Tyrone’s Trucking Life
Known as the ‘King of Truckers,’ Tyrone spent 20 years of his life on the road. For 17 of them, he worked for Bandag, one of the largest international haulage companies. But in 1963, this trucker hatched a new, bizarre and ultimately brilliant plan. Sitting in a bar one evening, he mapped out his plans on napkin, in an attempt to cajole his friend, Warren Foletta into agreeing with his crazy plan.
Of Whales and Trucks
Tyrone came up with the idea that he should combine marine conservation awareness with haulage work. His bizarre plan involved obtaining a sperm whale, freezing it, and hauling it all around the world. And he did just that!
Tyrone approached a sea captain and hired his services, along with a boat. He acquired a whaling permit from the US Department of the Interior, and soon he set off into the sea to in pursuit of a whale. He hunted a 20 ton whale, which he triumphantly brought back to shore, froze, and loaded into his truck, to embark on a 30 year haulage work mission that would take him across the world with his whale, Little Irvy, in tow.
Tyrone must have been a salesman at heart, as he managed to convince sea captains, governmental departments and haulage companies to aid him in his mission. He approached Kenworth, a trucking company, to allow him to use their 1967 10-wheel truck. He then built a trailer to carry Little Irvy, and they were all set.
Tyrone and Little Irvy made their way through the USA, Canada and Europe, stopping at fairs and car shows so that the magnificent sight of a sperm whale in a truck could be observed at 35c per view. Tyrone saw it as something for the whole family, where men could enjoy his grand show truck, while women could view the magnificent marine creature.
To continue with his desire to combine marine life with work for haulage companies, Tyrone also caught and hauled 3 sharks, which were frozen and displayed in a similar way to Little Irvy.
Tyrone’s Tragic End
After attending a meeting in Phoenix to discuss plans to create a ‘Trucking Hall of Fame,’ Tyrone fell asleep at the wheel on his return journey. He tragically died, and his plans to create a trucking museum where he could display his trucks as well as his frozen marine animals were never completed. And all that is left as a testament to Tyrone’s life of brilliant haulage work is the 20 ton frozen whale, Little Irvy.