From time to time, we hear from readers with stories of high-profile concrete projects or comments on a recent article. But every once in a while, we’ll get a different kind of note. For several years now, THE CONCRETE PRODUCER’S editors received letters from a truck enthusiast named James Hernandez in Hesperia, Calif.
James’ letters almost always include a copy of a newspaper article, a photo of himself, or a colorful drawing of a ready-mix truck (our personal favorites). A devoted fan of ready-mix trucks, he reaches out to concrete producers and industry publications to share his passion. In his own words:
I am a 38-year-old handicapped person whose hobbies include photographing, drawing, and painting concrete trucks. Concrete trucks are very important to our economy. Without them we would not have buildings to begin with. Can you imagine no stores, no homes, no restaurants, or other structures made of concrete? This would be a tragedy and that is why it makes me so very happy when I see a concrete truck out on the road or at a jobsite.
It’s apparent from his descriptions that James has spent many hours studying these trucks in action.
A reason I like the ready-mix concrete truck is because cement, aggregate and water get loaded into the drum so it can mix all the ingredients to create concrete. When I see one on the road…with the booster axle up and the big wheels down, I get very happy because I know they are going to the jobsite.
I really enjoy seeing the driver raise the booster axle, watching him hang the cutes onto the back of the truck, and next – out comes the concrete.
In studying the movements and workings of trucks delivering concrete near his home, James has discovered a basic truth that we can all relate to, especially in recent years:
I enjoy keeping track of as many ready-mix concrete trucks on the road as I can. This makes me happy as it means that business is good and people are working and making money to support their families.
James has established relationships with several local producers, including Superior Ready Mix (Escondido, Calif.), Hi-Grade Materials (Hesperia), National Ready Mix Concrete Co. (Moorpark, Calif.), and Robertson’s Ready Mix (Hesperia). “James writes to us and we send him calendars, hats, and t-shirts,” says Bill Forrest, a Robertson’s sales representative. “He’s also sent us a camera and asked us to take pictures of our trucks in different locations.”
Using these photos for inspiration, James creates colorful and imaginative – although precisely accurate – drawings of ready-mix trucks and pumpers.
We’d like to share some of the artwork he has sent us over the years, and invite you to vote on your favorite picture. The readers’ top choice will be featured in the September/October issue of THE CONCRETE PRODUCER.