By Bryan "Boss Man" Martin
Allow me to introduce myself. I am Bryan “Boss Man” Martin, leader of the Chrome Shop Mafia crew here at 4 State Trucks in Joplin, MO.
I’ve been messin’ with these big rigs since I was just a young kid. For the past 25-plus years I’ve been welding, fabbing, designing, modifying and customizing on them, just about any way I can.
I’ve been blessed to be smack dab in the middle of a truck junkie’s paradise. We have truck salvage, a metal fabrication shop, full custom paint shop, and mountains of chrome and custom accessories. It’s pretty much truckers heaven.
We started out here in Joplin years ago as a truck garage and salvage yard. Fortunately business was good to us, so we expanded our facility in the ’90s and started stocking some chrome. It wasn’t long afterward that 4 State Trucks began to customize a few trucks for some longtime customers. Pretty soon, accessorizing was our specialty and guys were coming from near and far to get their chrome and have it installed, too.
In 2005, we hooked up with Country Music Television to do “Trick My Truck.” What a ride that was. It was a cool, fun experience that got folks looking at big rigs again. And we are proud to say we were an essential part of it.
But, as Hollywood usually goes, it got a little far-fetched and the show strayed away from our roots – the big rigs. So, rather than customize more vans, pickups, mobile wedding chapels, buses and such, a few of us cast members threw in the towel. We went back to our respective places of business and catered to our customers and friends – America’s truckers.
Sure felt good to be back in the groove, trickin’ out cool trucks.
My dad raised us to realize that we need to work hard, don’t forget where ya came from, take care of the customer and if you tell folks you’ll do it, do it or die trying. He also made it clear that life is all about family – family first. In so many ways, all of us in the trucking biz, we’re one big family, all on the same team, pulling the same direction for the common good.
Most of us were raised in the biz, weren’t we? Seems to me like a lot of us had uncles, granddads, and kinfolk that were mechanics, drivers, truck stoppers or something of the sort. Trucking has always been a “generation after generation” line of work.
Nearly every day here at Mafia Headquarters we get inquiries about frame stretching, suspension lowering, trick painting, bumper flipping, full fendering, interior modifying or ground effect lighting. It’s what we do. It’s who we are – a team of truck maniacs trying to help our friends get their trucks lookin’ right. Every one of y’all wants your truck to stand out and look better than your buddy’s truck, right?
So, whether you drive a Pete, a KW, a Freightliner, a Western Star or whatever your brand may be – hit me with your questions or ideas. It doesn’t matter if the question is about fenders, bumpers, visors or seats. It can even be about paint, suspensions, lighting or exhaust. No matter what the question, send it in.
Each issue of Land Line, I’ll get you the right answers and explain it in everyday language that we can all relate to. So send us your questions. There’s no question too crazy or too trivial. Just give me a shout and I’ll holler back at ya with the cold hard facts.
So, until we meet again, may the “goddess of high-payin’ freight” be with you. LL
Editor’s note: Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.