Out from behind the camera: Big Rig Videos’ Chris Fiffie

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Chris Fiffie at Rodeo du Camion

No doubt many of you have heard his voice — in addition to his work producing DVD videos from a wide array of truck shows around the nation for 4 State Trucks and the Chrome Shop Mafia, videographer/producer Chris Fiffie (pictured above by Franck Beaudoin at the Rodeo du Camion truck drags up in Quebec) has made even more of a name for himself conducting what he calls “rolling CB interviews.” Among other of his more straight-ahead, well-done operator interviews and truck-show footage posted to his BigRig Videos Youtube channel, you’ll find several in which Fiffie conducts the interviews rolling down the road as the featured owner-operator talks to him via the CB.

Fiffie, picture above by Cheri Kimball at the Mid-America Trucking Show, has found a home covering the trucking world, he says. He got his start in video production with an early interest in cameras that ultimately led to a small business producing television commercials and variety of other work. Before that, though, he needed seed money to invest in the necessary equipment, well before digital video made that at least somewhat less cumbersome of a prospect. “I looked for a job,” he says, and “worked for my father as a mechanic” in his auto-repair shop in South Florida. Cue then a story in the local newspaper comparing various income numbers for particular professions, in which truck drivers and machine operators ranked quite high. “My next-door neighbor was a truck driver,” Fiffie adds. “I went for a ride with him once and then got my Class A, taking the money I made and buying video equipment with it.” Over four or five years, he’d built his arsenal “and was able to transition to a business doing video production.” Along the way, though, he never lost the interest in trucks and trucking. In 2006 he moved from South Florida to the West Coast of Florida to a small town with no video services. But “I wanted to explore,” he says. “I thought I’d take a driving job,” his first operating a Peterbilt, a 2006 triaxle 379 with 500 horses. “I really got hooked.” His video business hit hard locally by the economic crash a few years later, a friend mentioned the Chrome Shop Mafia was looking for “someone to come up to the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2012” to film the show for a DVD. That’s where the 4 State Trucks DVD series got its start, and with all the extra footage, Fiffie took to Youtube and Facebook, further developing ideas like the Rolling CB Interviews series.Fiffie, picture above by Cheri Kimball at the Mid-America Trucking Show, has found a home covering the trucking world, he says. He got his start in video production with an early interest in cameras that ultimately led to a small business producing television commercials and variety of other work. Before that, though, he needed seed money to invest in the necessary equipment, well before digital video made that at least somewhat less cumbersome of a prospect. “I looked for a job,” he says, and “worked for my father as a mechanic” in his auto-repair shop in South Florida. Cue then a story in the local newspaper comparing various income numbers for particular professions, in which truck drivers and machine operators ranked quite high. “My next-door neighbor was a truck driver,” Fiffie adds. “I went for a ride with him once and then got my Class A, taking the money I made and buying video equipment with it.” Over four or five years, he’d built his arsenal “and was able to transition to a business doing video production.” Along the way, though, he never lost the interest in trucks and trucking. In 2006 he moved from South Florida to the West Coast of Florida to a small town with no video services. But “I wanted to explore,” he says. “I thought I’d take a driving job,” his first operating a Peterbilt, a 2006 triaxle 379 with 500 horses. “I really got hooked.” His video business hit hard locally by the economic crash a few years later, a friend mentioned the Chrome Shop Mafia was looking for “someone to come up to the Mid-America Trucking Show in 2012” to film the show for a DVD. That’s where the 4 State Trucks DVD series got its start, and with all the extra footage, Fiffie took to Youtube and Facebook, further developing ideas like the Rolling CB Interviews series.

The Orlando, Fla.-based former professional driver is up to 18 total vids in his Rolling CB Interviews series today, many with operators he’s met on the show-truck circuit, whose trucks might otherwise rarely get seen by the community of haulers around the world doing what so many do when the shows end — work. “I really wanted to be able to give them the mic and to be able to speak their minds,” says Fiffie. But also, his reasoning on launching the project went: “Wouldn’t it be great to show some of these trucks at work, functioning on the job, on the highway – combine that with giving the drivers the ability to have a conversation and say something that would benefit someone else.

“I did it because I thought it was cool, but it seems that a lot of people enjoy watching those.” He’s not the only one, indeed. His BigRig Videos Youtube channel, which dates back several years at this point, has more than 17,000 subscribers. (By comparison, Overdrive‘s own sits a little above 2,000); his Facebook page is coming up on its first anniversary September 30, and in just that short time he’s already close to 130,000 followers there. 

“He’s got a unique perspective and seems to be covering the industry from an angle that owner-operators are hungry for,” says 4 State Trucks’ Bryan Martin, for whom Fiffie has been producing video coverage of a variety of truck shows around the nation, his most recent DVD from the 2014 WheelJam event in South Dakota. “He’s gotten everybody’s attention and put a lot of smiles on people’s faces.” Find all of his vids via this link to the DVD page in the 4 State Trucks.com store

Developing the Rolling CB Interviews series idea, Fiffie figured out a way to mitigate noise issues from his side of the interview with high-grade NASCAR-type noise-canceling technology. And once he got the connections between his sound equipment and the radio right, he tested the system for the first time as part of the Street Petes Convoy of operators to the 2013 Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show in St. Ignace, Mich., filming from the back of a pickup, and the results were spectacular: 

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After the Street Petes Convoy he returned to Florida and refined the process to allow for hands-free filming while driving and a steadier video image. The rest is recent history, as they say. If you’re out at the Guilty by Association Truck Show at 4 State in Joplin this weekend, keep an eye out for the man with the camera. 

Also watch for more Fiffie relative to safety — Troy Huddleston, during his Rolling CB Interview with Fiffie, mentioned the “Move Over Law.” Fiffie thought it was a safety factor that needed additional attention and could be spread via social media. Subsequently, the Florida State Highway Patrol has given Fiffie permission to produce a film that emphasizes the roadside dangers that Troopers and tow truck drivers face. 

For now, Overdrive has put together a playlist of all of Fiffie’s Rolling CB and other operator interviews from the past year that you can take a tour through yourself below. The list starts with the most recent interview, with Rollin’ Transport’s Kevin Pascavis in a truck you may well recognize. Enjoy:

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