Growing up on a farm in Georgia, Vann Brown learned the value of hard work. That work ethic would come in handy when he started his own company and began producing BullSnot products. Going to work at the Mount Vernon Textile Mill in Alto, GA where his mom and dad worked, to pay his way through college, Vann worked as a floater, meaning he did all the jobs in the plant, even opening bales of cotton. While in school, he took chemistry classes to further himself in the company when he graduated, but little did he know, it would be his own company that would benefit from it.
After graduation, Vann moved to Trion, GA and became part of building a research and development department from scratch. Dyeing and finishing fabric is chemistry, and it’s called a wet process. He helped develop processes for denim, that included the stonewash look, along with a lot of other denim looks. The mill produced three million square yards of denim and four million square yards of other fabric a week and, back then, employed 2,800 people. After 12 years there, the opportunities to advance were not there, so Vann moved on from wet process chemistry to polymers, which included developing plastic from corn, a sustainable resource.
In 2005, Vann decided to start his own company and called it Brown Ox Ventures. His first product was a do it yourself tire mounting lubricant that was slicker than anything else on the market. The name BullSnot was born from taking the company name “Bull” and the snotty consistency of the product “Snot” and mashing them together. Marketing was focused on the automotive industry in the beginning, but now the products are developed with trucker’s needs put first. This product is used today by many major corporations for the safety of their employees, as well as the efficiency of the product – it won’t burn your skin or eyes, and it is not harmful if ingested.
A friend introduced Vann to singer, songwriter, and trucker, Tony Justice, and after their first fishing trip, they became friends. Tony told Vann that he should be going to truck shows to help promote his products, so that is exactly what he did. Talking to truckers, he began asking them what products they wanted and needed (he didn’t want to make products that were already out there doing a good job). The drivers were asking for a good bug remover, especially one to clean those infamous and awful Florida Love Bugs.
Creating this product took longer because aerosol science is different from the wet chemistry that Vann was more familiar with. But he was successful, and as well as being an awesome bug remover, it is also a great glass cleaner. Tony and Vann came up with the name VizABull, and from there, an entire herd of “ABull” products was born.
The next request was for a tire shine that didn’t hold on to dust and sling off when you started driving. I am in total agreement about this one! The result was a product that has zero sling and a shine that doesn’t attract dust. There is a 15 second rule built into all the Bull products – apply the product, wait 15 seconds, and then wipe it off. This is true for all of Vann’s products.
The idea for BlastABull Odor Eliminator originated at MATS after talking to drivers who slip seat, especially if one driver smokes and the other one doesn’t, or one has a pet, and the other doesn’t. This product doesn’t mask the odor, it eliminates it on a molecular level, eliminating the odor molecule, and even eliminates smoke odors. This product is also popular with police departments after transporting drunks.
I asked Vann about scents, and he told me that he wanted the user to have a pleasant experience with his products, not harsh chemical smells. When I asked him about the odor eliminator scent, it’s orange blossom and pine together. I have always thought the smell of orange blossoms is how heaven should smell, and there is nothing like the pine smell in places like the top of Donner Pass. But I wouldn’t have thought of putting those two scents together. This combination came to Vann while on a ride at Disney World where you have not only visual stimulations, but smells, as well.
There are 10 products in the line right now: VizABull Glass Cleaner, ShineABull Tire Butter & Conditioner, GreaseABull H.D. Metal Lubricant, PolishABull Detail Cleaner & Polish, BlastABull Odor Eliminator, WaxABull Accelerated Detail Wax, VanishABull Carpet Spot Cleaner, HideABull Leather Cleaner & Conditioner, DashABull Interior Detail Cleaner, and MountABull Tire Mounting Lubricant. Two products are in development with a projected release of fall 2022 including AlumABull Aluminum Wheel Cleaner & Polish and CureABull Trucker Hand Balm. This is being specifically designed for truckers with rusted knuckles. Simply apply the product, rub your hands together for 60 seconds, and boom! And it’s non-greasy and fast drying, as well.
With a “posse” of drivers that test Vann’s products and give him honest opinions of how they work out on the road, his posse includes Tony Justice, John Highley, Harold Hacker, Trucker G, Doc Blackmon, Joe Denney, Idella Hansen, Alex Mai (aka Muther Trucker), Trucker Josh, Paul Marhoefer, Tony Burns, and David Hittson. I was also surprised to learn that Vann has to have a DOT license to ship and receive Hazardous Materials, and he has to renew it every three years. I guess they don’t just check trucks!
Back in the day, Vann traveled the world teaching wet chemistry to people in other countries, working with people in the fashion industry, when he worked with the textile mill. Now, based in Dalton, GA (www.brownox.com), Vann is happy to be working with the men and women who move our nation, and creating products that not only work, but can also make our lives just a little bit easier. Developing and producing his products, which are basically chemistry for truckers, Vann Brown is helping “cleanup” the trucking industry, one can of BullSnot at a time.