Every time I see a diesel pickup taking off from a stoplight blowing more smoke than a cruise ship starting to move and making more noise than a flatulent horse (and sounding about the same), I always have to think about the Rodéo du Camion. This is our go-to point for big-rig drag racing: 3,000 horsepower semi-trucks with a trailer attached, torquing their bodies and frames hard while charging up the road in Notre-Dame-du-Nord in Quebec, Canada. Outside of the largest scale mining equipment and Australian road trains, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more potent form of diesel power that is actually used to drive on the planet. These are semi-trucks that get bangshifted like any musclecar, while the stacks unload the carbon…and sometimes fire, too, because it takes a bit to get all of the weight moving! Oh, and there is no class for automatics or automated manuals…row your own as far and as fast as you need to in order to get to the top of the 700-foot hill that is sporting a 12% grade. With 45 tons of lumber hooked to your fifth wheel for ballast. Sound interesting?
You are in the cab of the Peterbilt of Normand Royer, as he lines up to take another shot at the hill. All you need to know about what is going on can be seen from the angle of the radiator cowl line in relation to the road surface. The only way to understand it better is to be at the wheel…and we highly, highly doubt that Royer would let our grubby mitts anywhere near the wheel!