Vital MX Forum QNA: Brian "Big B" Barnhart

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10/5/2015 4:57 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/5/2015 5:00 PM



This week's guest in the Vital MX forum QNA is Brian "Big B" Barnhart. As the Senior Motocross Transportation Specialist for Monster Energy Kawasaki, Brian has been behind the wheel of the team hauler for nearly a dozen years. He also did the same for Jeremy McGrath's team back in the day, so he knows all the details on what it takes to handle the job, including how to keep his rolling showpiece looking good, where to stop (or not) on the road, the weekly shopping list to keep a hungry team happy, and how to make some killer BBQ.

Bring your best questions, and he'll be peeking in here this week to answer them. As always, keep it respectful, and ask questions that you would like in a face-to-face meeting.
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10/5/2015 5:36 PM

Hey Brian, what's up?
With both series (outdoor/supercross) being somewhat typical year after year, do you have a strict possibly" mundane"
schedule of where you stop,eat and rest?
Do you even have the luxury with time to change it up a bit?
Are you married and take the little woman with you? (I know I would) Or do you "fly" solo and perfectly content with that?

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10/5/2015 6:43 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/5/2015 6:49 PM

Cool! a behind the scenes type guy. I have a 20 part question, really I do but I'll only ask a few if thats cool?

Who was the first Rider you worked for and was it what you thought it would be?

How was McGrath to work with?

What do you think about the traveling the series puts on the drivers...I mean going back and forth East to West has to be a bitch at times.

What is your favorite destination...because of stops along the way. Have any killer destination stops?

Your best memory of your life as a Driver so Far...anything come up unexpected that you remember over all others? ( Without throwing MC..ect under the Bus...LOL)

What is your future after driving? Have your ducks in a row?..LOL

Thats about it I guess, keep up the good work young Man!

EDIT: OH shoot I forgot to add, your recipe for Ribs? I have a kickass one if you wanna exchange?....Bet you come across some Killer BBQ recipes

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10/5/2015 6:47 PM

Hey big B, first off thank you for taking this time to answer some questions.

As a single man, 27 years old with a class A and OTR experience, would this be a job that you recommend for one, and secondly, how did you personally end up getting your first opportunity as a hauler driver?

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10/5/2015 7:02 PM

When travelling to and from events and while the rig is parked at an event, does it serve as your "home" as well, or do you stay in motels? Which team rig or driver makes the best time over the road when travelling between events?

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10/5/2015 7:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/5/2015 7:18 PM

I got about 5 years experience... Looks like a lot of work, I'm running no touch freight... You're not

Not asking what you make but is the pay decent?... I figure you do it for more then the money...

E-logs or Paper?... I figure the only time you see a truck stop is for fuel correct? Ever use a co-driver

so you don't run out of hours? When there's a off week where do you head? Cool gig, I take it your about

79,000 or so... I find you the most interesting guest yet...
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EDIT: I found this... This thread goes great with this... http://motocross.transworld.net/news/inside-rig-monster-energy-kawasaki/

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Who Ever Dies With The Most Toys Wins...
No Point Waiting Till Then... Newman Wins





10/5/2015 7:14 PM

Out of all the destinations on the schedule which is your favorite and why?


Absolute favorite food stop on the entire schedule?

Messiest rider you've ever had pit out of the rig?

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10/5/2015 7:37 PM

Big B! Cool of you to chime in man, thanks.

Who's been your favourite riders in the truck over the years.. Not racer. Dude who's been fun to hang with at the races.

And

What's your best funny road story?

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Cheers, Crush
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10/5/2015 7:37 PM

jimmie wrote:

Hey Brian, what's up?
With both series (outdoor/supercross) being somewhat typical year after year, do you have a strict possibly" mundane"
schedule of where you stop,eat and rest?
Do you even have the luxury with time to change it up a bit?
Are you married and take the little woman with you? (I know I would) Or do you "fly" solo and perfectly content with that?

Hey Jimmie,
I stick to the same routine for the most part. It makes it easy because I know that the truck will fit in certain hotels and restaurants. Every once in a while Shane (formerly TwoTwo driver, now KTM) will talk me into stopping somewhere different. I do have the luxury of setting my own schedule in between races as long as I get all of my work done.
I am married. My wife doesn't travel with me because she is at home with our kids. It's not ideal but it works for us.

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10/5/2015 8:19 PM

Old-Man wrote:

Cool! a behind the scenes type guy. I have a 20 part question, really I do but I'll only ask a few if thats cool?

Who was the first Rider you worked for and was it what you thought it would be?

How was McGrath to work with?

What do you think about the traveling the series puts on the drivers...I mean going back and forth East to West has to be a bitch at times.

What is your favorite destination...because of stops along the way. Have any killer destination stops?

Your best memory of your life as a Driver so Far...anything come up unexpected that you remember over all others? ( Without throwing MC..ect under the Bus...LOL)

What is your future after driving? Have your ducks in a row?..LOL

Thats about it I guess, keep up the good work young Man!

EDIT: OH shoot I forgot to add, your recipe for Ribs? I have a kickass one if you wanna exchange?....Bet you come across some Killer BBQ recipes

I worked for a couple of riders as a mechanic before I was a driver. The first team I drove for was Chaparral and the riders at the time were Jimmy Button, Phil Lawrence, Chad Pederson, Michael Brandis, and Travis Preston. My first thought working there was "What in the hell have I gotten myself into?" but I realized that this is what I really wanted to do. It was better than I thought it would be.

McGrath was extremely easy to work for. He was one of the most laid back riders I've ever had to deal with. Most of his entourage was good to work with too.

I think the schedule is 100 times better now than it was years ago, believe it or not. I do think we need to get rid of the coast-to-coast trips, though. The DOT is getting stricter so I have to use a second driver for the long trips.

I have a few favorite destinations. A couple off of the top of my head are Claddagh's Irish Pub in downtown Indy, upstate New York, and the drive from Millville to Washougal.

I was just thinking about this story today...One year I had all of the mechanics traveling with me. Back then we didn't get hotels until the riders flew into the race. We had been traveling for two days without showering and needed to clean up. We parked down the street from a hotel, jumped the fence into the pool area, stripped down, jumped into the pool, jumped out, soaped up, jumped back in to rinse off, got dressed and snuck out. The pool was thrashed! I had a hell of a time getting over the fence. LOL

My goal after driving is to be a parts guy for a race team. I've been working on it for the past three years. Hopefully I'll find a home soon but for now I'm still driving.

My ribs are simply a dry rub and apple juice. We've experimented cooking them in the crock pot but mostly put them in the smoker. If you have a good recipe I'm all ears.

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10/5/2015 8:25 PM

Hey Brian, I've got a few questions for you.

1. Favorite city to drive though
2. Least favorite city to drive though
3. Best pits
4. Worst pits
5. What is the most you've seen Matthes take from the truck at lunch!

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I AM CANADIAN

10/5/2015 8:26 PM

cmarona463 wrote:

Hey big B, first off thank you for taking this time to answer some questions.

As a single man, 27 years old with a class A and OTR experience, would this be a job that you recommend for one, and secondly, how did you personally end up getting your first opportunity as a hauler driver?

I'd recommend it. Especially when you're young and single. The best way to get a job in the industry is to go to the races and ask to speak to all of the team managers. More than likely you'll have to start with a privateer team but if you do a good job you'll eventually climb up to bigger teams.

I started as a mechanic and when I started noticing semis showing up at the races I thought it would be cool to drive one. I got my CDL and started applying with teams. It was hard at first because I was so young and most of the teams wanted older and more experienced drivers but I kept pursuing it. Good luck and keep at it.

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10/5/2015 8:36 PM

Starcrossed wrote:

When travelling to and from events and while the rig is parked at an event, does it serve as your "home" as well, or do you stay in motels? Which team rig or driver makes the best time over the road when travelling between events?

In between events I stay in the truck. When I get to the next race I take the truck to the team hotel so the mechanics can work and I check into the hotel. I'm normally in a hotel 5 nights a week. For the most part everyone is together. Some drivers stop more than others and some just get it done. Don from KTM is definitely the slowest! LOL

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10/5/2015 8:50 PM

h&m_cycle wrote:

I got about 5 years experience... Looks like a lot of work, I'm running no touch freight... You're not

Not asking what you make but is the pay decent?... I figure you do it for more then the money...

E-logs or Paper?... I figure the only time you see a truck stop is for fuel correct? Ever use a co-driver

so you don't run out of hours? When there's a off week where do you head? Cool gig, I take it your about

79,000 or so... I find you the most interesting guest yet...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDIT: I found this... This thread goes great with this... http://motocross.transworld.net/news/inside-rig-monster-energy-kawasaki/

I think the pay is decent. Drivers' pay has been getting better over the years. It's like any job...you start out low and as you prove yourself your pay goes up. The better you are the more you make.

I use loose leaf paper logs. I don't hang out at truck stops. I get in, fuel, and get the hell out. LOL

Chappy from Team Green drives with me on the long drives. He also replaces me when I take a race off. On off-weekends I park the truck in a safe location or take it to a service shop and fly home.

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10/5/2015 8:56 PM

jloucks742 wrote:

Out of all the destinations on the schedule which is your favorite and why?


Absolute favorite food stop on the entire schedule?

Messiest rider you've ever had pit out of the rig?

Out of all the destinations on the schedule my favorite is probably New Jersey SX because I like to go walk around downtown NYC.

My favorite food stop on the schedule is New York Pizzeria in New Berlin, NY.

Messiest rider has to be a tie between Jake Weimer and Ryan Villopoto.

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10/5/2015 9:17 PM

Crush wrote:

Big B! Cool of you to chime in man, thanks.

Who's been your favourite riders in the truck over the years.. Not racer. Dude who's been fun to hang with at the races.

And

What's your best funny road story?

It's hard to pick favorites though Wil Hahn and I have a truck bromance like no other. LOL
I like hanging out with Shane who drives for KTM now (formerly TwoTwo) and Hedgie from Oakley.

Funny road story...One time I stopped at Mazda headquarters, who was our title sponsor at the time, and needed to dump the bathroom before pulling into the parking lot because it smelled. I pulled over to the sewer manhole and asked Larry Brooks to put his foot on the hose so it wouldn't fall in the sewer and I pulled the drain on the truck. Larry didn't have the hose, the hose ripped off the side of the truck and I got a poop shower. They ended up having to hose me off with the spray washer in the middle of the street. #truestory

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10/5/2015 9:25 PM

9, 13, 15, or 18 speed?

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10/5/2015 9:27 PM

kingrigger721 wrote:

Hey Brian, I've got a few questions for you.

1. Favorite city to drive though
2. Least favorite city to drive though
3. Best pits
4. Worst pits
5. What is the most you've seen Matthes take from the truck at lunch!

1. Washougal
2. San Bernardino (Glen Helen)
3. Every Supercross - you can't go wrong with asphalt pit areas
4. Most of the Nationals - dirt pit areas are the worst
5. 3 coffees, a couple sandwiches, a couple candy bars, a handful of health bars, and a banana.

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10/5/2015 9:29 PM

wildbill wrote:

9, 13, 15, or 18 speed?

13 speed but I wish I had an automatic.

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10/5/2015 9:45 PM

Brian Big b Barnhart wrote:

It's hard to pick favorites though Wil Hahn and I have a truck bromance like no other. LOL
I like hanging out with Shane who drives for KTM now (formerly TwoTwo) and Hedgie from Oakley.

Funny road story...One time I stopped at Mazda headquarters, who was our title sponsor at the time, and needed to dump the bathroom before pulling into the parking lot because it smelled. I pulled over to the sewer manhole and asked Larry Brooks to put his foot on the hose so it wouldn't fall in the sewer and I pulled the drain on the truck. Larry didn't have the hose, the hose ripped off the side of the truck and I got a poop shower. They ended up having to hose me off with the spray washer in the middle of the street. #truestory

!!!!

How many showers till you felt clean again?

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Cheers, Crush
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10/6/2015 6:52 AM

Big B ,

Why did you make me go into the truck stop bathrooms?

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10/6/2015 6:54 AM

wilbur48 wrote:

Big B ,

Why did you make me go into the truck stop bathrooms?

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10/6/2015 7:14 AM

wilbur48 wrote:

Big B ,

Why did you make me go into the truck stop bathrooms?

I thought it was a great way for you to meet new people. #youwereinthereareallllylongtime

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10/6/2015 7:32 AM

Brian, thanks for coming by and filling us in on the behind the scenes stuff!

My rib recipe...

Depending on how thick the ribs are and how many racks, five to six hours in the smoker at 220.

First I pull off the membrane on each rack of ribs. Then rinse them with apple juice. My rub is brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, course salt, pepper, all-spice, cayenne, chili powder.

In the water pan I run apple juice and fresh orange juice. I cut up a couple of oranges and juice them in there and then throw the hulks in the pan.

After 3 hours in apple wood, then I pull them and slather them with honey and wrap them in foil. Back in for an hour or so. Back out and pull the foil and then back in with cherry wood and a final smoke of hickory after the cherry burns out.

My question...could you post a picture of your living area in the rig? I know that's personal space, so no worries if you're not cool with that. I've never actually seen what is in that big space behind the driver and have to admit to being curious.

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I have so many down votes my down votes have their own down votes.

10/6/2015 7:33 AM

wilbur48 wrote:

Big B ,

Why did you make me go into the truck stop bathrooms?

Brian Big b Barnhart wrote:

I thought it was a great way for you to meet new people. #youwereinthereareallllylongtime

We're starting to piece together the real story people! haha

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10/6/2015 10:14 AM

What do you use to clean the bikes

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10/6/2015 10:15 AM

What do you like to listen to when you are on the road?

Books on tape? Talk radio? NPR? SeriusXM? Country? Hip Hop? Rock? Religious channels? Wil Hahn jabbering in your ear?

Or do you just like to listen to the purr of the engine?

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" You thank whoever is up there, every morning you open your eyes, an everyday you can put your body on a motorcycle, thats pretty good enough for me" -Lars Larson

10/6/2015 11:51 AM

Have you ever picked up any o those guys who hang out at the on ramp by the truck stop who have the little cardboard signs saying they need a ride?

And a followup to that question...what kind of heat are you packin? 38? 44 mag?

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" You thank whoever is up there, every morning you open your eyes, an everyday you can put your body on a motorcycle, thats pretty good enough for me" -Lars Larson

10/6/2015 12:40 PM

what was in davi's locker?

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10/6/2015 2:07 PM

Big B you guys are on the road quite a bit for 8 months. What do you guys do with the rig when you have a off weekend

say after St Louis ? Do you get to fly home on the off weekend ?

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