unloaded by a forklift provided by my local hardware store (Kiper & Kiper in Squaw Valley, CA). And let me tell you, my new smoker rode to California in style, in a Conestoga wagon, being pulled by a beautiful 2013 Kenworth W900L with plenty of “stainless steel sex appeal” (their slogan). Taylor Transport runs about 125 sweet company rigs, like this one, hauling mostly freight for the aerospace industry.
With an almost 5-foot long main chamber with two levels and a vertical smoker/warmer with four racks on top of the fire box, this unit has almost 19 sq. ft. of total cooking surface. It is the perfect competition trailer, and that is what I intend to do with it – in addition to bringing it to some local truck shows. In honor of my trucking connection, I named my BBQ team “Rollin’ Coal Smokers” because everyone likes to roll coal – I just cook meat when I do it! Sorry CARB.
Thanks to everyone who helped get this done, including Chad Johnson, Erik Sieben, Rj Martin, Truett Novosad, Darrell Jackson, David Houston, Dan Kiper and Vic Kasper. It’s nice to know that you have friends out there that are willing to help when you need it. So, keep an eye out for “Rollin’ Coal Smokers” at a competition or truck show out west, and be sure to sample the brisket, because it is off the chain!