Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Trucking goes to the dogs

“Scratch a dog and you’ll find a permanent job.” – Franklin P. Jones

If I’ve learned anything working for OOIDA and Land Line, it’s that trucking is hard work, probably 10 times harder than it looks. It’s like the world is against you – four-wheelers zipping around your truck; anti-idling laws keeping you hot in the summer and freezing in the winter; mountains of paperwork for your truck, your CDL and each load you haul; headaches from brokers, law enforcement, shippers and receivers. What a pain in the … butt.

With all the difficulties in the industry, it’s so nice to take a break and have a little fun, and maybe look at trucking in a different way. That’s perhaps why truck beauty shows like SuperRigs were created.

Last week was the first time I’ve attended a SuperRigs show, and it was really great to see that trucking isn’t always tough times and rotten deals.

The trucks were beautiful, and I was so amazed by the fact that they’re working trucks and trailers. I think it takes a special type of dedication and love for the business to maintain such a gorgeous working vehicle.

I have a confession, though. While I came for the trucks, I stayed for the pets. The moment I learned those clever SuperRigs people would be holding a pet contest, there was no way I was going to miss it.

Despite the miserable humidity and heat, nine pets competed in five categories. The competition was hosted by Shell Rotella’s SuperRigs Coordinator Lindsey Benton with a little help from musician Joey Holiday, who loaned us his stage for the event.

There was a little barking, a bit of shedding and a lot of slobbering, but they were all good sports. It could have been twice as hot and everyone still would have considered it totally fun.

The winners were chosen by audience applause and they are:

– Biggest Pet: Olde English Bulldogge Brandy and her human, Ed;

– Smallest Pet: Husband-and-wife team Chihuahuas Paco and Chica and their human, Ann;

– Smallest Pet Honorable Mention: Miniature Pinscher Judy and her human, David;

– Best Trick: Boston Terriers Turbo Diesel and Sweet Abigail who played dead with the help of their human, Bret;

– Best Trick Honorable Mention: Poodle Mindy who fetched a stuffed toy cat thrown by her human, Paul;

– Look-a-Like: Ed the human and Olde English Bulldogge, Brandy;

– Best in Show: Capuchin Monkey Layla and her human, Maria; and

– Pug-Chihuahua mix Jazz who also competed with his human, OOIDA tour truck co-driver Pam Hart.

You can follow Jazz and the tour truck, “The Spirit of the American Trucker” on Twitter.

For photos of all the competitors and their humans, click here.