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“Roll, roll, rollin’ coal, let the hybrid see. A big black cloud. Exhaust that’s loud. Watch the city boy flee.”

I had never heard of " Rollin Coal"  sub-culture before. Apparently, it is becoming quite the internet sensation with, I assume, young men in rural and small town America posting pictures and videos of their jacked up, diesel tucks that spew out huge plumes of filthy exhaust on people. Sounds fun huh?  

The Urban Dictionary, defines  "rollin coal" as:

When stupid-ass white trash people turn the injection pump up on rickety-ass broken down 12V Cummins-powered Dodges and subsequently install 5" smokestacks in the bed of said Dodge. Then said WT decides to post youtube videos of their truck blanketing neighborhoods with black diesel soot.

Regardless of engine technology progressing to the point of nearly eliminating black smoke and producing nearly double the power of modded mechanically-injected diesel engine in stock form, a "Coal Rollin'" owner will respond with a not-so-clever response of "I'd rather be Cummin than Strokin." Referring to his belief that his Cummins engine is better than International's Powerstroke engine series found in Ford trucks. Because Isuzu's Duramax engien found in GM-branded trucks cannot be directly correlated to any phallic self-gratification, they are typically ignored.

Vocatives Elizabeth Kulze has a great little gem of a story on these young dudes with Pickup trucks.


Of course, there are things about diesel lovers and their trucks that the rest of us weren’t meant to understand. Like how the guttural noise of a grumbling engine sounds like music when the muffler is removed. Or how the higher the lift and the bigger the tires—the better the man. As Robbie, a 25-year-old mechanic at a diesel garage in South Carolina, puts it, “Your truck is not just something to get you from point A to point B. It’s who you are.” In other words, mushrooming clouds of diesel exhaust are just another way to show off your manhood.

Robbie has been rollin’ coal since he got his first truck 12 years ago, but he admits the allure is “kind of hard to put words on.” “It’s just fun,” he says. “Just driving and blowing smoke and having a good time.”


The pollution pageantry has its origins in Truck Pulls, a rural motorsport where diesel pickups challenge one another to see who can pull a weighted sled the farthest. In order to have an edge, drivers started modifying their trucks to dump excessive fuel into the motor, which gave them more horsepower, torque, speed and a better chance of winning. It also made their trucks emit black smoke, an affectation that apparently won the hearts of country boys everywhere. Today kids will spend anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 modifying their pickups for this sole purpose; adding smoke stacks and smoke switches (which trick the engine into thinking it needs more gas), or even revamping the entire fuel system

Aside from being macho, the rollin’ coal culture is also a renegade one. Kids make a point of blowing smoke back at pedestrians, in addition to cop cars and rice burners (Japanese-made sedans), which can make it dangerously difficult to see out of the windshield. Diesel soot can also be a great road rage weapon should some wimpy looking Honda Civic ever piss you off. “If someone makes you mad, you can just roll coal, and it makes you feel better sometimes,” says Ryan, a high school senior who works at the diesel garage with Robbie. “The other day I did it to this kid who was driving a Mustang with his windows down, and it was awesome."

The ultimate highway enemy, however, are “nature nuffies,” or people that drive hybrid cars, because apparently, pro-earth sentiment is an offense to the diesel-trucking lifestyle. “The feeling around here is that everyone who drives a small car is a liberal,” says Ryan. “I rolled coal on a Prius once just because they were tailing me.”

This what our planet is up against in Red State America. Sad.

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