Friday, March 22, 2013

Watch It: Ram Trucks Promotional Video Features Texas Farrier Shawn Nanny, Who Still Likes His Old Truck

If you were in the business of selling trucks, wouldn't a farrier be your ideal customer?

The answer would be an unequivocal "yes"--assuming your truck can fill the farrier's needs...and the farrier wants a new truck.
For years, I have wondered why truck companies didn't fall over themselves to sponsor farrier events and court their favor (and advertise with Hoofcare Publishing). Finally, someone at Ram Trucks has seen the light.

What's clipped to your visor?
Horseshoer Shawn Nanny drives the arrow-straight roads of West Texas in a 1997 Cummings-diesel Ram pickup. The odometer shows more than 430,000 miles. The photo of his daughter clipped to the visor is curled with age and he's probably one of the few people besides me who still has a cassette player in their dash.

When a casting director came through the area looking for someone who drove a truck with a lot of miles on it, people didn't even hesitate on the person who should be tracked down. Shawn has been shoeing out of his red truck for 12 years--and he bought it used.

Ram executives had Shawn drive all the way to the Texas State Fair in Dallas, where he was the first person to see (and touch, and sit in) the new 2013 models of Ram trucks. The loyal Ram owner (he has a fleet of three Ram trucks of varying ages at home) asked all the right questions and Ram obviously what they heard.

And yes, that is a wooden rasp handle on his shifter!

What's this? After a world-class sales pitch, Shawn drove away in his old truck?
But when I called Shawn today to ask him how his new truck was working out, he confided that he's still driving his old faithful red truck. After all that, he didn't order a new truck. "Ram still hasn't released the 2013 three-quarter and one-ton diesels yet," he said.

The new trucks may be impressive, but it sounds like Shawn has a pretty happy relationship with his red truck, which he drives about 800 miles a week to get his horses shod. He also pulls a horse trailer and moves cattle with it.

One of my personal favorite truck moments was the day I was driving down the road listening to one of my favorite shows, "Car Talk" on NPR. They were making me chuckle, as always, but I almost drove off the road when they took a call from farrier Dwight Weinberg from San Diego, California.

Dwight was asking for advice on the suspension of his farrier rig and I was amazed that the show hosts, Click and Clack (The Tap-It Brothers), both knew what a farrier was and could offer suggestions for his problem.

Congratulations to Shawn for being the chosen farrier for the Ram Trucks video...and don't you agree that he should go for 500,000 miles on the red truck? Don't trade it in yet, Shawn!

"I'll buy a new one when I wear this one out," he said this afternoon. It doesn't sound like the truck knows how old it is. It's a keeper.

--by Fran Jurga

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