Clyde Green came out on a rainy Saturday to show off his truck at the Shell Rotella Super Rigs Truck Show in Gillettewith a 1982 Kenworth W908 he bought in 2003. On the driver’s side door is his name, and on the passenger side is his wife’s name, Melody, with a musical note next to it.
He said the truck had seen a lot of road when he bought it, but has held together well.
“It was a wee bit rough, but it had pretty good bones,” Green said.
Back In The Day
Green said the road has changed a lot over the years, and trucking isn’t as fun as it used to be. There’s a lot more traffic and some of the younger drivers aren't always as hard as the veteran drivers.
Green grew up in La Grange, northeast of Cheyenne. He started trucking full-time in 1978 when you could get a Wyoming commercial drivers license at 16.
“Of course, that’s what I did,” Green said.
Back in the 1970s, he’d usually make the run from Cheyenne to Salt Lake City, Utah.
“We made trips across I-80 where you couldn't even see the end of the hood, but they never closed the road. And that was because everybody kind of knew how to drive. It’s just a lot different now,” Green said.
And that was back when there was no GPS, cellphones or weather cameras on the interstate.
He said when Interstate 80 is closed now, he’ll sometimes check the cameras to see what all the fuss is about.
“I look at the pictures, and I think, ‘Why is it closed?’” Green said. “I can think of a thousand trips I made across there where I had wished it looked a third that good.”
‘Gets In Your Blood’
Green lives in Cheyenne and does a lot of driving locally, but he makes trips up to Wisconsin every few weeks.
Most of what he hauls is products for the agriculture industry. The day before the truck show, he took a load of fertilizer from the Dyno Nobel factory in Cheyenne to Hardin, Montana. He also hauls parts for a lawnmower company from Wisconsin and Illinois to Fort Collins, Colorado.
For Green, there’s no other job he’d rather do.
“I grew up around it. My dad hauled cattle his whole life. I've always loved it. It just gets in your blood, I guess,” Green said.
He’s done a lot of work on his truck since he bought it. He put in new frame rails and a newer, updated suspension. He installed a new engine four years ago and an electronic cabin.
It’s got a five-speed main box transmission and a four-speed auxiliary transmission.
The only thing that’s still original on the truck is the cab and the chrome step boxes.
Kyle Holloway, who is based in Gillette, also came out to show off a 2001 Peterbilt owned by Van Damme & Sons Land and Livestock.
Holloway grew up in Arkansas, and still has the accent. His mom’s childhood dream was to live in Wyoming, and one day she followed that dream.
Holloway has been driving trucks for about four-and-a-half years. Before that he worked in “all kinds of things,” including construction and the oil fields.
When the oil field slowed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he got his CDL and started a new career.
“It’s easy money,” Holloway said.
Trucking And Fishing
He mainly runs hay locally and around North Dakota and South Dakota. He also does some long-haul routes from one coast to the other.
“It’s not too bad, except for when I get over to Baltimore or whatnot. You can only imagine what it’s like trying to maneuver one of these things in that traffic,” Holloway said.
A couple weeks ago, he hauled a load to Massachusetts, and took his fishing pole with him. He strapped it to the pogo stick — which is a mechanism on the back of the cab to keep hoses and cables from getting damaged from wear — with some bungee cords. He managed to land a striped bass.
“It was keepable. Brought it home to the girlfriend and ate it for dinner,” Holloway said.
He was returning from a trip to Casper on Friday when he heard about the truck show. Some people encouraged him to enter it in the competition. So, he polished up his rig and made it presentable.