Morning Symphony: The Almighty Trumpet Blast Of The Air Starter

Morning Symphony: The Almighty Trumpet Blast Of The Air Starter

While I’m sure there are earlier examples where my mouth got me into trouble, one distinct memory refuses to disappear. My father, Robert, was a long-haul trucker for a good part of his life, driving for Gilster Mary-Lee out of Missouri. Every other week, it seemed, all of the kids had to wake up in the middle of the night, pile into the decrepit ’85 Cavalier wagon that was pulling family car duty, and ride out along the Great River Road in Illinois up to either the truck lot in Perryville, Missouri or one of the depots around Illinois where products were loaded onto trailers, ready for the truckers to haul across the land. It was one of these early mornings, when we were dropping my dad off at a plant in Steelville, Illinois, where I got my first taste of a diesel’s air starter. Whatever fired off was damn close to the Cavalier and at five in the morning, I went from zero to “holy shit!” faster than my brain could say, “NOT OUT LOUD, YOU IDIOT!”

If you have never experienced the shrill bark of an air starter in person…prepare yourself in advance, it’s always an event. Or don’t. Anticipation might be nice, but there is something to be said for the shock of the noise hitting you for the first time. If you think an impact gun has some noise to it…oh, just wait until you hear that Detroit Diesel two-stroke wake up from a cold slumber. You won’t need coffee. A change of shorts, maybe. But not coffee.

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3 thoughts on “Morning Symphony: The Almighty Trumpet Blast Of The Air Starter

  1. Greg

    The guy in the back seat in the first bus start up…
    If you’ll excuse me I need to go watch Maximum Overdrive.

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