Dump Truck Clover

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Here’s today’s Clover – the dump truck (or farm tractor) Clover:

This is the Clover who (a) refuses to pass a lumbering/slow-moving vehicle traveling 20 MPH below the (under)posted speed limit. And (b) makes it hard if not impossible for anyone else to pass the lumbering/slow-moving vehicle.

I encountered this Clover earlier today. He’s the one in the small SUV ahead of the car in front of me – and behind the slow-moving dump truck.

Way behind the dump truck.

The truck – being loaded down with gravel or whatever – was not able to maintain the posted speed limit. This is understandable – and so, not objectionable.

What is objectionable, though, is Clover’s falling back 50 yards behind the dump truck, so that the car behind him (and the cars behind that car, including me) have that much less time/opportunity to pass. This is so typically Clover. That they’re in no hurry isn’t the problem. It’s that they don’t give a damn that others who are not retired from the DMV or other government “jobs” actually might need to get where they’re going in a timely manner.

For Clover, the world is what’s ahead of him – never what’s in the rearview.

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  1. The San Diego tank guy is the Silver medalist. Martin “killdozer” is still the greatest. The driver, Shawn, was a U.S. Army veteran and unemployed plumber.

    Shawn Nelson was hospitalized in 1990 for neck and back injuries from a motorcycle accident. He sued the hospital for $1.6 million but a judge dismissed the case, and the hospital counter-sued for $6,640. Nelson claimed that he was forced to be treated without his consent.

    His wife of six years filed for divorce against him in 1991, and both of his parents died of cancer in 1992. Nelson then began to exhibit unusual behavior. On one occasion, he dug a hole 15 feet deep in his backyard in an attempt to mine for gold.

    In February 1995, he filed a notice informing the county of his plans to mine bedrock in his backyard, even though he was not required to because his backyard was private property. Nelson’s friend, referred to the mine shaft as Shawn’s “new hobby”.

    Nelson’s neck and back problems, combined with a theft of plumbing equipment from his truck, halted his business.

    With no income, his utilities were cut off and his house was in foreclosure. In April 1995, his live-in girlfriend died of a drug overdose. His brother, Scott, said of him, “My brother was a good man. He’d help anybody. He just couldn’t help himself.”

    According to San Diego police, Nelson told a friend that “Oklahoma was good stuff,” in apparent reference to the Oklahoma City bombing which happened about a month before.

    At dusk on Wednesday, May 17, 1995, Nelson drove his Chevrolet van to the California Army National Guard Armory in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego. Although the gate to the vehicle yard was usually locked after 5:00 p.m. employees at the armory were working late, and left the gate open.

    The vehicle yard was completely deserted. Nelson likely used a crowbar to break open the tank hatches. The tanks involved started with a push button and did not require an ignition key.

    The first two tanks he broke into would not start. As he lowered himself into the third tank, a 57-ton M60A3, he was finally noticed by a guardsman, who approached the tank. Nelson was able to start the vehicle, and with little chance of stopping him, the guardsman rushed to a phone and called police.

    Nelson led police on a 23-minute chase through the streets of the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego. The tank had a top speed of 30 miles per hour, making the chase slow compared to police chases involving automobiles.

    The 57-ton tank easily plowed through road signs, traffic lights, fire hydrants and crushed a van against a recreational vehicle, then plowed through an RV.

    He even attempted to knock down a bridge by running into the supports, but gave up after he failed to topple it with the first few hits. He eventually became caught on a concrete median of State Route 163, as he attempted to cross the median into the oncoming traffic.

    Four police officers climbed onto the tank. The officers ordered Nelson to surrender, but he said nothing and began lurching the tank back and forth in attempt to free it from the median. Officer Richard Piner, leaned in and shot Nelson. The bullet struck Nelson in the shoulder. Nelson later died in the hospital.

    Questions were raised as to whether or not it was necessary for the police to kill Nelson. Police Captain Tom Hall said that if Nelson managed to free the tank, he “could have taken out no less than 35 vehicles that were passing at that moment. Police decided that if non-lethal action such as tear gas were used, this might have stopped Nelson, but not the tank, and officers would not be able to enter the tank if it were still mobile with tear-gas present.

    Local television news station KGTV, Channel 10, broadcast footage of Nelson’s shirtless, bloodied body being pulled from the tank by police both live and during the eleven o’clock news. It was in the broadcast that Scott Nelson recognized his brother as the perpetrator.

    Officials at the National Guard armory where Nelson stole the tank were criticized for what appeared to be a huge lapse in security, especially after the attack in Oklahoma City the previous month. In addition to the open, unguarded gate to the vehicle lot, the fence surrounding the lot had damaged barbed wire in some places.

    The Right to Go Insane – Megadeth

    Tankman Blues by Mojo Nixon

  2. I endure this constantly. For reasons known only to them, some of the clovers run maybe 68 or so behind someone or just by themselves, and actually speed up when you try to pass. If it were simply a matter of flooring a big rig and zipping on around, that would be fine, each to their own, but hanging out collecting a line of vehicles is stupid and dangerous. I vote for a vehicle mounted RPG and a HARM missile for the ensuing black and white.

    • eight,

      The worst are the ones who absolutely must pass you–because you’re in a truck–after you just get turned off of the highway and on to a single lane road. After they shoot by you and you get up to speed, you find that you are going faster than them…..but of course, they won’t let you pass, because they can’t let a truck pass them. There you are, stuck behind some prick clover and the cars behind you think the erratic driving is your fault.

    • Several years ago I worked with a fellow who was a tank commander in the weekend warriors. He said it would make the perfect commuter vehicle. Fire one round down between lanes as a warning, then just run over anyone who didn’t get out of the way.

  3. Perhaps the clovër fell back to avoid potential falling objects or rocks kicked up by the truck.

    (Although in that case the clovër could have pulled over for a few moments to let the truck go out of sight)


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