That '70s Truck

Hard to believe, but less than 30 years ago a company like Ryder wasn't just spec'ing out trucks, but having exclusive models manufactured for it. Such was the case with the 20 futuristic Paymaster tractors built for Ryder in the early '70s. The Paymaster was invented by Dean Hobbensiefken of Lyons, OR; Ryder claimed the patents in 1974. The design boasted an aerodynamic profile and unique placement of the engine behind the cab. Ryder recently donated a renovated vintage '73 Paymaster to the American Truck Historical Society, for display at the National Automobile and Truck Museum in Auburn, IN.

Fashion statement

Trucking gets its due on this hand-made shirt uncovered by our intrepid reporter. Self-taught seamstress Susan Penn of Austin, TX, has been fashioning these one-of-a-kind garments for 30 years.

Now a full-time career, her shirt-making was originally done for the model shown, her brother-in-law Bill Kirchen, who played lead guitar for Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, and for Ray Benson, lead singer for Asleep At The Wheel.

“I don't like to just make a shirt,” she notes. “What I really like to do is talk to the person, find out what they like, and so put a piece of their personality into it.”

Helping hand

Kenworth has donated this 1995 T600 to Boise State University's Selland College of Applied Technology for use in the school's heavy-duty diesel technician and truck-driving programs. “Without the help of the trucking industry, we wouldn't be able to offer a quality program. We're indebted to Kenworth and the Tribar Kenworth dealership,” says Marlin Gaines, head of the program. “Students who decide to make trucking a career are the lifeblood of our industry,” notes Ed Caudill, KW gm and Paccar vp. “We're happy to support what we feel is one of the leading university programs in the country.”

Straight talk

“Trucking failures in 2001 are estimated to be about 4,000, more than double the average annual rate of the previous 15 years.”
— Clarence “C.L.” Werner, chairman & CEO of TL carrier Werner Enterprises, Omaha, NE.



LETTER OF THE MONTH

I had quite a surprise the other day coming up Route 287 in New Jersey. A flatbed tractor-trailer passed me and the driver called me on the CB radio and asked if I was Keith Herzig.

I have the America's Road Team decals and my name with “2000 ATA National Champion Twins Class” on both sides of the sleeper. He had just read your magazine and was so impressed with your article (“Independent Voice,” 11/01, pg. 38) that he asked me for my autograph!

I have been fortunate through my Road Team selection to have been interviewed a number of times and this is a very impressive interview. Usually something gets either taken out of context (always scary) or deleted. I am very impressed with the article and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.
— Keith Herzig
Herzig Hauling

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