Transporting chemicals is serious business, and Industrial Chemicals Corp. of Arvada, Colorado knows this. A long standing hazmat operation located in the Denver-Metro area, Industrial Chemicals Corp. (ICC) operates the boldly-styled green Harley-Davidson Limited Edition International LoneStar seen on these pages. Driven by ICC veteran Clyde Carroll, the truck is a unique head-turner wherever it goes, if for no other reason than it is a LoneStar (you still do not see many of them out there on the road).
Supplying everything from acetic acid to octyl phenol ethoxylates (say that three times fast), ICC’s history dates back to 1955. Founded originally as “Denver Packaging Company” by John Hasslacher, the operation began with seven trucks, notably painted a lemon yellow color. Originally located on the South Platte River, close to where Coors Field now stands, the company would move to its current location, which was originally an undeveloped industrial stretch of Arvada, in 1970. That same year, Gary Biesemeier would join the ICC team, and with Mr. Biesemeier came new trucks.
Replacing the lemon yellow fleet which included, among other trucks, a Diamond T cabover, a GMC snub-nose and a large Ford flatbed straight-truck, the company began running conventional rigs painted in their now-signature ICC Green color, trimmed in silver and gold. By 1975, Gary Biesemeier had become president and owner of ICC, and now functions as CEO and Chairman of the Board. Under the leadership of the current president Robert Wilson II, ICC expanded their property in Arvada from what was no less than a vacant lot to the large Biesemeier Industrial Park it is now with 50,000 square feet of warehousing space, over 700,000 gallons of chemical storage space, and operating a nice fleet consisting of 13 tractors and 21 trailers. By 1996, they opened a branch location in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and they recently acquired an adjacent plot to expand their Arvada, CO headquarters in the near future. The company currently employs 32 individuals (which includes 2nd generation Biesemeiers).
One of ICC’s veteran employees, chemical relocation specialist Clyde Carroll, is the lucky driver who gets to operate this pride of the fleet – a green 2011 International Harley-Davidson Limited Edition LoneStar. Powered by a 550 horsepower ISX Cummins mated to an 18-speed Eaton transmission and turning 3.55 rear-ends, the truck rides on 11R24.5 tall rubber all the way around. Outfitted with a 12,000-lb. steer axle and 40,000-lb. rears, the truck sits on a 280-inch wheelbase and features plenty of chrome. Dominated by the enormous D-model International-inspired grille (from the 1930s) and deep-drop bumper, this special edition LoneStar features 7-inch exhaust stacks, a drop-visor, tool and battery boxes, and hubcaps featuring silhouettes of the Harley-Davidson logo. With lots of extra lighting, the truck also features a highly-polished rear frame cover, as well as fiberglass rear fenders (which also have the Harley-Davidson logo silhouettes on them).
To any LoneStar purist, however, the most noticeable feature of the truck is the paint job. International makes very little available in the way of spec’s when a customer orders one of these Limited Edition Harley-Davidson trucks, and the black, silver and orange paint job is sacred and unchangeable. When ICC ordered the truck, International was immovable on the issue of paint, so the moment the truck reached Denver it received a new coat of paint in the classic ICC Green with silver and gold accent striping. It may not be factory and it may not be purist, but, ugly it is not. The interior, done in grey and black, features a lot of leather, which includes leather air-ride seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Exceedingly quiet, the interior of the LoneStar also features a distinct row of four gauges across the center console inset in a brushed aluminum panel. With a quarter-million miles already on the truck, it’s just now getting broken in!
Operating trailers including fuel tankers, thin-wall tanks, dry vans, and insulated chemical tanks, Clyde Carroll can often be seen pulling on of their two-compartment insulated tankers, like the one seen here on these pages, between Denver and the Gulf Coast. Originally from the Arkansas Valley near Pueblo, Colorado, 64 year-old Clyde Carroll has been driving for Industrial Chemicals Corporation cumulatively for over 30 years. A self-taught driver, Clyde’s career began at 17 years old in 1965 when he obtained his Chauffeurs License (the license which pre-dated the modern CDL). With 47 years of driving behind him, Clyde remembers driving clear over the Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains with 6-71s, 5-speed boxes and 3-speed rear-axles. Though he has spent a great deal of his career with Industrial Chemicals Corporation, Clyde has also spent time hauling cattle, produce, milk, gas and diesel, in addition to pulling
flatbeds and double-drops. Needless to say, with over 30 years of dedicated service to ICC, he has certainly earned the sharp ride on these pages.
Clyde is truly an old-school driver through and through. In fact, we spent as much time during the shoot talking about the changing industry as we did shooting the truck. With numerous tools and numerous odds-and-ends, valves and fittings, Clyde comes from an era when doing whatever it took to get the job done wasn’t exceptional – it was the norm. Keeping the seemingly forgotten attitude of hard work and pride in one’s job alive in an age of steering wheel holders, electronic logs, and tracking units is unique, indeed.
We at 10-4 Magazine would like to thank Industrial Chemicals Corporation and Clyde Carroll for putting in the time and effort to have the truck ready for the shoot. Chemical transportation can often mean inflexible schedules, but both ICC and Clyde made sure the truck was prepared the very next day after running down to the Gulf Coast and back with a load. We appreciate that extra little bit of dedication that people put into the trucks that we feature in the magazine.
Transporting chemicals that range from mild to caustic (and sometimes severely dangerous) is no place for a haphazard business. In an industry that has been flooded by many low buck, zero-maintenance companies, Industrial Chemicals Corporation of Arvada, CO and drivers like Clyde Carroll prove the value of not only professionalism, but pride in operation. And with tenure extending nearly six decades, we hardly think the future success of ICC is at question. A family operation at its core, Industrial Chemicals Corporation is here to stay – and make a bold statement!