Truck calendar time!

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While these trucks may not have showroom shines and picked up a little mud on the tires, we think they still look great.” –Tom Schoening, marketing and communications manager for the Sioux City Truck Sales dealer group

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This is the time of year when all sort of truck-themed calendars start crossing my desk; some from OEMs, others from dealerships, even fleets on occasion.

Joining the calendar craze this year is the Sioux City Truck Sales (SCTS) dealer group, which created its very own 2010 calendar featuring all sorts of colorful photos of local working trucks in the area served by its Peterbilt stores in: Sioux City, Des Moines, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, as well as its location in Norfolk, Nebraska.

Free while supplies last, SCTS’ calendar really celebrates both the past and present of the truck business in big, bold colors. It’s also a “do-it-yourself” project of sorts created by Tom Schoening, SCTS’ marketing and communications manager, a former journalist that served as the calendar's photographer, designer, and chief critic.

“Many photos were taken on the job – work trucks in action on location,” he said. “In addition to newer models, several vintage classics are included.”

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Everything from the latest Peterbilt medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty tractors – sporting both traditional and aerodynamic styling -- built into crane trucks, tankers, wreckers, delivery vans and other specialty configurations, share space with vintage models such as a 1975 cabover and a 1978 wrecker.

[Click here to take a look at Tom’s work; I guarantee you, it is top notch.]

Another good one starting to hit mailboxes across the county is Volvo Trucks North America’s latest installment of the “Ironmark Tour” calendar. I like this compilation because it doesn’t just show scenic views of trucks; no, a lot of detail goes into each month’s featured series of photographs.

For the 2010 Ironmark tour calendar, each month highlights a particular place in the U.S., featuring a Volvo truck in five distinct shots. Along the left hand side of each page in the calendar is a detailed description of the area where each set of photos was taken.

For example, February highlights the town of Kenora, Ontario, founded in 1882 and home to just over 15,000 souls. You learn that the lake near the town offers some of the finest fishing in the world for walleye, small mouth bass, muskie, and lake trout. And if you are a hockey fanatic, you’ll discover Kenora is the hometown of NHL hall of famer Silas Griffis.

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The photos of Volvo VN 780 featured in February are striking; in one of them, the photographer got a great shot of the reflection of hundreds of stacked tree trunks in the high-gloss shine of the tractor’s cab -- an awesome artistic shot, if you ask me.

[The internet link for the 2010 calendar isn’t active yet, but you can thumb through the 2009 version by clicking here.]

It just goes to show that the ubiquitous commercial truck is more than just a tool of commerce; they are also beautifully crafted pieces of machinery that can rightfully claim title to the word “art,” even if they don’t sport a ton of far-out paint and chrome.

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