As I sit at my desk thinking about what I want to write about, I keep having thoughts about what it means to be a minitrucker. Minitruckin' has been going for more than 20 years and throughout that time a lot of styles have come and gone and some are on their way back. So, what exactly is a minitrucker? Is it the guy who spends every moment and dollar working on his truck? Is it the guy who works hard at an 8 to 5 job all week long, so he can enjoy a truck that he paid a shop to build?
In my opinion, there is no right way to be a minitrucker. I say this because we all come from different backgrounds, have different opinions, and hang out with different crowds. However, there is one element that we can all agree on, the love for our vehicles. It is this one common thread that brings us all together at shows, cruise nights, and local hangout spots. It is the fun that we have meeting new people, hanging out in the parking lots of hotels after the show, and trading funny stories about themselves and friends.
From the day that minitruckin' started, the sport has continually grown into a huge scene. But that only leaves me with one question. Why are shows going away? I can sum it up in one word, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It is the lack of respect shown towards the venue, such as leaving trash everywhere and not picking it up at the end of the day; leaving it for the venue staff to deal with. Hotels the same way; leaving trash anywhere and everywhere. Destroying hotel property, TVs, furniture, and whatever else can be wrecked. In addition, who ends up paying for the damages? Most of the time it is the show promoter that is stuck with the bill, which then cause them to raise the cost of the entry fee the following year to offset the cost of damages. Why would they want us back? Would you want one of your friends to come over and do these things to your pad? No, you would not. In fact he would probably get his ass kicked for trying it. Finally, there is the city. Cops aren't happy when they have to pull themselves away from that nice glazed donut and cup of coffee to go deal with someone affiliated with the show because he is doing something really stupid like riding a bike naked down a public street. The more a city doesn't like an event, the harder it is each year to go back and throw a show. Eventually, they will simply not allow the show to come back.
Now I am not saying that we can't have fun. I love to hang out, talk to my friends that I might not have seen in awhile, meet new friends, and be able to go home without a doubt in my mind that there will be a show next year. I know that it isn't all of us, but it only takes a few to kill it, and unless we as minitruckers stand up to the ones that ruin it for us then it will continue until minitruckin' is dead and gone. Don't think it can't happen, because it has already begun. The West Coast used to be the mecca for shows. There used to be 13, three- or four-day runs a year, not including all the one-day shows that fell in between. Now there is only two. Why? Lack of respect.
So, what does it take to be a minitrucker? A person that has passion about our sport and helping it to continue to grow. Pride, be proud of your minitruckin' lifestyle, your truck, and the people that you call friends. Finally, integrity, hold true to your values, don't let the jackass types bring you down with them. By not joining them you will show them that it really isn't cool to be an idiot.
Overall, be kind, courteous, and help when and where you can. Show the police, council members, and business owners that we can be civilized human beings.