The Best Experiences - Under Pressure Editorial
Seven Years Of Good Times
This will be my last month as a fulltime staff writer for Diesel Power magazine, as I am taking a new position with Brown’s Diesel, where I’ll be selling everything from transmissions to turbochargers. I still hope to contribute to the magazine, but it might be sparsely, and I won’t get to write a monthly column anymore. So, with that being said, let me share with you some of the best experiences I’ve had in my seven years of employment here.
My First Day of Work (12/18/06)
As I was driving to the old Petersen building to work for the then Primedia-owned Diesel Power magazine, I wrestled my 1-ton dualie through Los Angeles traffic with reckless abandon. As I neared the office, I noticed a Power Stroke diesel with an enormous lift, 40-inch tires, and an obscene front bumper taking up about a lane and a half behind me...and it was gaining. What kind of maniac drives something like that in L.A.? I thought. That “maniac” turned out to be David Kennedy, my new boss, who told me just to park in the fire lane as I made the turn into work. This is going to be fun, was my first thought as I went through the elevator doors.
Diesel Power Challenge (2007 to 2013)
No matter what happens during the year, one of my favorite parts of the last seven of my years here has been Diesel Power Challenge. Seeing the amazing trucks that show up and the outstanding people who come and tell the story of their accomplishments is just the best. Of course, four-digit power levels and low 10-second eighth-mile times with a 10,000-pound trailer is something you’ll only see at DPC, and every year it’s been worth the wait.
’06 Dodge Sprinter -- Area 51 Road Trip, Diesel Power, November 2007
This was then-Editor David Kennedy’s baby, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun. Seeing the Sprinter van register a whopping 127 degrees in Death Valley, stumbling upon a herd of camouflaged BMWs, and just having the time for a weeklong road trip was pretty darn fun. We didn’t see any UFOs, but in the end, it really didn’t matter.
Chevette vs. Semitruck, Diesel Power, February 2010
By far the most popular editorial I’ve written was the “Chevette vs. Semitruck,” column that ran in the February ’10 issue of Diesel Power. I’m not sure whether everyone has a Chevette story, or whether all the readers just liked the visual of my little 1.8L rattlebox getting pushed down the freeway by a 40-ton truck. Whatever the reason, it still gets brought up, even 4 years later.
Big Gun Shootout, Diesel Power, March 2012
One of my fondest memories came when Jeremy Torgersen and I dyno’d against each other for the highest-horsepower, VE-pumped first-gen. The fact that he was willing to drive half a day to dyno on the same dyno on the same day helped ramp up the hype, and even though our numbers (972 and 899 to the wheels) weren’t record-breaking, it was still awesome to actually participate in an event for once. Seeing Ron Allen’s truck do 1,199 on fuel, Dmitri Millard make 1,633, and good buddy Harvey Grant dyno 1,147 at the same event was pretty cool, too. Heck, Matt Moroni’s 6.0L Power Stroke made 1,135 to the wheels in a truck most people can’t even get to run right.
World’s Biggest Turbo Test, Diesel Power, September 2012
Type “Turbo Test” into Google, and the test I did for Diesel Power is at the top of the list, beating out even any gasoline stuff. In putting 57mm, 63mm, 71mm, and 57/71mm twins on my ’95 Dodge, I learned more about the characteristics of driving with large, small, and compound turbos than in my previous five years at the magazine. It was one heck of a test and cemented my feeling that you should go with compounds if you can afford them.
The World’s Fastest Trailer Tow, Diesel Power, November 2012
I’ve already written a fair amount about this one, so all I’m going to say is that hitting two stages of nitrous with a trailer behind me was an awesome experience…and so is hitting 141.998 mph. I now have a Guinness World Record, and to my knowledge, I’m the only one within the company to do so. Thanks to Carson Trailer, PPE, and Source Interlink for giving me that experience.
You, the Readers
Knowing I was writing for a great group of enthusiasts and will no longer be able to do so is perhaps the hardest pill to swallow. I’ve enjoyed talking to you all at events and appreciated my group of tech support gurus I had at a phone call away, and I’m thankful for all the help my coworkers have given me over the years. I’ll miss all of you guys!