I’ve been to a few custom truck shows around the country. The entrants are all pretty much the same: “classic” styled trucks tricked out with protruding chrome stacks, stretched frames, big hoods and ginormous air cleaners. In other words – a nightmare for efficiency. The custom paint jobs are really the only major difference between many of them. I think it’s cool that owners take pride in their ride, but I’m personally not that impressed with these types of shows. There’s not a lot of
diversity in styling to be found. I’m a subscriber to the adage, “Chrome won’t get you home.” I’m impressed with practicability and you rarely find that at these types of shows.
I’d like to attend a truck show that showcases aerodynamic trucks, showcasing practical after-market customizations that add value to a trucking operation. Sure, the manufacturers of such equipment are always at the big shows, but I’m speaking of actual owner-operators and fleets displaying equipment that they’re currently using. No one can display a product or a service better than one who is successfully using it. What a strange idea – an aerodynamic truck show.
I just got back from a coast to coast run. I didn’t see
many classic styled trucks on the trans-continental interstates. I observed late model, aerodynamic styled trucks that were making the coast to coast trek. Efficiency is especially important on these longer runs. The rate per mile is less than on a shorter, regional run and you must be able to obtain above average fuel economy in order to compete in this market. Blowing black smoke at 5.5 mpg won’t cut it very long against the diesel sipping aero-styled trucks of recent years.
It seems the golden age of technology has finally arrived. Will we continue to dwell in the past where brick wall styling and 1970's technology is still celebrated? As the trucking industry rapidly progresses forward, successful trucking companies and owner-operators will have to stay on the forward edge of efficiency or be left in the dusty past. If you’re an owner of an aerodynamic truck, I want to encourage you to start entering these truck shows and show off the beautiful curves of wind-tunnel tested aerodynamics.