Cross-Continental Cool

I am going to go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that there probably were not a lot of kindergartners in Scotland in the mid-1980s that raised their hand at career day in class and said, “I’m going to have one of the nicest Peterbilts in Canada, and run it down throughout the United States every week.” Hell, I’d have dug out a crisp $20 bill to just simply see the look on the teacher’s face! Well, for Iain Richmond (35) of Alberta, Canada, this is exactly how it all turned out. Thanks to some opportunities that were not passed-up, this “kid” eventually became the poster-child for “cool” after a cross-continental move.

Born in Dumfries, Scotland in 1982, Iain was raised in a rather hard-working and industrious family. His father Niall owned a few gravel trucks and operated a successful mobile repair business. Iain’s grandfather Thomas was a lifelong trucker, and quite the gardener, from what I was told (he loved to work out in the family garden almost as much as drive). His uncles, Keith and Colin, were also drivers in Scotland, and they would often run into the UK, and even throughout Europe, as far as Portugal, Southern Spain and Germany.

Growing up in Scotland, many of Iain’s young and impressionable years were spent with his dad and grandfather (when he wasn’t in school). He really enjoyed riding around in his father’s mobile repair shop truck, helping him work on all sorts of trucks, in various environments. Every day was different, and a lot of times the two of them would end up out in the middle of nowhere on a logging job, turning wrenches on everything from the loading equipment to the cool trucks that hauled the logs. Needless to say, Iain’s favorite part was working on the blue and red log trucks owned by M & H Smith, a local Scottish logging company from their area.

Remembering the times spent with his grandfather, Thomas, are some of Iain’s favorite memories. Riding around in his trucks, including his two-tone blue F12 Volvo cabover, with Iain “steering” as a toddler, are memories seared into this brain. There were many Sunday mornings where Iain’s grandfather would come get him and take him down to the local creamery where the two of them would pre-load trucks for most of the morning. Typically, in those days, Iain’s family would have dinner at his grandparent’s house every Sunday, so it was almost a ritual that Iain and his grandfather would stop and pick up the Sunday paper, and then never be late for the Sunday dinner!

One thing was for sure, Iain never had to worry about being bored while he was growing up. There was always something new to do. In 1997, his family made the decision to pack up and move “across the pond” to Alberta, Canada. Iain was only 14 at the time, but he acclimated to living in Alberta quickly, and especially loved the cool trucks there. Iain’s dad continued his mobile repair business in Alberta, which again gave Iain the chance to learn more about trucks, and to simply be around them (there was a lot of cool Canadian iron around). If Iain wasn’t working with his dad, he was in school or playing soccer, but other than that, you could find him hanging around the trucks.

In 2001, after graduating from high school, Iain went to work for a custom combine crew, harvesting many acres of land for the agricultural industry. This custom combining crew/company would harvest not just in Alberta, but would work the land clear down into Texas! Working this particular job proved to Iain that he loved being mobile, but from there on out, he wanted to be mobile in a cool truck. That came to be just a little over a year later when, in the fall of 2002, Iain took a driving job for Bruce Farms, a grain-hauling company, pulling B-train hopper trailers, and driving a cool red 2000 L-model Kenworth. And from there, he was hooked!

A year or so later, Iain hopped in a white 1998 Freightliner cabover and started hauling livestock for Meston Livestock Company. Later, he jumped seats into a dark blue 2003 Freightliner Classic with a big stand-up sleeper, also owned by Meston. In 2007, he bought a gray and black Freightliner Classic with a flattop and continued pulling for Meston. Around 2010, Iain decided to sell his Freightliner and look around for a good flatbedding gig. It didn’t take long for Kirk Ammann, son of Terry Ammann, and owner of Calgary-based Stingray Express, along with Terry’s wife Sandy, to convince Iain to come drive one of their trucks. Iain figured, “Heck, I can’t go wrong here – nice trucks and great people… why not!”

Working hard, Iain quickly became part of the Stingray family, hauling into British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, with some Utah runs mixed in, and even a few occasional loads to Texas and Kansas. Iain knew he had found a good home at Stingray, but it got even better in 2012 when Terry and Kirk offered to sell him their blue 2007 Peterbilt Legacy, originally owned by Allen Tuttle. Iain’s response was quick and enthusiastic. And by the looks of his current classy ride seen in some of these pictures, it is safe to say Iain’s answer was, “Yes!” If you ask Iain, he’ll always tell you that going to work for Stingray was the best decision that he ever made, because they really spoil him.

Just when Iain thought life couldn’t get any better, he met the love of his life. While out and about one night, doing his own thing, he met a young lady named Christy. Over the course of time, Iain and Christy talked quite a bit, but they never officially started dating until after Christy introduced Iain to her beautiful daughter McKayla, who was around six years old at the time (McKayla has a condition called Angelman Syndrome which is a genetic disorder that causes some developmental disabilities and neurological problems, like difficulty speaking and walking). Christy wasn’t about to rush into anything, but after seeing how quickly and genuinely that McKayla and Iain bonded, Christy knew she had found her Mr. Right. A few years and many good memories later, Iain and Christy got married in Alberta in 2017. Then, to top that off, Christy gave birth to their son Thomas Richmond just a few months ago.

If you ask Iain and Christy, they’ll tell you that things keep getting better and better in their life – and that’s how it should be. When asked about any life advice Iain might want to share, he said, “If you get an opportunity, take it!” – and I’ve got to say, that is pretty spot-on (there is nothing worse than a wasted or missed opportunity). Over the last few years, Iain and I have spent many afternoons at truck stop dinner tables, from Spokane to Portland, and he and Christy have even come down to our truck cruise in Junction City, OR several times in the summer. In my opinion, you just can’t find better people! Thank you, Iain Richmond, for letting us share your cross-continental journey. You and your Stingray family are some of the coolest people I know. Keep taking advantage of those good opportunities, and life will continue to get even better!

About Bryan Welsh

Bryan Welsh’s love for trucking, both old and new, probably began while rolling around in his custom lit-up Radio Flyer wagon with chrome wheels when he was a kid. Over the years he has owned, built and driven several trucks and his involvement and pride in the trucking industry has only grown. Bryan, who writes from both “the road” and his home in Junction City, Oregon, has been a regular contributor to 10-4 Magazine since October 2009.