I just love old time truck drivers. I love to hear their stories of the old days of trucking. Sometimes, when I’m cruising across some barren part of the desert or the tumbleweed portions of west Texas, I imagine what it was like to drive the old trucks of the 50’s and 60’s through these areas – even before the interstate highway system was built. I like to recall what it was like to ride with my dad across the country in a spring ride cabover and loving every minute of it. I remember what it was like when two drivers would run together for a while and they would talk about everything under the sun. I get a kick out of it these days when I hear an old timer tell a tall tale on the radio to some wide-eyed newcomer who has no idea he’s yanking his chain. Drivers are full of stories – some of them true and some that are passed on from the generation before. This poem is about an old high-ballin’ driver who has a lot to say about the modifications he has performed to his old truck to make it run ahead of the pack. And I can only imagine the guys who would believe every word of it, only to pass it on to the next generation of unsuspecting drivers.
TALL TRUCKER TALES!
By Trevor Hardwick
The street was singing softly, as I slowly strolled along.
The engine pitched-in harmony, they sang my favorite song.
The C.B. came to life, with some old driver talkin’ smack.
He told me his old Diamond-T, could stomp on this old Mack.
“This I gotta see!” I said, and grabbed another gear.
I rolled my foot back to the floor, and then looked in the mirror.
“Where’d you go?” I hollered back, quite sure of his demise.
I knew I had him beat, cause this ol’ Mack gets up and flies!
All at once, I hear the sound, of thunder in the air.
I got this tingling feeling, on my skin and in my hair.
A flash of light, a sonic boom, the paint peeled off my roof.
I think I even peed a bit, to tell y’all the truth!
The wall of wind he punched me with, was really quite insane.
I had to fight the wheel, just to hold ‘er in my lane.
“Dammit driver! What the heck!! That ain’t even fun.
Slow that som-bitch down, old man, you’re gonna kill someone.”
He calmly answered back to me, “Ain’t she runnin’ good?
Bet you wish you knew, just what I’ve got beneath the hood.
It’s a Big-Cam Cummins Formula, with a Caterpillar crank.
Detroit Diesel pistons, and some jet fuel in the tank.”
“It’s stroked & bored, peaked & tuned, and triple turbo charged.
The injector pump and pick-up sump, were recently enlarged.
Eighteen forward gears, with a four-speed brownie box.
Paired with every power upgrade, Pittsburgh Power stocks.”
He never let go of the mike, it seemed a little strange.
He kept on telling trucker tales, plumb out of C.B. range.
I squelched him out and then went back, to doing my own thing.
I listened close and then I heard, the highway start to sing.