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Volume 28, Number 6November/December 1977

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Fastest Wheel in the East

They used to call Dick Snow "the fastest wheel in the East." Close to 240 pounds, six feet, two inches tall, and looking almost as formidable as his truck, Dick Snow, with his fast 22-day round trips to the Middle East, became, in the early days of the trucking bonanza, a legend in trucking circles. One of the most experienced drivers on the Middle East run—nearly 50 trips in eight years—Snow won a reputation for stopping for nothing. "I drive from A to B as fast and as safely as possible; that's what transport's all about," he once said.

Unlike most drivers, who preferred to travel in groups, Snow was a loner. "Convoys slow you down," he said. "If you break down, you break down. Everyone goes out with the same chance."

An ex-seaman, now 40, Snow said that he took up long distance driving because he liked his freedom. "You are on your own. You are free. You can do a good day's work without worrying about regulations."

At least, he added regretfully, it used to be that way. Today's traffic regulations restrict truck drivers to 450 miles a day. "I could do that before lunch," said Snow, who considered "a good day's work about 600 miles."

Because he must now obey such regulations, and because more and more trucks are taking to the road, Snow said, it has been increasingly difficult to keep up the speed of his round trips to Tehran. The work is also getting more and more impersonal. "It used to be much friendlier," he said. "But now, well, now it's a rat race." Then he grinned. "Of course, I still plan to win the race."

This article appeared on page 16 of the November/December 1977 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.


Check the Public Affairs Digital Image Archive for November/December 1977 images.