Darrell Ward is the Reality of Delo

by on May 11, 2015 0 Comments

Delo user Darrell Ward

History Network’s Ice Road Trucker, and long-time Delo user, Darrell Ward is the definition of tough. Hauling freight across the frozen Canadian backcountry, in the midst of a polar vortex, takes nerves of steel. This week, we sat down with Darrell to hear some of the highlights of his 35 years on the road.

What’s changed about trucking since you started?

I got my driver’s license at age 14, then my chauffeur’s license when I turned 16—the chauffeur’s license later became the Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL). That was 35 years ago. I’ve done a lot of different jobs over the years: hauling harvest with my granddad, starting my own timber company, running freight up in Fairbanks and clearing pipeline. Back then, it was mostly coffin sleepers, and we didn’t have a lot of AC.

Everything’s changed. I never dreamed I’d have a microwave oven in my truck. For younger truckers growing up with this gear, it is what it is. But for older truckers, it’s difficult to learn new technologies.

What’s one of the toughest obstacles you’ve had to overcome?

I like driving off-road. Give me mud. Give me dirt. That’s why I work mines and timber fields.

I remember being in North Fork, Idaho in 2000, with the forest fires. You could see the fires burning on the mountains.

I was on a trail pass up there with a load of logs, and it was 120 degrees. Water was boiling out of my motor—the engine temperature might have been 230 degrees. I had to stop at the top and use my hard hat to take water from a creek and put it in my radiator.

Can you share an important lesson that you’ve learned in your career?

Make sure a truck is right before you buy it. Get oil samples. Check the engine.

I’ve bought some wrong trucks—trucks where I don’t know what happened before I bought it. I bought a ’91 about ten years ago, and I didn’t do my research. Next thing I know, I had to tear the whole engine down.

It didn’t just cost me the $17,000 I spent on the engine overhaul. I was out for the two weeks it was in the shop—that’s $10,000 per week. And the truck itself, another $10,000 at least. All of a sudden, I’m out $50,000. If I’d looked down the road at the beginning, I would have seen the potential hazards.

What do you think of some of the latest developments affecting truckers, like Proposed Category 11 (PC-11)?

To be honest, I don’t know a lot about it yet. I don’t know yet if the new oils will work with the engines that I have.

But everybody needs to be educated on it—this goes back to looking down the road. I know that it comes out in late 2016. It’s 2015 right now. We have less than two years to learn what we need to know about this category.

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To keep up with the latest from Darrell, watch History’s ICE ROAD TRUCKERS and check out Reality of Delo to hear more about why Darrell uses Delo.

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