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Truly tankful: Four things I appreciate this holiday season

Nov. 23, 2023
I like fast cars, pro drivers, this magazine—and you.

While hanging with a who’s-who of tank truck industry leaders—I won’t name any names—at an afterparty that went far too late—and still was rolling when I bowed out—during Tank Truck Week 2023 in Indianapolis, I started feeling incredibly grateful such a talented group of people had accepted me into their circle.

I’m not really a tank trucker, I only play one in print, but I felt like the real deal that night.

Fast forward to the day after Halloween, and letting my kids, who’re growing up entirely too fast, go trick-or-treating with their friends, instead of my wife and I, dressed as Butthead (his friend was Beavis) and Blueberry Muffin (her friends were Strawberry Shortcake characters), and I again felt thankful for the people around me. And with Thanksgiving here, now is the perfect time to reflect on everything I appreciate.

So, in honor of the holiday season—and Bulk Transporter’s final print edition until the new year—here are four things for which I’m thankful.

1, My ICE-powered car

I drive a Dodge Challenger. I love it. My son keeps asking me if he can have it when he’s 16. I say no, every time, without hesitation. They can bury me in that car. So I won’t be trading it in for a heavier, more expensive, less convenient electric vehicle. I don’t want to bleed on this edge, and most tank truckers don't either.

While lingering at that afterparty, one executive told me he was doing more for the environment by driving his late-model pickup than a new electric truck. I’m not sure I completely understand the logic, but I agree. Mainly, I enjoy hearing the roar of the 375-hp, 5.7-liter V8 Hemi engine while passing those pesky pacesetters (that's what I call them) camped in the left lane.

2, Truck drivers

I live close to a Walmart distribution center, so I’m not always excited to see trucks, but I’m always appreciative of truck drivers, and now more so after learning even tank trailers are potential targets for criminals in a recent hacking demonstration featuring a United Petroleum Transports tanker in Houston (check out that story here). It’s just another threat drivers must deal with daily while delivering America’s goods.

A trucking company CEO recently shared his fear hackers will turn autonomous trucks into guided missiles. That’s why he’ll always have drivers in his trucks. They’ll be the ones keeping the rubber on the road when the robots go wrong.

3, BT supporters

I like having a job. I love producing print products. So I’m thankful for this magazine’s supporters, including tank truckers, like Space City Services’ Robert Thomas, who let us into their lives, and longtime advertisers like Girard Equipment, Heil Trailer, Volvo Trucks, and Quala, which this month gives us an inside look at its integration with Boasso Global and Polar Service Centers as Depot Connect International.

Without the vendors, we couldn’t tell our carriers’ stories. And while everything may go all-digital eventually, I’m thrilled to report Bulk Transporter will return in its old-school, asset-heavy format in 2024.

4, You, dear reader

After all, you read this far, so you’re a gem worth treasuring. I’ve enjoyed telling you stories about Andrews Logistics, Gemini Motor Transport, Grammer Logistics, Groendyke Transport, and more in 2023—and I’m eager to tell all new tales next year.

So thanks for tanking me in.

About the Author

Jason McDaniel

Jason McDaniel, based in the Houston TX area, has more than 20 years of experience as an award-winning journalist. He spent 15 writing and editing for daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, and began covering the commercial vehicle industry in 2018. He was named editor of Bulk Transporter and Refrigerated Transporter magazines in July 2020.