As a fishing guide, Walleye Dan is all about customer service. So when his guest says he's in the mood for some ice cream, Walleye obliges. He drives to the main drag that runs through this Minnesota burg and suggests a McDonalds one mile up the highway, with a big fat parking lot for his truck and boat.
"Nah," I say, taking charge from the passenger seat. "Let's go through the drive-thru at Culver's."
Walleye Dan bites his lip. He nods his head, knowing this means merging with 5 o'clock traffic, making a U-turn and negotiating a sharp corner into the custard stand. His competitors will find it no easier — Fred at the Arby's drive-thru and John at a tight gas station. Trailering life, meet city life.
Gold: Unflappable Fred
Never flinched at last-second commands.
"In city traffic you have to be more alert, simple as that. I'll stay in the right lane and use the driver's side mirror."
He's asked to make a series of turns. "I take the turns as wide as possible."
He's asked to order two orange swirls at the Arby's drive-thru. "I'd normally park somewhere and walk in, instead of using the drive-thru."
The store manager watches the trailer tires kiss the curb on the way out.
Gold: John The Tactician
Could say he chickened out at the drive-thru, but in reality it was the smart call.
"First, make sure the wheel lugs are tight and nothing's loose — like safety chains. It takes more time to stop a heavy rig, so I'm mostly watching the traffic ahead and giving myself plenty of room to brake."
He makes a left turn after a long wait at an unprotected stoplight. "I have no qualms about waiting out the light and blocking the intersection if I need to." It's suggested he go through the Arby's drive-thru.
"I don't do drive-thrus, period."
Gold: Walleye Dan
Sacrificed some rubber for a tray of sundaes.
"Changing lanes in traffic is no fun." He's asked immediately to change lanes. "I'll wait until someone gives way in the mirror, or until I see the last car pass on the left."
He looks at the Culver's entrance. "I always eyeball the entrance and exit. If they're too tight or too steep, where you might get hung up, just move on and find another one."
The trailer tires roll onto the drive-thru curb.
"Ouch! I curbed it!"