At least, that's what I call it. Transformers™ Truck would be more accurate. Decepticon Dump Truck would surely be more precise, though it took me some internet research to figure that out. I've never played with Transformers, nor had any interest in doing so, though even as a little girl I had to concede that the toy concept was clever.
So I had to consult the Transformers Wiki (of course there's a Transformers Wiki) to learn that a truck much like this one actually exists in the Transformers universe. Its name is Long Haul. Long Haul "wishes he could spend more time in battle, destroying his enemies with projectile weaponry. Instead, he often finds himself stuck in the role of pack mule, lugging around the other Decepticons' gear." Poor guy. Who wouldn't want to spend more time in battle, destroying their enemies with projectile weaponry?
I've intended to stop for a closer look for years, but was always in too much of a hurry (mostly due to my tendency to begin road trips 1-2 hours later than intended). It wasn't until this August that I finally had both time and energy to pull over at the next exit south, backtrack on the little road that parallels the freeway, and turn in at the quarry.
The truck perches on a great crumbly mound of crushed rock and blackberry brambles, easily visible from the interstate. It would be a brilliant advertisement, except that you can't see a business name or contact info until you pull up to the gate. The quarry was unattended. I gingerly climbed up the rock pile for a closer look, half expecting somebody to yell at me to get down from there. Below, traffic zipped past at 65 miles per hour. I resisted the temptation to wave.
Later, I called the number on the quarry sign. The office is in a coast town, almost two hours away. "I was wondering about the big green truck at your quarry on I-5," I said.
"What about it?" the lady asked.
"Well, I mean, what is it there for?"
"To hold the flag."
At first I took this for mind-your-own-beeswax snark, but no, she was serious. When her husband acquired it years ago, it was burnt out and useless and neon green, and he put it up on the rock pile to hold the flag. Which it does, admirably.
"What about the big Transformer face on the side?" I asked, still puzzled.
"What do you mean?"
I boggled. How could she not know?
"We didn't change anything about it," she said, after a pause.
It looks to me like the Decepticon insignia was applied at the same time as the coat of green, which means this isn't a case of clever graffiti that's somehow gone unnoticed for years: it was already painted this way when the current owners bought it. But why?
Only Long Haul knows, and he ain't talkin'.