We love to show off our old truck photos. We haul out those old albums, pull the ragged pictures from their pockets and admire the old school big rigs that once ruled the highways….. the glory days.
Some of these old trucks were an adventure to drive. Even a short trip could give one an appreciation of what these old truckers went through and how tough and resourceful they must have been.
There was no power steering of course, no air ride seats, rough spring suspension, no air conditioning, heaters and defrosters that just barely worked,…. the driver needed to be bundled up in winter gear to drive those old girls.
Some had gas powered engines, the rest had small diesel engines, but power was usually an issue. Missing a shift and stalling out on a grade was a lesson unto itself.
They had tube tires that went flat often and truck drivers then changed their own tires. (Even in the ’70’s, truckers changed their own tires…. unheard of in the industry today. In fact, in some places, it’s illegal, unless you have proper certification.)
There was no wheel balancing back then, so if a truck was able to pick up any REAL speed on a good downgrade, the driver really had to hang onto the steering wheel for fear of being shaken right out of the seat.
The old big rigs then were pretty basic in build and design and that was nice because for the most part, the trucker could fix just about anything that went wrong with it, provided they could get the parts…. sometimes this was a whole new challenge, too.
Many innovations from the old days were so tough and well designed, we still see them in use today, such as the Dayton Wheel.
Trucking Was Even Tougher Back Then
We are seeing more and more of these rigs being rebuilt and restored… many to a condition better than when they were new.
I enjoy seeing them at the truck shows and can envision some of what the old timers must have gone through in their working days.
My Trucking Connection
My grandfather was an old-time trucker and starting driving back in the ’30’s or so.
My love of big trucks started as a young child, as I was his ‘helper’ who handed him the tools as he worked on his rigs. I knew every tool in the tool box by their correct name, before I could recite the alphabet.
He had enough trucker tales to last a lifetime. I would sit and listen to him by the hour, tell stories about his trucking days… so very different from the things that truckers encounter today.
He retired from driving in the ’70’s, but wouldn’t part with his last truck, an International. He kept it just to work on it and just look at it everyday. He was a backyard mechanic and fixed everything himself. This old truck was part of who he was.
All these old restored trucks we see today, and old truck photos, were also part of some ‘trucker’s life’, too….. and as we would say today, ‘that is ‘way cool‘.
Older Model Big Rig Photo Collections
Old Truck Photos
I hope you enjoy this collection of ‘old school iron’ classics.