February 20, 2013
Tired of winter? Eagerly awaiting the first warm day when you can go outdoors with just a t shirt and shorts on? Well, sorry, we can't make that happen any sooner than anyone else, but, at least now you can take a look at the tentative schedule for the summer. Please remember that there may be changes. We'll let you know as soon as we know.
Also, J.R.and Ted will be sharing the driving responsibilities for the upcoming season.
KEEP WARM AND SAFE!!
DECEMBER 2012 NEWS
After an absence of several years, the Super Semis will once again appear in Saluda, South Carolina next summer. Dates of this 2-day event are August 9 - 10, 2013.
But there is another prestigious event which will occur in September, 2013 in Urbana, Ohio. For the first time ever, the top five Super Semis will be competing at the Enderle Pulloff. On behalf of the semi class, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Kent and the Enderle family for including our class in 2013. We will all try our very best to qualify for this year-end event.
NEWS FLASH!! NEWS FLASH!! NEWS FLASH!! NEWS FLASH!! NEWS FLASH!!
The Buckeye Bulldog, along with Dodge Fever, Jacked Up, Lady Butterfly, and Sticks and Stones will be making a special appearance at the Fonda, New York Fair on Sunday, September 2, 2012.
Then on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2012 they will be making a special appearance at the Essex Junction, Vermont Fair.
JULY 14, 2012
Friday the 13th may be unlucky for some people, but the new rookie driver of the Buckeye Bulldog, Ted Ellis, proved otherwise last night when he drove the Mack to his first competition WIN in New Hampton, Iowa. J.R. commented that the old Mack got a good bite right out of the hole and Ted did a great job of driving past all the competition to a win at 311.76 feet. "I'm really proud of him, " said J.R. , adding, "I knew all along that he would do it one day."
RFD TV, TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2012 @ 6:30 pm -- SUPER SEMIS FROM BOWLING GREEN, OHIO
RFD TV, TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2012 @ 6:30 PM -- SUPER SEMIS FROM HUTCHINSON, MINNESOTA
ALSO, TENTATIVE 2012 SCHEDULE POSTED
JANUARY 28, 2012
AND HOW HAS YOUR WINTER BEEN?
Hope everyone is enjoying their winter! Two weeks ago we got 30" of snow in about 12 hours, and, boy, were we socked in!! We live on the corner of a private street, and our garage is behind the house. The street was not plowed until late afternoon, and then our neighbor came over with his snowblower and cleared the drive and our sidewalk so we could get out of the house. If there had been a fire, however, we would have found a way out! And then two days later it was raining and most of the snow had melted. Now we're having a couple of days of snow, and the a couple of days of rain. What a winter!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
THE SUPER SEMIS WILL BE FEATURED AT BOWLING GREEN, OHIO ON RFD TV ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2012 AT 6:30 pm.
NOVEMBER 24, 2011
GEARING UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Well, the pulling season is over. It was a tough battle all summer long. Walker and Kielmeyer really made me earn the championship this past season. They fought me all the way, with my truck achieving only 3 wins and 2 second place finishes. But when the final flag was dropped and the final hook was over, my old bulldog showed his stuff and came out the winner. Now we're looking forward to the NTPA awards banquet on the 3rd of December.
Then it's on to Christmas and all the festivities included therein - too much food to eat, too many luscious desserts, too much money spent on gifts, too much utter chaos with the grandkids here - but that's the reason for everything - happy family times. Our grandkids are at the perfect age for Santa, and it's such a joy to watch their excitement opening all their presents! But then again, it's a big "whew!" when it's all over and they go home.
After that, we will have a quiet New Year's Eve at home with a toast to 2012, and then it's on to getting through the rest of the winter without colds and flu and other associated problems that snow, cold, and wind bring to us old folks. Looking forward to spring and gearing up for the pulling season once again.
There will probably be some changes for our team next year. Plans are to have Ted Ellis do the driving of the Buckeye Bulldog all season, with JR watching from his Crew Chief's position on Pee Wee the golf cart. Ted drove a couple of times last season, and he did a good job for being a "rookie". Let's see if he can make the bulldog shine when he's driving all season long.
Finally, our best to all of you, our loyal fans, for a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. We hope to see you all at the first hook of 2012.
JR, Linda, and Ted
SEPTEMBER 16, 2011
J. R. COLLINS HAS JUST WON HIS 6TH NTPA GRAND NATIONAL SUPER SEMI TITLE!!!!!
August 14, 2011
KUDOS TO FRANCIS ENGINEERING
About 15 years ago, Dale Francis promised me that if I ever had a catastrophic failure with my pulling truck, he would be there to correct it. The man is true to his word! Last Saturday night at Morley, Michigan, we wiped out the crankshaft. Sunday we drove home. Monday morning at 8:30 AM, Art and Mark, my two mechanics from the Sidley Mack Truck garage, began to pull the motor out of the truck. By 2:30 PM Monday afternoon, the engine was sitting in Dale's garage.
Immediately, his guys started tearing it apart. By 8:00 PM that night, the block was in the "washing machine" being cleaned. The next morning we selected one of my used cranks, put it in a crank grinder, ground it, and fitted the bearings. By 3:00 in the afternoon the crank was back in the block, the valves were being ground, and the engine was going back together. By 2:00 the following day the engine was back in my shop, long block assembled, ready for dressing out. Wednesday and Thursday evenings my mechanics dressed it out - turbos, headers, inter-cooler, all oil lines to the dry sump system, and on Friday evening at 6:00 PM we started it - ready for BG.
With all sincerity, I would like to thank Dale and the guys in his shop - Tom, Brian, Gary, Casey, Jake, and, of course, Albert - for working long hours and staying overtime to get the Buckeye Bulldog back in business. Thanks again also to Art and Mark for pushing to get everything done in a timely manner. They are all true professionals who are dedicated to getting the job done, no matter how much work is involved!
A BUCKEYE BULLDOG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!!!
August 3, 2011
A LITTLE OF THIS AND A LITTLE OF THAT
We're about halfway through the pulling season now, with some big events yet to come. The biggest for us, of course, is Bowling Green in the middle of August. But I have to relate to you the trip home from hell. Generally our lives are not so exciting that we need to have a day to day synopsis of things, but once in a while certain events really stand out!
So, this outstanding event occurred on our trip home from New Hampton, Iowa. We had gotten up early and were on the road by 7:00 AM since we were a lonnng way from home, only to be thwarted by the fickle finger of fate. The day became very hot and sultry - 95+ degrees, and our first problem occurred shortly after getting on the interstate. We blew a trailer tire (inside front rear tire), and with an exit directly ahead, we limped off into a truck stop, where, lo and behold, a guy was changing a tire on another semi. So he said he would put our spare on the trailer when he was finished. OK, so after about a half an hour, we were on the road again. Now, remember, we were still in Iowa. So we didn't go even 10 miles when the same tire blew. Now we're desperate - no spare. We pulled into a rest area and called home to have my sister find a tire repair service close by. Iowa 80 called us and said someone would be at our location in about an hour and a half to two hours with a brand new tire. Two hours later they called to say it would be another 45 minutes. When the tire man arrived, he could not get the lug nuts off the tire (although they had been taken off earlier in the day). So we had to wait another 1/2 hour while someone from the tire repair shop brought a stronger air gun. Bottom line - after a wait of 4-1/2 hours in 95+ degree heat, sitting in a rest area, and a charge of $670.77, we were finally on our way home.
Oh, was it mentioned that our first night at New Hampton was a rain out, and therefore we received no money? Then you add the tire charge and the fuel bill to it, and I really don't think we broke even on our trip to New Hampton! The redeeming grace was that I won the pull!
UPDATE - we now have 8 new tires on the trailer and two spare tires! By the way, the two tires on the trailer were only 3 years old - about 27,000 miles on them. So much for new "Goodyears".
REMEMBER: I will not be appearing at the Lake County Fair in Painesville, Ohio this year. Also, the NTPA Super Semis will not be there.
JANUARY 24, 2011
Well, we've made it through the holidays and are in the doldrums of winter! It's been very cold and snowy here - almost as though we'll never see spring and another truck pull! Stay warm and safe this winter. See you in the spring.
SUPER SEMIS ON RFD TV NOVEMBER 30, 2010 AT 6:30 PM
New photos of the 2010 season have been added to the Photo Gallery.
September , 2010
HIGHLIGHTS (AND DISAPPOINTMENTS) OF THE 2010 SEASON
Parking in Champions' Row at Tomah beside the Lambada Team and getting to know them.
Seven year old granddaughter severely injured in an accident while we were in Tomah. She was life-flighted to Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland where she underwent 5-1/2 hours of reconstructive surgery. She had four skull fractures and severe facial injuries. Today she is back in school and progressing quite well.
Broken axle in Tomah caused us to take a 5th place.
Running overnight from Hutchinson, MN to Logansport, IN for a pull the next night. Too long a distance to drive in such a short period of time. Getting too old for this nonsense!
Excellent turnout at our hometown pull, but once again, we all know how hard it is to pull at home. Brother suffered a stroke the day before the pull, which weighed heavily on our minds.
Winning the ring at BG.
Being DQ'd in Canfield.
Running neck and neck with Jack all season and finally winning the championship. Great competitors in the Super Semi class.
Being treated to "pullers meals" at many venues. A big thank you to everyone involved who fed us at the pulls. A decent meal is most appreciated.
Watching Ted Ellis do an excellent job of driving my truck for the first time in Sandwich.
Watching Larry Richwine at Sandwich do a better job of driving my truck than I did this season by keeping it inbounds down the track. This was Larry's first time to drive a Super Semi.
The letdown at the end of the season.
Gearing up for next year with new and improved ideas.
REFLECTIONS OF THE SEASON
Well, we've come through another season of pulling. Despite much controversy this year, I still managed to earn another championship. Certainly this would not have been possible without the help of my good friend, Ted Ellis. Ted not only helped with getting the truck ready for the pulls, he is also a diesel mechanic (now this really helps!) and he has a CDL, so he could drive the road truck and I could catch some Z's. Plus he has the youth needed to go the extra mile, whereas this old man needs to take a nap on occasion! It was a good year.
There was a protest of my truck suspension at Little Valley, New York, where I was disqualified from a first place finish by PPL officials, to a last place finish. The truck was "legal" enough for last place but not for first place. The suspension issue was resolved at Bowling Green when all the NTPA semi class drivers agreed that the suspension must be secured to the frame with no movement in any direction. So after we make this change for the 2010 season, we'll be able to determine whether my 2009 championship was the result of a "questionable suspension" or the fact that the new cab allowed us to move 2400 pounds from the front of the truck to the back. Any guesses?
And despite everything PPL tried to do to me at Waynesburg, I still won that pull. However, my true loyalty resides with NTPA, and I will always be a staunch NTPA supporter. There are naysayers in every pulling venue, but first and foremost I must say that I have never cheated to win, and I will NEVER cheat to win. The best truck will win the pull. And the truck that can return time after time for pulloffs or the next venue, will ultimately be the best truck on the track. One pass wonders do not make for a champion.
Over the winter months please check back on the website since there will be photos added from the past season. You'll be able to get a good look at the new cab we introduced at the beginning of the 2009 season.
Lastly, reflections on the upcoming pulling season and the new year. Linda, Ted, and I would like to wish all our friends and fans the best for 2010. May you be healthy and happy. Let's hope that 2010 brings a better life to everyone.
Since the beginning of the season there has been quite a bit of controversy over my “alleged illegal” truck suspension. Most of the complaints have come from pullers who have not even seen the truck to this date. NTPA, PPL, and Big Rigs all have the same rule book. When we sat down to design the suspension, the first thing Dale Francis and I did was to read the rule book over and over and over again. After reading the rule book, we designed the suspension that is under my truck today.
Also, I decided to spend money and buy a fiberglass cab and hood from Joe Frey in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. This new cab has a combined weight of 250 pounds vs. the weight of the old cab at 1750 pounds. Then we replaced the front axle, springs, shackles, and steering box with a tubular front axle and hydraulic steering designed and built by Dale Francis. We lightened the truck by 2340 pounds, which could then be moveable weight on the rear of the truck. Our objective in making these changes was to achieve greater traction.
With all of these changes, as we all know, we opened a humongous can of worms! The truck would not go straight down the track, which caused me to lose several pulls and look like a beginner. Our last trip out, we believe that finally we have made sufficient corrections to get the old Buckeye Bulldog back to championship pulling form. Sunday at New Hampton, Iowa I went 375 feet.
I challenge those pullers who have been “badmouthing” me and my truck regarding my suspension to prove where it is written in the rule book that it is illegal. I also challenge them to a “hitch-raising” contest, since the complaint is that my suspension raises the hitch. Every other modified semi raises the hitch higher than my hitch. Finally, propane - I have decided that at the pulls where my fellow pullers are complaining that the propane “somehow” is fed illegally into the engine, the spectators will be the ones to suffer because they will not have a fire show. I will put the propane tanks on the trailer.
I also would prefer that if anyone has a problem with me or my truck, that they would be a man about it and confront me directly instead of badmouthing me behind my back.
Our Newest Crew Member
Some of you may have seen a new crew member with us for the latter half of last season. He will be traveling with us again this year for the entire season. His name is Ted Ellis, from Busti, New York, and is a family friend. Ted is 21 years old and graduated in 2008 from the Ohio Technical College in Cleveland, Ohio in the diesel technology field. Ted assists as a mechanic, helper, go-fer, or whatever needs to be done. He jumps right in and is not afraid to get dirty working on the truck. Ted also has a CDL and will be sharing some of the driving responsibilities of the road truck this season. We certainly appreciate all that Ted does to keep the Buckeye Bulldog in championship form.