Truck Nuts — a Sordid Past
Though the story of who first invented the fleshy sack that hangs from some people’s vehicles is a little fuzzy, the Truck Nuts Industry was created by two men attempting to assert their dominance over one another. What started as a niche market novelty in the late ‘90s, the plastic package exploded in the 2000’s leaving quite a mess.
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They were around in the ‘80s, but only made by custom retailers. Mostly spotted in southern states – from Florida across to California – though not too common.They would be hung out by bulge minded younger men with little else on their minds but lift kits and procreating. The “nard boom” wouldn’t occur until later the next decade.
The parties that teabagged the world were David Ham AKA Bozzy Willis, the rambunctious owner of Yournutz.com, and John D. Saller the ball breaking owner of bullsballs.com. There was another gentleman by the name of Wilson Kemp, but he was more of a neutral party and not really involved… [we’ll touch base on him later though.]
The most confusing part of this dispute was that both of the claimed inventors acknowledged the fact that someone else did it first. According to Ham he saw a pair on the back of a truck back at a rally back in the ‘80s, while Saller claimed that during a 4×4 trip, a friend said, “Go, Ernie! Show ’em you got balls!” Yet, Saller also stated that he had known of a woman from nevada who sold them back in the mid ‘80s. So which is it guys, did one of you invent them or did the people you got the idea from do it?
After a decade long legal battle between the two companies – which included several angry emails and phone calls, a social media PR war, some industrial espionage, claims of defamation and trademark infringement, a cease and desist order, and a peak 17000 word exchange – Saller had to bow out due to illness. He sold the Bulls Balls business to his manufacturer and partner Chad Tombyll, and passed away in april of 2014. Meanwhile, David Ham had apparently already sold his company years prior to a man named Wilson Kemp. The retired school administrator who became the mild-tempered CEO of a very-touchy subject.
The boom on truck nuts was partly due to the PR battle on social media, but its popularity grew in response to its unpopularity. One woman was ticketed and fined $445.00 for freeballing her vehicle in South Carolina. She later went on to fight the ticket in front of a jury. As of 2012, it had been rescheduled three times and left without a set date. As of 2018, we couldn’t find any information on the verdict and leaving us dangling in suspense. The debate of freedom of speech infringement gets pretty heated in the States where truck nuts have been banned. You can be fined $60.00 in Florida if found swinging in the breeze.
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Is it lewd or simply an anatomic expression? Would you get fined for displaying the Grey’s anatomy page on male genitalia in your rear windshield? Is that even a good argument? There are states like South Carolina that have laws in place to inhibit this expression.
“Any sticker, decal, emblem or other device containing obscene or indecent words, photographs or depictions,” violates the law to the extent that it “describes, in a patently offensive way, as determined by contemporary community standards… parts of the human body” and “lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”
We’ve read up on a gentleman who was fined $543.00 for displaying some vulgar content regarding ex Prime Minister Stephen Harper in his rear windshield labelled as a “distraction.”
As far as Albertans being ticketed for letting their boys hang low, we couldn’t find any incidents. So the folks with the lifted and heavy kit hockey flag flying Ford F-150s can still take pride in the whole package, regardless of the many online comments and testes-monials you can find displaying the salty distaste some people have regarding the vehicular crown jewels.