Truck Stop

Transport, Violence, Food

From messy food festivals to condiment crimes, food fights aren't just for kids. In Mexico, there's been a series of arson attacks on trucks and warehouses belonging to Sabritas, a chip company owned by Pepsi. Over the weekend, a Sabritas delivery truck was stopped and set on fire, and five of the company's warehouses as well as 30 parked trucks were firebombed the weekend prior.

Authorities suspect the drug cartel Knights Templar with motives related to trafficking, making the outbursts significant as they're among the first to directly target a multinational corporation. But this is far from food's first foray into turf wars--in fact, a fleet of pizza delivery vehicles in Sydney, Australia were also recently destroyed, triggered by competition between pizza chains. Violence may just be another occupational hazard of truck driving, along with lopsided tans and flying sheep.

Roadside distractions aside, the basic act of navigating a commercial truck is no easy feat. Each vehicle usually measures at least 12 meters and 15 tons, the weight of about two adult elephants, when empty. There's certainly growing interest in promoting local food to both reduce exhaust emissions and improve nutrition, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, trucks continue to dominate as most common mode of carrying cargo, beating out boats, trains, and planes.

In one of McSweeney's "Interviews with people who have interesting or unusual jobs," a seasoned truck driver discusses topics including required training, driver slang, and the often unrealized necessity of trucking. "Maybe you’re thinking that trains deliver stuff, but how do you get it from the train to the store?" he notes. "Everything moves by truck."

Image credit: Bjørn Bulthuis