It’s not often you meet a human being named Dumptruck. And when you do, you might not expect such a big bear of a man to hug you like your mama, listen like your best friend, and love you unconditionally. But that is the magic of Dumptruck.
“My whole life, I’ve been seeking out truths from my own personal experience,” says Dumptruck. “I have found that we can simply do better to each other, and we can do better to the planet we live on. It all comes down to this: You can be selfish or not selfish. You can give zero fucks about how your actions impact the world, but that is not how I live.”
Dumptruck = Enlightenment. Who knew?!
Today, Dumptruck (whose name will be explained later in this story) has partnered with Rider Justice to spread goodwill throughout the motorcycle community. You have also probably seen him in some pretty memorable television ads, including this one for Tobacco Motorwear Company and this one about watching for bikers on the road.
But how did a self-proclaimed “Mama’s Boy” from the south (“but not the weepy kind”) find his way into the role of brand influencer and good-spreader? That is a long story.
“Felt like I came from another damn planet.”
Dumptruck grew up in the south and was, surprisingly, a nerd. But he never really fit in with the nerds. When he found himself at college, getting good grades, he knew he could keep following the path before him, but something just felt wrong.
“My life sucked,” he recalls. “I felt like I came from another damn planet. I just didn’t understand the people I kept meeting.”
So, he quit and went back home. About a year later, “I was driving my car and saw a Navy recruiting office. I turned around and signed up. That’s how fast the decision was.”
He adds, “Most people don’t join the military for enlightenment, but I did. I didn’t understand the world and it was frustrating. But I loved the Navy! I loved boot camp! Boot camp is pretty easy when someone yells at you to do one thing so all you have to do is one thing. I was good at boot camp.”
From there, after a stint in “nuke school” with the Navy, Dumptruck set sail on the USS Fitzgerald DDG62. “When we were in the Gulf chasing oil pirates, every time a small boat hit the water, this big boy was in it!”
It was during this time that the “big boy” got his nickname. In a nutshell, Dumptruck and his shipmates were on leave after what felt like 80 straight days at sea on a boat full of men.
“There were two things I wanted to do: drink beer and see females. Nothing inappropriate. I just wanted to sit on a beach, drink beer and see pretty women.”
And that’s exactly what he was doing when a few of the guys were wrestling and landed right on top of him.
“I’m covered in beer and sand and these boys don’t care or notice,” recalls Dumptruck. “By the time I stand up, they are 20 feet away. I thought, ‘Fuck it.’ I took off running as fast as I could, leading with my chest, my hands behind me, and I plowed right through them.
“Someone who saw the whole thing said, ‘It looks like a truck dumped everybody in one place!’”
The nickname was born. It was July 4, 2001.
Just a few months later were the September 11 attacks, Dumptruck was released from the Navy some 9 months after that event.
In Search of His Place in the World
The next few years found Dumptruck seeking: employment, enlightenment, friendship, shelter, community.
He worked as a bouncer and bartender. He found work on radio. But by far the best thing that happened to Dumptruck during this time was his role as an announcer for women’s roller derby in Denver, CO.
“In roller derby, you will find the hottest, most Type A people you’ll ever find,” he says. “These are my people! It opened my mind up to understanding homosexuality, transgenders, why mansplaining is not ok, why equality is really what it’s about. It’s all about community.”
He continues, “I learned how to hone the greatest skill my mother ever gave me: acceptance. I had applied that skill to racism already so I knew I was on the right track. But when I was involved in roller derby, it helped me to understand more and accept my fellow person just for being who they are.
“That is one of our greatest struggles as a species. Why do we care whether you are a tiger with or without stripes?”
Around this time, Dumptruck also got his first job doing professional voiceovers in ads for television and radio. (His voice is pretty extraordinary.) His first client was Harley-Davidson, followed by Jack Daniels.
Eventually, after some stops-and-starts in California, Dumptruck signed up to tour with Harley-Davidson as their official emcee. It sounded like an amazing gig, but it didn’t pay great. So Dumptruck got creative with how he spent money.
The best solution? Ride from gig to gig on a Harley… and sleep under that Harley… for nine and a half years!
“I had a storage unit,” he recalls. “I’d go back every few months and swap out black T-shirts.”
The Day Dumptruck’s Brain Broke
As the years passed, Dumptruck was learning more ways to use his voice – for events and for good.
“My job is to be the happy good-times guy, but a responsibility comes with that,” he says. “If you’re given the stage and people are in front of you and you have their attention, you must use that stage with a certain amount of respect. If you preach anything other than inclusion and love, I don’t know why you’re there.”
Dumptruck was on the cusp of a professional turning point; he could feel it. He was writing for magazines, working a lot of events and earning a decent living.
And then his mom passed away suddenly.
“My brain broke, my heart is still broke,” he says. “I had the best career staring me in the face and I couldn’t do it. It was impossible.”
Dumptruck lived in a van and struggled to get by. Friends encouraged him to get therapy from the VA.
“I would drive there and sit in the VA parking lot. One day, I finally made it inside.”
The therapy helped. Today, Dumptruck talks openly about mental health, encouraging people to talk to each other and to counselors.
Rebuilding His Life, His Purpose, His Brand
Dumptruck started working again. He lived in Portland for a while, got back into voice work and events. Then, two years ago, he moved to New Orleans, where Dumptruck had his first real address.
“Over the years, I’ve made connections with companies who say they want to be part of the Dumptruck world,” he says. “I realized that I could build those partnerships and get paid to do things I love, like ride my motorcycle and talk about making the world a better place.”
And, according to Dumptruck, “Rider Justice is the cornerstone of my positive partnerships. Rider Justice bases their business off of helping people. Yes, they are attorneys. But it’s not just about ‘call us if someone forgot how to drive their car.’ They are true advocates for motorcycle riders. I trust them.”
Also, he admits, “I’m happy when I talk to Scott and Chere! They make me happy… They are enjoyable people!”
Right back atcha, Mr. Truck. You are one enjoyable, kind, genuine human being. Let’s get out there on two wheels and go do some good!
Join the Dumptruck World
If you, too, would like to be part of the Dumptruck world, follow him! He can be found at:
Dumptruck on Facebook
Dumptruck on Instagram
Dumptruck On YouTube