Wisconsin-based leased fuel hauler Seth Taylor has been good friends with Rodney Nyhof for quite a while. Taylor, in his early 30s, grew into trucking with so many then-soon-to-be owner-operators in his area under the influence of Rodney’s father, Carl Nyhof, the 74-year-old owner and operator of the R model Mack you see up top, well preserved for its 35 years in service under just one owner. Nyhof purchased the unit when it was new from a local Mack dealer called Karstaedt’s Services, Taylor says, and has run it ever since.
Rodney Nyhof and Taylor “have talked for quite a while about cleaning up the truck and submitting it to your magazine,” he told me, and this past weekend, with Carl out of town, provided the perfect opportunity.
Taylor calls the elder Nyhof a “a great mentor to a few young owner-ops like me, and the history behind this submission is a really big deal among ‘short-haul’ guys like us that look up to Carl and his way of staying independent. Never much for flash or things that shine, Carl has never gotten much credit for all his years of dedicated work.”
It’s credit that he no doubt deserves for a generous spirit he’s well-known for throughout the area, particularly among the trucking generation coming up behind him. (Taylor, to this day, parks his 2012 Pete 386 at Carl’s yard, a home base for all manner of new-business assistance, including the “quite a few he’s helped out over the years” getting a CDL. Taylor makes note of a friend Nyhof put on the books for a while to help him learn driving, among others. “Carl will wait around long after he would normally be gone to help me if I’m ‘limping home’ for repairs,” Taylor says.)
“He’s a household name in our area for his generosity,” Taylor adds.
So, without further ado, here’s Taylor’s tribute to the independent owner-operator, his truck and his business in and out of area gravel pits and other tough spots, working longtime with local contractors.