Danny can drive it

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Danny Murdock has an interesting job. He’s a trucker of a different sort – his load is the actual piece of rolling equipment. After being a “regular” truck driver for years and showing up with a box full of goods no one wants to unload, it’s refreshing for him to show up with something people are actually happy to see. “They’re like kids at Christmas,” he says.

Murdock has a contract with Auto DriveAway, which has 31 offices around the country. He works out of the Oklahoma City location, moving “anything that requires a CDL” from point A to point B between mid-May and September of each year. He works as a private contractor, with the ability to pick and choose his loads.

“They send me an e-mail with the basic information and I decide if I can get home from dropping it off fairly easy,” he says. “You learn real quick where the bus stations are and how hard it is to get a ride in a town without cab service to the nearest airport.”

These concerns are factored in with the “regular trucker” concerns, like what it’s going to cost him to get it from here to there, and he books his trips accordingly. The catch is he usually doesn’t know exactly what he’s driving until he gets his BOLS.

He’s driven a lot of service trucks, be it for the electric company, oil fields or railroads.

This 2010 Freightliner 10 speed service truck, delivered to Union Pacific Railroad in Colorado, was fairly straightforward to drive. My first question was if the train wheels engaged with the push of a button in the cab, or had to be manually engaged.This 2010 Freightliner 10 speed service truck, delivered to Union Pacific Railroad in Colorado, was fairly straightforward to drive. My first question was if the train wheels engaged with the push of a button in the cab, or had to be manually engaged.

Danny Murdock edit (800x510)Murdock is from North Texas, and has an accent a lot like that of actor Sam Elliott — you have to know this about him to realize the humor of his next statement to me: “Wendy, the first thang you learn doin’ this job is never to touch anything you don’t absolutely need to use.” (We agreed that I was a special kind of stupid and would never be able to refrain from pushing all the buttons, so I would really suck at his job.)

This 91,000-lb. International drilling rig was fun to drive on the highway, Murdock says. Taking it from Pennsylvania to Texas was only a challenge on the hills, Murdock says. “That thing ain’t a truck with a drilling rig mounted on it, it’s a drill with a truck mounted on it. It’s fine ’til you get to an incline about the size of a matchbook, then you’re lucky to do 45.”This 91,000-lb. International drilling rig was fun to drive on the highway, Murdock says. Taking it from Pennsylvania to Texas was only a challenge on the hills, Murdock says. “That thing ain’t a truck with a drilling rig mounted on it, it’s a drill with a truck mounted on it. It’s fine ’til you get to an incline about the size of a matchbook, then you’re lucky to do 45.” This Schramm oil rig didn’t have A/C and the engine cover is the side of the cab. “The cab was hot and loud as heck,” Murdock says. “I had to wear ear plugs to drive it.”This Schramm oil rig didn’t have A/C and the engine cover is the side of the cab. “The cab was hot and loud as heck,” Murdock says. “I had to wear ear plugs to drive it.” Driving a relatively short distance of 240 miles seemed much longer in this Gefco hammer drill, but getting the $1.5 million piece of equipment to the oil fields is what Danny does. “It’s never boring, that’s for sure,” he says.Driving a relatively short distance of 240 miles seemed much longer in this Gefco hammer drill, but getting the $1.5 million piece of equipment to the oil fields is what Danny does. “It’s never boring, that’s for sure,” he says.