Let's Stop This Now: 'Rolling Coal' Feeds Stereotypes

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Can we agree that this is not the right way to execute a protest? There have been several reports, including this one in the Huffington Report Green edition, about "rolling coal" protests. These articles portray turbo-diesel pickup truck owners in a light that won't do any pickup truck owners any good.

Anti-environmental "rolling coal" protestors intentionally dump unburned fuel into their truck's engine to produce a deep black smoke from the tailpipe (or smokestacks, if so equipped) — often aimed at Prius drivers — as a form of political protest or just to be a jerk. Either way, executing this type of throttle move to produce this type of smoke dump is stupid and, ultimately, bad for air quality. And it certainly doesn't help anti-environmentalists make their point.

The article implies that these pollution protests are only possible if expensive modifications are made to the trucks by pickup truck enthusiasts (seems like the author casts a pretty wide net here) who are going out of their way to fight the government's environmental agenda.

Whether this is a growing concern or just an example of a few bad apples, we can all agree this type of tailpipe exhibition and Prius targeting does not help anyone or any issue. If we allow this type of behavior to go unchecked or without consequences, it will affect all pickup truck owners, whether they drive diesels or not. We'll be the first ones to defend the right of free expression, but when a few bad apples receive the wrong type of attention for using a torque-loving turbo-diesel improperly, we need to call these guys (or women) out.

Let's stop this type of behavior before it gives other media outlets another opportunity to paint a stereotypical picture of pickup truck owners and enthusiasts.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears


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I agree. But you are barking at the moon. There is no cure for stupid. Expressing your right to be a jackass, still makes you a jackass.

It doesn't help when owners of diesel trucks that have these tall stack exhausts do not maintain them and let large plumes of black smoke belch out of them. This hurts anyone who owns a truck. If you drive a diesel keep it clean.

Why don't these highly strung diesel have a supercharger somewhere?
Let the air flow from your filters, to 1/2 big honking-turbos, then to a TVS supercharger. (as the turbos spin up, the supercharger will no longer be a restriction)

No waiting for the turbos to spool up, and no more rolling coal (waiting on the boost, so the air:fuel ratio becomes correct)

I agree with one of the comments on the article that says they need to run a hose from the exhaust of one of these trucks into the cabin and let them breath their own rolling coal. This would be a good reason for sterilization, no need to reproduce these genes This hurts those who need to use diesels for working trucks. I didn't realize this was deliberately done. If anything this behavior will put pressure on the government to increase regulation of diesel powered vehicles. What numskulls.

I was in a class with some jerk and he started saying something about smoking somebody out on a bike. I was like "Dude, that's stupid! Why would you do that? He had no answer. Then he said he smoked somebody because "they cut me off" I'm pretty sure he cut somebody off at some point. Matter of fact, he probably likes cutting people off. I can see his mentality- "just cut off that (insert small car name), he can't do anything about it.

They are making people that actually rely on diesel look bad.

Stupid is as stupid does. Same as people that continue to buy RAM trucks made in Mexico while Mexico holds one of our soldiers hostage, chained to his bed naked.

Hitler took the diesels. Stalin took the diesels. Mao took the diesels. Fidel Castro took the diesels. Hugo Chavez took the diesels, and I'm here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our diesels! It doesn't matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street begging for them to have their diesels taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand? 'MURICA!!!

So a small minority of tree hugging liberals whine about diesel smoke and will cry until more regulations are put in place? How about the majority of diesel owners that don't give a damn? There are far more harmful things to the environment then diesel smoke.

Don't many of the old American cars in Cuba now have Soviet made diesel engines. I read where it is very hard and expensive to get a car in Cuba and many of the old cars have had their old gas engines replaced by diesels. Old cars from the 40s and 50s have been patched together with anything that will work.


So the far-left Huffington is a source for you guys? Really?

Do you think the viewpoints expressed on Huffington represent the mainstream readership of PUTC?

I don't.

I am a fan of rolling coal. I will always build up my truck to roll coal. I think emission equipment is stupid. A diesel was not meant to be clean. And it creates more power, more mpg, and looks cool. Now if there are owners out there that do not agree and keep their truck clean, it doesn't mean i hate them, i just simply don't agree with them. If someone wants to buy a Prius, that's their prerogative. The owners of priuses aren't the ones who put emissions regulations on the trucks, the EPA/Obama did. To do it to roll coal on people and be a jerk is the wrong reason. And yes, I agree, the wrongful rolling of coal needs to stop. But not rolling coal all together.

@papa jim--Regardless of the Huffington Post I see a number of these trucks with the tall stacks blowing smoke all over and these are relatively new trucks. I didn't realize that people were deliberately doing this. If someone doesn't like Obama or Democrats there are other ways of protesting than to blow black sooty smoke on others. This hurts those that use their diesel trucks for their business. Because of idiots like this the government will likely regulate diesels even more. Maybe you think this is a good idea and you are entitled to your opinion.

@Jared--I know many guys who have diesels for work trucks that don't blow sooty smoke all over the place. These guys have trucks with over 100k on the odometers and they don't smoke all over. Just like any vehicle you have to maintain it. The buses I take to work are older but they are maintained and you can hardly tell they are diesel. The bus drivers told me that the filters are changed and maintenance is done on a regular basis and some of these buses are close to 20 years old.

Too many people own a pickup that have no need to own one.
I have a need to own one, I do serious heavy hauling, light towing, my job requires me to off-road.
I see the majority of full size pickups out there not hauling or towing anything.
Its tough for me seeing a hillbilly cutting holes in his perfectly good truck bed floor so he can install exhaust stacks, you know he doesn't haul anything.
It worries me the left in this country complain about SUV's but never complain about pickup trucks cause we all know your and my pickup is a bigger polluter than any SUV.
In the past in my state pickups had a commercial license meaning that only a commercial business had the need to own one and I wonder if government will adopt that idea again. You had to prove to the state government why you need a pickup for approval to own one.
Our rights come from the government and if we continue to abuse that right that right will be taken away from us.

We get what we deserve. There's still a few knuckleheads out there promoting excess fuel tuners and diesel drivers generating black clouds on the roadways.

I've read where people are rolling coal in protest of Obama.

Ironically it was the Bush administration who lowered the sulphur content in diesel From 500ppm to less than 15ppm.

But I guess it's easier to protest the so called liberals.

@Papa Jim

By the way papa Jim enlighten yourself a little bit from time to time, getting info from multiple sources broadens your thinking process. God forbid you get all your ideas from one type of narrow minded source. Good luck

We can agree just as soon as we agree not to call diesels "eco" or "clean".

@98Sienna--You are correct it was George W Bush that lowered the sulphur content in diesel.

@Tom#3--You are correct too many people own a pickup that don't really need them, but then we all have a right to own one if we choose. Having said that we should act responsibly if we own and drive a truck. I use my trucks but I for the most part don't do heavy hauling. I do like the utility and function of a pickup but then I am also responsible for operating and maintaining my trucks in a reasonable manner that does not deliberately harm or infringe on others health and rights.

@Jeff S

Ok, I ask you guys:

Do you think the viewpoints expressed on Huffington represent the mainstream readership of PUTC?

@papa jim--I think you have to read the article and use your judgement instead of saying it is the Huffington Post and they are a bunch of liberals so they have to be wrong. Now if you are in favor of deliberately belching black smoke over everyone because you don't like their car or you don't like the Government that is your choice. I thought you were against more Government? It is jackasses like these coal rollers that cause more regulations therefore complicating all of our lives. You need to cut some of those weeds down so that you can see the bigger picture of a few idiots causing problems for everyone else.

We call these types of guys members of the DDC(Diesel Douchebag Club) where I am from. Not only do they like to blow black chocking you out if your A/C is not on recirculate, but they are also among the most disrespectful drivers on the road. I put them in the same category as the "ricers".

Luckily members of the DDC are easily spotted in your review with the trash can size exhaust tip(why?), "F-bomb" or "Monster" sticker on the back window, illegal aftermarket HID headlights that are also left on during the day(again, why?), and the infamous towing mirrors that are extended all the way even they they are not towing anything(for the last time, why?). So at least you can see them coming in your rear view mirror so you can be expecting their douche like behavior. Some even have the truck nuts which most be some kind of right of passage for some of them. Hell, even their attire is mostly the same with their white Oakleys, flat brimmed hat, and that peach fuzz on their chin they call a goatee.

What these guys don't understand is that it they are making it easier for the left to gain more voters to their cause to have even worse emission restrictions. It is all about public opinion and if enough voters see this kind of behavior then it is giving the dems all the ammo they need.

C'mon, Jeff. For christ's sake!

It's an easy question.

Do you think the viewpoints expressed on Huffington represent the mainstream readership of PUTC?

Or not.

WOW!!! I find it hard to believe that anyone who is a citizen of the United States of American would think that you should have to prove your need for a pickup truck to the Government. Sounds like something far removed from liberty!
If individuals are doing something against the law, that person should be dealt with.
This article seems a little suspicious to me. I thought this was pickuptrucks.com, not a prius owners blog! All diesel trucks owners should not be judged by a few individuals that have obviously not matured to adulthood! This seems very much like something that would have been invented by the Huffington Post though.

Its tough for me seeing a hillbilly cutting holes in his perfectly good truck bed floor so he can install exhaust stacks, you know he doesn't haul anything.

Who cares it's not your truck.
I see lifted 1 ton work trucks with stacks and big tires all the time with the beds entirely full. Usually mobile welders and the like for the rigs.

Some people use their trucks more than others and that will never change. Why ridicule them, if someone wants a truck let'em have one without trying to decide for yourself if they ever use it as one by your standards.

I personally like to see trucks everywhere and the mods people have done to them.

Bottom line with this article's point is these people are being di#ks and nobody likes a di#k.

@papa jim--Maybe not, possibly it would be Fox news, your favorite channel. So when are you getting your coal roller?

A couple of years ago on grad night we had three clowns running through town (two Fords and one Dodge) all "chipped up" and clouds of smoke behind them as they burned around. We need to deal with these idiots

Our rights come from the government and if we continue to abuse that right that right will be taken away from us.

Are you serious, this is a statement from any totalitarian regime manual. Are you Canadian?

kiss my ass cuz I will always be rolling coal !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Canada and totalitarian regime in the same sentence? What's wrong with you?

@papa jim - "Do you think the viewpoints expressed on Huffington represent the mainstream readership of PUTC?"

The simple answer is no but the views of most on this site are of a minority.

Who reads Huffington Post?

That is the most important question because they have a larger readership that is more likely to be politically active.

Those readers are most likely liberal, pro-green, pro-global warming types that are well educated and in a financially sound position.

Who carries more weight politically?

Them or us?

Rolling coal looks bad, smells bad, and sounds bad.

Politicians care about appearances.

It is easy to enact regulations that will ban modifications to pollution control systems.

I wholehearted agree that "rolling coal" is both immature and childish.

I also think there's more to the issue than it being a environmentalist vs "redneck" thing.

Any diesel pickup in the US older than 10-15 years is going to produce some amount of smoke/soot that is visible under hard acceleration or if the driver isn't smart enough not to "lug" the engine. This is truck no matter how well the truck is maintained.

I believe that those who choose to "roll coal" with their trucks do so both as a way to protest and also because they feel "threatened". Threatened by whom? Well, there are some extreme environmentalists out there. These are the ones who give them a bad name. I think many have seen this video of a guy getting yelled at by a Prius lady for driving a diesel truck: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVdMySWfAIQ

There are some environmentalists extreme enough that they wish to ban cars altogether. Since that obviously can't happen, drivers of diesel pickups tend to get a lot of flack. Back in the 90's when I was driving my F350 diesel, it would make some smoke when I would be towing up at higher elevations. At sea level it made almost no smoke at all. The truck was always maintained in tip top shape and some smoke now and then was inevitable.

Once when I was driving the aforementioned truck up in the mountains, a local resident saw it making some completely normal diesel soot and when I pulled into the fuel station he approached me and told me what a piece of $hit I was for driving a diesel truck that was polluting the environment. I told him what I drive was none of his concern and then I told him to take a hike. What happened next, to make a long story short is I had to get the police involve because he threatened me.

The point of this story is I was driving a well maintained truck of that era, that made a "normal" amount of diesel smoke for trucks of that era and I got ridiculed for what I drive. In my case I had no intention of "rolling coal" yet I still got the environmentalists pretty darn upset.

In other words, I could go buy a brand new Ram 3500 and it will not put out the smallest bit of soot, yet I'm positive I would still receive criticism for driving a big diesel truck. That is what I think people are afraid of. They are afraid of losing their freedom to drive the truck they want. If some environmentalists had their way, they would lose that freedom.

"In the past in my state pickups had a commercial license meaning that only a commercial business had the need to own one and I wonder if government will adopt that idea again. You had to prove to the state government why you need a pickup for approval to own one."

Posted by: Tom#3 | Jul 7, 2014 6:41:09 PM

I've never heard of such a thing. I live in California and most pickups have to be registered as commercial trucks regardless of how they are used. In fact registering a truck as a commercial vehicle has nothing to do with whether a truck is being for business or not.

This gets a lot of people angry but it's a fact of life. It's the way our government works. People should be using trucks for truck stuff, but I don't think the government should have any right to limit people's use of truck. That is a fundamental freedom of America, the freedom to drive a pickup.


I found the whole idea of the PUTC article to be kind of preachy and tone deaf.

It could have been the New York Times or the New Republic--don't care. Makes me wonder if PUTC really understands who their readers are.

@papa jim
I had the same issue with this article. Not every diesel pickup driver is out there rolling coal and pissing people off. However, the Prius type crowd seems to get offended at just the slightest mention of the T word(truck) or the D word(diesel).

This is what frustrates pickup drivers. I have a buddy who has a neighbor giving him flack about his work truck being a gas guzzler(Silverado 3500) with an 8.1l, but he needs a 3500 because of the work he does.

@papa jim - this article was a feeble attempt at click - bait.

Does PUTC understand their readership?

If you look at the amount of troll entries and bashing that goes on it is readily apparent that PUTC does not read these blogs.

If they do not read these blogs then they will not control the stupidity nor will they understand the legitimate bloggers point of view.

It is a double edged sword.

Mike Levine managed to keep this site clean.

WTF is Mark Williams doing to earn his pay?

The only engine smoking out innocent people is the Eco Boost with its blown head gaskets, turbo issues and piston ring failure. It should be outlawed!

In my neck of the woods, I would guess that 99% of the pickups with smoke stacks, tons of stickers, and rollin' coal are Fiats... nuff said.

We need clean diesel engines running in our country. All you idiots that think clean diesels are not good policy, are only kidding yourselves.

"Rolling coal looks bad, smells bad, and sounds bad" respectfully I have to disagree, rolling coal looks awesome.

I agree with papa jim. It looks like a couple guys in mostly well worn Dodges did this, and the writer at a green website decided to call it a “movement” by "anti-environmentalists”?

How about an article on the EPA plans to kills jobs and lower your income, raise the cost of pick-up trucks, etc. That would be much more relevant.

Here are some references points and topics for the next article on the environmental agenda...



How the EPA plans to kill Mark Williams' job and reduce his income...

Energy: What Works and What Doesn’t...

Having been employed in the emissions and yearly inspection testing of trucks, mainly diesels, for a few years, I note that contributors to this article appear to miss the point; the current fad of "rolling coal" is a step backward, because that thick black smoke is highly carcinogenic, lodging particulates in the victims lungs. Having their own exhaust fed into their cab sounds a really good way of changing their minds to me ! Reducing this bi-product of diesel engines has been a goal for decades throughout the western world, and rightly so. Surely, if a diesel produces such smoke, report the said offender to the local authorities. If the especially small minority of rolling coal addicts persist, then they only have themselves to blame when further emissions restrictions are enforced ....

@papa jim--I have seen this and wondered why people do this. Maybe Huffington Post is not the most objective news source but if you approve of this then you are beyond all hope. The Rolling Coal just makes it harder for the rest of us who own trucks even if they are the minority. You can have freedom but freedom should not be used to harm or abuse others. Do you really approve of rolling coal? Maybe you live in a gated community where you are never exposed to this.

@Hemi Mobster--People that would modify their trucks to emit large clouds of sooty smoke hurt those that are responsible truck owners. Such behavior just causes public opinion to view trucks in a negative manner and that in turn could lead to more Government regulation. A few immature truck owners cause the rest of us grief.

@Mike L'Alouette--I agree. There are those on this site that will defend this as freedom of speech but they would not do it themselves. I have seen these coal rollers and have had their soot blown in my face, but fortunately there are not a lot of them. We are all exposed to enough toxins in the air, water, and food without deliberartely creating them. There are much better and more constructive ways to express your dissatisfaction with government.

@Jeff S


As another commenter wisely noted, it's pure/simple click bait.

The fact that the average Huffpo editor or writer thinks you're a hillbilly, despises the American middle-class, lives in a million dollar A-frame on the left coast and is a bleeping vegan, all of which evidently escaped the sharp-eyed editorial staff at PUTC.

Do you think Huffington would publish a story glorifying pickups and the people who love them? Yeah, right.

That was the whole point of my comments Jeff.

@papa jim--I understand that but you also have a tendency to take the extreme right wing approach on everything. You are more likely to condone this practice as free speech than to condemn it so long as its not in your neighborhood.

@Jeff S

You refuse to answer a simple question:

Do you think Huffington would publish a story glorifying pickups and the people who love them?

Answer: Not in a million years.

Anyone who thinks "rolling coal" is a good idea is an idiot.

Automakers have gone to great lengths to clean up diesels, and to reverse their dirty image in the eyes of the general public. Mark my words: this practice will bring on more government regulation and will do untold damage to the image of truck drivers everywhere.

You think there is too much government regulation now, you ain't seen nothing yet if you keep this stupid behavior up.

Jeff S The old saying goes "If its to loud or to smokey you are to old!"

Rolling coal is childish and just plain stupid. I'm not an environmentalist but I think anybody just plain dumping that pollution into the air for no real reason should be fined $10,0000 dollars at least.

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