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

1 Ford Braking nose II

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


1 Ram Braking nose II



@papa jim--You refuse to answer a simple question as well. Do you approve of truck owners deliberately altering their trucks to blow soot all over a total stranger? My guess is that you wouldn't want it done to you or your loved ones but you would support the truck owners right to blow soot over a complete stranger. Must be a real Christian. Do unto others as you would not have them do unto you. Or do unto others before they have a chance to do unto you.

As for the Huffington Post I read their posts from time to time as I read right wing stuff but I do not take as gospel everything I read. I think there is enough government regulation but I do not find this form of rebellion very constructive. Why get the greenies more upset and cause further regulations. Seriously, you explain to me in your infinite wisdom what good can come out of this behavior?

@papa jim--I assume by your silence that you accept this behavior.

Papa Jim is a real Waco.

Nice job morons. Between you idiots and the jackasses carrying AR-15s into Target you've managed to set back Republican arguments about 15 years. All so you could go out of your way to be assholes? What does it prove?

I agree with this article. Send all coal rollers to the Astrodome.


So, my wife and I have 2 diesels (TDI golf and a F150). I'm also an assistant professor of public health at a university in the Central Valley.

It's unequivocal that exhaust emissions are a significant contributor to the poor air quality of the central valley, and that the poor air quality of the area contributes to elevated rates of respiratory diseases - I see it every day in my line of work. It's also unequivocal that lower emissions vehicles have contributed to improved air quality in the last 15 years, and led to increased life quality for a lot of people. The idea that someone would deliberately INCREASE the pollution they produce as a political protest is crazy. You may as well be showing Obama how much you hate him by coming to the pediatrics unit here and punching the kids in the lungs.

It seems like there's a balancing act between preserving the the freedom to drive what you like within reason and regulation to make sure others are free to not to be poisoned by other people's cars. I'm not a US citizen so don't have a dog in the dem/rep fight, but it seems like two stubborn camps either side of a solution in the middle.

To be honest this is the first time I've seen rollin coal in a negative way. In my town a bunch of diesels have stacks and roll coal, also rig pigs passing through seem to stop in town with their rig rockets as people call em. (1 ton diesels lifted, mudders but still faster than most cars and trucks). Not once have I seen or heard anything or anybody say negative things about this. But if your gonna roll coal you need stacks or you just blow it on cars or people. Where I live it's fairly common place but never seen people being di#ks like in the video. The jeep club around here even rolls coal with more and more of them switching to cummins 4bt with a single stack pluming as much as the 1 tons. I enjoy seeing it the same way I enjoy hearing a gas v8 with a good exhaust.

It's not a political thing here it's just the way it is. Im guessing it's not political for the few owners of those trucks in video. It seems to me someone is just saying it's a movement because because they finally seen one for the first time.

Rolling coal is a foolish practice that does nothing but get people angry. Why should me and my kids have to breathe in particulate just so you can make a statement?

And that stuff washes into storm drains and into the lakes and rivers. Sorry but I like to drink water and eat fish, too, how about that?

I have nothing against diesels, I work on tugs and the newer diesels are very clean and much more efficient. More smoke does not mean more power, it means inefficiency and waste.

I hope you guys are loaded with cash for the inevitable fines, fees, and repairs from the damage you do to your engines.

This "rolling coal" is the stupidest idea in years, and in many cases actually amounts to an assault. Go to YouTube and look at the videos of the cretins who intentionally blast carcinogenic, sooty smoke at people riding their bikes on the side of the road, or just poor pedestrians walking down the street. Then the camera shows them cackling their butts off over how funny it is. This will certainly lead to further regulation, and makes all pickup owners look bad if we don't oppose it.

WOW, what a great idea!! Maybe I should do this to my wife's Diesel Cruze. That would be SOOO COOOLL!! NOT! People who do this are idiots and are only going to make it worse for those of use who actually use our trucks and like to breathe clean air. A few people have claimed that there is already pollution and that they are a big contributor. I am sorry but you are mistaken. I have to drive through an industrial area once in a while and since the regulations have changed for diesels the air is much cleaner.
Note - I am not against diesels, I own one, see above.
My wife has asthma, my son has asthma and I suspect if someone "rolled coal" around us they would probably have an attack. So you idiots that think it is "cool" or whatever, you are not only hurting the environment, but you are hurting us legit truck and diesel owners and you could be hurting people directly. This is one of the few times I am glad we have smog inspections for Diesels and we can report idiots like this which would make them get a smog check.

I am heartened by the majority of sane, well-reasoned comments here that see this practice for the pure stupidity it is. Of course there is a fair share of insanely wrong blather from the likes of this 'Papa Jim' who seems to live on a different planet - but overall, very responsible comments.

@Dave or papa jim -

I have a question.

Does anyone at PUTC drive a pick-up truck?

Mark, What pickup truck do you drive?

I really hope these junk articles go away. If PUTC doesn't want to feed something, why post an article on it? Maybe they secretly did want to feed the stereotype. Getting annoying.


For the most part you are right. Pollution is why there is dpf and low sulphur diesel. I have been told been told by 4 different owners of 6.7 cummins that they have blown head gaskets from chipping them out.

But they do in fact make more power when rolling coal

(I do not take credit for the following explanation)

The moment you started making soot (aka. "blacksmoke") is the moment you ran out of excess air. The moment just before that is stoichiometric, the point where all the fuel and all the air are consumed with none of either one left over.

For an elemental fuel such as hydrogen, the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio is the hottest burning and maximum energy-releasing air/fuel ratio. Lean mixtures dilute and quench the mix with unused air; rich mixtures dilute and quench the mix with unburned fuel.

Diesel fuels are a little different. They contain about 85% carbon and 15% hydrogen. At stoichiometry, all the oxygen is consumed. When you enrich the mixture beyond stoichiometry, you continue to consume all the oxygen, but the hydrogen in the fuel begins to preferentially consume the oxygen instead of the carbon. Hydrogen having a much greater heat content than carbon, you get more heat (and power) out of the combustion process and a higher temperature, despite the unburned carbon passively soaking up some of that heat. Fuel efficiency and emissions, of course, go out the window.

Let's Stop This Now: Giving this misinformed leftist bullshit opinion piece any more press. The "author" is trying to play it off as a protest and that this is some new phenomenon. It's not either, and I don't know anybody that's seen an increase in it occurring. Some left-wing nutjob steps out of the city (or the internet brings videos to them) and tries to spin some assholes as a right-wing protest, and by the comments, he's succeeding in getting people to fall for it. Why pickuptrucks.com would drive any traffic over to an author that would gladly see this site's focus and readers completely eliminated is beyond me.

I thought Mark drove an Acura MDX but I could be wrong, you don't need to drive a pickup to report on them, most don't.

I don't think these guys saying that people who think environmentalists, or even liberals, for that matter, are a minority and that diesel fans are a majority. I mean, do you they any idea what those words mean? It should be pretty obvious to anyone with an ability to read demographic information that liberals and environmentalists are a growing majority, and rural conservatives are a quickly dwindling minority.

My previous comment either got moderated (sorry I did use some un-needed adjectives) or didnt post either way. I have redacted the unsavory parts and will attempt a more polite version.

I have no problem with the incidental coal rolling that happens when a diesel is working hard, pulling a huge load. I am a huge diesel-phile and it bugs me that we have to have SCR and DPF's on all our trucks and cars. So backwards are our regulations that we dont even get some of the better offerings available in europe despite the pollution regs being way more strict over there. They dont have urea or dpf's over there. My wife's Jetta Sportwagen in Euro trim makes a full 30hp more and doesnt have a dpf and still doesnt smoke. It probably also gets better mileage, and when you look at overall pollution it is probably cleaner. Our problem is that our focus is so narrow we are tripping over the proverbial dollar to pick up a dime here by pushing ourselves towards renewables and electric cars as opposed to embracing available clean technologies.

That being said, these clowns are purposefully taking a good thing and then programming it to waste fuel, so that they can go around belching smoke and rattling like an old Peterbilt gravel truck all while tooling around town unloaded honking their train horn at pedestrians. They have to put on 37" tires just to clear those idiotic 50 gallon barrel sized exhaust tips gaining popularity, or worse they cut holes in the only remaining useful part of their truck, the bed (because lets face it, these trucks have been lifted so much they need a 12" drop hitch just to tow a normal trailer) to install an even more idiotic exhaust stacks, and yet they have the audacity to make fun of import tuners and their "coffee can" exhausts.

Meanwhile that Prius owner they just smoked out has all their state and federal congress members on speed dial, just waiting for an excuse to phone them up and talk about common sense regulations of motor vehicles. Or worse, that cyclist they just did a flyby on carries a handgun like I and many of my cycling partners do when we ride. Your big manly pickup is going to do you sweet FA when you roll coal and swerve at them and they decide that crosses the line into a reasonable threat of death or grievous bodily harm. In Texas harassing someone with a vehicle qualifies as justifiable threat meriting use of lethal force, think on that for a little bit.

Look at all the Audi's in LeMan's, these are bonafide race cars and not even a whisp of smoke from them. Modern diesels can be tuned for very high performance and not smoke. In the old days a mechanical IP's smoke was the trade off for more power, its just not the case now. A modern common rail diesel belching smoke under zero load just makes people think you are stupid for taking what are some of the nicest 4 wheeled vehicles on the road today and purposefully modifying it so that to all observes it appears broken or poorly maintained.

These people fall into the category of those wannabe commandos who walk into Target with an AR15 at low ready with their hand on the pistol grip, thumb ready to flip off the safety, and finger indexed on the mag well above the trigger like they are about to go to war with somebody. I doubt those dbags even know the cause they are supposedly supporting as they tag themselves in pictures assuming aggressive fighting stances in the ordering line at Chipotle.

Sometimes I feel like the only solution is quarantine and selective application of napalm.

"Rollin' Coal" is retarded.

A) Unburned fuel = lost power

B) Stacks = lost space for work/hauling

C) Diesel fuel and coal have nothing to do with each other

D) These idiots are polluting their own air for breathing

E) Smoking out people on purpose is the equivalent of a 2nd Amendment warrior going out in public flashing their guns...it doesn't help the cause, it HURTS the cause.

I know these rednecks and kids think it's "cool" when they have stacks blowing smoke...but trust me, the rest of the world including the rest of truck owners look at them like they are idiots.

In my town, a kid in a diesel truck "smoked out" my uncle in his Honda Accord at an intersection one day about two years ago. What the kid didn't realize was that my uncle was the Director of the state Division of Waste Management. Moron. He was promptly reported to the authorities and his fines cost a lot more than his 6" stacks.

I am a liberal and an environmentalist but I am relying on new technologies to change the picture, not badger someone over what they drive. As to the person who asked if huffpost was mainstream. It is on some issues just like faux news gets some things right. Reading many information outlets is what intellectually honest people do. Rolling coal and just watching fox news is what childish morons do.


A) Unburned fuel = lost power
Wrong In this case, I'll repost an explanation

(I do not take credit for the following explanation)

The moment you started making soot (aka. "blacksmoke") is the moment you ran out of excess air. The moment just before that is stoichiometric, the point where all the fuel and all the air are consumed with none of either one left over.

For an elemental fuel such as hydrogen, the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio is the hottest burning and maximum energy-releasing air/fuel ratio. Lean mixtures dilute and quench the mix with unused air; rich mixtures dilute and quench the mix with unburned fuel.

Diesel fuels are a little different. They contain about 85% carbon and 15% hydrogen. At stoichiometry, all the oxygen is consumed. When you enrich the mixture beyond stoichiometry, you continue to consume all the oxygen, but the hydrogen in the fuel begins to preferentially consume the oxygen instead of the carbon. Hydrogen having a much greater heat content than carbon, you get more heat (and power) out of the combustion process and a higher temperature, despite the unburned carbon passively soaking up some of that heat. Fuel efficiency and emissions, of course, go out the window.

Tractor pulls and diesel dragsters are a good example of more power with black smoke.

C) Diesel fuel and coal have nothing to do with each other

Diesel is 86.1% carbon and coal is a mineral of fossilized carbon. But mainly roll and coal ryme is why the term was coined.

Thank you you wonderful person. I'd been wondering what the deal was with the trucks with the smokestacks and had been blaming the haze on the local truck depot. There has been an uptick in breathing problems and this is a conservative area.

My environmentally minded friends might not be thrilled with my van, until they need the use of it. This seems a better way to go.

@Alberta_85, you are basically arguing the same point "Fuel efficiency and emissions, of course, go out the window."

wxman oversimplified by saying "unburned fuel = lost power"

You are right, but unburned fuel is wasted fuel and you reach a point of diminishing returns, and you increase wear on all the components due to higher EGT's etc downstream. All of the Audi's in the LeMans/Enduro racing dont smoke (its illegal under the sanctioning authority) and they are definitely not short on power. When you get to the point you are smoking you are making additional power but you are doing so very inefficiently. You would be better served finding a way to get more air in the combustion chamber for that incremental increase in fuel, rather than just turning the fuel up to 11 and belching out clouds of smoke to get a few more HP out of an inefficient system. Most race truck that smoke, do so in order to run nitrous or some other supplemental oxidizer. The bi-product of this very narrow specialized tune is that without that system turned on they have way too much excess fuel and smoke under normal driving conditions or acceleration with no load. I believe that's how smoke tunes originated.

What wxman could have said and made his point way more efficently (get it? haha), wasting fuel to look "cool" = stupid end of story

a NJ state trooper friend I e-mailed the video to said simply

"I will pull you over
I will give you a ticket
then I will impound your truck"

nuff said

Agree with the comments above, we need diesel and the power and efficiency provided by diesel. Hopefully these coal rollers stay in the minority and get bored of blowing soot on others. As I have said before I take the bus to work and you cannot even smell the diesel and you hardly ever see a plum of smoke. My landscaper and my handyman both have F-250 crew cabs with Power Strokes and you hardly ever see a puff of smoke (one has a 2004 and the other a 2001 and borh have close to 200k miles each). Most of the public understands the need for diesel powered trucks but the fastest way to turn a majority of the public against diesel powered trucks is to have idiots driving around blowing soot over everyone. Even trains have diesel powered hybrid drives and they are for the most part very clean. So yes the Huffington Post is liberal and has their own biased but why would anyone want to stir the public against diesels by doing something deliberate. Enough said.

I do not condone anybody doing these type things but should not the big 3 and advertising company’s (PUTC AND OTHERS) take some of the blame. They are the ones building and promoting these power wars with trucks that are truly over powered for normal use.

Let's stop this now: Calling diesel engines "eco" or "clean".

Hey, why (Cars dot com), buy Huffington post. It's small potatoes compared to the valuation of Cars dot com. That'll put an end to all that name calling that is so unfavorable to your advertisers.

Then every article could be about Ram turds.

@WXman, I was thinking the exact same thing with regard to the 2nd amendment. Yes these are rights, but they can be taken away, so most people do the right thing and avoid getting their sport negative publicity. The general public will never hear about the 99% of people who obey the law and respect others, they will only hear about the select few who just want to make a statement and have no respect for others. We get those people on both sides of the political fence.

Is this forum run by a bunch of tree hugging communists? And they call themselves "Pickuptrucks.com"?

I love coal rollers. I love to watch the Prius get dumped on. I call it poetic justice. I have a right to extend middle finger to the tree huggers or to the communists in the government.


I just wanted it to be clear that there is a gain in power not a loss. Some of those chips/tuners give 200hp increase

It should be pretty obvious to anyone with an ability to read demographic information that liberals and environmentalists are a growing majority, and rural conservatives are a quickly dwindling minority.


“Douchebags with a diesel truck” and “conservative” are not the same thing. I'll also add 9 times out of 10 it is an older Ram. If anything this just shows the metality of Ram owners.

As far as liberal envirnonmentalists growing, only 3% call the Environment an important problem.

A new Gallup poll released on Monday shows that Americans consider unemployment/jobs, government corruption, and the economy as the three "most important" problems facing the country. Just 3% of those surveyed listed the environment/pollution as America's most important problem.

3% is shockingly low. Even the diehard libs don’t honestly believe that nonsense.



These are largely pranksters, not people in protest.

And it's another older RAM truck again.

Smoked out a Police Officer


Another Dodge Ram diesel!

@Alberta_85... yeah no one is arguing with you, and those tuners would increase power a hell of a lot more power and smoke less if you spent any money at all on improving airflow in and out in conjunction with the tuner. So in a way smoke does mean wasted fuel and lost power because if you increase airflow and burn all of that fuel you make more power than if you just run rich and you kill the smoke... this pretty much the mantra of people like Gale Banks.


Good try. Unfortunately the eco-crowd and the liberals in general aren't interested in "tolerating" you. They just insist that you tolerate THEM>

Emotion, not facts, is the name of their game.

@ Alberta_85

Your figures are incorrect.

The 3% figure applies to the percentage of Americans who consider the environment THE biggest current issue, and is actually on the increase: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx

The percentage of Americans who currently think the environment is AN important issue is closer to 60%

Some people are di#ks whether in a diesel or with a paintball gun. It doesn't matter with what these obnoxious immature people bother you with they will always find a way to rain on someone else's parade. So I think modding your truck and owning a truck are right on. Anybody bothering others deliberately with their truck would have found away even if they didn't have black cloud following them.

Here's a motortrend 2013 diesel truck challenge video showing same types of trucks in a whole different light, competitively on the dyno. They do however hot box the entire dyno room with each run but no one seems to mind.


One more for you PUTC......

2013 report on coal rolling from CBC in CANADA.

Kiran Dhillon reports on why people are rolling coal.
WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOAnoMRHruQ

Why do THEY do it? They say to 1) save money. It increaes fuel by over 30% and 2) some do it to be youtube pranksters.


PUTC should have have digged a little depper instead of just reporting on the Huff Post. PUTC wants to stop streotypes, but what PUTC posted themselves was to streotype pick-up truck owners.

To anyone who supports 'Rolling Coal' actions need to educate themselves on countries/cities with horrible air quality ie, Beijing, Los Angeles, etc.

We should feel blessed to live in a country with great air quality (for the most part).

Why would anyone support something that purposely causes harm to the environment and to other's health. Yes Diesel Exhaust causes cancer: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/pollution/diesel-exhaust AND http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/06/14/diesel-fumes-definitely-cause-cancer-should-we-be-worried/

Would you like it if someone purposely gave your family and children lead chips or asbestos?

If you want to be close-minded and an arsehole by spewing excess toxins into the air by rolling coal, no one can stop you as this is your "god given" American right.

I however choose to respect my health, the health of others, and respect living in a country with clean air and great environmental regulations.

For those idiots who blame the EPA on all of the world's problems, you guys need to read up on all of the great things the EPA has done over that past 40 years. Sure there have been some bad decisions but overall it's one of America's greatest agencies created to protect the majority of Americans from harmful environmental impact caused by careless human activity.


"Your figures are incorrect"

What figures? I do not know what your referring to.

May I please ask of you to quote the comment you want to refer to for ease of understanding and timely responses in the future? Thank you.

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

Uh, who cares? If Huffington ran an anti-pedophila story, are you going to scream and shout about how PUTC should be pro-pedophilia because Huffington and PUTC can't possibly have anything in common? Stupid.


this pretty much the mantra of people like Gale Banks.

You are exactly right. Gale Banks engineering is one of the most respected and knowledgable companies in the business. The problem is his kits and methods are not as simple, cheap and easy. People do whats cheap and easy. But produce they do, there is a reason he has miltary contracts for the u.s. Including the 3.0 vm engine he does to produce something like 600hp for military applications. Dont quote me on that number it's been awhile since I read that article.

@Jared "The owners of priuses aren't the ones who put emissions regulations on the trucks, the EPA/Obama did".

While I sympathize with your position that Sophomoric "Coal Rolling Trolls" are only a fraction, and your reasons for performing diesel mods are more practical, I must disagree with you on the above statement. I once worked in the emissions field. The federal regulations currently in place for diesels were drafted in the 1990s, before Obama left the private sector for public service. These regulations were largely crafted by industry groups (the auto manufacturers) as have virtually all Federal emissions regulations. It's a "Since we can't avoid it, we'll tell them how it will be done" form of lobbying that is common. While the regulations are enacted into law by Congress and the President, I think you may find the the current diesel regulations predate the Obama administration as well. Finally, while the Federal EPA has some involvement in the rule making process and is charged with enforcement, they currently have no budget for such things as this. It is State agencies who ultimately enforce such regulations, some do and some don't.

Also for all of those who claim diesel emissions are harmless, or less harmful than gasoline emissions and emission regulation is ineffective...

1. Beyond carbon soot, diesel exhaust contains the significant compounds Methanol, Formaldehyde (and numerous other aldehydes is smaller amounts), all highly toxic carcinogenic compounds.

2. You either don't live in an area where local emissions are trapped by the topography, are not old enough to remember how bad it used to be, or both.

@mark - "So, my wife and I have 2 diesels (TDI golf and a F150)."

Do you mean F250 or F350?

Regardless of this be taken from Huffington Post, I feel more hopeful about people just reading the comments of outrage against the actions of a few coal rollers. I am glad that we have some environmental laws and we are all breathing much better air than 40 or more years ago. I do agree that some of the environmentalist go too far but so do those anti-environmentalist. Maybe we should send these coal rollers to China so they could get some fresh air. We could send papa jim along with them, he could use a bit of fresh air as well.

I guess some people in this world have NO LIFE. This is why they do the things (stupid) they do. Diesel trucks have always been my favorite. Us serious trucks owners do our very best to keep our trucks on top shape and running efficiently. I know they are stupid trucks owners out there, but pick on something else like other companies who deliberately pollute the air and enviroment.

I love the VW CLEAN DIESEL TDI that chuffs out more smoke at two years old than my pickup does at 350,000 and seven years of hard labor! What a bunch of junk. Also, the fuel mileage in my pickup is so much better than the new "clean diesels" that I can smoke as much as I want (not saying I do, but if I did) and still have less of an environmental impact than the new "CLEAN DIESELS". Too me, emissions stuff is BS. Focus on the fuel mileage.

@ PaPa Jim

Overly sensitive today aren't we?

I thought it was the conservative mantra not to hate the rich because they re the job creators??

Oh yes that's right rich liberals who like clean air, we're allowed to hate them.

Once chipped they usually only blow black smoke on the highest settings. My bosses cummins doesn't roll coal on the economy settings with the tuner.

it should be a pay to play argument!

big fines weed out the people that cant afford to do it. then the few that can afford it is such a small group it really isn't a issue. I wil say that in my area 2 out of every three diesel trucks has a smoke stack. I bet that if your 18 and get fined a few grand you wont do it again. sorta like in a earlier post a guy said FU I am doing this. ok good go do it get caught and help pay some effing taxes you little spoiled brat! lol

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