Watching news outlets try to explain “Rolling Coal” is hilarious

Watching news outlets try to explain “Rolling Coal” is hilarious

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve read the term “rolling coal” more times than I have in the last ten years, and I read a few diesel magazines. The “media” (or more accurately, those “Content Aggregators” at the HuffPo and Slate) have latched onto a few videos posted on YouTube as some kind of a widespread movement coming to every Country (and Western) bar in America, with repercussions including lung cancer and a widening hole in the ozone layer.

Now look, I recycle, I don’t pour oil-based paint down the terlit, and I have even been known to hug a tree (once. It was a long, lonely weekend.) In all honestly, I think rolling coal for no other purpose than just seeing a black column of soot pour out an exhaust pipe is kinda dumb. But then again, some folks see boiling the hide off a perfectly good tire as kinda dumb, too, so who am I to judge?

What’s truly hilarious, though, is to see reporters whose DIY experience begins and ends with hanging a Little Tree Air Freshener off the rear view mirror trying to explain how  rolling coal works, exactly:

“Today kids will spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 modifying their pickups for this sole purpose; adding smoke stacks and smoke switches.”Slate

Jon Stwart thinking

Mmmmm, $5,000 or you could just spend $0.38 and get yourself a toggle switch from the Radio Shack that turns your VGT turbo off, as you can see in this video:


“Apparently, those interested in rolling coal either take their truck to a mechanic or alter the engine themselves, with the goal being to hoodwink the system into thinking it needs to use more gas than it actually does.”Daily Digest News



“That soot, which coal rollers call “Prius repellent” in online videos and forums and on decals on their trucks, can then be channeled up through “smoke stacks,” Huffington Post

SmokeStacks 2

“The ultimate highway enemy, however, are “nature nuffies,” – Slate

ORLY…because I Googled “nature nuffies” and came up with 254,000 results, almost all of which were this article. Nobody who drives a badass Dodge Diesel is going to be caught dead calling anybody a “nuffie.” What the hell is that?

“Truckers want to “stick it to the man” and roll coal before their liberal enemies make it illegal to do so.”Daily Digest

Stick it

“The relatively new trend has skyrocketed in recent years. Google analytics shows the search volume for “rolling coal” increasing sevenfold since February 2011.” WSBTV Atlanta

Uh huh. I suppose this is factually correct, WSBTV Atlanta, but when I clicked the link to Google Analytics you provided, I got this:

Google Data

Search results have, in fact, increased seven fold…to 100. By July 2014, a wide margin of those 100 search results probably came from whatever Social Studies teachers, knitters, shut-ins and uber-pretentious hipsters read the article on Huffington Post had no idea what “rolling coal” meant.

Congratulations, dummies, on manufacturing the latest scapegoat to deflect attention from any real issues that may be occurring.

Now excuse me, while I go roast a set of tires. I say GOOD DAY, sir.


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24 thoughts on “Watching news outlets try to explain “Rolling Coal” is hilarious

  1. crazy

    they maybe fools and we might be laugh’n.. but when the epa gets involved, no one will be laugh’n.. and that’s the real reason for the stories…

  2. hptqjunkie

    In regards to the EPA, and the media giving their 2 cents, and acting like it is not cool. I getting really sick of the media telling me what I need to think. It really makes me ask myself are we really a free country anymore? If your into rolling coal, than do it………..have fun and do what makes you happy

  3. Brian Lohnes

    The EPA has been “involved” for years. They’ve fined and cracked down on the companies selling diesel tuners in several cases.

    1. crazy

      yup they have, but they haven’t had fuel to out write outlaw any aftermarket parts.. this is giving them the fuel needed.. and WHY banks commented in the first place.

  4. Beagle

    Hell, the “Rolling Coal” media outlet explanation count here has DOUBLED in the last week. hahahahahahahaha.

    They’re turning OFF the VNT? Okay, that’s just fukcing stupid. No other way to say it.

  5. Nick D.

    I see a lot of these diesel guys who think it’s cool to just crank the fuel to the max so it blows black smoke. But all that smoke is just power you can see but cannot use, so it’s pretty pointless.

    1. Matt Cramer

      The guys who rig their trucks to do this sometimes remind me of the Captain Planet villains: Out to create a bunch of extra pollution with no discernible motive.

      1. Nick D.

        Ha, good one. I didn’t think anyone else actually remembered Captain Planet. Anytime I got into a discussion with them, I always felt the need to point out that in doing this, they proved that they had no understanding of how a diesel engine actually worked. They didn’t appreciate that.

  6. Robert

    This all falls into the video game, import tuner, 10 video screen visual bullshit that young people are into today. A lot of gadget crap that serves no purpose. Big clouds of sooty smoke? REALLY? Like these people really NEED a big diesel truck to get around in? It’s just another stupid fad like air horns etc, etc.

    1. Nick R

      Nobody needs a 1000 hp muscle car to “get around in”, Hell, we could all “get around” on mopeds. This crap that serves no purpose except be a stupid fad, is what keeps the aftermarket auto industry going. Your entire post makes you sound like a self absorbed, old, uppity person who is only into what you already own and anyone different is “stupid”. Are you the “Get off my lawn you little bastards” guy?

  7. Cyclone03

    This is bad for us all, when the Huffin’ Post latches on to a cause ,and this is a cause, the fun police will be on alert to all mods again.

  8. Whelk

    “Rolling Coal” seems to be about the same thing as rigging your exhaust to shoot flames. Showy and fun one in a while, but pretty pointless.

  9. tigeraid

    While it is a little worrisome from a nanny-state point of view, these guys are shit-disturbers and deserve whatever penalty or fine they get for wasting time, gas, power, and bothering people.

  10. JB

    Youthful exuberance I suppose. About as pointless as doing street burnouts just because you can. Fun for some, annoying for others. A fad that will fade in time, hopefully before the do-gooders make it illegal. And why do stuff that will encourage the EPA, CARB and the government to crack down more. Most people have no clue what manufacturers go through to meet compliance regulations for their high performance parts. SEMA works hard to keep them off our backs. This doesn’t help our cause at all. Too high profile and the news media loves to point fingers.

  11. RDP

    Most of the people around here who set their trucks up to “roll coal ” only do it in the summer time and they keep the exhaust exiting the passenger side. Blowing thick clouds of black smoke on unsuspecting cyclists who refuse to move over for vehicles is a heck of a lot of fun.

    1. Nick

      Yeah you’re not a douchebag. Believe it or not any vehicle, from pedal bikes to motorcycles to cars to trucks, has the same right to use the road. I’m not saying it’s smart for a bike to ride in the middle of a lane, especially with drivers like you around, but they have the same right to to the road as you do. What are you going to try next, running them over?

  12. VRMN8R

    Diesels are noisy …Diesels ” STINK ” !!! Roll This ” MORONS ”

    .I.. ” get it ” ???

  13. 440 6Pac

    I don’t really understand why anyone wants their truck to smoke like that. I can’t give them extra power. In fact if you have to switch the turbo off to get smoke then your losing power. Also black smoke means your running rich. your wasting fuel and not getting anything out of it.
    But to each their own.

  14. Hagar

    Hey, it’s a free country. You can do what you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with what somewhat else wants. Right? That’s what this country is founded on, right?

    So, if you want to drive a big jacked-up truck, a regular car, a Prius, ride a bike, walk beside the road….you should have a reasonable right to not get obliterated by someone’s “coal rollin”, right? Roll your coal away from me, whatever. Just respect my rights, mmmkay?

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