American truck journalist begins last leg of world truck trip

| 8/11/2004

In October, Tim Barton, an ex-fleet driver and owner-operator-turned-journalist, will head to Ireland, where he will begin the last leg of a trip that is taking him around the world in trucks. Sponsored by Michelin Tire, Volvo and Shell Oil, Barton began his journey April 6, flying into St. Petersburg, Russia, en route to Moscow and Eastern Europe.

“I started in Russia in April in an attempt to follow the weather. I traveled north to south on the first part of this trip to take advantage of spring in the north and winter south of the Equator,” Barton told Land Line. His rides are arranged by his sponsors and the support team of the project known as the Nomad World Truck Tour.

For Barton, it’s been more than just a series of truck rides. Traveling through Russia and into Eastern Europe put him in the path of some very significant world events. The first day of May found him in Barcelona, Spain, just as 10 eastern European countries entered the European Union. Street demonstrations and riots marked the beginning of an economic and sociological change that many in Spain do not see as progress.

By truck from Barcelona, Barton traveled through Madrid to Seville in the south and crossed over to begin the African leg of his journey in Morocco, continuing on through Marrakesh before heading to the far south of the continent and South Africa. From Johannesburg, he went south to Cape Town, the Mother City to South Africans. Cape Town marks the place where the Dutch colonists began their journey up across the vast mountains and arid plains to the Pretoria and Johannesburg area.

In Argentina, Barton rode from Buenos Aires north to Sao Paolo and then west through the Mato Grosso to the border of Bolivia. Stopped in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, by an uprising of indigenous people who had blockaded the road, he flew to Mexico and rode from there in a number of trucks to Vancouver, British Columbia.

In October, Barton will begin the last leg of his journey in Ireland. He expects to drive through central Europe to China through the Balkans, Turkey, Iran and India. He will end in Australia sometime in December.

Barton, whose career profile also includes English instructor, has been a senior editor and equipment editor for Randall Publishing Truck Media Group. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The LosAngeles Times, The Providence Journal and the Hartford Courant. He wrote the back page editorial for seven years in Go West (transportation trade magazines). When he was an owner-operator, Barton wrote a series of articles for Land Line Magazine called “One Man One Truck” about his experiences doing business as Quo Vadis Trucking out of Rhode Island.

Readers can follow his progress by visiting the Web site at