Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry across the UK and Europe. It provides services for haulage companies to buy and sell delivery work , road transport and delivery work in the domestic and international markets.View all articles by Norman Dulwich
‘Dekotora’ is a Japanese abbreviation for ‘Decoration Truck’, and there’s no better way of summing up these inspiring vehicles. Loudly decorated in neon or ultraviolet lights, paper lanterns, extravagant paint, and stainless steel or golden exterior plating, Dekotora trucks are created both by hobbyists for special events, and by truckers from the actual vehicles they use for their delivery work. Haulage has never looked so futuristic, with trucks often bearing decals of animals such as dragons, tigers or dinosaurs, or mountains and seascapes. Sometimes, trucks carrying a certain types of goods will make it the centrepiece of their design, with seafood trucks depicting giant fish and waves. Goods trucks must pass an inspection and be approved before they can be used, as the length, height, and weight of a truck can all be drastically changed through the decorative modifications.
Big Rig Jig
Displayed at the Burning Man festival in 2007, the ‘Big Rig Jig’ featured an art display consisting of two oil tankers balanced up in the air and curving around each other. While the trucks were repurposed from actual decommissioned oil tankers, and then meticulously reshaped for the display and filled with plant life, they wouldn’t be of much use for delivery work – but they do show the more artistic side to the process of oil transportation. Attendees were actually able to crawl into and through the precariously-balanced trucks and oil drums – a unique perspective on delivery work, to say the least.
The Walking Truck
Made by General Electric in 1968, the Walking Truck was less a traditional ‘truck’ than a fully quadrupedal robot. Designed by Ralph Mosher in 1968, it was intended to help US Army infantry members carry equipment over rough terrain. The actual stepping of the robot was controlled by a human operator through foot and hand movements coupled to hydraulic vales. Weighing over 3,000 pounds, and with a top speed of 5 mph, the Walking Truck might not be anybody’s first choice for long-distance or overnight delivery work.
The Liebherr Truck
The largest earth-hauling truck in the world, Liebherr’s T 282B model weighs 203 tons (when empty!), has a maximum operating weight of 592 tons, and will set you back a cool $3.5 million to buy. While you would feel invulnerable going about your delivery work in such a monstrous machine, there is one drawback – it cannot be driven on public roads, due to its exceptional size and weight. So unless you’re planning to trade in deliveries for hauling gold, coal, or iron, it might be wisest to observe the T 282B from a distance.