Another Trucking Movie

By on November 1, 2008
RoadKing Mag

Drive and Deliver is a very interesting slice of long-haul trucking, commissioned and “produced” by International Trucks. At times, it’s a not-so-subtle commercial for the new LoneStar, the vintage-styled tractor for the premium owner-operator market. But  other aspects make the production worth viewing.

It shows how drivers feel about driving and the role that family support plays in their lives. It shows rural America’s appreciation of trucks and trucking. And it shows views of scenic America that keep so many drivers enamored of life on the road.

International Trucks commissioned a young, acclaimed producer, director and writer, Brett Morgen, who has previously been nominated for an Academy Award. Three drivers were selected to drive a new LoneStar for a week in their daily operations.

The truck has a 600 hp Cummins ISX and 18-speed transmission. The stars are three real drivers from varied backgrounds. Steve Donaldson is a small fleet owner specializing in heavy haul and specialized loads. His loads with the LoneStar included bulk wood chops and palletized cargo. Tim Young is a devoted family man. He hauled palletized wrapped cargo and baled paper. Goshen, Ind., native Chris LeCount, the youngest, hauled an MRAP, a military truck built by International, from Mississippi to Charleston, S.C.

Each driver had a camera in the LoneStar focused on him while driving. Each provided a narrative about life on the road and trucking in general. You never see or hear an interviewer, just the driver.

Whenever they stopped, the truck got everyone’s attention. Ordinary people as well as professional drivers surrounded it at every location.

Truck-mounted exterior cameras, chase vehicles and even aircraft provided some breathtaking cinematography of the country, from mountain peaks and desert bluffs to woods and meadows, to lakes and farm country.

The film is interesting to truck enthusiasts, but has creative flaws that can probably be connected to Morgen, the director. There were most of the usual clichés about trucking and the last American cowboys, and not enough self-censoring about running legal. At times, I felt artistic license overtook knowledge of trucking. One driver even discussed running “about 130,000 miles in less than six months” during a period of emotional stress. I’m not sure that’s what we want the general public to comment on.

I would recommend Drive and Deliver to those in trucking as an interesting insight into these three drivers and their experiences with the new LoneStar. For those outside our industry, I’m not so sure.  

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