What kind of columnist is David Sweetman, aka Diesel Dave? He has a style that’s inextricably entwined with his career as a truck owner-driver. “Actually, I am a pretty much normal guy with a different and sometimes tilted view of the trucking world,” he says. “I find humor in darn near everything, but I take my business very seriously.”
Dave is the newest addition to Land Line’s staff of columnists, and readers will find his first contribution in the form of a blog – appearing Wednesday, Dec. 19, on Land Line’s Web site. His columns will be published in every issue of Land Line Magazine, beginning with the February 2008 issue.
An owner-operator since 1979, he’s a 20-year member of OOIDA. He’s been leased to Horseless Carriage Carriers of Paterson, NJ, for 24 years and transports antique, classic and show cars to dealers, shows and individuals. He and his wife, Laurie, live in Tallahassee, FL.
Dave, who calls himself an “underachiever who’s working on it,” has driven in total more than 4 million miles, accident free.
He’s also got a number of miles under his belt as a driver editor and columnist for some major trucking publications. He was the driver editor for RPM and RPM Extra magazines from 1995 to 1998, doing a monthly column and features. In 1998, he joined the staff at Newport Communications, contributing material for Truckers News, then as a monthly columnist for RoadStar until December 2007.
During those years, his writing earned two American Society of Business Press awards and a Jesse Neal Award, which Dave says proved he has mastered the art of typing with two fingers and a thumb.
From historical trucks to show trucks, he’s a guy who is known for being totally immersed in his industry.
“My past jobs in trucking have taught me that there are many things that I can do, but there are also many things that I will not do,” Dave said. “I have been entrusted with the world’s most valuable motorcar on six different tours. I have also been entrusted with a trailer load of horse manure for a mushroom farm in Avondale, PA. Somewhere in between, I have found my own personal trucking nirvana.”
Dave’s dedication to trucking safety has earned him a reputation of trust among his clients, as well as others in the industry – knowing and sharing what to do, how to be a safe operator and driver, as well as being able to sometimes “just say no.”
“When I was a kid, my Uncle Richard was a truck driver. I wanted to do that and still do, every day. When we would go on family vacations, I wanted to keep going. There is always more to see, places to go, things to do. More than 36 years later, for me, it is still fun, still new and still interesting. I still like driving, even when I am surrounded by idiots on the Cross Bronx Expressway or the 405 in L.A. It’s not an easy job and sometimes I doubt my sanity for doing it, but I still love it,” Dave said.
He speculates that he could probably do any number of other jobs, but truck driving is what he loves to do.
“Although the industry has a lot of warts, sometimes you have to learn to stay away from the toads that cause them. But I can still make fun of them,” he said.
This is the special mix of affection and irreverence for trucking that readers can expect from Dave Sweetman. Watch for his column in the February 2008 issue of Land Line Magazine.
– By Land Line staff