“Old School” is a term thrown around a lot lately, but not many drivers truly exemplify what it means these days. “Old School” is not a paint scheme or a certain truck – it’s a gracious, humble, classy attitude. Jason Hatch of Loveland, Colorado is one of these “Old School” drivers, but the truck he drives might lead you to believe otherwise. Jason and his family love Mack trucks, and they wouldn’t want to drive anything else!
Born in La Salle, Colorado, Jason Hatch (44) has been involved in trucking all his life. A third generation truck driver, for decades the Hatch family has been known in Colorado for their perpetual use of Mack trucks. It will come as no surprise, then, that Jason learned to drive in a Mack owned by his father, Jim Hatch (69) – a V8-powered F-model cabover. Earning his CDL at 22 after serving in the U.S. Navy (on both the U.S.S. Enterprise and U.S.S Abraham Lincoln), Jason has been driving ever since, and almost exclusively in Mack trucks, as well (his last truck was a well-known, V8-powered Superliner).
When it came time to update after his ’84 Superliner, the choice was obvious – another Mack! Seen on these pages is Jason Hatch’s most recent ride, a 2007 Mack CH613 (although he will be adamant to tell you it’s the company’s ride, not his). Nicknamed “Naugahyde” by the family, the truck is certainly unique. When you climb into the cab you’d swear you were sitting in a “Rawhide” edition Mack, but that isn’t so. When the Hatch family ordered the truck, the “Rawhide” was a distinct model and could only be ordered with a stand-up sleeper. Not wanting a stand-up sleeper but still wanting the “Rawhide” interior, Jason and his father Jim went to work sprucing up the inside with Rawhide details, and thus, the nickname “Naugahyde” was born.
Jason’s classy ride is a thoroughbred Mack from stem to stern. With all Mack componentry, the truck features a 490-horsepower Mack E7 engine, an 18-speed Maxitorque transmission and 3.62 ratio Mack rear-ends, and it all sits on a 265-inch Mack chassis. If Mack made tires, even the tires on the Hatch family rigs would be Mack-branded! Painted classic black with a blue breaker stripe, the truck features 6-inch Dynaflex pipes with Quiet Spool internal mufflers, Hogebuilt quarter fenders, a Dieter’s 13-inch drop-visor, and many unique touches, like the Bulldog’s “helmet” (a lug nut cover on top of the hood ornament). The most recent addition to the truck, an S & V aluminum brush-guard with Cibie fog lights on the front, took the rig from being a tricked-out black Mack to being darn-near the modern equivalent of Kris Kristofferson’s “Rubber Duck” R-model – especially considering that the primary trailer Jason pulls is a tanker!
Jason’s #1 trailer is a 2008 Beall DOT406 9500-gallon, 4-compartment tanker. The 42’-6” tanker, painted to match by Duck’s Painting in Billings, Montana, also features Truck-Lite LED lighting throughout. Primarily hauling various fuels, Jason can also be seen pulling flatbeds, lowboys, belly and end-dumps, hot-oil tankers and basically anything he can hook behind his Mack. And that’s just the beginning of where Jason’s old-school attitude shows. There’s no load too ugly and no trailer too obnoxious for him to hook to. As he puts it, he is a truck driver, not a fuel hauler or a flat-bedder – a truck driver.
But, Jason’s old-school mentality goes far deeper than just hauling whatever can fit behind his bulldog. So often anymore, when we see someone with their four-ways flashing on the side of the road, we just drive on by. In too much of a hurry to get where we’re going, we don’t think of how the five-minutes we may spend helping that person could be a life-saver for them. But, Jason is one of those who will stop and lend a hand, and I know this from first-hand experience.
Hauling paving equipment for a highway job one night, the pony-motor on the lowboy suddenly died on me. Trying every trick I knew to get it started, nothing was happening (turns out it was a design flaw with the exhaust system choking the motor itself). Having no PTO or wet-kit on my truck, I was in a bind with paving equipment advancing towards me (and it’s not cheap to hold up a highway job). Since I was only a few minutes from Jason’s place and I knew he had a wet kit on his truck, I decided to call him – at 11:00 at night – for help. Jason didn’t hesitate to jump in the truck and head my way. All you “old school” truckers out there should take note – THAT is what “old school” trucking is all about, not just a 70s paint job!
Love or hate Mack trucks, Jason Hatch and the entire Hatch family have proven just what the trucks can do, and they’re some of the best folks you’ll ever meet. A lot of people like to claim to be old-school, but if you want a real lesson in what it means to wear that badge, take a look at drivers like Jason. It’s not just about the money or the lifestyle, it’s about doing your best and helping others to do their best, too.
Jason would like to thank his wife of 19 years, Andrea, and his two boys, James (19), who is a freshman at the University of Wyoming, and Jarrett (16), who is a senior at Roosevelt High School, for their love and support of his sickness for trucks. He would also like to thank his father, Jim Hatch, for all he has done to help him get involved with trucking, as well as his mom, Lois Ann Thompson. Jason also wanted to thank his friends, helpers and mentors, including Freddy “Freeloader” Schlundt, Larry “Tinker” Cole, Curt Penley, Brian O’Leary, Bud “Hi-Pockets” Engelbrecht, Allen Moffat, Ross Boxleitner, Clyde Green, Rick “Flash” Rickard, T.J. Valencia, Lloyd “Clipper” Ramsey, Wilkins Truck Chrome, Tony and Brandon Beckstead, Tom “Hootie” Hooton, Jerry Madsen, and last but not least, Ray Murphy (Jason’s grandfather).
We at 10-4 Magazine would like to thank Jason for his time and commitment to the photo shoot. Taking it very seriously, Jason spent plenty of time getting as many details clocked in just right (even in the rain), and we like seeing that sort of dedication at 10-4 Magazine. I would like to extend a personal thank you to Jason, as well, for not even hesitating to roll-up when I needed help. Since the first time Jason and I spoke, it’s like we were old friends. It’s rare to meet an old school hand like that anymore, but so long as driver’s like Jason Hatch and his entire family are around, this industry will survive. Class knows no brand – and sometimes it even comes wrapped in a subtle but rugged black bulldog!