Particulate Matters: Holy $*@%, They Did It!
I'll start this column entry with a confession. While Diesel Brothers (featuring Dave "Heavy D" Sparks, "Diesel Dave" Kiley, Keaton "The Muscle" Hoskins, and Josh "Red Beard" Stuart) has earned worldwide popularity (let's be real here, it's full-on superstardom at this point) since making its television debut in 2016, I haven't been as rabid a fan as a lot of other people.
I guess my initial disregard for the show—well, irritation with its antics more than having personal issues with any of the guys, especially since I didn't even know them—dates back to the its first season on the air, when "rolling coal" (belching plumes of pollutive diesel-exhaust smoke) and finding it hysterically amusing was their shtick.
You see, at that time, Diesel Brothers' subliminal-but-influential message that "diesel smoke is cool" directly countered my efforts to get enthusiasts to understand the virtues of taking diesel performance to the clean side. For me, they were a hot potato. While making an alliance would no doubt help grow our audience (and several opportunities to do so were presented), at the same time, I felt the union would also make our brand look pretty hypocritical. So, purely for the sake of keeping things one hundred, I opted out of making any formal ties.
I know I've harped on the emissions subject quite a bit since then. And, thankfully, Diesel Brothers is now also communicating messages—subliminal and, more importantly, direct—that focus on environmental responsibility and adherence to laws when it comes to our hobby. I always knew it would only be a matter of time before they did. It almost seems like changing their ways had to happen—on TV at least—if they wanted to continue in the space. And,I'm glad the masses are also finally starting to cosign (albeit begrudgingly in some cases) those ideals. Full acceptance of clean-diesel performance is getting there. Diesel Power and the Diesel Brothers will keep working on it. That's for sure.
But emissions and such aren't the reasons why I'm talking about Diesel Brothers in this column. I just feel it's important for you to know a little history before I continue. The real cause for me to write about those guys now is, "the jump!" Did you see it? Oh, my God! It was incredible.
Alright, for folks who missed Heavy D and air-race pilot Anthony Oshinuga's epic feat on May 27, 2019, the duo made diesel and every other type of history I can think of, when Heavy D launched his 6.6L Duramax-powered BroDozer monster truck from ramp to ramp, and over Anthony's Pitts Special Custom S-1S biplane, which was flying beneath it (Anthony is one of just a handful of pilots in the U.S. who are even authorized to fly at low elevation at fast speeds). The event was held at Wendover Airfield in Utah, broadcast live on Discovery Channel, and, in a word: breathtaking. Another appropriate word is "insane"!
Being a product of the Evel Knievel era of jumping vehicles over objects and between spaces, I'm pretty selective about stunts and assessing whether they are doable or not. When I heard about this deal and watched the episodes leading up to the event (shows that included Heavy D's brother—an engineer—going over all the physics associated with an effort like this), seriously, I thought they had a great chance of pulling it off. And pull it off, they did. If you haven't seen the video check out: youtube.com/watch?v=0dKqQ1DnsX4.
I will always give props when they are due. The cast of Diesel Brothers and Anthony certainly deserve all kinds of accolades for executing that phenomenal stunt. Seriously, their overall "change" has been for the good, in my opinion. Are they corny? At times, no doubt. But they do some pretty cool things with diesel trucks, too. In my opinion, that jump was definitely the coolest. But, as I think about that a bit more, something is telling me I better add, "for now."