This month I decided to do a drawing, instead of a poem, in honor of my good friend, Steve Chandler (who just happens to be on the cover this month). I met Steve back in 2006 when he offered me a job driving his beautiful 1999 Peterbilt 379. That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted for over a decade.
As a driver for Steve, I was treated with the utmost respect. If he says something, he means it, and his word is solid as stone (Steve isn’t one of those guys who’ll tell you what you want to hear just to get you to do something). And, if an issue ever comes up, he prefers to deal with it right away. I respect and do my best to emulate his “no nonsense” way of doing business.
While I’ve always tried to follow in my dad’s footsteps, I have also learned a lot about running my own business by utilizing the skills and practices that I learned from Steve. Anyone who knows Steve – or his trucks – would have to agree that his “no-nonsense” business ethics also translates to his particular taste and style, with regards to all of the trucks he has owned.
Steve has a reputation for keeping that clean, simple, understated yet elegant look. From his silver and gray 359 to the slick blue W900 he owns now, each of his trucks have embraced the natural beauty they were born with, plus a few subtle upgrades that sharpen them up without going too far or overboard.
This drawing is of Steve’s first truck – an old International Transtar 4300. Technically, a 4307, since it had the longer hood, Steve was certainly turning heads with this clean Binder back in the day. This was the truck he was napping in, near the Cow Palace exit in Frisco Bay, when he woke up to his truck shaking. At first, he thought that someone had climbed up on the step to wake him up, but as it turned out, it was an earthquake (the one that collapsed Candlestick Park and portions of the Oakland Bay Bridge back in 1989).
I love talking with Steve about the earlier days in his trucking career. We tend to laugh a lot about the antics of our earlier days, and I really enjoyed drawing this picture of his clean old International. I used lead pencil, colored pencils and Sharpie markers to complete the task, and, honestly, it was refreshing to draw something other than a Peterbilt, a Kenworth or a Freightliner, for once.
Steve… thanks for being a great mentor and friend. You’ve influenced me in many ways – just look at my KW and you can see how I was inspired by you! And, much of the success I have had as an Owner Operator I have you to thank for. You and Diane are truly great friends to Alicia and me. Enjoy this picture, and congrats for making the cover of 10-4 Magazine!