It’s called “rollin’ coal.” And for several years, rural rednecks in America have been modifying their diesel trucks to turn their semi-adequately managed emissions into churning black smoke. Why? Just to see who has the worst fuel efficiency, who can dump the most carbon emissions into the atmosphere, and be the most obnoxious jerk.
The trend started out as an accident, like lots of tragedies tend to, when redneck competitors modified their diesel trucks to compete at truck pull competitions. The modifications dumped more fuel into the engine to give the truck more power and speed, and the black smoke came out as a byproduct. Well, many rednecks thought it looked cool and started modding their trucks in the same way just to emit the black smoke.
What’s worse, not only is the hypermasculine, redneck trend that is “rollin’ coal” a jerk move in itself, the people who “roll coal” are using it to pull a lot of other jerk moves. They purposely blow black smoke at pedestrians, cop cars, and use it for road rage.
“If someone makes you mad, you can just roll coal, and it makes you feel better sometimes,” said some manners-lacking high school twerp named Ryan. “The other day I did it to this kid who was driving a Mustang with his windows down, and it was awesome.”
Here’s a video compilation of coal rollers pumping black smoke on people and being an overall nuisance:
But “rollin’ coal” isn’t just a thing to do, they actually consider it a lifestyle, a way to conduct themselves, and a personal identity. “Your truck is not just something to get you from point A to point B,” said Robbie, a South Carolina diesel mechanic. “It’s who you are.”
From road rage to truck pulling competitions and the fuel economy-hating attitudes that underlie those things, they all appear to have something in common. The overcompensation is a way to cover up insecurity about their masculinity. It’s an old adage that goes back generations. If your masculinity is threatened, then be a huge jerk and everyone will get the picture that you’re a big, strong man not to be messed with, at least that’s how they live their life.