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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

20+ of the World's Most Manly Rigs [PICS]

Majestic Rigs and Custom Truck Interiors
Interview with the photographer Roger Snider

The Legend of the American West lives on in the subculture of Big Rigs and trucks stops... The majesty and the immensity of the land gets its perfect expression in these location shots of the most outstanding rigs:

Here is your chance to peak inside some of the most spectacular custom rigs:

Roger Snider is a Los Angeles based photographer who's currently putting together a project (with an accompanying book) called Ultra Rigs of the World. We asked him some questions, and he told us about his fascination with these big and beautiful machines (which simply beg to be customized!) -

DRB: How did you come up with the idea for this project?

Roger: At first I had a few of these big rig photos on my website and this little gallery got a really great response. I added more galleries and after a year realized that most of my Google traffic was from people searching for cool custom rig photos. I thought, why not make a stand-alone site that is specific to this subject matter. I was concentrating on celebrity /fashion portraits before this.

I googled trucks shows and went to the Las Vegas Truck Show in June of 2006, where I saw real show trucks for the first time in my life. It was at that moment that I knew this would be a subject I would be working on for years to come.

DRB: Do you only cover American rigs? Any plans to feature European super-rigs?

Roger: I have covered rigs in Canada, the US and Japan thus far. I plan to travel the world photographing custom rigs from as many countries as possible. "Ultra Rigs of the World" is the working title of the first definitive photo book about this lesser known artistic subculture. So the website is a teaser to the book project, designed to attract attention (and hopefully) funding - so that I could complete and publish the book.

DRB: What about truck trains in Australia, South Africa, any plans to cover these?

Roger: Yes, it will probably be my next stop out of the country. I really look forward to photographing them (I just love the cattle grates on the front of the rigs, for example). I think an aerial photo will also be needed to properly show the length of some of the trucks.

DRB: Do you own a rig yourself?
Roger: No, but if I did it would probably be a Kenworth Aerodyne COE.

DRB: What do you think is the best movie about trucker culture?
Roger: Well I worked on "Big Rig" which was the documentary that just come out this June. I got the gig after a chance meeting with the director on an airplane across the country. I was shooting documentary photos of the LA Derby Dolls at the time and thought working on the film with him could be a really interesting project. It took them 6 years to make the movie, and they hired me to come along on the last leg of the filming. I drove with them from LA to Seattle, and then over into Montana. We went to trucks stops and tried to pick up riders with the drives - to conduct interviews on camera, with them driving. I came away with a great documentary-style portfolio of images, but what I really want is to shoot more trucks. See the gallery here.

In case you wondered, this is how much it costs to fill up a big rig (or rather how much it was in May 2006 somewhere between Los Angeles and Seattle) -

DRB: What is the best truck / car chase scene, in your opinion?
Roger: "Convoy" is tough to beat. It's what got most boys interested in the bad-ass nature of the truckers. The Japanese Peterbilt you see in this gallery is owned by a guy in Japan who doesn't understand English, but grew up loving the movie (which inspired him to buy the Peterbilt). The truck is just a RV for him, as it is too long to pull a trailer on the roads in Japan.

Speaking of RV big rig conversions...

Trick My Trailer: - an incredible RV big rig machine, built by Everett Transportation and Bloomers Trailers for the "Rodeo Spin to Win". See more pictures here.

Roger: I spend my summers flying all over the US (and even to Fergus, Ontario), taking pictures of trucks at various truck shows for a show rig magazine called Large Car Magazine. "Large Car" is trucker slang term for a tricked out truck that resembles a luxury car rolling down the highway.

The Night Comes Alive - The "Big Iron Classic" is the largest truck show in the Midwest. It also features a spectacular "Truck Pull" event (big diesel trucks compete to pull a weighted sled as it digs deeper into the track the further it is pulled) -

Decotora - Japanese Art Trucks

We wrote about Decotora - uniquely Japanese electric light truck decoration before, but Roger Snider's photography is simply unbelievable, just as the trucks are certainly other-worldly.

Roger: "I love the trucks in Japan and intend to return there and photo more of them. It's fascinating that after all the decor is applied - they don't even look like trucks! Way back in the 1970s they started to resemble boats, and now they have evolved into the "spaceships" you see today.

"Over the top" is fine, in my opinion. The lights and sounds are really something you need to see in person."

These are not trucks, these are spaceships!

So much chrome in one place should really tilt the planet... or cause chrome shortages on the global market.

(all images are copyright, courtesy Roger Snider)

Now you know how fantastic truck interior can be, when you pass some custom rigs on the interstate... Although some trucks look unreal without any customization: check out this one, possibly "International RDFC" -

(image credit: shftat6)

On a side note:
Does anyone know where this incredible huge truck train comes from? -

Also Read:
Scary Trucks , Steam Buses and Trucks
Concept Trucks by Luigi Colani, Huge Off-Highway Road Trains
Big Rig and Truck Accidents, Anti-Roit Police Vehicles