This summer, The Sporting News asked NASCAR drivers and team personnel who had the worst job in the sport. Their answer? The truck drivers.
“The toughest job in the sport is the one that more people say, ‘Oh I could do that and I want to do that,’” Brendan Gaughan, a former team owner, told the publication. “Truck driver is the toughest job in our sport. It’s not just getting the truck from here to there, there’s so much (more) to driving a big rig in our sport.”
The truck drivers are responsible for getting all the equipment necessary – from the car itself to every individual component – to the next track safely and on time. And time is always of the essence. NASCAR teams only have certain slots where their cars can be on the track practicing – if a hauler is late, they lose that precious time.
Dean Mozingo is a truck driver for Jeff Gordon’s team. Here’s what he told the Sporting News about his job:
“It’s a rough job. Being away from home is the hardest thing about this job. … You give up a lot of your life to do this job. Driving the truck is technically a hard job, but just being gone is tough. We go out before everybody and we get home last.”
To highlight the role of Sylvania Automotive Lighting, that company has produced a video series called the Light Shift, where it highlights one of the industries where Sylvania lighting impacts operations. As part of that series, NASCAR hauler driver Glenn Shano shared a little about his job and the hours he works.
But beyond the job itself, the drivers also haul something else that is precious – the mobile billboard that is the hauler itself. NASCAR haulers are specialized trailers, but they provide vital services to the teams and just as importantly, the sponsors. Big businesses in this country pay millions of dollars to sponsor racing teams and they want a return on that investment. Those businesses then get their names plastered everywhere – from the car to the truck and anywhere else a logo can be placed.
Inside the trailers, specialized setups include areas for the car or cars in some cases, engines and related parts, tires and more. There are even areas for refreshments and a place for drivers to relax. At the track, the haulers serve as viewing stations for team members.
Freightliner is a sponsor of numerous haulers and has a special page dedicated to the men who drive the trucks. You can read about the men behind the wheel at this site: http://www.freightlinertrucks.com/Community/Motorsports/NASCAR/Hauler-Profiles/.
To get a look inside one of these haulers, FansofDale posted a video to YouTube in which racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes viewers on a tour inside the Hellmann’s Hauler trailer in 2013.