You may remember Mutt Tayman from an article I did about Alban Engine’s Power Day 2002 a few months ago. Mutt was the owner-operator who put 1007 horsepower to the ground and won that event this past May. Mutt was crowned “King of the Dyno” as a result of that win. Well, here is a little story about the Mutt!
William “Mutt” Tayman was born in 1935 on a tobacco farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The Tayman’s house had no electricity or bathroom. In fact, the Mutt’s house was without electricity until he was 15 years old. Life was tough for Mutt. He had to plow the fields with two horsepower - that’s right, he walked behind two horses pulling a single 12-inch plow and plowed 140 acres. It’s no wonder why this man is addicted to horsepower.
As Mutt awoke each day he had two choices: either work in the tobacco fields or walk to school. His school was only 1.5 miles away. His body knew that walking behind the plow all day was hard work. School, which was a quaint one-room schoolhouse, was usually Mutt’s choice. At school, he never got away with anything. With only thirteen students in his class, the teacher, unlike today’s, usually knew what everyone was up to!
His first tractor was a 1943 Farmall. Mutt still has this piece of equipment in the family barn today. This tractor used gasoline or kerosene for fuel. At age 15 Mutt started driving a truck - a 1950 Ford F8 that hauled soybeans and corn to Baltimore. In 1958 Mutt purchased a new Ford F8 dump truck, which he used until 1963 when he purchased a 1963 Autocar. Mr. Tayman never liked small engines so he purchased another Autocar in 1967 with an NTC 335 Cummins engine and Fuller 13-speed transmission. Talk about being the “king” - 335 horsepower in 1967!
Now Mutt was on a roll. In 1970 he bought a new Peterbilt with a V-12 Detroit Diesel. Keep in mind that this was a tandem dump truck with 12 cylinders and only three axles. The Peterbilt apparently satisfied his desire for power because he ran this truck for 9 years. In 1979 he ordered a new Peterbilt tractor with a KTA 600 Cummins engine and a 12-5-15-speed transmission. He waited eleven months to get this truck and then picked it up at the Peterbilt factory himself. He apparently didn’t want anyone else to drive his beloved “K” before he got to.
Mutt is still driving this 1979 Pete today. The engine has never been out of the chassis. During the last rebuild, a set of twin turbos and hydraulic variable timing was installed, along with a huge set of injectors and a high volume fuel pump built by Pat Sharp of Diesel Injection of Pittsburgh. This old faded blue Pete produces serious horsepower - 1007 to the ground!
The morning of May 18th, the date of Alban Engine’s Power Day, was cool and rainy. It didn’t take long for the parking lot to fill with beautiful trucks. But the Mutt was cool. He pulled his old Peterbilt through the parking lot and to the side of the building, almost out of sight from the spectators. We had no idea what was under the hood until curiosity got the best of us. Jerry Ray Hairhogger slid under the truck and was shocked to see a twin turbo “K”. Not only was Mutt the oldest owner-operator in attendance, but every other truck outshined his. Mutt’s Pete was a true “sleeper” indeed. This man is so cool he never said a word or showed any emotions - even when his truck was backed onto the Dyno.
After the old Pete was chained and strapped, the shifter was placed in gear and the clutch came out. The dyno rollers started to turn as the spectators watched the horsepower begin to climb. More fuel, more horsepower, more fuel again. The engine roared as the truck shook like a wild animal. As the roar got louder the horsepower continued to climb. When the power hit 1,000 HP the crowd went wild. The top horsepower was 1007 to the rear wheels. That’s somewhere between 1185 and 1258 flywheel horsepower, and well over 3,000 pounds feet of torque through a 1200 pounds feet of torque transmission. This transmission was rebuilt only once in 23 years of driving. You see, when properly driven, high horsepower does not harm the drivetrain.
So, the next time your driving around the beltway of Washington DC, keep your eye out for a faded blue Pete, pulling a dump trailer, with the name “Mutt” on the driver’s door. You will have just spotted the king of Capital Hill!
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