Book Review
“Big Rigs: The Complete History of the American Semi Truck” By Stan Holtzman
A Town Square Book by Voyageur Press

This big (9"x12") picture book is a unique collection of trucking history all gathered between two covers. The author discusses 17 major manufacturers of big trucks. Each chapter gets a couple of pages that trace the origins of the brand from its inception right up through today and finding which survivors gobbled them up along the way. Like the car industry that matured into three major manufacturers, but sprang from a field of hundreds, the truck manufacturing industry has a similar history. Sorting out who bought whom and then consolidated to form which new company is a third of the fun in this book. The other two-thirds are visual and just as enjoyable.

The pictures come from three sources: Old sales brochures for the trucks, old pictures of the trucks when they were new and in use, and current pictures of restored trucks resurrected to their former glory and shine. All three are a joy to peruse. To read the claims manufacturers made for their trucks and compare them to today’s rides is quite entertaining. To see the works of art that restorationists have accomplished out of tired rusted old hulks leaves one in awe of their dedication and skills. And of course there are beauty shots of today’s big rigs that makes any driver with diesel in his veins sit up and take notice.

All in all, this is an excellent book for your coffee table. It’s something you can hand to Auntie Maude at the next family gathering when she asks again, “Now just what is it you do?” You might even like to take it with you on the road and relive the proud history of American trucking. Take ol’ Skip Sprockets word for it, this one’s a “Two Thumbs Up” addition to your library.

Editor’s note: OOIDA member Stan Holtzman has written three other trucking books.